Australian / New Zealand Riverprize

Australian & New Zealand Riverprize award winners

2015 – Murray River, Australia

Winner: Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority

The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority received the Australian Riverprize for its long-term commitment to integrated river basin management, including Aboriginal involvement, equitable government relationships and international partnerships. The Ngarrindjeri’s Kungun Ngarrindjeri Yunnan Agreement (KNYA) established a new and positive relationship between the Ngarrindjeri and the South Australian Government, which has seen an innovative and integrated approach to river basin management for the Murray. In particular, the Agreement emphasised a participatory approach with the land’s traditional custodians—moving past historical barriers to Aboriginal involvement in integrated river basin management—which has led to opportunities to develop Aboriginal-led wetland management plans for land owned by the Ngarrindjeri people.

“The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority are sharing with us an ancient knowledge of speaking and caring for our rivers and wetlands. Their leadership in the management of their country provides us with inspiration and hope for the future of the Murray River. This is a clear recognition of the importance of listening and learning from Aboriginal people.” – Dr Deborah Nias, CEO of the Murray-Darling Wetlands Working Group.

2015 – Aorere River, New Zealand

Winner: Aorere River Initiative

The Aorere River Initiative won the New Zealand Riverprize in 2015, which was sponsored by the Morgan Foundation.

The Aorere River Initiative is a farmer-led catchment project aimed at improving the river following serious bacterial contamination from dairy farms in the region. The Initiative has not only improved the ecological health of the river and coastal environment but also helped to created community cohesion between dairy farmers and marine farmers—whose mussel and cockle farms are directly impacted by the state of the river.

“I think this is a real victory for community-led grassroots river management in New Zealand. Without the [Aorere river community], the story really wouldn’t have happened.” – Nick Edgar, Chief Executive of NZ Landcare Trust.

“It is a tribute to the Aorere River to be recognised on an international scale for their collaborative approach to restoring the health of the river, and we look forward to working with the initiative to share their knowledge and expertise with communities around the world.” – Dr Nick Schofield, IRF CEO.

Previous Australian Riverprize award winners

Australasia Riverprize – 2014

2014 – Lake Eyre Basin

Australasia Riverprize – 2013

2013 – Glenelg River

Australasia Riverprize – 2012

2012 – Condamine River

Australasia Riverprize – 2011

2011 – Sunshine Coast Rivers

Australasia Riverprize – 2010

2010 – Derwent Estuary

Australasia Riverprize – 2009

2009 – Oxley Creek

Australasia Riverprize – 2008

2008 – Lake Macquarie

Australasia Riverprize – 2007

2007 – Murray Wetlands

Australasia Riverprize – 2006

2006 – Torbay Catchment

Australasia Riverprize – 2005

2005 – Bulimba Creek

Previous Years

  • Winner: Lake Eyre Basin Partnership | Lake Eyre Basin, Australia

    The Lake Eyre Basin Partnership successfully implemented two decades of river protection through extensive engagement, collaboration and action. The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the last naturally free-flowing river basins in the world, occupying a large part of semi-arid Australia including parts of three states and one territory. It supports diverse human communities and outstanding cultural and natural outcomes.

    Finalists:

    Cape to Cape Catchments Group | Margaret River, Australia
    Greening Australia Capital Region | Boorowa River, Australia
    SERCUL | Bannister Creek, Australia

  • Winner: Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority | Glenelg River, Australia

    The Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority received the 2013 Australian Riverprize for demonstrating success over a decade through community supported river restoration activities; and providing leadership to bring the Glenelg River to a higher standard of health. Farming families, conservation groups and industry have all rallied together to construct 1600km of fencing, plant over 500,000 trees and directly seed 770km of waterways frontage to protect the river.

    Finalists:

    Gunditj Murring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation | Lake Condah, Australia
    Tweed Shire Council | Tweed River, Australia

  • Winner: Condamine Alliance | Condamine River, Australia

    Determined to ‘bring the fish back’, Condamine Alliance developed a strategic plan for river rehabilitation in the catchment and led a revival mission along sections of the Reach since 2006. Underpinning this strategy was a commitment to strong community and indigenous engagement and a shared a vision with partners to increase native fish populations to 60% of pre-European settlement levels by 2050.

    Finalists:

    Georges River Combined Council Committee | Geroges River, Australia
    Swan River Trust | Swan and Canning River, Australia

  • Winner: Sunshine Coast District Council & Partners | Sunshine Coast, Australia

    The Sunshine Coast Rivers Initiative is underpinned by an active and environment-conscious community wanting to become a sustainable region – vibrant, green, diverse.  The Council is progressively integrating this philosophy of sustainability into its new planning scheme, policy framework and operations, and since 2001, has held a strong foundation for catchment management.

    Finalist:

    Project Catalyst (Coca-Cola, WWF and Reef Catchments NRM) | Great Barrier Reef catchments, Australia

  • Winner: Derwent Estuary Program | Derwent Estuary, Australia

    The Derwent Estuary, Tasmania, has been recognised for excellence in reducing water pollution, conserving habitats and species, monitoring river health and promoting greater use and enjoyment of the foreshore. The Derwent Estuary Program is a partnership between the Tasmanian State Government, six local councils, five major industry and commercial businesses, scientists and the community to restore the Derwent estuary. Since establishment in 1999, over $100 million has been invested in environmental projects, and the Derwent is showing signs of recovery. During the past five years, there has been an 80% reduction in organic inputs, 50% reduction in heavy metals, and 30% reduction in sewage-derived nutrients in the estuary, as well as improvements in stormwater treatment.

    Finalists:

    Cooks River Foreshores Working Group | Cooks River, Australia
    Lake Illawarra Authority | Lake Illawarra, Australia
    Mallee Catchment Management Authority | Hattah Lakes, Australia

  • Winner: Oxley Creek Catchment Association | Oxley Creek, Australia

    The Oxley Creek Catchment Association (OCCA)’s outstanding industry partnership projects meant it engaged with a variety of industries in the catchment in order to protect the catchment of Oxley Creek from pollution and degradation.

    OCCA has been successful in cultivating industry partnership projects as a result of its recognition of the key role industries have in our catchments, and as such endeavouring to protect the natural values of the Oxley Creek Catchment while at the same time recognising and mitigating other existing pressures from development and infrastructure.

    Finalists:

    Corangamite Catchment Management Authority | Great Ocean Road estuaries, Australia
    Mallee Catchment Management Authority | Potterwalkagee Creek, Australia
    Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee | Wilson Inlet, Australia

  • Winner: Lake Macquarie Project Management Committee | Lake Macquarie, Australia

    The Lake Macquarie Improvement Project became the 2008 Australian Riverprize winner for its Priority Action Plan that was developed as an integrated approach to address catchment issues and with a strong emphasis on long-term sustainability and community involvement to encourage a positive change in behaviour. A strong commitment to treating the cause of the waterway problems originating within the catchment, rather than treating the symptoms displayed within the estuary itself, is at the core of the project. The project has shown significant improvement in lake health, reduction in algae, an increase in seagrass coverage and rehabilitation of foreshore and once endangered wetlands.

    Finalists:

    Derwent Estuary Program | Derwent Estuary, Australia
    Healthy River Program & Swan River Trust | Swan Canning River System, Australia
    Tweed Shire Council | Tweed River, Australia

  • Winner: Murray Wetlands Working Group | Murray Wetlands, Australia

    The Murray Wetlands Working Group (MWWG)’s innovative wetland rehabilitation program was chosen for successfully delivering 75,000 Ml of water to more than 200 wetlands covering 71,000 ha across two catchments. A distinct feature of the project is that “a number of local governments, industry organisations and community groups in The Murray and Lower Murray-Darling catchments worked together to rehabilitate wetlands on private properties which are often overlooked yet are vital to landscape management”, said Professor Paul Greenfield, AO, Chair of the Riverprize judging panel.

    Finalists:

    Greening Australia River Recovery Program | Nationwide, Australia
    Maroochy Shire Council | Maroochy River, Australia
    Lake Macquarie Project Management Committee | Lake Macquarie, Australia

  • Winner: Torbay Catchments Group | Torbay Catchment, Australia

    The Torbay Catchment is a valuable fishing, farming, tourism and conservation resource for the people of the south coast of Western Australia. Its vision was ‘an environmentally clean, balanced ecology supporting a prosperous community in which people respect each other’s use of the catchment and waterways’.

    Finalists:

    Cape to Cape Catchments Group | Margaret River, Australia
    Office of the Lake Macquarie and Catchment Coordinator | Lake Macquarie, Australia
    Wowan Dululu Landcare Group | Dee River, Australia

  • Winner: Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee | Bulimba Creek Catchment, Australia

    Bulimba Creek Catchment Association had an outstanding record of achievement in land revegetation and water quality improvement for its network of creeks and bushland.  The volunteer group coordinated Waterwatch, supported 23 local Bushcare groups, provided training programs to volunteers, and involved students and community groups in practical conservation projects.

    Finalists:

    Environs Kimberley | Fitzroy River, Australia
    Paroo River Association | Paroo River, Australia
    Tweed Shire Council | Tweed River Catchment, Australia