How Mayi Kuwayu began

How Mayi Kuwayu began


The Murray Local Land Services report in 2014-15 was part of the early research that has helped to inspire the Mayi Kuwayu Study. Many local Aboriginal people from communities along the Murray Darling River took part in this study about caring for country.

Murray Local Land Services asked Associate Professor Ray Lovett and other researchers to develop questions to ask the local mob about caring for country in their area.

This project created an understanding of the caring for country activities people wanted to be involved in, and any barriers they may face. They were also asked about their health and wellbeing.

Broadly, the results showed that Aboriginal people who had a strong relationship with their culture and country showed better physical and mental health outcomes.

This study became part of the foundation for the Mayi Kuwayu Study.

Murray Local Lands Services Survey


Two workshops were held with communities along the Murray River. The first set of survey questions were created from these workshops.

Aboriginal community researchers were trained in research techniques. They ran the survey in six sites along the Murray River.

163 surveys were completed by people across the six sites.


Of those who did the survey

  • Ages were evenly represented
  • Over half were working or studying
  • Around 50% said they were just getting along financially.      35% said they were reasonably comfortable
  • 60% were women and 40% were men
  • Generally, people involved in cultural activities had better physical and mental health than people who weren’t as involved in cultural practices.

    People who visit their mob's country felt well compared to people who never do. Visiting country also appears to reduce psychological distress.

    To learn more about the Murray River project, go to the About section - Project background