Planning offset management as a pair:
Kirsten and Natalie’s Twinning Story

Twinning Partnership

Mentee: Kirsten Roszak – Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
Mentor: Natalie Dando – North East Catchment Management Authority

Our Goals:

The Kilmore Offsets Project is an innovative environmental offsets project funded through Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) and developed and delivered through the Goulburn Broken CMA. This project is leading the way in Victoria in dealing with population growth and the reuse for the recycled water from wastewater management facilities. Our focus area is the Melbourne growth corridor town of Kilmore. The project will work with landholders adjoining Kilmore and Kurkuruc Creeks in protecting their riparian areas through stock proof fencing, weed control and revegetation to remove nutrient loads into the stream.

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Kilmore Wastewater Management Facility runs alongside Kilmore Creek, photo credit: NECMA

Coming to the Twinning project, Kirsten was hoping to find a mentor that could help her through the process of developing a project like this from scratch through to implementation. Gaining confidence in both written reports and oral presentations was also an important outcome. Together, Kirsten and Nat developed some goals for their mentoring partnership, including:

  • To work collaboratively on the Kilmore offset project
  • Keeping in touch and communicating regularly
  • Providing a safe environment to develop and explore self-confidence, professional development and writing

Nat was able to assist Kirsten in several key tasks including:

  • Developing an engagement plan
  • Develop a landholder agreement
  • Offer support for a number of presentations given by Kirsten on the project including to the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Riparian Forum, Landcare Groups and others
  • Develop a social survey for landholders

On top of this, Kirsten was able to:

  • Engage with 40 landholders including 4 property inspections
  • Establish 4km of fencing
  • Protect 30ha of land as part of the offsets program

Kirsten and Nat had a fantastic day out in Kilmore – despite the cold temperatures and rain!


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Lovely remnant vegetation along Kurkuruc Creek that this project is hoping to protect and enhance, photo credit: NECMA

Key Learnings:

It is important to schedule the time to develop the relationship, and to continue to check in.
Sometimes somethings are outside of our control, and it is best to work on what we can control, rather than worrying about what we can’t.

The strength of the mentor relationship with the mentee is about guiding and supporting a person to increase their potential, and not about managing what they do. This is a very personal journey which is different for everyone.

Kirsten and Nat taking safety seriously before setting out on the river to test their partnership skills, photo credit: GHCMA


What did we personally gain from the waterway management twinning program?

The twinning program really gave me the opportunity to explore my ideas and aspirations in a supportive, collaborative environment, both within my mentoring partnership, but also in the wider twinning community. I have made invaluable networks, and really grown in my own self confidence with the work I produce and the knowledge and skills I already have but wasn’t confident in. Thank you Siwan and team for pairing me up with the perfect mentor!!

– Kirsten

It has been really rewarding to work with Kirsten on this project, and it has been a great mentoring experience. The program provides great opportunities to learn new skills as well as to network and develop professional relationships across the waterway management industry.

– Nat