The Yarra River 50 Year Community Vision was launched in May 2018 and is the first of its kind for an urban waterway in Australia. It articulates the community’s expectations for the entire length of the river and provides the foundation from which the overarching strategic framework to protect this waterway, Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo, the Yarra Strategic Plan has been developed.

Over 2000 Victorians were engaged to inform the development of the Community Vision over a nine-month period from August 2017 – May 2018. This extensive engagement process was led by Melbourne Water. From sharing stories to attending community events, community members shared what they love about the waterways and how they want it to be cared for in the future. This extensive public consultation culminated in a Community Assembly who were bought together to write the community vision considering the stories, values and aspirations gathered from the broader community.

The Community Assembly was selected using a randomised process with 24 citizens drawn from over 300 applicants who responded to expressions of interests sought for the group. An overarching vision was developed for the whole river:

"Our Yarra River, Birrarung, is recognised around the world as an iconic example of a nurturing relationship between a river and its community.”
Yarra 50-year Vision, Melbourne Water | Victoria State Government

To reflect the unique relationship between Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people and Country, the Traditional Owners of the Birrarung (Yarra) developed a place-based policy response and a foreword for the Community Vision:

The Birrarung is a river of mists and shadows – the river and its environs are a living, breathing entity that follows Wurundjeri songlines and forms a central part of the Dreaming of the Wurundjeri.”
Yarra River 50-year Community Vision,    Melbourne Water | Victoria State Government    

Read the rest of the Traditional Owners’ Foreword and the vision prepared by the Community Assembly click here for the Yarra River 50-year Community Vision document.

To reflect the unique characteristics of the Yarra as it flows from source to sea, the Community Assembly also wrote visions for four distinct reaches:

Find out more about the visioning process from Melbourne Water.

‘Nhanbu narrun ba ngargunin twarn (Ancient Spirit and Lore of the Yarra)

Nhanbu narrun ba ngargunin twarn (Ancient Spirit and Lore of the Yarra), Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people’s placed based policy response to the Act was launched by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung community on the same day. It outlines Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people’s aspirations for community and Country.

Page last updated: 11/02/22