The Regional Catchment Strategy for the Port Phillip & Western Port region
Knowledge Banquet 2016

20 May 2016

On Monday 16th may 2016,  Knowledge Banquet brought together 190 Regional Catchment Strategy Leaders and friends across the Port Phillip and Western Port region at the MCG. Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Anthony Carbines MP, welcomed guests and started the event by awarding five new Regional Catchment Strategy Leader Awards to: City of Kingston, City of Frankston, Southern Rural Water, Trust for Nature and City of Melbourne.

Served by 15 diverse but expert speakers, there was a feast of practical information and tips for guests to take home. Both the left side and right side of the brain were exercised during the Knowledge feast. Critical listening during presentations was balanced out by creative activities during lunchtime, including: still-life drawing, music, interactions with native wildlife and magic tricks. Additionally, an Indigenous pop-up shop allowed guests to learn about PPWCMA Indigenous NRM programs and partnerships across the region.

Guests left the day with knowledge they could use in their every day work. Here are a selection of 10 practical messages we learnt:

  1. Collaboration is learning out loud; having the right mindset is essential, share yours and be curious about your collaborators point of view, values and beliefs.
  2. Be cautious how we apply models as tools to predict the future and be curious about the data that underpins them.
  3. It is important to share perceptions and motivations to clearly articulate the connections between health, ecosystems and society as these will define how we create a health and wellbeing narrative in our business.
  4. Bringing threatened species back to life requires open dialogue and many partnerships to ensure long-term success.
  5. Private land conservation is a powerful worldwide movement and opens up opportunities for new dialogue on ecosystem services valuations and payments, securing natural resource investments, stewardship and multi-partner landscape projects.
  6. Planting indigenous and native species in our gardens can create a sense of community and belonging while being beneficial for native fauna.
  7. Many proposals for philanthropic funding are weak because they are don’t make a convincing case for their benefits in meeting a pressing, well-understood need.
  8. Building relationships with politicians is like building a relationship with anyone. You have to make time and place to get to know each other before you ‘pop the question’!
  9. Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water offer rewarding collaborations. Partnerships with Melbourne Water are in well-defined, funded programs; Parks Victoria offers skills and administrative capacity to support tailor-made projects.
  10. Measurable targets are not just part of good strategy and planning; they’re essential to success in defending your environmental goals at VCAT.

We look forward to creating our next Knowledge Banquet event in 2017.