Rene Woods is a Nari Nari man from southwest New South Wales. He has had a long involvement Gayini (water) for Aboriginal people across the Basin. He grew up on the Murrumbidgee River where the river was always central to his family, his community, and their way of life.
Rene is a strong advocate for First Nation people in the Basin and has worked in communities in both the public and non government organisation sectors of the Basin. He is currently employed by the Nature Conservancy Australia as a Conservation Officer and has seen the success for communities that have Gayini and land under their ownership and control.
Rene works with his Nari Nari Elders to make sure their views are incorporated into Gayini ( water) planning within the state and Basin. He previously held the position of chairperson of the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations(2018 to 2020).
He has also been vice-chair of the Nari Nari Tribal Council and has held several other positions within New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Aboriginal Water Initiative (2013 to 2016) and Murrumbidgee Valley Water NSW Customer Advisory Group (2018 to 2020).
Rene was also a member of the National Cultural Flows Research Committee (2013 to 2018) and was a panel member of Former Minister Littleprouds Independent Panel for the Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions of Murray–Darling Basin communities.
Rene was the first Aboriginal person appointed to the Murray Darling Basin Authority Board Member in December 2020.
Rene is based on country in Hay, South West NSW.
Places We Protect
Exploring Gayini - Nari Nari Country
Managing Country for conservation, sustainable agriculture and Indigenous heritage
How humans have impacted Australia’s nature over time
A brief history of the impacts of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on nature.