Keleana and Helen Vaugh pose with framed grant
Kaleana is using her grant to better understand water policy and ecology and take part in training to increase her capability to support Traditional Owners to advocate for their water rights.
Keleana Reyland and Deputy Secretary Water and Catchments, Helen Vaughan, 2018 Catchments Summit

Kaleana Reyland is a project and engagement officer for the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN), supporting Traditional Owners within the MLDRIN area to advocate for their water rights.

In her role, Kaleana represents the nations within MLDRIN across three states and provides comment on water resource planning documents, environmental water plans and water reform documents, a difficult task given the breadth of understanding required to provide informed advice. To improve her ability to effectively represent the nations, Kaleana has undertaken training workshops to increase her knowledge and understanding of water resources planning, environmental water, and water quality and ecology.

In late 2018, Kaleana completed the Flood Plain Ecology course run by Goulburn Murray Landcare and the Wise Water Ways course offered by North East CMA. The Flood Plain Ecology Course involved presentations and field visits to learn how flood plains have developed through geo-morphology processes and understand the landscape history primarily focusing on the area around the Barmah Forest. The course also focused on bio-chemical processes that occur during wetting and drying periods and the chemical processes of black water and toxic blue green algae events.

The Wise Water Ways training involved lectures and field exercises covering theoretical concepts and practical applications in the current science and management of waterways and their fringing zones and catchments. A site assessment of waterway health was conducted and a management plan presented describing ecological condition and options for management and restoration.

Kaleana's experience

“Both courses were really well organised with very experienced and knowledgeable presenters. It also provided a good opportunity to build networks and relationships with other participants working in water management or related field.

Since the training workshops, I have been active in undertaking two Aboriginal Waterways Assessments in the Millewa forest and also up in the high plain with first Nation people. I believe I have a better understanding of waterway management, but also the natural processes of waterways.

I look forward to supporting First Nation people to undertake cultural flows management plans soon.

I highly recommended Aboriginal people apply for the Leadership Grant through DELWP to increase skills, knowledge, experience and networks in their chosen area.”

Page last updated: 14/02/20