Taking in the good 😊

Hello friends,

The title for this newsletter is ‘taking in the good’, as it never ceases to amaze me how adaptable humans are to change – even though most of us find uncertainty uncomfortable, we rise to the challenge. Our newsletter demonstrates this adaptability, with a host of recent and upcoming events that have been creatively organised so they are online, or in larger rooms, or using audio and video to share face-to-face gatherings more widely. Over the past month we have celebrated World Rivers Day (where I talked about how we need to ‘take in the good’) and World Fish Migration Day virtually, with both events highlighting how we can stay connected in these difficult times.

At the ARRC we are also joining the webinar trend, with an upcoming ‘Riparian Real Estate for Wildlife’ presentation talking about how landowners can get even more out of their riparian restoration activities, as well as a very practical webinar and field day focusing on how to situate, repair and maintain ‘Farm roads and tracks’. We would love to have you join us.

We are also sharing the first of our podcast episodes where we get to know people in our waterway industry – Professor Ross Thompson is our ‘first starter’ out of the gate – I promise you will enjoy this podcast, as Ross is a great conversationalist. 🎤  Our dose of inspiration is the Kenyan winner of the inaugural ‘Eurofishion 2020’ singing contest!

– Siwan 😊


As mentioned in the editorial, the ARRC is joining the webinar trend by sharing what we are learning through our on-ground Rivers of Carbon Program.  “Riparian Real Estate’ will be the first in a series talking about why and how our riparian areas are such important biodiversity hotspots, and how we can manage these areas for multiple environmental benefits.

We are so fortunate in the Australian Capital Territory that we can have field trips, providing we abide by social distancing rules.  This means that our ‘Farm Roads and Tracks’ Webinar will be accompanied by a Field Day – the first for us this year!   If you cannot join us on-foot, we would love to see you online.

ARRC – Take me to the river

Their Stories: Professor Ross Thompson

‘Their Stories’ is a mini-series of conversations exploring the thoughts, motivations and lives of people who work in connection with nature – whether it be as a scientist, communicator or landholder. In this episode, Siwan talks to Professor Ross Thompson, Director and Chair of Water Science at the Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra. Their talk focuses on work currently underway in environmental flows, with both involved in the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Flow – Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Program project, which is exploring how to manage and deliver water to gain the greatest environmental benefit in areas of the Murray-Darling Basin.

The discussion covers Ross’s transition from a brief medical career to an ecological one, the value of systems thinking, and how science can be used effectively within the interdependent political, social, economic and environmental context that is our society. The conversation is fun, interesting, and interspersed with lots of laughs and a few ‘accidental’ accent jibes about Ross’s New Zealand heritage.


Meet the next generation of Aboriginal north central Victorian land managers

Robyn McKay is one of our terrific Waterway Management Twinning Program Alumni from 2018.  She recently got in touch to let us know how mentoring has been the approach used with a group of Aboriginal students, who she proudly introduces as ‘the next generation of Aboriginal  north central Victorian land managers’.  It’s a great story, and we are delighted that Sharnie Hamilton, another of our Twinning Alumni is also involved (pictured in the back row next to Robyn).  Go Twinners!

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Thank you for your responses

Hi everyone,

Kate, Chelsea, Kylie, Petrea and Catherine here again! Thank you so much to the 127 people who responded to our survey. We are currently sifting through your responses, and we’ll be posting a blog post update in the November edition of the newsletter.

We are excited to share with you what we have found and hope this improves your experience with the ARRC in the future.


ACT Climate Change Forum 2020: Resilient Farming in a Changing Climate

Australia has come out of one of the most severe droughts and fire seasons, with 2019, our hottest and driest year on record. ACT NRM is hosting a FREE one day forum on Friday 13 November at the National Museum of Australia (yes face-to-face!). Siwan will be the final speaker of this event, drawing together the messages and stories shared by a great line up of contributors.  We encourage you to come along to find out how farmers from across our region are managing climate conditions and making their farming operations more resilient.

When: 9.00am-5.00pm, Friday 13 November, 2020
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, ACTON, Canberra
Cost: Free (Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea provided)
Registration is essential

Event Details

River Basin Management Society River Fest 2020 presentations now available

Siwan had the pleasure of being a keynote speaker for the RMBS River Fest 2020 with her topic ‘Taking in the Good’. All the videos are now available for you on YouTube, please share with your networks and anyone else that may be interested or was unable to attend on the day.

See Video Playlist

River Basin Management Society – Mental Health Webinar

The RBMS would like to start a new conversation around “Coping with the mental health challenges of working in river basin management and beyond”?  This session will not be recorded and will cover be talking about the many varied challenges of working in river basin management and research.

When: Thursday 26 November, 1.00-2.30pm

Register Here


Satellite tracking waterbird movements – what can it tell us and how does it work?

Waterbirds are amazingly mobile, capable of travelling incredible distances. Understanding why, when, how, and in what ways they move, is important if we want to figure out how best to support their populations in the long-term. It’s also important if we want to know how best to support particular phases of their life-cycle, such as breeding.

CSIRO ecologists are working with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office to track the movements of waterbird species that are of interest to water and wetland managers, and can be supported through environmental watering.

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Opportunity to get involved in bird monitoring

Do you love birds, the bush, wetlands, photography, or just getting away from the city? Know someone who does? We have a big field season of waterbird fieldwork for satellite transmitter deployment happening in NSW over the coming months, and we are looking for volunteers.  This is a great chance to get up close and personal with some pretty special bird species, as well as visit some beautiful Ramsar sites and other areas not usually publicly accessible – and they’re all looking fabulous right now after the rain. You can choose to come for the entire trip with us (7-12 days), or for just part of the trip if you have your own vehicle.


  • Nov 8-20 – Barmah-Millewa Forest and wetlands
  • Nov 30 – Dec 13 – Gayini Nimmie-Caira (Lowbidgee) or possibly other sites as below
  • Tentative: Jan 11-22 – Either Narran Lakes, Macquarie Marshes, Lowbidgee, Booligal (Lachlan) or Barmah-Millewa Forest wetlands
  • Tentative: Feb 8-19 – Either Narran Lakes, Macquarie Marshes, Lowbidgee, Booligal (Lachlan) or Barmah-Millewa Forest wetlands

The main species we will be working with this season are the Australasian Bittern, Royal Spoonbill and Straw-necked Ibis, though many others will no doubt be encountered. Contact me on 0428 124 689 or if you’re interested.


Stage 14 complete – the last stage of the Ovens Odyssey!

We are really happy to present Stage 14, the last stage of the Ovens Odyssey.  We have been chipping away at the Odyssey over 2.5 years but we have just knocked of the last stage to complete the 216 km from Harrietville to the Murray River.  Like the previous stage 13, this section required loads of portages (walking boats around an obstacle or hazard).  Check out the blog from the link below then go to the Video tab to see some footage of this 14th stage from Smoko to Bright.

I hope you got something out of these blogs and you may want to reference the notes and maps on the River Rambling website if you plan to tackle any section of the Ovens yourself.  Feel free to contact me though the website if you want any advice.

Jamie 🙂

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Mazingira yetu (our environment) is a Mazingira yetu Organisation production that aims at raising awareness of the challenges facing Rivers in Kenya through Solid and liquid waste pollution that have severly affected aquatic life. The song has been sung in English and Swahili targeting the Eastern Africa population and it has been sung by Lawrence Ochieng and Shamim.  Mazingira yetu believe through music the society can respond more quickly to the challenges facing our Rivers today.


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