RiverSmart Australia Ltd is a registered not-for-profit organisation - ABN 52 134 395 636
What we do
RiverSmart's slogan of 'Rivers for people, wildlife and sustainability' conveys the key message of this initiative: mobilising people to take a more active role in revitalising our ailing rivers and floodplains.
All Australians, irrespective of where we live, have an impact on the health of our rivers. We've called this your 'river footprint®'.
Every Australian can also play a role in seeing our rivers and streams rehabilitated.
RiverSmart aims to offer these opportunities, whether it be in your home, your workplace, your farm or your school (see below).
Tips for saving water, and for cleaning up our rivers - click on how to be riversmart at home, school or work above....then you can immediately start making a difference.
See what else we do...download our December 2011 Newsletter for the year in review report (click).
We need your help!
Please support our (tax deductible)
Blue Bucket Fund for
RiverSmart is a small catalytic organisation which operates to facilitate community-based projects. We keep our overheads down so that the maximum value is achieved for every dollar we receive. Why not help us out by donating to our tax deductible Blue Bucket Fund today, or as a regular deduction from your salary. Our rivers will thank you in the long term.
Sustaining River Life Curriculum and activities guide is now available
RiverSmart is please to announce that this K-12 curriculum and activities guide for teachers and natural resource management practitioners is now available. The 24 lesson plans it contains were assembled by Tanya Rucosky Noakes (ACT Waterwatch), with RiverSmart providing overall project coordination. Special thanks to all the funding bodies - too many to list here. If you'd like a printed or CD copy contact RiverSmart (see 'Contact us' tab above) or you can access it on-line through the web site www.sustainingriverlife.org.au Feedback is welcome, see web site for details of where to direct your comments or suggestions.
How can you and your family
It's simple - click on the links below to find out how to become a RiverSmart:
How you can support our work
RiverSmart's Blue Bucket Fund gains status as a tax deductible gift recipient
On 16 December 2009 RiverSmart Australia Ltd was added to the Government's Register of Environmental Organisations and can now offer prospective supporters of our work tax deductibility for their donations. Any donations must be directed to our 'Blue Bucket Fund' and from there will be used for supporting our work, especially community-based projects in our current project areas (see at right for further details). Alternatively you could ask for your donation to support one of our 'SponsorShop' projects submitted by a community organisation. Contact us for details.
successful with two Caring for our Country community grants
Macquarie photocompetition winners
Each year the Central West CMA runs its photocompetition and for 2010 we joined them to offer a separate prize (an inflatable kayak valued at $500) for the best photo that showed people celebrating the Macquarie river. First and second prize winners are shown below. Thanks to all who entered. We'll you the other prize winners over the coming weeks.
First prize - Lazy Sunday Afternoon. Submitted by Sharanne Turnbull.
Photo taken by her husband.
Second prize - River paddlers. Taken by Jenet Stewart.
Capital Region RiverSmart
(Canberra-Queanbeyan region - click here to find out more)
Spinnaker Island rehabilitation
Spinnaker Island, in the midst of Lake Burley Griffin, is about to undergo a facelift.
RiverSmart, working with the Canberra Yacht Club, Greening Australia and the Molonglo Catchment Group, began the cleanup and rehabilitation on Sunday 15 August. The island has, over the years, become overgrown with a smorgasboard of weed species including willows, blackberry, ivy and on it goes.
So, the above organisations, with the approval and support of the National Capital Authority have formed a 'Friends of Spinnaker Island' group to remove the weeds and replant it with the open Yellow box-Red gum community it was before the lake was formed.
Despite the windy and damp weather, 26 keen Yacht Club volunteers got busy on Sunday piling up the willows felled by a contractor, ready for burning in a few months time. Next will be the smaller weeds and then the planting. Watch this space for updates. See some photos below of all the action.
Yacht Club volunteers making piles of woody weeds
Team work was needed to get this felled willow to shore.
And there's more - Project Platypus
Project Platypus is underway at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The
Education Team, in partnership with the Central West
This pilot project commenced in late February with three schools from Dubbo and one from Wellington. Each school visited the Zoo for a “Zoo Day”. Excited children had the opportunity to touch insects, frogs and echidnas as they learned about food chains, biodiversity and conservation projects in the Zoo. Afterwards they visited animal exhibits and learned first-hand about the role of a modern zoo.
On Friday 11th March, an “Experts Day” will see a number of organisations assisting the zoo to visit the four schools and talk with students about the status, abundance and behaviour of platypus in their region, as well as their habitat and physical requirements. They also get a helping hand to design their community conservation campaigns.
The four schools will come together for a Field Day, to be held at Sandy Beach on 25th March. This will assist with understanding habitat requirements, threats to the platypus and river health issues.
The project will culminate in a community/family Expo day, where students will demonstrate to the community their learning about the platypus in various mediums.
A second program will run in the latter part of 2011, and we are encouraging
all schools in the region to be a part of this program. Any interested
schools should contact Kristy Robberts, the Senior Education Officer at
Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Inaugural Riversm-artists event concludes
Bid now in the charity auction - see below
Dubbo turned on perfect weather for 18 of Australia's foremost Plein-Air artists to capture the beauty of the Macquarie river last week. They even had some help from a few locals and notably Dubbo Mayor, Mathew Dickerson, and NSW Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant, even tried their hand with a paint brush and easel (see below). Thanks to the generosity of Mathew Dickerson and Troy Grant, their artworks have been donated for a charity auction on eBay. Follow these links to place a bid...all proceeds go to RiverSmart.
Link to bid for Troy Grant's artwork - TroyGPainting
Link to bid for Mathew Dickerson's artwork - MathewPainting
About 300 people came to watch, quiz and appreciate the artists at work and then it was standing room only at the official opening of the exhibition of 'wet works' at Brett Garling's gallery in Wongarbon on Friday night. The artworks, numbering more than 100, will stay on exhibition at the Garling Gallery until 5 May.
Photos: Top left - Troy Grant and Mathew Dickerson 'have a go'. Top right - the real artists at work!. Bottom left - renowned artists Warwick Fuller paints on the pontoon. Bottom right - it was standing room only at the Garling Gallery on Friday night.
Proceeds of the event will go to RiverSmart Australia
Macquarie River Trails
launches downloadable app
(visit www.rivertrails.com.au for the link)
Press release 27 March 2013
Macquarie River Trails, the initiative designed to bring more visitors to the central west by highlighting the many attractions of the region, today launched its downloadable app and unveiled one of 13 new information signs spread across the region.
In launching the app and unveiling the sign near Dubbo's pontoon on the river, Mayor of Dubbo, Mathew Dickerson, said, 'Dubbo City Council has been behind this initiative from day one I'm pleased to say. This signage helps visitors, as well as locals, learn about the myriad of things there are to do in this region. The downloadable app recognises that in this electronic age we have to be able to provide this type of information to mobile and hand-held devices. The modern day traveller relies more on more on gaining information in this way. I congratulate Macquarie River Trails for these wonderful initiatives.'
Dr Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart Australia, the leaders of this initiative, said, 'These exciting next steps in promoting Macquarie River Trails and making the travel planner information more readily accessible was made possible with support from the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW for which we are extremely grateful.'
Continuing Dr Phillips said, 'The downloadable app is available through the App store and is suitable for iPhone/iPad and Android devices. Visit the App Store and simply search for Macquarie River Trails. The app is available free of charge. When we officially launch the new Art Trail during our Plein-air Outdoor event along Tracker Riley on April 24-26th, the app will be updated to include this new information.'
Unveiling of the sign and launch of the app will take place near the pontoon and boat ramp on the Macquarie River on Wednesday 27th March at 3.30pm.
Details of the Plein-air event are above.
Macquarie River Trails - have you seen our signs yet?
Thanks to the financial support of Destination NSW and the Inland Regional Tourism Organisation, twelve information signs explaining what Macquarie River Trails is all about were recently installed in key locations from Lake Burrendong to Willie Retreat in the Macquarie Marshes (see below), and also in Nyngan and Coonamble. Thanks to all who helped this effort....
At left, Macquarie River Trails sign at the entry gate to Lake Burrendong State Park, and, at right, at Willie Retreat, Macquarie Marshes.
Four years on - what have we been up to?
Riversmart is four years old so we thought it was time to summarise our highlights for you all....download the report here (click) which is 15 pages but with lots of photos so not too daunting to read!
Apologies for the quality of the pdf file....we made it low res to keep the file size down.
And, of course, have a happy christmas and a great new year..relax and recover, preferably by a river somewhere!!
8-9 December 2012
Biggest Murray cod: John Hill - 87 cm (Dubbo, Age 12)
Biggest Yellowbelly: Jack Attenborough - 60 cm (Geurie)
Biggest Carp: Steven Day - 80 cm (Dubbo)
Most Carp caught - Louie Yilmaz - 78 (Warren, Age 10)
Sam Wilson from near Warren - almost won the Cod of Origin with this monster cod.
Winner of the raffle draw for the tinnie, trailer and motor donated by Dubbo Marine - Brock Naden, Wellington (Age 12) - congratulations! See below.
Brock Naden (second from left) receives his tinnie from Chris at Dubbo Marine, Matt Hansen (IWRA), Bill Phillips (Riversmart) and Geoff Naden (at right).
Special thanks to all 479 entrants, and all those who helped...
Riversmart wishes to especially acknowledge the support from the following:
o Sponsors - Orana Mutual, Garden Hotel Dubbo, Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association, Wasil Electrical Industries, Central West Catchment Management Authority, Frank De Marco Building and 1-1-7 Bakery Warren.
'Tally room' venue and entry points:
o Wellington – Lion of Waterloo, Cusack's Butchery, Riverside Caravan Park
o Geurie – Mitchell Inn Hotel
o Dubbo – Garden Hotel, Orana Mutual, Brennan's Mitre 10
o Narromine – Courthouse Hotel, Orana Mutual
o Trangie – JJA-Delta
o Warren – Warren Golf Club, Spar Supermarket, Uncle Clarrie's, Macquarie Caravan Park
o Carinda – Carinda Hotel
Plus - Wellington Council, Dubbo City Council and Warren Shire Council for the carp and litter bins. Leader and JJA-Trangie for donating the ear (ID) tags, Simmo Signs, Phil Bolton and Eddie Douglas (NSW DPI Fisheries), all our media friends, and a very special thanks to Matt Hansen.
We'd also like to thank the fishing clubs in Dubbo, Narromine and Warren for getting behind the event in lots of different ways. We're confident that support will be there for next year when we expect the numbers to grow and word to spread about this unique event.
Busy sign-up night at the Warren Golf Club.
All proceeds from this event will go to making the Macquarie River a better place to fish.
Launch of 'Tips for how to be a
After events in both Canberra (see below right) and Trangie in the Central West, Riversmart's latest guide is now officially out and about. Thanks to a community grant from the Caring for our Country Program, this guide is a digest of the latest information from a range of sources covering everything from protecting river banks, controlling weeds, being fish friendly, reducing pollution via run-off, and lots, lots more.
Email us for a CD copy or click on the cover below to download the document (it's 5.5 megs!). Thanks to those who helped at the two launches, especially, Tim Gavel in Canberra, Billy McAnally, the Mayor of Narromine Shire and the Macquarie 2100 group. We see this as a work in progress and invite your feedback so we can improve this guide over time.
Launch of Macquarie River Fishing Trail and
Friday 24th August - Dubbo.
Mayor of Dubbo, Mathew Dickerson today helped launch the sixth Macquarie River Trail, one featuring fishing. Download the media release (click here). The guide, another glove-box sized one, outlines how to be a Riversmart angler, tips on how to catch and release fish and importantly provides maps and descriptions of 40 different places between Burrendong Dam and Warren where you can go to fish. See the stunning cover below. The guide is available through VICs and all our Macquarie River Trails attractions throughout the region. It will soon be available as a downloadable app also.
Left: The gathering at the launch by the river. Right: Ben Luck, Regional Manager of Orana Mutual presents a cheque for $10,000 to become the naming rights sponsor of the Orana Mutual Macquarie River Fishing Classic set for 8-9 December 2012.
And, we used this opportunity to also announce the Orana Mutual Macquarie River Fishing Classic, set for 8-9 December. This will be a catch and release competition for just two target species - Murray cod and Yellowbelly, plus a Carp muster as well. All entrants will also get a clean-up bag to pick up litter when down by the river. Apart from Orana Mutual, we'd like to thank Dubbo Marine for donating the main raffle prize of a tinnie, trailer and outboard, the Garden Hotel and the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association (both platinum sponsors) and the Central West CMA (a gold sponsor).
Outdoor classroom launched in Dubbo
On 25th July 2012, with the help of several generous sponsors, Riversmart launched its Healthy Rivers Outdoor classroom by the Macquarie River in Dubbo, at a schools event at Dundullimal Reserv.
Dr Bill Phillips, CEO of Riversmart said, 'We'd like to express our thanks to our sponsors for making this possible; NRMA, Orana Mutual, Wasil Electrical Industries, the Central West Catchment Management Authority and Murray-Darling Wetlands Inc. 'This has been a project which has taken us a while to get over the line but now we have this fantastic educational resource available in the region for school excursions and community events.'
The outdoor classroom comprises ten, portable A-frames, illustrated by Gary Clark of Swamp cartoon strip fame, and each one focuses on a key river management issue. Students or families can test their knowledge with true or false style questions posed on each board. The topics covered include: carp, grazing, wetlands, algal blooms, pollution in the river, water conservation, bringing back native fish and willows.
'This is not designed to be too challenging or heavy,' said Shona Whitfield of the Central West CMA who also wears the hat of Riversmart facilitator for two days a week. 'We've trialled it on a few small groups already and got a fabulous response. We hope schools from across the region will seek us to come and try it out, ideally in the location like this – by the river. But, it can be set-up anywhere which is the beauty of the system.'
Continuing Dr Phillips said, 'Others we need to thank are Gary Clark of course for his amazing characters, and Karen Hagan, Libby McIntyre and Shona Whitfield for their input to the technical side, and for today Sue Saxby and Wambangalang, Dubbo Public school, plus Lynton Auld from Dubbo City Council.
'The outdoor classroom concept is a spin-off from the Sustainable River Life Curriculum Guide for schools that Riversmart was instrumental in developing in 2010 and is now available on-line (www.sustainingriverlife.org.au). We thought it would be good to give students, and older members of the community, the chance to learn about how to reduce their river footprint, in a more appropriate outdoor setting like this, down by the river.'
We launched it! The glovebox guide for Macquarie River Trails
Last week, with the help of four mayors and a local Member of Parliament we officially launched the first glove box guide for Macquarie River Trails (www.rivertrails.com.au). First came Dubbo on Thursday at 1.00 pm (see photo below), followed by Narromine at 4.00 pm and then Warren at 7.00 pm (see photo below also). Then we wrapped it all up with our final launch in Wellington at 1.00 pm on Friday.
Special thanks for being involved goes to Troy Grant (NSW Member for Dubbo), Dubbo's Mayor Mathew Dickerson, Narromine's Mayor Bill McAnally, Warren's Mayor Rex Wilson and the Warren Chamber of Commerce, and Wellington's Mayor Anne Jones. Also, thanks to the Visitor Information Centres in Dubbo and Wellington and Edgerton Nursery in Narromine for letting us use your premises for these launches.
Troy Grant (at left) the NSW Member for Dubbo, Dubbo's Mayor Mathew Dickerson, and Bill Phillips, CEO of Riversmart (at right).
Warren Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Rex Wilson help launch the Macquarie River Trails glove box guide.
Well they did it again! The Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association staged another fantastic Lake Burrendong Fishing Classic - catch and release competition - over Easter, this time attracting just under 1,100 entrants. Wow, more than double who entered the inaugural event just two years ago. Well done to Matt Hansen (see below) and his amazing team...
Macquarie River Trails continues to grow
If you haven't visited it yet, check out the Macquarie River Trails web site (www.rivertrails.com.au) which Riversmart is proud to be facilitating. Coming soon will be a new Macquarie River Fishing Trail, and a downloadable application for iPhone and iPad....plus save the dates 1-2 December 2012 for the inaugural Macquarie River Fishing Classic.
Not good enough!
The sorry state of Canberra's lakes
due to political inaction
The upcoming ACT election is a chance for Canberrans to demand more from its political leaders in regard to the constant problems that plague our lakes and waterways; most notably Lake Burley Griffin (LBG) and Lake Tuggeranong.
Repeated lake closures due to algal blooms and sewage outfalls - are we living in a third world country? Constant buck passing, lack of interest and resources. The poor old NCA expected to fix the problem of LBG that are caused by others upstream and on the surrounding areas.
So come on Katy, Zed and the Greens...let's hear an iron-clad, rock solid, core promise to fix our lakes. A few photos below taken over the past few months highlight the seriousness of these problems.
Anyone for training?
Download the details here (click) about training opportunities if you're interested in learning more about wetland ecology, environmental monitoring or wetland management planning and consultation processes. This training can be delivered as set courses or tailored for in-house needs for organisations. The three trainers - Dr Rhonda Butcher, Jennifer Hale and Dr Bill Phillips - have extensive experience in their respective fields. Contact details are included in the flyer.
The WomDomNom paddle-a-thon was a huge success with around 50 paddlers taking on the challenge of 150 river-kilometres along the Macquarie river over four days last week. Perfect weather, fun people, and great organisation all made for a fantastic event. The photos below speak for themselves. And thanks also to WomDomNom for allowing us to use their event to launch Macquarie River Trails - see more about at right.
Just near Terramungamine Reserve below Dubbo
Stunning river rocks just upstream from Narromine
The 'armada' heads for home in Narromine
River champions idea a hit!
Congratulations to the Orana Dragon Boat Club for their initiative in setting up this innovative concept that pits business against business in a monthly dragon boat challenge on the Macquarie in Dubbo. Teams of ten, assisted by experienced paddlers, take to the water to fight for the coveted Champions of the River Paddle. Already there has been huge interest in this so if you and your work mates want some fun and exercise why not issue a challenge?
How great would it be if the other communities along the river got into dragon boating too so we could see challenges up and down the Macquarie? Not as impossible at it might sound!
Photo: Thanks to Jenet Stewart
New Marshes Frog Leaflet out and about
As advised in our last newsletter RiverSmart recently joined forces with Jo Ocock of the Uni of NSW and the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre to convert her existing guide to the frogs of the Macquarie Marshes into a handy glove box-sized leaflet. This was made possible with a grant from the Central West CMA (thank you!).
Copies of it are now available at CMA offices or by contacting Shona Whitfield our Macquarie RiverSmart Facilitator (see 'Contact us' tab above). So come on frog spotters, get busy.
World Rivers Day Celebration in the Macquarie Marshes
The verdict - a great success
We celebrated World Rivers Day this year on the weekend of 24-25 September in the heart of the Macquarie Marshes and were blessed with great weather.
150 people camped overnight at 'Willie Retreat' and went away well fed (see below), entertained, and a bit weary!
Special thanks to the music providers November Shorn (see below) and Greg Storer, Larry Wilson for his camp oven cooking, and those that took part in (and helped make happen) the Marshter Chef cook-off and kids activities.
Thanks to Karen Hagan for both the above photos
There were lots of oohhs and aahhs as the monster movie screen inflated and while a few drops of rain fell during the movie it came to nothing….
We hope all who came along were entertained and got a chance to visit the Marsh Open Days and guided walks put on by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
We also announced our Macquarie RiverSmart Local Hero for this year, Myra Tolhurst (see below) the owner and operator of 'Willie Retreat'. Congratulations Myra for all your hard work in giving people a chance to experience the magic of the Macquarie Marshes.
Myra Tolhurst (at right) with Bill Phillips of RiverSmart following installation of new signs at Willie Retreat, sponsored by RiverSmart.
All the you wanted to know about Willie Retreat here.
Your chance to support our work
As part of World Rivers Day Celebrations, and thanks to the International River Foundation, you can now make a donation to support a specific project under our Macquarie RiverSmart initiative.
We've set the target of raising $10,000 so we can promote and support community and schools-based 'Watch' programs along the river - water quality, platypus, frogs and birds. Follow this link to make an on-line donation to our Blue Bucket Fund, or you can contact us directly as well via the Contact us page (see above).
Capital Region RiverSmart
(Canberra-Queanbeyan region - click here to find out more)
RiverSmart (and friends) win two Keep Australia Beautiful awards
RiverSmart was delighted to recently receive two awards under
KAB's ACT Sustainable Cities program for the Spinnaker Island rehabilitation project. These were in the categories of 'Community Action and Partnerships' and 'Environmental Innovation and Protection'. Seen below is RiverSmart's CEO Bill Phillips receiving one of the awards from a sponsor, the Packaging Stewardship Forum.
The Spinnaker Island project is a collaboration between RiverSmart and the Canberra Yacht Club, with advice coming from Greening Australia. The project has been endorsed and supported by the National Capital Authority. See below at left for more about the work. Special thanks to the 50 plus volunteers who have been involved so far.
(Central West of NSW - click here to find out more)
Platypus country signs installed in Wellington
On Friday 24 June the first of 10 'Platypus Country' signs was unveiled in Wellington. The photo above shows (at right) Anne Jones the Mayor of Wellington with three students from the Wellington Christian School who are involved with Project Platypus (see below). On the left is RiverSmart's Macquarie river mascot, Macca and Dr Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart.
If you'd like to read the press release relating to this initiative, click here.
Thank you to the sponsors who made these signs possible including the Central West CMA, Australian Ethical Investments and Wellington Council. Australian Geographic kindly allowed us to use their well known platypus logo.
We're also keen to hear from you wherever and whenever you see platypus - for sightings on the Macquarie River see below - and for elsewhere either email the details to RiverSmart (see Contact us details) or tell Macca the RiverSmart platypus via his Facebook page.
Macquarie River Platypus Watch
- get your form here
On World Rivers Day 2010, at the Lazy River Feast we launched Platypus Watch for the Macquarie River and its tributaries. This was made possible through the generous support of the Central West Catchment Management Authority with a grant of $2,200. More recently we've also received a further $2,000 donation from Australian Ethical Investments and Superannuation to go toward getting this up and running. Our thanks go to both supporters.
With this support we launched a media campaign to start gathering information about past, and more recent, sightings of platypus. You'll see these appearing as community service announcements in the newspaper along the Macquarie over the coming months. Macca, our platypus mascot is helping out !
Helping us with this initiative is
Please email any sighting information to: records[at]dubbofieldnats.org.au or post to: Platypus watch,
c/- Dubbo Field Naturalists and Conservation Society, PO Box 1171, DUBBO, NSW, 2830
Download the sightings form here - thanks to Dubbo Photonews
Easter Lake Burrendong Fishing
Classic a huge success
Congratulations yet again to the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association for the great job of organising the now annual Easter fishing classic. This year registrations for the catch-and-release competition were around 700! which is amazing for a second year event.
RiverSmart was pleased to be able to yet again support the event with our 'shop' offering much needed items (see below), Macca the platypus mascot entertained the kids and then we screened 'Avatar' under the stars on our massive 8 x 5 metre cinema for about 300 happy campers (literally !). Well done IWRA and a big thank you to our raffle sponsors Brennan's Mitre 10 and Lazy River Estate. Special thanks to Sean Sloan of Bathurst Automotive for sponsoring the outdoor movie, with some help from IWRA.
Carp Muster and 'Movie by the Macquarie'
well supported in Warren
RiverSmart was pleased to be able take part in the 2nd Macquarie Marshes Carp Muster in Warren on 9-10 April. The Carp muster was well supported with over 150 registered anglers. The organisers - Industry and Investment NSW and the Central West CMA - did a great job. There's some photos below.
We also screened the movie 'Up' (deferred from December due to flooding) on a beautiful night in Warren. This was also a great success.
Congratulations Narromine - Harvest Moon Festival a huge success
Congratulations to the organisers of the first Harvest Moon Festival in Narromine on 19th March. Around 500 people came along for an afternoon and evening of fun and games, markets and the community celebration of the end of the drought.
RiverSmart was pleased to be able to help out with our information stand and big outdoor cinema set-up (see below) onto which images and profiles of Narromine's impressive array of high achievers were recognised. Great job Lyn, Suzie and co.
'Movies along the
Jerrabomberra Wetland Open Day - we were there!
On Sunday 28th April from 9.30am to 2pm it was all happening at Canberra's Jerrbomberra wetland. The RiverSmart outdoor classroom was there and enjoyed by lots of family groups - testing their knowledge of what make rivers and wetlands tick.
We did it!
Launched the outdoor and floating classrooms on Lake Burley Griffin
Friday 12th October saw 70 supporters join us for a two hour cruise on the MV Southern Cross when two education initiatives where launched.
MC was the ABC's voice of sport, Tim Gavel (one of our Riversmart Ambassadors), and he was helped by Tim the Yowie Man (another Riversmart Ambassador). Gary Rake (Chief Executive, NCA) was there to lend his support too. The photos below show highlights.
At left: participants enjoy the lake setting. At right: Gary Cairns, Tackleworld Canberra, presents a cheque for $5,000 to Bill Phillips, CEO of Riversmart to help launch the Healthy Rivers Outdoor Classroom.
At left: Stephanie Majeed from NRMA Insurance presents a cheque for $6,600 to Riversmart for establishment of the Floating Lab Class. At right: MC Tim Gavel watches on as Matt Owen from Canberra Yacht Club says a few words about the award-winning project to remove weeds and replant Spinnaker Island.
At left: Tim the Yowie Man entertains the crowd with stories of the 'Burley Beast'. At right: Gary Rake, CEO, NCA lends his support to the Lakecare initiative.
Our national capital is blessed with wonderful lakes, with Lakes Burley Griffin, Tuggeranong and Ginninderra being the largest. Sadly, they are all suffering from the side effects of the rapidly expanding urban environment that surrounds them and the run-off that increasingly pollutes them. Added to that are introduced pests like Carp and Red fin, and a smorgasbord of invasive weeds. The litter-laden run-off after rain fall is awful to observe, as are the shopping trolleys, and not to mention the unseen chemicals and fertilisers in the water. Is it any wonder we now see these lakes regularly becoming a soup of blue-green algae with human recreational activities restricted? This is a not problem you are powerless to do anything about! It's easy to whinge, but takes more resolve to say 'I'm going to help fix this'.
Riversmart is launching this initiative to give the many people we hear complaining about the state of our lakes a way to do something about it. Starting soon we will advertise regular opportunities for you and your family or workmates to roll your sleeves up and help make a difference. Two such opportunities - to help with weed control on Spinnaker Island and Springbank Island in Lake Burley Griffin - are coming up soon. Download our February newsletter (click) here for details of these and some other suggestions too. Of course, another way is to download the do-it-yourself Riversmart home, work and school audits (see above) which will help you identify ways you can reduce your lake 'footprint'.
We made a start! On Sunday 26th February 30+ keen volunteers from Canberra Yacht Club, Riversmart and Conservation Volunteers (and Macca the platypus) got stuck into weed control on Springbank Island. A few even decided to do a litter cleanup - see below. Stay tuned for the next expedition in late March....
Upcoming opportunities to be involved
Saturday-Sunday - 14-15 April - Australian Running Festival. Be part of the Lakecare team to raise awareness. Download the information here (click).
Sunday 29th April - re-planting Spinnaker Island in Lake Burley Griffin. Contact us if interested in being involved.
Lift off complete!
We did it - yes four launches in five days. Special thanks to the following for officiating at our launches and taking to the water to paddle a stage of WomDomNom's event (see at left) - Anne Jones (Mayor of Wellington), Mathew Dickerson (Mayor of Dubbo), Billy McAnally (Mayor of Narromine), plus Troy Grant (NSW Member for Dubbo) and Rex Wilson (Mayor of Warren).
And web site is now live - check out www.rivertrails.com.au
It's still a work in progress!
And thanks to the following businesses and organisations that have so far agree to be part of this initiative:
Here you can download the prospectus (click here - caution it's 4 megs) which will tell you all about this exciting development, and provide you, your business, organisation, or community group with opportunities to get on-board.
Relax – Recover – Unwind - Discover
Photo: Sean Hagan. Third prize in the 2010 RiverSmart photo-competition.
This new tourism venture (in Stage 1) is focussed along the Macquarie River and its corridor from Lake Burrendong to (and including) the Macquarie Marshes – an area about half the size of Tasmania!
The primary targets are the self-drive travellers out of Sydney, NSW coastal communities, the Blue Mountains, the Hunter and Canberra regions.
The series of co-marketed 'trails' are designed to appeal to a range of tourism sectors – families with young children, baby boomers, grey nomads and outdoor and fitness enthusiasts.
The five themed trails (River, Nature, Produce, Heritage and Cycle) are being developed to promote tourism experiences from boating, fishing and camping along the river, to mountain biking, enjoying the array of nature-based attractions, checking out local wineries and other producers, and also exploring the cultural heritage of the Macquarie valley.
We're grateful to the WomDomNom Canoe Club for letting us use their four-day paddle event from Wellington-Narromine (see their web site for details) as a platform to launch the River Trails initiative. This will start in Wellington on December 1st, continue on in Dubbo on the 2nd, then on to Narromine for the 4th and we'll also arrange a launch in Warren for either the 5th or 6th .
So, this is your chance to get behind a regional initiative designed to market what the region has, bring more people, have them stay longer, boost the regional economy and generate jobs.
We've found there are more than 100 'things to do' for visitors along this part of the Macquarie, and close to 150 other businesses that support people getting out and enjoying these areas and events.
For further information, contact Bill Phillips at RiverSmart:
62817470 or email bill.phillips[at]riversmart.org.au
a RiverSmart Farm?
Orana Mutual becomes major sponsor of Macquarie RiverSmart
Ben Luck, Branch Manager Orana Mutual Dubbo presents RiverSmart CEO Bill Phillips with a 'big' cheque for $5,500 at the Lazy River Feast
At the Lazy River Feast on Saturday 25th (see below) Macquarie RiverSmart announced that Orana Mutual had agreed to become a major sponsor.
Orana Mutual will provide $5,500 to Macquarie RiverSmart this financial year. This support will go in part toward helping to launch RiverSmart’s proposed Sustainable Rivers Outdoor ‘classroom’ and the ‘Movies by the Macquarie’ outdoor cinema (see photos below).
“This is a huge boost for us”, said RiverSmart CEO Dr Bill Phillips, “and we hope other regional businesses and organisations will follow the lead of Orana Mutual and help us get these community initiatives happening. Imagine lazing back to enjoy a movie by the river in Wellington, Dubbo, Narromine or Warren. We're even hoping to have events in the Macquarie Marshes.”
Ben Luck from Orana Mutual complimented RiverSmart on their range of activities and explained that his organisation and RiverSmart share a commitment to a healthy Macquarie River. “As a local financial institution, we have a vested interest in ensuring our rivers and the communities that rely on them remain healthy and vibrant,” he said. “Supporting our local communities is a priority for Orana Mutual and we are pleased to form this partnership with such an active local community group”.
Macquarie RiverSmart now has as its primary fund-raising challenge to raise the $15,000 needed to secure a portable outdoor cinema to stay in the region and be made available for community and other events along the Macquarie and elsewhere. “We’re committed to drawing people back to the river, and to find ways for them to turn and face it, to appreciate why it is so special and vital for community wellbeing and prosperity” stressed Bill Phillips. “With the support of Orana Mutual we have the first $1,000 towards our fund-raising target for the outdoor cinema”.
Corporate social responsibility
We especially want corporate Australia to get behind this new approach, just as much as government. This is the chance for corporate Australia to demonstrate social responsibility and help fund the work of RiverSmart. For opportunities to do this follow this link.