Murray-Darling Basin Authority Emerging Leaders Program 2024 – Workshop 1

Hip Hip Hooray we are underway!

On the 12th of February the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Emerging Leaders Program kicked off with a bang in Belconnen Canberra. Our mentor/mentee partnerships were founded during this first workshop session.

The program brings together 20 participants from the water management sector, across various groups within the MDBA, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH), ACT and NSW Governments.

Siwan and the group discussing projects.

We were very thankful to have Ngunnawal man Bradley Bell provide a Welcome to Country, sharing his hospitalities with us in language. He spoke about the land and water which we all care about and work to protect.

Day 1 started with lots of polite conversation and ended with laughter and connection. It was excellent to watch the group liven up through active listening exercises, learning about mentoring and sharing the ‘why’ behind the work they do. All participants shared their passions, providing an insight into their lives and what drives them to contribute to the betterment of our waterways.

Ngunnawal man Bradley Bell starting off Day 1 with a Welcome to Country.
The group undertaking an active listening activity.

Day 2 began with a fun but challenging icebreaker involving spaghetti, string, marshmallows and tape! The group also took time to learn about the importance of storytelling in effective communication. The mentoring partnerships also got started talking about the project they will be working on together over the next eight months of the Program.

Team wokr during the mashmallow challenge.
Forming networks and problem solving as a team.

Later in the day we set off for our fieldtrip to the Bush Heritage property ‘Scottsdale’ near Bredbo. The reserve borders the Upper Murrumbidgee River and is managed for conservation, restoration and regeneration. The group undertook a paddling trip through Bredbo Gorge guided by Antia Brademann of the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach, Phil Duncan from Bush Heritage and Tom Clarke from the UMDR Adventurous Volunteers Program. Afterwards we were treated to a lovely BBQ style dinner prepared by Bush Heritage volunteer Rich Parsons and were joined by Tristan Skinner and Janet Pritchard from MDBA.

Mentoring partnership Marcello and Adam paddling the 'Bidgee.
Group paddling on the Upper Murrumbidgee.

On Day 3 we kicked off with a recap of our jam packed last two days and settled in to work on the mentoring agreements. Each pair agreed on their commitments to each other and clarified their project objectives. To finish off the workshop, the whole group identified ways in which the newly built network could contribute to each other’s projects.

The first workshop set the program off on a solid foundation, creating a clear path forward for the mentoring partnerships over the next eight months.

Cristina and Jess working on their mentoring agreement.
End of workshop 1 group photo.

We are extremely grateful to be providing the MDBA Emerging Leader Program as an opportunity for us to deliver a tailored mentoring program for their organisation. The group has some great participants with lots of potential for growth and personal development.

The program builds off the long-standing Waterway Management Emerging Leaders Program which you can learn more about here.

Mentoring patnership Kea and Leah steering their raft.