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The Yarra River 50-year community vision is the first of its kind for an urban waterway in Australia.

It expresses the community’s hopes for the river and provides the strategic framework to protect the waterway.

It guides the Yarra Strategic Plan / Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo.

A community vision

Thousands of Victorians came together to develop the community vision.

People shared stories about the waterways and attended community events. They also told us how to care for the waterways going forward. The climax was a community assembly made up of ordinary Victorians creating their vision for the river.

Melbourne Water led the engagement process.

Our Yarra River / Birrarung is recognised around the world as an iconic example of a nurturing relationship between a river and its community

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

Dreaming of the Wurundjeri

“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.”

Learn about the policies of the Traditional Owners

Read the rest of the Traditional Owners’ foreword and community vision.

Community visions for 4 distinct reaches

To reflect the unique characteristics of the Yarra as it flows from source to sea, the Community Assembly also wrote visions for 4 distinct reaches.

Upper Rural Reach 50-year vision video

Goodness flows from the top down.

Lower Rural Reach 50-year vision video

From Healesville to Warrandyte our Yarra River, Birrarung, and its surrounding environment is embraced and cared for through a deep understanding and sense of custodianship, the way the Wurundjeri have always done.

Suburban Reach 50-year vision video

Our Yarra River, Birrarung, provides a continuous network of protected parklands, providing inclusive access to all.

Inner City Reach 50-year vision video

Our Yarra River, Birrarung, is a thriving river for our thriving city.

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 place-based policy outlines their aspirations for community and Country.

Page last updated: 08/09/23