Written by Jan Barton
On the 30th of October our nineteen 2018 Waterway Management Twinning Program participants came together at the Arthur Rylah Institute in Heidelberg. In the morning they had their third and final workshop to reflect on what had been learnt over their eight-month journey. During the program each mentor pair had worked closely on the mentees project, but that was only part of the journey. The three workshops had developed camaraderie, trust and valuable learnings.
In the afternoon participants shared their Twinning stories with seventeen invited workplace guests, with managers travelling from as far as Wodonga, Warrnambool and Canberra. The stories told, and the issues worked on, were as usual wide ranging:
- Assessing and capturing the benefits of environmental water for Traditional Owners to offset short falls and for iconic sites along the Murray;
- Determining how Sewage Treatment Plants could provide net benefit to waterways and riparian vegetation;
- Discovering and maximising environmental and social outcomes in urban waterways, and;
- Providing an insight into Indigenous engagement through ‘Deadly Stories’.
The frank and honest stories told of how they, their relationships and their projects progressed along the way. Participants had pride in their project outcomes and valued the relationships built in both their mentoring partnerships and the group. They spoke of the importance of identifying the ‘why’ of what they do, not only in the water industry, but also in their lives. For both mentees and mentors, participants spoke of how the Twinning journey had enriched their working life and for many, reinvigorated them and gave them new confidence.
They all agreed that the Program was much more than mentoring, it also built capacity. All were determined to sustain the networks developed, as they gave them access to so many different skills and experience, and a safe place to ask for opinions and help.
After the talks a brief graduation ceremony was held where Adam Bester, the CEO of Glenelg Hopkins CMA, and original Twinning co-ordinator Lucy Cameron presented certificates. That night the program was celebrated over a shared dinner at a local Italian restaurant.
OUR CLASS OF THE 2018 WATERWAY MANAGEMENT TWINNING PROGRAM PARTNERSHIPS ARE:
- Jennifer Emeny (Warrnambool City Council) & Trent Wallis (RMCG consultancy)
- Ruth McDonnell (Yarra Valley Water) & Fiona Spruzen (DELWP)
- Matt King (Mad For the Merri Landcare) & Adam Barber (Melbourne Water)
- Kira Woods (Alluvium consulting) & Sara Ning (Murray-Darling Wetlands Working Group)
- Andy (Lowes Murray-Darling Basin Authority) & Tamara Boyd (Intrinsic Scope consultancy)
- Britt Gregory (North Central CMA) & Tony Baker (Wimmera CMA)
- Kirsten Roszak (Goulburn Broken CMA) & Natalie Dando (North East CMA)
- Stephanie Suter (Victorian Environmental Water Holder) & Simone Wilkie (Melbourne Water)
- Robyn McKay (North Central CMA) mentored by Siwan Lovett
This group now joins our Alumni from the previous two years, which form a wide-reaching network across the waterway industry.