Our people

Rene Woods

Associate Director of Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities (IPLC) Partnerships


a man in a field pointing

Rene Woods Gayini Project Manager © Annette Ruzicka

Areas of Expertise

Water policy, indigenous communities, operations, community relations

General Enquiries

ph. +61 3 8346 8600


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.

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Exploring Gayini A consortium led by The Nature Conservancy Australia is managing Gayini (meaning "water" in Nari Nari language) for better outcomes for nature and people. Together with its Traditional Owners represented by the Nari Nari Tribal Council, and in partnership with the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Gro