Restocking locally extinct native fish in the Barmah Forest – Jarod and Lisa’s Twinning Story

Lisa Duncan facilitating a workshop.

Twinning Partnership

Lisa Duncan – Goulburn Broken CMA (now Jacobs), Jarod Lyon – Arthur Rylah Institute

Our Goals:

Coming to the first Twinning workshop Lisa’s project idea was quite vague, but she was keen to work on one of several issues around native fish in Barmah Forest. With input from her mentor Jarod, they decided to focus on the re-stocking locally extinct fish. Goals of the project were to:

  • Write an issues paper on the issue of the reintroduction of locally extinct native fish to Barmah Forest.
  • Hold a workshop with experts and stakeholders.
  • Write a paper based on the outcomes of the workshop including recommendations relating to the restocking in Barmah Forest.
Jarod and Lisa on the Merri River
Jarod and Lisa on the Merri River


Our Actions:

After the first workshop Lisa wrote an issues paper summarising the background, purpose, aims of the project to get people interested, Jarod helped by editing and providing Lisa with a list of people to send it to.

Once that was sent around they organised a workshop to bring together stakeholders and fish ecologists to work through some of the site specific issues around a restocking trial in Barmah Forest. The first part was a series of presentations from experts in the field on history of native fish and extinctions in Barmah, population models for restocking and breeding methods. The group then broke the group up and went through a series of sites in Barmah-Millewa and pick out the sites that would be most suitable for a reintroduction trial.

Jarod then ran a session on next steps for this project beyond the workshop. Following the workshop Lisa produced a paper which summarised the content from the workshop and key findings and recommendations for how to proceed with a reintroduction trial. This was distributed to participants and others who were interested but couldn’t attend on the day.


Lisa Duncan facilitating a workshop.
Lisa Duncan facilitating the workshop exploring restocking extinct native fish into Barmah Forest


A summary of Lisa and Jarod’s achievements:

  • Produced an issues paper on re-introduction of locally extinct native fish to Barmah Forest.
  • Ran a workshop with about 17 participants from government agencies to discuss the current state of knowledge of re-introductions and to look at site specific issues with re­stocking fish in Barmah.
  • Produced a workshop paper following the workshop to distribute to participants and interested people who weren’t able to make it.
  • Provided recommendations to the GouIburn Broken CMA on what needs to be done to undertake a re-introduction trial.


Jarod and Lisa taking a graduation selfie.
Jarod and Lisa taking a graduation selfie.


What did you personally gain from the Waterway Management Twinning Program?

“The networks I’ve gained through the program have been invaluable -Jarod has introduced me to lots of people in the industry that I hadn’t met before. It’s a great opportunity to leverage the experience/expertise/contacts that your mentor has to carve out greater opportunities for yourself than you’d be able to access normally.

I’ve learnt that Not only is it ok to ask for help/bounce ideas/talk through things with a mentor, you actually get better outcome and you can work much more efficiently.

The project has given me valuable facilitation and public speaking experience – I wouldn’t have been able to get the number and calibre of people to my workshop without Jarod’s help and wouldn’t normally get the chance to run something like that.As well as getting help from your mentor I really appreciated the help and support from the broader group, particularly Siwan.”

– Lisa


“I felt the most satisfaction when watching Lisa speak in public and also run the pygmy perch workshop. I knew how nervous she was in these situations (something I also dealt with when I was starting out), and she did such a fantastic job of bringing people along on the journey

Working with Lisa made me realise how much I take for granted all of the networks and relationships I have built up over the years – they are really important in influencing change, and sharing these relationships with others so that they can also influence change is important.”

– Jarod