A Letter to the Riverland from Stuart Watkinson

Listen to Stuart read his letter:


Dear Riverland,

I am a stranger in a stranger land. I don’t know how to drive a boat, tend a field, or kick a football.

My first steps here had me thinking that I could never fit in.

But this place that you live in is special. Maybe it is in the soil, the red mud, I’m sure the farmers would say so. Perhaps it is in the river… There is old magic that flows through it, the Traditional Owners know this. It could be the unforgiving heat, or even the frosts of winter. It might be all these elements.

But this place is special.

This place thrives when its people work together, and it falls apart when they don’t.

I see people that strive to make it better every day. People that see a future filled with innovation and technology and triumph. Eyes set firmly on the horizon.

I also see people who carry fear. Fear of change. Fear of difference. Fear of community and commitment. I know you have been hurt and wronged in the past. To carry that with you into the future will only bring more. Your voice is important, and your perspective will help others around you grow.

It is only through unity that success, change, and prosperity will come to the Land.

I know it’s possible. Because I am still here. Without a boat, a green thumb, or a football in hand.

I see a future where the people of this region work together, learning from the past, exceling in the present, and harvesting the ripe fruit of their efforts.

From your friend, Stuart.


Back to Letters of the Riverland: Meet the Writers.