Oral Presentation 9th Australian Stream Management Conference 2018

New ways of collaborating for improved catchment outcomes (#10)

Julie Francis

Collaboration is a concept that is often talked about but one that can be hard to realise in a meaningful way. In the Moonee Ponds Catchment in Melbourne, eighteen stakeholders have shown what a positive collaboration can look like – working together for improved catchment outcomes. 

The initiative began as a pilot project in collaborative governance, led by Melbourne Water.  The collaboration is based on the principles:

  • Focus on strengths, abilities and energy of stakeholders to find enduring solutions to challenging problems
  • Encourage conversations to share an understanding of all perspectives, to learn together and to build respect and trust between stakeholders
  • Share knowledge and work together to co-create new ideas and solutions that are informed, sustainable and enduring.

The Moonee Ponds Creek catchment is characterised by fragmented management responsibilities, an urban form legacy of past urban planning decisions, poor environmental conditions in large reaches of the stream, and a changing climate. The 18 organisations involved in the pilot recognised that no single group could change the catchment, but that collaboration would be the only way forward in such a complex environment. 

The group has selected a suite of strategic actions, or solutions, to start collaborating on. The actions are suited to participation by all rather than localised to sites or topics that excluded others, and are low cost to implement. 

The relationships that developed and the positive experience of those involved, resulted in the group formalising and becoming an ongoing group, after completion of the 12 month pilot period.

Download Full Paper