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How can Australians come together to better appreciate and care for our precious places at a time of devastating environmental decline?

Living on the Edge: Caring for Australia's Threatened Places explores eight ecological communities from across the continent. The project considers what these places are like, why they matter and how we can protect and regenerate them. Each is a vibrant land and waterscape, home to unique plants and animals. Each is threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, resource extraction, pollution and climate change.

More than a Fish Kill documentary

A man in waders and fishing vest kneeling in shallow water. In the distance is a pyre burning against a dark blue background.

More than a Fish Kill explores how artists, fisheries managers and First Nations custodians came together in the aftermath of devastating fish kills along the Barka (Darling River). This collective turned these ecological disasters into catalysts for cultural connection and revival. The film tells the story of a remarkable collaboration that interweaves art, science and ancient knowledges to care for communities, honour our rivers and reshape how we live, now and into the future.

More than a Fish Kill was co-produced by the National Museum of Australia, the Cad Factory and Otis Filley Studios. It premiered at the National Museum’s River Country Community Day in October 2023.

The film will screen at venues along the Murray–Darling river system during 2024. Check back soon for dates!

If you would like to host a screening, please contact Kirsten Wehner, the National Museum’s James O Fairfax Senior Fellow in Culture and Environment.

Listen to the panel discussion that accompanied the film launch at the Museum on the ABC’s Big Ideas podcast.

Ecological communities make our lives possible, providing food and fibre, and nourishing us through soil, air and water. They also enrich and give meaning to our lives. Their forms and forces, plants and animals shape our cultures and fire our imaginations. They inspire wonder and invite solace. They connect us with the past, anchor us in the present and draw us to the future. Their stories are our stories.

Living on the Edge brings together cultural researchers, writers, curators, traditional custodians and artists, as well as policy-makers, scientists and community conservationists, to share knowledge and explore ideas about how best to care for these threatened places. The multi-year project will produce an online exhibition, events, creative commissions and education resources.


Living on the Edge is developed by the National Museum of Australia, through the James O Fairfax Senior Fellow in Culture and Environment Program, and the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney.

The project is supported by the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Logos: James Fairfax Foundation and The University of Sydney.

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