ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University


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Celebrating ILWS Authors

ILWS hosted a special morning tea for 38 guests on Tuesday 27 February to launch six books by ILWS authors.  The books that are edited by our members include chapters written by other ILWS members and show the diversity of our research expertise.  Of special note is the book “Community Forestry in Nepal”, edited by Rik Thwaites, Robert Fisher and Mohan Poudel.  It is the culmination of 10 years work and includes research which resulted in four PhDs.



Nine members of the Institute were active participants in the inaugural National Agricultural Productivity and Reconciliation  Ecology Centre (NAPREC) conference held in Deniliquin, October 4 & 5. More information Video on YouTube Impressions

A NAPREC progress meeting was then held in Denilquin on December 19. Five ILWS members met with NAPREC leaders and interested stakeholders in Deniliquin to discuss how the centre can best forward its core values of understanding, trust, ownership and partnership to encourage sustainable agricultural production in southern Australia.The morning workshop was followed by an afternoon field trip and discussions around the Frogs in Rice project funded by Rice Growers Australia.

ILWS Members Retreat

Galong On August 21 and 22, ILWS members gathered for a retreat at St Clement's Retreat and Conference Centre, Galong to explore the society aspects of ILWS research. The main outcome of the retreat was the diagram pdf (thanks to Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann's creative skills), which attempts to place the society focus within the broader ILWS focus.

"It gave us a clear sense of commitment to regional communities and to assisting such communities with the design of sustainable and fair futures," said Associate Professor Oliver Burmeister, who facilitated the retreat.

Third Winton Wetlands Forum

The third annual Winton Wetlands Restoration Science Forum at the Winton Wetlands, Benalla was held on August 17and 18.The aim of the forums is to provide support for research on the Winton Wetlands restoration program, as well as assist in gaining data for the management and progression of the site. It also aims to help progress the science of wetland restoration in Australia and elsewhere.

The international keynote speaker this year was Dr Patrick Grillas, one of the world's experts on wetland from the Tour de Valat in France where he and a team of scientists have been working on restoration of the Camargue system. As well as presentations from a variety of speakers, the forum included a special session (with Institute Director Professor Max Finlayson one of the speakers) on the potential listing of the Winton Wetlands as an internationally-recognised wetland.

Mid North Coast Local Health District collaboration

Associate Professor Rosemary Black is collaborating with the Mid North Coast Local Health Distract (MNCLHD) on a number of fronts. Since August 2016, she has been coordinating monthly research seminars at the Port Macquarie campus that are being well attended by both CSU staff and other regional researchers, practitioners and postgraduate students, including MNCLHD staff. She is also a member of a team of researchers based at MNCLD to assess MNCLHD research applications, and was invited to present a workshop, October 4, on Mixed Methods Research. Workshop participants included practitioners in occupational health, dietetics and medical imaging.

Health/environment opportunities workshop

Six Institute members took part in the "New Horizons – exploring linkages and opportunities between health and the environment in North East Victoria" workshop organised by the North East Catchment Management Authority to explore ways that the regional health sector could collaborate and partner with organisations involved in managing the North East region's natural resources. The workshop, held in Wodonga, Victoria, on  July 6, saw 30 people from the two sectors come together to identify top priorities for the North East region of Victoria.

A second workshop, to expand on and flesh out specific opportunities and priorities identified in the July workshop, was held on December 7 in Beechworth. Twenty three people representing both the health and the NRM sector including private landholders, ILWS, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning attended.

2017 North East Environment Forum

Enviro ForumThe second annual North East Forum Environment Forum was held May 25, 2017 at CSU's Wangaratta study centre. Once again ILWS teamed with partners – North East Catchment Management Authority, Trust for Nature, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and Parks Victoria – to present a successful forum with 76 attendees.This year's forum theme was "Connecting People with Nature". More

Project design workshop

In May Dr Lee Baumgartner participated in a two day sustainable diversion limit project design workshop with the North Central CMA. The purpose of the workshop, in Cohuna, Victoria, was to determine the best outcomes for fish and vegetation in Cameron's Creek should planned works go ahead.

Wings on King

Professor David Watson was part of the "The Wings on King Seminar and launch – a celebration of the birds on King Island and why we need them" event, April 27-30, King Island. Professor Watson gave a presentation on "Boosting biodiversity AND the bottom-line—achieving win-win outcomes with conservation farming: The benefits of managing both simultaneously" and led a workshop on 'Defragging King Island' How to maintain/increase biodiversity and improve land management while sustaining a strong agricultural industry'. The event was held to launch an island wide restoration initiative on King Island.

Edward-Wakool Fish Forum

Three members of the Edward-Wakool LTIM team gave presentations at the annual Edward-Wakool Fish Forum held at the Barham and District Services Club, Barham on the evening of February 16. Around 80 people attended the forum.The forum is a collaboration of Murray Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries, Charles Sturt University and the National Landcare Program. Topics were:

  • From Green to Black, an overview of water quality issues in 2016 including blue-green algae monitoring and the recent flooding and hypoxic blackwater - Dr Julia Howitt
  • Long term monitoring of fish populations in the Edward-Wakool River System - Dr Nicole McCasker
  • Fish movement in the Edward-Wakool System - Institute Adjunct and scientist with Fisheries NSW Dr Jason Thiem

Better Parks for People

Dr Rachel Whitsed gave a presentation "Better Parks for People: development of a spatial tool to better plan parks for older residents" at a "Developing age-friendly rural communities: sharing international and local learnings" forum at LaTrobe University, February 14. Dr Whitsed is the lead researcher on the "Better Parks for People" (2016-2017) project funded by FACS NSW Liveable Communities. The forum was sponsored by the Transforming Human Societies RFA 2017 Visiting Fellow Program.

Forest gathering

Professor Robyn Watts and Dr Julia Howitt gave a presentation on the Koondrook-Perricoota Floodplain Runoff project with a focus on carbon, blackwater and hypoxia, at a symposium on February 8 at Moama, NSW, as part of the 'Connecting the dots at Koondrook-Perricoota Forest' 2017 Gathering. The project has been jointly funded by the Forestry Corporation of NSW, ILWS and CSU's Faculty of Science.



Professor Max Finlayson, Professor Mark Morrison, and Institute Adjunct Professor Peter Waterman, attended the SEGRA Conference in Port Augusta, SA, Octber 23-27 where Max:

  • facilitated a Group Focus Session "Beyond 'Post-Truth' - Getting Science and Evidence Back into Policy and Decision Making" during the Researchers' Forum
  • chaired a workshop session on "Sustaining Coastal Regions"
  • was a panel member of a discussion on "National Conservation for Regional Policy" (which was sponsored by CSU and chaired by Peter Ryan, Senior Business Correspondent, ABC News)
  • presented a challenge topic to the conference on "regional Australian informing strategies for education through to employment"
  • worked with Institute Adjunct Professor Peter Waterman to further develop the Safe and Secure Domestic Water project.

Mark gave a presentation on "Developing entrepreneurial ecosystems in regional Australia through the CenWest Innovate program: A review of progress" for Spotlight 5 – Entrepreneurship and Investment in Regional Australia.

Rural and Regional Mobilities Workshop

Associate Professor Branka Krivokapic-Skoko gave a presentation on 'From 'attraction points' towards retention: What do we know about international immigrants who come to stay in non-metropolitan Australia' at a Rural and Regional Mobilities Workshop: Exploring the Impact of (Im)mobilities in Rural and Regional Communities, organised by the University of South Australia - Mount Gambier Campus, on September 26.

Queensland forum

Dr Lee Baumgartner attended the "Doing well by doing good –Queensland's Impacts & Benefits in Agricultural Research", a Crawford Fund Queensland Forum and Networking Reception, at Queensland's Parliament House, February 14.


Impact of river development

Dr Lee Baumgartner, Dr Wayne Robinson, Dr Luis Silva and PhD student Vu Vi An attended the American Fisheries Society's 147th Annual Meeting at Tampa, Florida, U.S., August 20-24 where they ran a symposium on the impact of river development on tropical fisheries and An gave a presentation on diadromous fish in the Mekong River.

International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD)

Professor Manohar Pawaris now at the helm of an international organisation dedicated to creating peaceful solutions to the problems of humanity's survival at the local, national and global levels, gave his incoming presidential address at the ICSD's 20th International Scientific Conference in Zagreb, Croatia, July 7-11.

Mangrove decline

Professor Max Finlayson is a member of the Global Mangrove Watch, an Alliance whose purpose is to provide an update on the change in global mangrove cover since 1995. He attended:

  • the 37th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment in Tshwane, South Africa, May 8-12, where, as a joint author he presented a paper on mangrove decline in Kakadu National Park; and
  • June 5-9 attended the Society of Wetland Scientists annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico where he gave a presentation on the die-back of mangroves in Kakadu National Park

Tour guides forum

Associate Professor Rosemary Black was invited to present a keynote on "Researching tour guides and guiding: Mapping the past, charting the future" as the International Research Forum for Guided Tours, held in March at Roskilde University, near Copenhagen, Denmark. This conference held bi-annually brings together researchers, students and practitioners interested in tour guides and guiding.

Myanmar project partnership opportunities

MyanmarProf Ken Irvine from Delft-IHE, The Netherlands, and Prof Doug Shaw from The Nature Conservancy, Minnesota, USA were among the international visitors in Albury Feb 7-9 to discuss Myanmar project partnership opportunities. Also in attendance were Dr John Conallin (from Delft-IHE and co-organiser/facilitator with Dr Lee Baumgartner) and Institute Adjuncts Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper, from Fishway Consulting Services and Dr Tim Marsden from Australasian Fish Passage Services.

Mayanmar meetingThe ILWS hosted workshop brought together experts with specialties in economic development, fisheries, sediment, river flow, wetlands, sustainable development, to consider opportunities for Basin scale planning for Myanmar. The team from spent three days in detailed discussions regarding potential research priorities on water and land development issues in Myanmar. They settled on four thematic areas for further development:

  • Migratory fish ecology and connectivity
  • Sustainable hydro-power
  • Irrigation systems and off-channel habitats
  • Integrated water resource management in Inle Lake

The meeting was extremely productive and has set the scene for future international collaboration.