Our History

History of Murdi Paaki

Murdi Paaki (pronounced murddy parky) means “blackmans river”. It was a name that was selected by the newly created ATSIC Regional Council which came from amendments in 1993 to the ATSIC Act 1989 to amalgamate the former Wangkumara and Far West Regional Councils into a single Council.

For election purposes, two wards were kept in the names of the previous Councils. The words for the name were taken from the two sub regions, “Murdi” (blackman) from the top end, “Paaki” (river) from the bottom end. The Council identified the most common theme of the region that we all related to, The Barwon Darling river system. The river, enters the region in the northeast near and through Collarenebri, further working its way through Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke, Wilcannia, Menindee and exiting into the Murray at Wentworth.

The Murdi Paaki Flag


The Murdi Paaki flag was chosen by the Murdi Paaki Regional Council to depict the regions Aboriginal people with the traditional colours of red, black and yellow, the river and fish, the white colour means good spirit. The flag was designed by ATSIC Officer Tony Burton who was once President of the Australian Flag Association and came second place in the competition to design a new Australian Flag in the mid 1990’s. When flying in the breeze, the flags checkered design in the shape of arrowheads, is to give the impression of fish swimming in river.

The Murdi Paaki Flag has become a well known and recognised symbol, being used by Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly, Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation, Murdi Paaki Regional Housing Corporation and various partners in joint programs and projects.

Murdi Paaki Aboriginal Young Leaders Program use the name, but have chosen to create their own design to identify their place in the region. Murdi Paaki Regional Council on its abolition, vested intellectual property rights to the name Murdi Paaki and the Murdi Paaki flag.