Celebrating our Rivers 🛶

Hi everyone,

On the 27th of September it is World Rivers Day!  For a long long time I have dreamt of having a stretch of river that I can care for – to put into practice all the things that we share about riparian management through our Rivers of Carbon program.  Well, I am excited to say that my husband Tom and I have gone in with a group of like-minded people to purchase what will become a conservation property on the Upper Murrumbidgee River.

I saw this property when we were looking at sites for our ‘Reaching for Recovery Bidgee Maccas’ project, and at the time I mentioned to the adjacent landholder that if it were to ever come up for sale, I would be interested.  So, a few months on, and I am about to become responsible for a couple of kilometres of river that has a population of Macquarie Perch to protect, and hopefully increase in number.  I feel incredibly privileged and, I must admit a little daunted… but overall, I feel so very grateful that I am being given this opportunity to care for, connect with and conserve a stretch of river I already love.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter that has plenty more good stories, and a strong recommendation from us to attend the River Basin Management Society ‘River Fest’ next Tuesday.

– Siwan 😊


World Rivers Day will be celebrated on the 27th of September and the River Basin Management Society are holding a one-day virtual River Fest on Tuesday, the 29th of September to celebrate the ‘Waterways in Our Communities’.  I am really pleased to be attending as a keynote speaker along with my friend Prof Ian Rutherfurd.

There are a host of speakers covering a variety of fascinating topics over the course of the day – including dryland river management, riverine ecology, connectivity and cultural water, extreme events, and communities and their special waterways.  With a few international guest presentations as well, it is sure to be a celebration worth attending!


How creek improvements over time make my job worthwhile…

Our Rivers of Carbon – Goulburn District Linkages project is now in its sixth year, so I asked our wonderful Coordinator Lucy Wenger to share a story about her experiences of managing this on-ground initiative. Her story is a great reminder of why we do what we do, and is appropriately titled: How creek improvements over time make my job worthwhile.


Why we need well developed ‘bullshit detectors’

When my friend Damian McCrae sent a peer-reviewed journal article all about ‘bullshit receptivity’ I thought he was , well, ‘bullshitting’ me – but no! 💩

In fact, it was a fascinating read. This research study investigated people’s bullshit-receptivity (i.e. their perceived meaningfulness of seven bullshit sentences) and profoundness-receptivity (i.e. their perceived meaningfulness of seven genuinely profound sentences) to see how it impacts on their prosocial (doing something for others) behaviour. Here is the summary…

Read Article


Radio Adelaide Podcast – For the love of rivers

A few weeks ago I had the honour of being interviewed for the Radio Adelaide ‘Barometer’ program.  I really enjoyed the experience, but have to admit I could not remember exactly what I had said!  Having listened again I am pleased to say that I sound quite articulate and, as a result, we are sharing it here as you might be interested to know a bit about me, why I set up the ARRC and the philosophy that guides my work and life.


Watching weir pools

Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) and Golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) are two large native riverine fish species of recreational angling and conservation significance endemic to south-eastern Australia.  In this study, Wayne Koster and colleagues quantified daily and seasonal habitat use patterns, and the longitudinal movement and activity of these two species in relation to environmental conditions in a weir pool environment.


Getting literal about littoral vegetation

The largely stable water levels brought about by river regulation and water abstraction has changed the littoral vegetation in the lower River Murray which is now, unsurprisingly, dominated by species adapted to static water levels.  This research is investigating whether the delivery of environmental water will reinstate more variable water levels, and enable a greater diversity of littoral vegetation.


I have been singing in a choir called ‘The Resonants’ for about twenty years, and I love it when our voices combine to make a great sound.  This month I am sharing this wonderful video and music created by the cast of the Broadway production ‘Beautiful’, who have come together virtually to record ‘You’ve got a friend’.  Give yourself 5 minutes to enjoy and see if you can spot the guest appearance by ET!


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