On 1 February I joined my sister Ann Russell at the opening exhibition and Award Ceremony for the WetlandCare Australia National Art and Photography Competition at the CSIRO Discovery Centre here in Canberra. Ann was awarded 1st Prize in the Open Art section for Melaleuca Spirit.
The picture below shows Ann with Melaleuca Spirit and Noel Kesby, General Manager Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) who presented the award. Noel was representing NSW Catchment Management Authorities which sponsored the Open Art category.
Hundreds of entries were received in this year’s competition, the 4th annual. Winners spoke of their pleasure at being able to contribute artwork for the benefit of the environment. The winning art and photography is outstanding – look out for the exhibition which will tour Australia during the year, and you can also view an on-line gallery from March 2011.
Ann has also just been exhibiting artwork at a gallery in London.
Comprising seven projects, the Hawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program (HNRRP) aims to improve river health by making more water available for environmental flows and reducing nutrient inputs to the river system. The seven projects have come a long way since commencing last year. You can read about their progress in the HNRRP e-news December 2010.
A new Knowledge and Information Framework outlining how regional natural resource management (NRM) knowledge and information needs across Queensland can be better managed has been released by the Regional Groups Collective (RGC), which represents the state-wide interests of the 14 regional NRM bodies in Queensland. To download the framework click here or visit the Collective Projects page of the RGC website.
The collaborative online wiki www.collections.org.au has also been established to document NRM projects and facilitate knowledge and information sharing for NRM groups.
The NSW Government has announced the start of new environmental flows for the Hawkesbury-Nepean River following the completion of a $39 million upgrade to dams and weirs across the system.
NSW Minister for Water, Phil Costa said the new environmental flows were a major investment in one of Sydney’s most important river systems and a key part of the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Water Plan to secure water for people and the environment.
“Overall the new environmental flow rules will see a tenfold increase in the amount of water released to restore the health of one of Sydney’s most iconic waterways,“ Minister Costa said.
To find out more read the NSW Government media release.
One researcher argues that in order to turn around environmental degradation in the Murray-Darling basin, we need to change how we think about the fundamental relationships between people and planet.
We just don’t all come from Adam and Eve. We come from the simple dirt that we walk upon. And out spirits, and our Baiame, our makers, it’s all interconnected there. And people don’t even show respect, you know, for that. If our river and environment is dying, then I believe that we as a people are also dying.
These are the words of Lee Joachim, an Indigenous man of the Yorta Yorta people from Barmah, Victoria. His is one of many voices telling a similar story – the Murray River is dying. It is this all too common and tragic imagery that Dr Jessica Weir came across time and again while researching for her PhD in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at ANU.
Read more about Dr Jessica Weir’s research in James Giggacher’s article in ANU News.