RiverSmart Australia Ltd is a registered not-for-profit organisation - ABN 52 134 395 636
What we do
RiverSmart's slogan of 'Rivers for people, wildlife and sustainability' conveys the key message of this initiative: mobilising people to take a more active role in revitalising our ailing rivers and floodplains.
All Australians, irrespective of where we live, have an impact on the health of our rivers. We've called this your 'river footprint®'.
Every Australian can also play a role in seeing our rivers and streams rehabilitated.
RiverSmart aims to offer these opportunities, whether it be in your home, your workplace, your farm or your school (see below).
Tips for saving water, and for cleaning up our rivers - click on how to be riversmart at home, school or work above....then you can immediately start making a difference.
See what else we do...download our December 2011 Newsletter for the year in review report (click).
We need your help!
Please support our (tax deductible)
Blue Bucket Fund for
RiverSmart is a small catalytic organisation which operates to facilitate community-based projects. We keep our overheads down so that the maximum value is achieved for every dollar we receive. Why not help us out by donating to our tax deductible Blue Bucket Fund today, or as a regular deduction from your salary. Our rivers will thank you in the long term.
Sustaining River Life Curriculum and activities guide is now available
RiverSmart is please to announce that this K-12 curriculum and activities guide for teachers and natural resource management practitioners is now available. The 24 lesson plans it contains were assembled by Tanya Rucosky Noakes (ACT Waterwatch), with RiverSmart providing overall project coordination. Special thanks to all the funding bodies - too many to list here. If you'd like a printed or CD copy contact RiverSmart (see 'Contact us' tab above) or you can access it on-line through the web site www.sustainingriverlife.org.au Feedback is welcome, see web site for details of where to direct your comments or suggestions.
How can you and your family
It's simple - click on the links below to find out how to become a RiverSmart:
How you can support our work
RiverSmart's Blue Bucket Fund gains status as a tax deductible gift recipient
On 16 December 2009 RiverSmart Australia Ltd was added to the Government's Register of Environmental Organisations and can now offer prospective supporters of our work tax deductibility for their donations. Any donations must be directed to our 'Blue Bucket Fund' and from there will be used for supporting our work, especially community-based projects in our current project areas (see at right for further details). Alternatively you could ask for your donation to support one of our 'SponsorShop' projects submitted by a community organisation. Contact us for details.
successful with two Caring for our Country community grants
Macquarie photocompetition winners
Each year the Central West CMA runs its photocompetition and for 2010 we joined them to offer a separate prize (an inflatable kayak valued at $500) for the best photo that showed people celebrating the Macquarie river. First and second prize winners are shown below. Thanks to all who entered. We'll you the other prize winners over the coming weeks.
First prize - Lazy Sunday Afternoon. Submitted by Sharanne Turnbull.
Photo taken by her husband.
Second prize - River paddlers. Taken by Jenet Stewart.
Capital Region RiverSmart
(Canberra-Queanbeyan region - click here to find out more)
Spinnaker Island rehabilitation
Spinnaker Island, in the midst of Lake Burley Griffin, is about to undergo a facelift.
RiverSmart, working with the Canberra Yacht Club, Greening Australia and the Molonglo Catchment Group, began the cleanup and rehabilitation on Sunday 15 August. The island has, over the years, become overgrown with a smorgasboard of weed species including willows, blackberry, ivy and on it goes.
So, the above organisations, with the approval and support of the National Capital Authority have formed a 'Friends of Spinnaker Island' group to remove the weeds and replant it with the open Yellow box-Red gum community it was before the lake was formed.
Despite the windy and damp weather, 26 keen Yacht Club volunteers got busy on Sunday piling up the willows felled by a contractor, ready for burning in a few months time. Next will be the smaller weeds and then the planting. Watch this space for updates. See some photos below of all the action.
Yacht Club volunteers making piles of woody weeds
Team work was needed to get this felled willow to shore.
And there's more - Project Platypus
Project Platypus is underway at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The
Education Team, in partnership with the Central West
This pilot project commenced in late February with three schools from Dubbo and one from Wellington. Each school visited the Zoo for a “Zoo Day”. Excited children had the opportunity to touch insects, frogs and echidnas as they learned about food chains, biodiversity and conservation projects in the Zoo. Afterwards they visited animal exhibits and learned first-hand about the role of a modern zoo.
On Friday 11th March, an “Experts Day” will see a number of organisations assisting the zoo to visit the four schools and talk with students about the status, abundance and behaviour of platypus in their region, as well as their habitat and physical requirements. They also get a helping hand to design their community conservation campaigns.
The four schools will come together for a Field Day, to be held at Sandy Beach on 25th March. This will assist with understanding habitat requirements, threats to the platypus and river health issues.
The project will culminate in a community/family Expo day, where students will demonstrate to the community their learning about the platypus in various mediums.
A second program will run in the latter part of 2011, and we are encouraging
all schools in the region to be a part of this program. Any interested
schools should contact Kristy Robberts, the Senior Education Officer at
Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Winners of the Macquarie River Fishing Classic for 2016 are as follows:
Biggest Murray Cod, 108 cm, Jason Reakes (Dubbo) - see photo below at left
Biggest Yellowbelly, 50.2 cm, Geoff Naden (Wellington)
Biggest Carp, 84 cm, Danny Walker (Warren) - see photo above, at right - the fish is almost bigger than him!
Most Carp, 80 caught, Sally Stephens (Warren).
Winner of the tinnie package - see below - donated by Dubbo Marine, Anthony Craw, Lake Munmorah (central coast - second from the left), entry bought at the Courthouse Hotel in Narromine.
Congrats to the winners and thanks to all involved along the river, sponsors, volunteers, pubs and clubs and participants. Another great weekend with perfect weather.
Standard entry $40.
On-line entry here via Stickytickets (www.stickytickets.com.au/44117)
Or at the following outlets:
Wellington: Wellington Hotel or One Stop Automotive Shop
Geurie: Mitchell Inn
Dubbo: Garden Hotel or Dubbo Marine
Narromine: Courthouse Hotel
Warren: Golf Club or the Kookaburra Kiosk @ the WOW Centre
All who enter go in the draw for the $6,000 tinnie package donated by Dubbo Marine and Watersports.
For more details contact Bill Phillips on 0438 817 470
Download all the info you need to know here (click)
Professional development for wetland practitioners now available at the WOW Centre
We are pleased to announce the launch of our newest initiative, WetlandSmart - an education and training/professional development initiative based at the Window on the Wetlands Centre in Warren.
The WetlandSmart program is aimed at natural resource management bodies and their stakeholders, in particular Landcare and river management groups plus State and local government NRM staff and NGOs.
The first three courses on offer are detailed in the attached (click to download) but in summary:
October 18-19 Facilitating multi-stakeholder management planning for wetland sites. Trainer: Dr Bill Phillips (RiverSmart Australia Ltd). Cost $600.
November 8-10 Basics of wetland ecology. Trainer: Jennifer Hale. Cost $700 (includes one day field trip to the Macquarie Marshes)
November 28-30 Wetland plant identification. Trainers: Damien Cook and Elaine Bays (Rakali Consulting) Cost $700 (includes one day field trip to the Macquarie Marshes)
See flyer for advice on how to find out more.
Brett Garling exhibition at the WOW Centre
This Friday (26th August at 5 pm) will see the latest art exhibition opened at Warren's Window on the Wetlands Centre, this time featuring the works of Wongarbon-based artist Brett Garling.
Brett was born in Pambula, 1970, and spent his childhood in rural towns such as Lightning Ridge, Narrabri and Dubbo where his love of the bush and its characters were nurtured. These themes now play a dominant role in his work.
Brett is also widely regarded as an expert in the field of sculpture and casting and is sought after as a speaker and teacher on the subject.
delighted to announce our first Bird Identification Course to
In summary, the cost for
the four sessions is $80 per person
Bookings are essential to
secure a place on the course for
News from the Window on the Wetlands Centre
WOW Centre ready for school excursions
Above - two of our 40 education panels - these ones focussing on native fish. Thanks to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority for funding these and several others
Yes, the Centre is now ready to receive school groups so anyone with school kids or connections to local schools across the region, or even schools from Sydney or elsewhere, looking for interesting places to visit.....the WOW Centre is one place to consider. Of course, there are lots of other great places for education opportunities across our region....as listed and described under the Education Trail of Macquarie Valley Trails (go to www.rivertrails.com.au). For more details about education opportunities at the WOW Centre please get your schools to contact Bill Phillips.
Time for the greening of the WOW site to begin
First we raised the money through the Tea for Turf high tea (see below) and now the irrigation system is in place - thanks to Darling Irrigation, Philmac and Landmark - so now the turf is all booked in for this Thursday. Thanks to Orana Turf for doing us a great deal and Landmark Warren for delivery. Stay tuned for the next stage of the landscaping.
'Tea for Turf' fundraiser at the
Window on the Wetlands Centre
We need 500 square metres of turf to start greening our site....what better way to raise these funds than with a High Tea (for Turf)! See details for how to book a seat below. See you there!! If you can't read it below - download it by clicking here.
Australia day award for the
Window on the Wetlands Centre
and Kookaburra Kiosk
In the coming months there will be many more exciting additions to the Centre including covered verandahs, landscaping and many more education and information panels (see below).
So, do yourself a favour and drop in to the
Centre and while there take a relaxing stroll around the adjoining Tiger
Photos below - a few words about the competition at right
First place - Open category. 'Reflections' by Emmalee Holmes of Wellington
Third place - Open category.
'After a long hard day paddling on the river' by Jenet Stewart of Dubbo
Don't miss the Warren Spring Festival this
weekend - including our paddle-a-thon
Well the countdown has begun for the Warren Spring Festival this coming weekend which also includes our weir-to-weir, paddle-a-thon on the Saturday morning.
I've attached the full program for the weekend which is chop full of highlights. After the paddle you can enjoy the Show and Shine with markets, country music all day with the likes of Royden Donohue and the Greg Storer band and lots more things going on as well. Saturday night kick your heals up at the Spring Festival Ball being entertained by the Western Plains Big Band.
Then on Sunday wake up with a 6km fun run !!, street parade, duck races (don't miss the Calcutta for this at the Warren Golfie at 6.30pm on Friday), egg throwing, lots of things for the kids, heaps of food, plus vintage cars, face painting, camp oven cooking...there something for everyone! Don't miss it and help raise $'s for the extension of the Community Homes in Warren.
And, back to the paddle-a-thon.......If you don't have a canoe or kayak, please contact me (Bill on 0438 817 470) as we have a few we can offer. And don't forget, you'll need a life jacket for each person in order to participate. It starts at 9am at the top weir - access off Wambianna Road.
NOTE: your last chance to enter will be at the Calcutta for the Duck races at the Golfie on Friday at 6.30pm.
Hope to see you there.
RiverSmart's Macquarie River program listed as finalist in 2015 Australian River Prize
Great news for all our supporters and volunteers with our Macquarie RiverSmart program listed as one of three finalists for the prestigious 2015 Australian River Prize with the winner to be announced at the gala dinner at the International River Symposium in Brisbane on 22 September. We are of course very proud to be recognised in this way. Media releases from us and the International River Foundation can be downloaded here.
RiverSmart seeks worldwide help with crowd funding for Stage 3 of the Window on the Wetlands Centre
RiverSmart today (8th July 2015) launched a 60-day fundraising campaign via crowd funding web site Indiegogo to help move forward with Stage of the WOW Centre in Warren. Read below for the details and the link for making donations, which, if you're an Australian citizen can also be tax deductible.
As most of you will be aware we have for some time now been busy moving forward with the creation of what we've called the Window on the Wetlands (WOW) Centre in Warren. This is to be an education, recreation and cultural centre, positioned as it is beside Warren's Tiger Bay Wetlands, and just over 100 kms from the iconic Macquarie Marshes. This Centre is also to operate as the HQ of RiverSmart and the ever expanding Macquarie Valley Trails program.
Recently, Stage 2 of the Centre was opened, that being the refurbished church hall. Stage 1 was relocating it to the site last year. Now, we're reaching out, as we did during Stage 1, through the global vehicle of crowdfunding (through Indiegogo) to help fund Stage 3. This will see covered verandas added to the former church hall to create a relaxing place for visitors and locals to take in the peaceful setting and also provide more wall space for interpretive boards. Plus, we're keen to construct seven small covered shelters dotted around the site, connected by a walking trail, that will cover everything from the wildlife, wetlands, rivers, cultural heritage, farming activities and ways to get out, see and enjoy these anywhere from Lake Burrendong to the Barwon along the Macquarie River, and also along the nearby Bogan and Castlereagh Rivers.
Our target is Aud$50,000 although any donations will be gratefully received and help us toward acheiving our goal. The forecast is that once we get Stage 3 completed, we should see 3-5,000 visitors per year coming to the WOW Centre, plus we hope to have over 1,000 school children visiting per year as well. This will help provide yet another reason for people to visit and spend more time in the central west.
The link below will take you to the crowdfunding site where it's all explained. Please help us get Stage 3 of WOW Centre completed by (a) donating a few dollars yourself or through your business, or (b) sharing this link with your friends and colleagues either by forwarding this email or sharing a link via social media. We need to spread the word about this initiative to get donations from across Australia and all around the World.
Link to crowd funding site:
Thanks for the support everyone.
Wailwan painted poles project gets underway at the WOW Centre. Also, thanks to a grant from the FRRR we are working with the Aboriginal Land Council and the Ngemba Wailwan artists in Warren to have them (and others from the local Aboriginal community) paint a series of poles (see photo below) that will form part of the Indigenous cultural heritage interpretive displays that will welcome people to the Centre. Thanks also to Essential Energy for the poles. Watch this space as the artists start work in the near future.
Copies of the draft Master Plan for the WOW Centre can be downloaded as a pdf here (click link) or you pick up a copy from the Economic Development Officers at Warren Shire Council. Comments can be directed to Bill Phillips on 0438 817 470, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to RiverSmart, PO Box 322, Warren, NSW, 2824
The work begins on Stage 2
After the exciting news just before christmas of our $50,000 grant from the NSW Community Building Partnerships Program, work is now underway - see below. The plumbing is done and the painters are hard at work. Electricity should be connected any day. Stay tuned for more updates.
Below - Kevin Humphries, local Member for Barwon gives RiverSmart CEO Bill Phillips the good news about the CBP grant along with the Mayor of Warren Shire Rex Wilson, who also received a cheque for $25,000 toward a new skate park for the town.
Overall winners declared!
The Macquarie River (catch and release) Fishing Classic, Carp muster and river cleanup
The results have been tallied and we're pleased to announce the following winners in the four categories:
Biggest Murray cod (Cod of Origin): Daniel Stanley 85 cms (Warren)
Biggest Yellowbelly: James Morgan 55 cms (Dubbo)
Biggest Carp: 76 cms Mark Hawke (Dubbo)
Most Carp: bag of 48 Rory Miller-Coen (Warren)
Plus (drum roll please) - winner of the $6,500 tinnie-trailer-outboard package donated by Dubbo Marine and Watersports is: Kevin Forbes, Age 14 from Warren
Thanks again to all who participated and especially all our sponsors and volunteers!
We did it!
'Window on the Wetlands' Centre, Warren
now a step closer
Last week all the hard planning came to fruition when the old timber church hall from St Mary's Primary School in Warren made the short trek across the river to its new home beside the Tiger Bay Wetlands (see above right), where it will soon become the RiverSmart Window on the Wetlands Centre.
There are so many people to thank for their support which has seen us get this far. The school, Warren Shire Council, the Historical Society lots of local donors, plus of course Sara and Greg Storer for the benefit concert a few months ago. And so many locals who have chipped in when required to get the little things done...a true community effort. Congratulations Warren.
Trails aims to put the
The central west of NSW is now a tourism trail blazer for Australia with recent launches across the region of the latest Macquarie River Trail and accompanying glove box guide; this one dedicated to bird watching.
The trail - extending from Lake Burrendong near Wellington to the Barwon River below the Macquarie Marshes - identifies 13 sites and 5 driving routes through which keen birdos and nature lovers have the prospect of seeing up to 300 woodland, riverine or wetland species including several notable, rare or threatened species. Bird watching is the fastest growing pastime in the western world so we hope that by putting the Macquarie river and marshes on the bird watching 'map' it will see more international visitors to the region as well as from across Australia.
RiverSmart, and its partner in this trail development Warren Shire Council, would like to acknowledge the support we've received in undertaking this initiative. Principal funding came from the Australian Bird Environmnent Foundation of BirdLife Australia and help with printing the glove box guide was kindly provided by Dubbo City Council, Narromine Chamber of Commerce and both Coonamble and Walgett Shire Councils. The technical information was provided by Dubbo Field Naturalists and Conservation Society without whom the guide would not have been possible. Thanks to all these people and the many others who provided photos.
To mark this occasion, and to stress its regional context, starting this coming Monday we will have five launches of the new Trail and its Guide in five Local Government Areas no less! The details are as follows:
Wellington - Monday 3pm at the Visitor Information Centre.
Narromine - Tuesday 2pm at the Rotary Wetland.
Warren - Wednesday 10.30am at the VIC.
Coonamble - Wednesday 2pm at the Coonamble Show.
Dubbo - Thursday 3pm at the VIC.
Hope to see you at one of these to pick up your glove box guide. Over the coming days the River trails web site (www.rivertrails.com.au) will have this information added and a downloadable pdf version of the glove box guide will be available there as well. At this stage this latest trail has not yet been added to the Mac River trails downloadable app...further funding is need for this to happen (hint, hint!).
For those interested click here to download the bird list.
RiverSmart's Water Cycle event
Done and dusted for 2014
World Water Day was celebrated on Saturday 22 March with participants taking on the Water Cycle challenge around the Tracker Riley Cycle/Walkway, along both sides of the Macquarie River in Dubbo.
The event was a great success although numbers were a bit down due to competition from other Saturday morning events. Feedback from those who took part was very positive so thanks to all who helped make this a reality, as follows:
NRMA Insurance, the major sponsor
Dubbo City Council - who used the event to also promote awareness of stormwater issues and cycling safety
Central West Local Land Services - our usual partner!
Dubbo Macquarie Bushcare Group
Dubbo Field Naturalists and Conservation Society
Rotary Club of West Dubbo (see below also)
and all the local media outlets for the great help with promoting the event.
Macquarie river anglers enlisted to
Those who participate in the up-coming Orana Mutual Macquarie River Fishing Classic (see at right) will also be asked to be on the look out for the Macquarie Perch, last recorded on that river around the end of World War II. But rumours continue to circulate that there may be a few left so a reward has been offered for anyone catching-photographing-releasing and reporting one over that weekend. The reward's a secret but RiverSmart has undertaken this search with the sponsorship of Orana Mutual, which is a hint!
Floating classroom, river cruises and kayak hire all now available in Dubbo
Last week we were delighted to be able to launch our own healthy rivers floating classroom on the Macquarie River in Dubbo, with sponsorship from Orana Mutual and the support of Langley's Coaches. Eighteen students from Macquarie Anglican Grammar (see below) were our first class and they had a great time seeing the river up close and being guided through a lesson-on-the-water by Karen Hagan. Bookings for next year should be directed to Bill Phillips in the first instance - see our contacts page.
Deputy Mayor of Dubbo, Ben Shields cuts the ribbon to launch the floating classroom. Ben Luck (centre), regional manager of Orana Mutual and Bill Phillips (CEO, RiverSmart) watch on.
As well as the floating classroom, Macquarie River Trails helped promote two new 'River Trail' attractions - the Langley's River Cruiser is now back operating again after a break of a few years (see above) and Adventure Watersports have expanded their operations to now include 'take away' kayak hire from their Dubbo base. You can contact both through www.rivertrails.com.au - via the River Trail option.
A happy crew enjoy a snack on the now re-launched Langley's River cruiser.
Macquarie RiverWatch is launched
On 26th June the Macquarie RiverWatch initiative is being launched as a joint initiative of RiverSmart and the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association.
This is basically the well known Neighbourhood Watch concept applied to the Macquarie River. The first themes it will focus on are illegal fishing (see at right) and dumping...but later will extend to seeking advice on issues like storm water pollution, anti-social behaviour at the river, aquatic weeds and even wildlife sightings like platypus, water rats and the presumed extinct Macquarie perch.
Follow this link to the Macquarie RiverWatch web site.
RiverSmart receives two cheques courtesy of the recent
The recent Riversmart-ists Plein-Air event held in Dubbo continues to receive accolades and also saw two initiatives to raise funds for the not-for-profit organisation, RiverSmart Australia.
At left: Brett Garling presents a cheque to Bill Phillips of RiverSmart. At right: Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson with the two successful eBay bidders for the art works produced by the mayor and local member Troy Grant.
The initiators of the event, the 18-strong Australian Plein-Air Artists Group (APAG), generated close to 130 works of art during their stay in Dubbo and 82 of these were then exhibited at the Garling Gallery in Wongarbon for a week. Proceeds from the staging of the event were earmarked to go to RiverSmart to help support their work along the Macquarie River.
Brett Garling, in presenting Dr Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart, with a cheque for almost $1,200, said, 'Our group were overwhelmed by the level of interest in this event from the community. Our members, some of whom travelled long distances to be here all commented on how friendly the local people were and what a fantastic location it was to paint. The artists are all keen to come back and do this again next year.'
As part of the event Dubbo's Mayor Mathew Dickerson and local state Member Troy Grant, both tried their hand at landscape painting, with some tuition from Brett Garling and others. Afterwards they auctioned their paintings on eBay and raised a combined total of $328.50 for RiverSmart.
Presenting the combined cheque to RiverSmart Mayor Dickerson said, 'Troy and I were both pleased to support this event by being involved and to then donate the proceeds to the great work of RiverSmart.'
Dr Bill Phillips, concluded with, 'Our organisation is delighted to receive this support, both in terms of the event, the interest and enthusiasm from APAG, Mathew Dickerson and Troy Grant, and the funds it generated. It all looks promising for this becoming an annual event on the calendar of this region.'
Photos: Top left - Troy Grant and Mathew Dickerson 'have a go'. Top right - the real artists at work!. Bottom left - renowned artists Warwick Fuller paints on the pontoon. Bottom right - it was standing room only at the Garling Gallery on Friday night.
Proceeds of the event will go to RiverSmart Australia
Destination Macquarie Marshes Action Plan launched on World Wetlands Day
On 2 February we were proud to launch the 'blueprint' for moving forward to develop increased opportunities for people to visit, experience or at least view from the air, the iconic, and partly-Ramsar listed Macquarie Marshes. You can download the Action Plan (click here) and our media release (click here).
Sara stars! 'Another night by the Billabong' benefit concert a huge success
Over 300 lucky people got to enjoy Sara (and Greg) Storer's Another night by the Billabong concert to raise funds for us last Friday (see photo). A huge thanks to Sara, Greg, Tim and Craig for a fantastic show. Thanks also to Dubbo's Davesway, the support act. But, I can't even start to list the many people who helped out on the night in many and varied capacities! A HUGE thanks to you all. Looks like we'll clear around $9,000 from the night, all going back into the Macquarie River program
What's new or coming soon?
'Feel good Fridays' - prebook a Friday morning treat for your workplace. Call the Kiosk on 6847 3720 to place you order and we'll deliver to your workplace (in Warren only sorry!). Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, with egg and bacon roll, banana bread or raisin toast...yum.
Jenny Beach art exhibition opened - runs from Friday 22 July for four weeks. Jenny Beach - A metaphorical journey. Contemporary and conceptual art inspired by nature and natural forms.
Come along and enjoy our new winter foods in the snuggly warmth of the Kiosk. Below - Try a coffee and toasted banana bread for a brekky snack!
First training courses at the WOW Centre
21st and 23rd of June...book now
Thanks to financial support from the National Landcare Programme and Central West Local Land Services, we are pleased to announce our first two training courses at the WOW Centre and adjoining Tiger Bay Wetlands, in Warren.
Full details can be downloaded here (click)
In summary, the courses are an introduction to our guide 'Tips for how to be a RiverSmart Farmer', but should also be of interest to anyone who lives on or near a river, stream or wetland.
The courses are the same on each day so you only need to attend one day. Times are 9.00am to 3.00pm each day.
If interested please contact me (Bill Phillips) on 0438 817 470 or email ceoriversmart[at]gmail.com
The course will combine some indoor and outdoor activities but nothing too strenuous or requiring special footwear.
New art exhibition opens at the WOW Centre
We're delighted to announce the opening of our latest art exhibition at the WOW Centre in Warren, our first
All works are by Warren born and bred Megan Prout and feature locals and local scenes. Hope you have time to pop in and have a great coffee while there. We're open 8-4pm Monday to Saturday.
Congratulations Megan for a stunning exhibition - as shown in the samples below!
Around the globe on Tuesday 2nd February people will be celebrating World Wetlands Day. This year the theme is Sustainable Livelihoods. For more details go to www.ramsar.org
Along the Macquarie River we will host an event at Warren's WOW Centre during which we will officially welcome the new lead light windows (of wetland and river characters) as made by local ladies under the guidance of Sarah Williamson. This amazing project resulted in 10 new lead light windows being designed and installed in the former St Mary's church hall, now the Kookaburra kiosk part of the WOW Centre. If you haven't seen them, I've attached a photo of one to encourage you to drop in. Even if you have seen them in all their glory, please drop in to help us publicly thank those involved and marvel at their skill. It starts at 5pm on Tuesday 2nd of February, so save the time and date.
Also, this event will mark the transition from one art exhibition to another at the Centre, with us saying good bye (for now) to the amazing artworks of the Ngemba Wailwan group to be replaced by those of Dubbo-based Bill O'Shea (www.billoshea.com.au). This exhibition will be with us until near the end of February and at a date to be advised Bill will be at the Centre to give you a chance to meet him and discuss his remarkable works.
The inaugural 'My Macquarie'
competition was supported by
First prize was a three night accommodation package at Haddon Rig's Jackaroo Lodge, a night at Kiameron's Riverside Cottage and a night at Billabulla's Country Quarters as well as publication in and a subscription to OUTBACK magazine. All three properties, are not far from Warren and were listed in the latest MRT guide and on the website, www.rivertrails.com.au
Second prize was a one night stay at Lake Burrendong Sport and Recreation Centre in a family cabin and a night at Wellington's charming and historic Hermitage Hill Resort plus a family pass to the Wellington Caves and publication of the photo in, and a subscription to, OUTBACK magazine.
Third prize is a night's accommodation at The Quality Inn International, Dubbo, a family pass to Taronga Western Plains Zoo and publication of the image in OUTBACK and Dubbo Weekender magazine.
Our junior winner (see below) receives a family pass to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, a single Hunter River swag from The Battler's Mate store in Narromine and publication of her entry in OUTBACK magazine and Dubbo Weekender.
A huge thanks to all of the businesses listed above for their support.
Winner of the junior category - Shani
Archer, Age 12 from Dubbo.
Winners of Tiger Bay Wetlands photo-competition announced
Across the recent long weekend, when the WOW Centre was opened in Warren, we also ran a photo-competition. The winning entry (see below) will be used on our soon to be installed monster billboard out the front of the Centre.
The winning photographer was Mia Huddleston seen below receiving her prize, a Go-pro clone and other goodies.
Second was Belinda Bell and equal third, Carol Peachey and Pippy Simmons. Thanks to all. Great photos!
Green Army to support RiverSmart's work in the Central West
The big news this week is the confirmation that our work along the Macquarie will gain a huge boost shortly courtesy of two Green Army team under the new Federal Government program. These teams, of up to 9 people aged 17-24, will gain tangible work experience to help their future employment prospects.
One team will start later this month (so register now if you're interested - see below) and the other in about 6 months time. They will work on Public lands along the Macquarie between Narromine and Warren under our NatureLinks program. Hopefully in future years we can move upstream also. The team will do everything from weed control and tubestock planting to work on walking trails and signage at Tiger Bay Wetland in Warren.
The project is a collaborative one involving us working with Conservation Volunteers (who will manage the teams), Warren and Narromine Shire Councils and Central West Local Land Services.
A big thank you to local Federal Member Mark Coulton for encouraging us to put out hand up to be involved in this program. If you're interested in being involved or know someone you think may be you can register through the Conservation Volunteers web site (www.conservationvolunteers.com.au).
Click here to download the press release issued on 4 November.
Macquarie River Artist Muster
29 September - 6 October 2014
They came, they saw and they painted!
Last week saw the second Macquarie River Plein-Air event held, this year in Warren and the Macquarie marshes, with 33 registered participants, more than double the number from last year.
At left - Ted Lewis paints at Warren's Tiger Bay Wetlands and a short distance away (at right) the first class was getting started.
After 3 days in Warren the group migrated downstream to paint in the Macquarie Marshes in conjunction with the annual National Parks and Wildlife Services' Open days.
At left - the second class begins at the Quinines Reserve and at right, Ray Hill concentrates on catching the fading afternoon light on the river.
The Macquarie River Artist Muster in 2104 was an initiative of RiverSmart Australia, Outback Arts, Brett Garling and the Australian Plein Air Artists Group plus the Warren Arts Council, the Ngemba Wailwan Art Group, Warren, Coonamble, Walgett and Bogan Shire Councils, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Central West Local Land Services.
RiverSmart benefit concert starring Sara and Greg Storer declared a huge success!
Media release 14th April:
Sara Storer with her brother Greg wowed the big crowd at RiverSmarts’ benefit concert on Friday night in Warren. The so-called ‘Night by the Billabong’ event attracted nearly 400 people from across the region and none went home disappointed as Sara showed why she’s considered Australia’s premier female country music artist, and winner of 18 Golden guitars.
‘What a night!’ declared Bill Phillips, CEO of RiverSmart. ‘We are absolutely over the moon with the response and support from Warren and the whole region. And what a star is Sara – the consummate entertainer with a voice that had everyone captivated.’
The night was a fund-raiser for the not-for-profit organisation to help them relocate an old timber church building from the St Mary’s Primary school to the nearby Tiger Bay wetlands in Warren, to create the ‘Window on the Wetlands’ Centre. This Centre will provide an education and training venue, and also help further develop the rapidly growing Macquarie River Trails initiative, also an initiative of RiverSmart.
‘We had hoped to generate $10,000 from the night but we’ve certainly surpassed that, it’s probably closer to $15,000. And so now, with this and the other funds generated by local efforts and donations from across the region, we have the funds to move the building and starting creating this new community asset and space,’ said Bill Phillips. ‘We can set the date.’
Leading up to this night RiverSmart received donations toward the initiative from Macquarie 2100, Narromine Chamber of Commerce, Three Rivers Machinery, Insurance Advisernet and West Dubbo Rotary Club plus an additional $1,800 via their crowd funding initiative.
Friday night in Warren also included a charity auction, which generated much interest and keen bidding for the range of donated items, including a week at a waterfront property at Port Stephens. ‘The auction and raffle between them brought in nearly $5,000,’ continued Bill Phillips, ‘so a big thank you to all the businesses and individuals that donated items. We still had things being donated up until an hour before the event.’ (See below).
The night also saw the launch of the new RiverSmart song, named the Kingfisher song, written by Greg Storer especially for the event. The chorus line ‘If I look after the river, the river will look after me’ is set to become RiverSmarts’ new slogan and the song its’ anthem. ‘Greg Storer is such a talented singer, songwriter and musician and he’s given us such a special gift with the Kingfisher song,’ said Bill Phillips.
‘We owe a very big thanks to Sara, Greg and all the musicians who donated their time and talents. Plus the following helped make the night one to remember: Damian and Belinda Plunkett and the SPAR supermarket, the Cobb Street Tavern Fishing Club, the IGA, the Marthaguy Cricket Club, Warren Lions Club, the Wild Women of Warren, Warren Shire Council, all the media outlets especially 2DU, ABC radio and the Warren Weekly, our auctioneer and MC Trevor Wilson, Insurance Advisernet and those businesses who helped with ticket selling outside Warren - Langley’s coaches, Orana Mutual, the Bridge Motel and Glass Garden Nursery.
Charity auction items donated by the following:
Chesterfield’s in Warren, Tradies-for-a day (Tom Saunders and Damian Plunkett), Lake Burrendong State Park, Red Dirt Camping, Dubbo Marine, John Eales (via John McKay), John and Toni McKay, artist Bill O’Shea and Tennis Australia.
Raffle prizes were donated by the following:
Weigela Design, Uncle Clarries, Fitz and Doug McKay, Ewe Two on Dandaloo, Lime Grove, Narromine, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Warren Meathouse, author Robert Maddison and Tennis Australia.
Crowd funding - "Window on the Macquarie Marshes Centre" - can you help?
Tiger Bay wetland, Warren
Late last year Warren Shire Council offered RiverSmart use of the school house building beside Warren's Tiger Bay wetland, which will provide an operational HQ and place for RiverSmart to start offering schools and adult education programs in 2014. RiverSmart will share this building with the girl guides. Stage 2 is to relocate the old church hall (see below) from the nearby Catholic Primary school, also to sit beside the Tiger Bay wetland, to be re-born into a place to showcase the wonders of wetlands, while also promoting Macquarie River Trails and helping 'incubate' new business enterprises under that initiative.
At left - church hall in Warren we want to relocate and need $5,000 more.
At right - the Macquarie marshes in all their glory!
RiverSmart's CEO, Dr Bill Phillips today, "To date, nearly $35,000 has
been pledged or raised from local sources or our own efforts, leaving us
just $5,000 short of what we need. It is so frustrating to be this
agonisingly close to making this exciting concept become a reality and to
create a new community space that can also be used for markets, outdoor
movies and concerts."
RiverSmart's fund-raising campaign, launched yesterday on the crowd
funding platform Indiegogo, can be found via
then search (top right) '
"Two years ago we launched Macquarie River Trails designed to stimulate increased visitation to this region, and so far we've launched seven trails, soon to be eight with bird watching coming soon. The remarkable Macquarie Marshes have the potential to be one of the biggest drawcards to the region, yet at present there simply isn't enough infrastructure to attract or support such visitation. When wet, the Macquarie Marshes rival Kakadu's wetlands and it's time we found a way to put them up on a similar pedestal," said Dr Phillips.
Have you seen a platypus?
Two years ago we launched Platypus watch on the Macquarie river with the unveiling of platypus country signs in Wellington (see below). Now we have some amazing footage of a young platypus, as recorded by local naturalist Paul Kirk, to share with you - click here to see this amazing YouTube clip.
Plus, we've heard of some recent platypus sightings near Narromine, which if confirmed would be very exciting as the experts claim they disappeared from that part of the Macquarie many, many years ago. So, if you have confirmed sightings of platypus near Narromine we'd love to hear from you. Go to 'Contact Us' above for details.
Nearly 500 people registered in the event this year and from all reports had a great weekend enjoying the river, the brilliant weather and good fishing.
Overall winners in each category were as follows:
Murray cod - The Cod of Origin cup went to
Carl Williamson from Dubbo with a one metre monster.
Biggest Yellowbelly - Paul West from Wellington - 55.5 centimetres
Biggest carp - Tim Slack-Smith from Wellington - 75 centimetres
Most carp - the carp buster award - Trent Naylor from Bathurst, fishing near Warren bag of 96 carp!
And, the winner of the draw for the tinnie, trailer, outboard package donated by Dubbo Marine was Nathan O'Neill from Dubbo. Photos to come when we present it to him tomorrow.
Thanks again to all who took part.
This event was an initiative of Macquarie River Trails and RiverSmart Australia.
We did it!
Launched the outdoor and floating classrooms on Lake Burley Griffin
Friday 12th October saw 70 supporters join us for a two hour cruise on the MV Southern Cross when two education initiatives where launched.
MC was the ABC's voice of sport, Tim Gavel (one of our Riversmart Ambassadors), and he was helped by Tim the Yowie Man (another Riversmart Ambassador). Gary Rake (Chief Executive, NCA) was there to lend his support too. The photos below show highlights.
At left: participants enjoy the lake setting. At right: Gary Cairns, Tackleworld Canberra, presents a cheque for $5,000 to Bill Phillips, CEO of Riversmart to help launch the Healthy Rivers Outdoor Classroom.
At left: Stephanie Majeed from NRMA Insurance presents a cheque for $6,600 to Riversmart for establishment of the Floating Lab Class. At right: MC Tim Gavel watches on as Matt Owen from Canberra Yacht Club says a few words about the award-winning project to remove weeds and replant Spinnaker Island.
At left: Tim the Yowie Man entertains the crowd with stories of the 'Burley Beast'. At right: Gary Rake, CEO, NCA lends his support to the Lakecare initiative.
Our national capital is blessed with wonderful lakes, with Lakes Burley Griffin, Tuggeranong and Ginninderra being the largest. Sadly, they are all suffering from the side effects of the rapidly expanding urban environment that surrounds them and the run-off that increasingly pollutes them. Added to that are introduced pests like Carp and Red fin, and a smorgasbord of invasive weeds. The litter-laden run-off after rain fall is awful to observe, as are the shopping trolleys, and not to mention the unseen chemicals and fertilisers in the water. Is it any wonder we now see these lakes regularly becoming a soup of blue-green algae with human recreational activities restricted? This is a not problem you are powerless to do anything about! It's easy to whinge, but takes more resolve to say 'I'm going to help fix this'.
Riversmart is launching this initiative to give the many people we hear complaining about the state of our lakes a way to do something about it. Starting soon we will advertise regular opportunities for you and your family or workmates to roll your sleeves up and help make a difference. Two such opportunities - to help with weed control on Spinnaker Island and Springbank Island in Lake Burley Griffin - are coming up soon. Download our February newsletter (click) here for details of these and some other suggestions too. Of course, another way is to download the do-it-yourself Riversmart home, work and school audits (see above) which will help you identify ways you can reduce your lake 'footprint'.
We made a start! On Sunday 26th February 30+ keen volunteers from Canberra Yacht Club, Riversmart and Conservation Volunteers (and Macca the platypus) got stuck into weed control on Springbank Island. A few even decided to do a litter cleanup - see below. Stay tuned for the next expedition in late March....
Lift off complete!
We did it - yes four launches in five days. Special thanks to the following for officiating at our launches and taking to the water to paddle a stage of WomDomNom's event (see at left) - Anne Jones (Mayor of Wellington), Mathew Dickerson (Mayor of Dubbo), Billy McAnally (Mayor of Narromine), plus Troy Grant (NSW Member for Dubbo) and Rex Wilson (Mayor of Warren).
And web site is now live - check out www.rivertrails.com.au
Corporate social responsibility
We especially want corporate Australia to get behind this new approach, just as much as government. This is the chance for corporate Australia to demonstrate social responsibility and help fund the work of RiverSmart. For opportunities to do this follow this link.