Re-engaging the Yarra floodplain billabongs –
exploring a big idea

Lara and Trish Workshop One. Photo: Colleen Hughson

Mentee: Trish Grant – Melbourne Water
Mentor: Lara Werbeloff – Monash University

Watch their Twinning video

Once upon a time…

…there was an Idea sitting at the bottom of a great big To Do list. It wasn’t a noisy idea and it wasn’t demanding but it was quite bulky… so it had to be very patient. It sat there for a long time just waiting and waiting for the time to be right.

Then one day the Three Wise Fairies; Siwan, Jan and Tamara sprinkled Trish, the guardian of the To Do list, with some fairy dust and she joined the Twinning Program as a mentee. In their Great Fairy wisdom they found Lara, holder of the Bigger Picture, and sprinkled her with fairy dust to become Trish’s mentor.

Trish and Lara began to dig through the To Do list and there they found… the Idea!

Trish and Lara developing their ‘big idea’. Photo: Jan Barton

The Idea that had sat all that time just longing for a bit of attention. At first it was quite small and tentative but Trish and Lara found that if you add a good dose of shadow networking and a little splash of Zoom, a dollop of courage and a couple of generous cups of story-telling that before long the little idea had grown to be a BIG idea. SO much more substantial now for the space it had been afforded to grow. In the Idea are floodplains and billabongs, nitrogen and phosphorus, habitat and walking trails, fish and platypus and trees. One day soon that Idea is destined to become a Prospectus!

Developing a story with Trish playing the important role of ‘Convo Fairy’.  Photo: Siwan Lovett

So a little bit of Fairy magic can go a long way. Friendships are formed and encouragement and ideas shared. Ideas are given a chance to grow on this fertile ground and we come to experience that together we make more of a difference than we can on our own.

Trish and Lara tell their wonderful story in the video.

The Waterway Management Twinning Program is a structured mentoring program, focusing on improving the on-ground delivery of current Victorian riparian restoration projects. This Program provides an opportunity for the most effective approaches to be shared and adopted between all those working in waterway management across the State.