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Pangala: Returning Home, 2023

Returning Home

Art, science and ancient knowledges come together through storytelling, projections and performance.

The historic fish kill event in Menindee on Barkindji Country in December 2018 and January 2019 saw an estimated one million dead fish in the Barka-Darling River. Staff from the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Narrandera Fisheries Centre  were immediately called to assist in the rescue effort. Their team rescued 20 Murray Cod, 24 Silver Perch and 17 Golden Perch to take back to Narrandera on Wiradjuri Country, in order for the fish to heal, and eventually breed. Our two locations, Narrandera and Menindee, have been linked by this event. 

In 2020 and 2021, The Cad Factory, Clontarf Foundation at Narrandera High School, the Narrandera Fisheries Centre, the National Museum of Australia and Barkindji River Rangers collaborated to care for the rescued fish, undertake a ceremonial cultural release and present a projection and performance event at Koori’s Beach in Narrandera called ‘Wirramarri: Long Way from Home.’ 

Since 2020, over 170,000 fish have been released back into the Barka-Darling River by the Narrandera Fisheries Centre. In April 2023 when the second mass fish loss event happened in Menindee, it felt difficult to navigate the emotional response. To assist with this, we decided to present another large-scale cultural event ‘Pangala: Returning Home’ in Menindee.

Art, science and ancient knowledges will come together once again through storytelling, projections and performance to explore how people from different cultural backgrounds can come together over serious national issues with reconciliation being at the forefront of their actions.


Pangala: Returning Home


Campsite 2, River Drive, Kinchega National Park

Friday 2 June 2023
5pm: Bring your own picnic and enjoy the sunset
6pm-7:30pm: Performance

BYO food, drinks, camping chairs, picnic rug and torch. Please wear enclosed shoes as you will need to walk around the site. There will be uneven ground.


Read Dr Susan Coulson's review of Pangala: Returning Home

Pangala - Translucent Stripes

Listen to the 'More than a Fish Kill' Panel discussion with Natasha Mitchell on Big Ideas on ABC Radio National


More than a fish kill — how a bunch of boys healed a scientist and found themselves


Images courtesy of the National Museum of Australia.

Photographer: Jacqueline Cooper

This event is presented by the Cad Factory and Barkindji traditional custodians in partnership with the National Museum of Australia, the Narrandera Fisheries Centre through the Department of Regional NSW and West Darling Arts. 

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