The Catchments Summit is an exciting opportunity for members of the water and catchments sector from across Victoria to engage with and learn from projects and initiatives occurring across Australia on collaborative planning, effective community engagement, partnering with Traditional Owners and more.

View of conference room, approximately 200 people sitting at round tablesThe annual Catchments Summit is a vital initiative under the Victorian Government’s Our Catchments, Our Communities strategy to showcase great projects, discuss new ideas, and strengthen Victoria’s water and catchments sector.

The 2018 Summit was held at Kardinia Park in Geelong and provided delegates from across Victoria the opportunity to meet for a day of knowledge sharing, workshops, and networking opportunities. The Summit is a fantastic opportunity for attendees to learn from projects and initiatives occurring right around the state and then utilise this knowledge to improve projects in their own region. This results in better environmental outcomes for all Victorians.

This year’s Summit focused on strengthening partnerships. There were sessions on collaborative planning and delivery from the catchment to the coast, different models for community partnerships, new principles for community engagement, how to monitor and showcase effective change in the landscape, strengthening our sectoral partnerships with Traditional Owners, and many more. Attendees used a combination of mobile phone technology and “ideas walls” to capture key points made throughout the day.

We also announced the recipients of the 2018 Our Catchments, Our Communities Leadership Development Grants. These professional development grants have been awarded to four outstanding individuals to support them to become leaders in catchment management:

Recipients pose holding their framed grants, Helen Vaughan in centreThe Catchments Summit and Leadership Development Grants are key initiatives of the Our Catchments, Our Communities strategy funded as part of the $222 million investment into catchment and waterway health through Water for Victoria.

The Leadership Development grants contribute to a key milestone under Goal 1 of Our Catchments, Our Communities to support professional development in the community, while the Catchments Summit is vital to achieving Action 4.2 to strengthen coordination between key catchment management partners.

The Our Catchments, Our Communities strategy implements Action 3.3 of Water for Victoria, to “Invest in integrated catchment management”.

Helen Vaughan, Deputy Secretary Water and Catchments (centre) with L-R: Kellie Nichols, Leonie Duncan, Bradley Costin, Kaleana Reyland.