ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Regional
  • National
  • International


Regional turtle conservation

On March 29, Dr James Van Dyke and colleague Associate Professor Prof Ricky Spencer from Western Sydney University met with representatives from Albury and Wodonga councils, and North East Water to discuss locations that could be included in a regional turtle conservation project the pair are developing.

Winton Wetlands

As chair of the Winton Wetlands Environmental Strategic Advisory Panel, Institute Director Professor Max Finlayson, attended a meeting on March 8 to plan this year’s annual forum, review the restoration process and discuss opportunities for ILWS ecologist to be involved.

Lake Cowal Foundation

Institute Director Professor Max Finalyson, who is the Lake Cowal Foundation Board’s Indepent Scientific Advisor, attended a meeting of the Board (by phone) on March 2.

Sydney Olympic Park Authority

As a member of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority’s WET (Wetland Education and Training) Technical Advisory Panel, Institute Director Professor Max Finlayson held a tele-meeting with Dr Swapan Paul to plan for wetland courses for 2018 on February 21.


Earth Building conference

Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann was one of the speakers at the International Earth Building Conference, held at CSU’s Albury-Wodonga campus, Thurgoona, Nov 2 to 6.

Winton Wetlands

Professor Max Finlayson, who chairs the Environmental Strategy Advisory Panel for the Winton Wetlands, attended a meeting of the panel in June at the wetlands to begin planning for the Winton Wetlands Annual Forum in August.

Planning meetings with NAPREC

Professor Max Finlayson, Dr Lee Baumgartner and Dr Jennifer Bond had a planning meeting with representatives from the National Agricultural Productivity and Reconciliation Ecology Centre (NAPREC) at the Albury-Wodonga campus in March. NAPREC, a community-initiative based in Deniliquin, is planning a conference later this year in Deniliquin.

Presentation to Advisory group

Dr Julia Howitt gave a presentation to the Murray and Lower Darling Environmental Water Advisory group on February 7, 2017 in Deniliquin. Her presentation "Monitoring ecosystem responses to the delivery of environmental water in the Edward-Wakool system" focused on both the algal bloom and the hypoxic blackwater event that occurred in the system in 2016.

Lake Cowal Foundation

As its Independent Scientist, Professor Max Finlayson attended meetings of the Lake Cowal Foundation in February, May and June. On December 6, he  attended an Evolution Mining Consultation Committee Meeting in West Wyalong in the context of the mine and Lake Cowal and to develop project ideas for the Lake Cowal Foundation


Inquiry into Commonwealth environmental water

Professor Robyn Watts was a member of an invited panel of experts that spoke at a public hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy’s inquiry into the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water in Albury, April 30.

National child protection-child welfare inquiry

Dr Kath McFarlane’s research into the involvement of children in out-of-home care in the NSW criminal justice system has been cited by the Australian Law Reform Commission to support a recommendation for a national child protection - child welfare inquiry.

NSW Environment Trust's Aquatic Sub-committee meeting

In his new role as a member of the NSW Environment Trust’s Aquatic sub-committee, Dr Lee Baumgartner attended the committee’s inaugural meeting on Feb 26 in Sydney.

Blackwater workshop

Dr Julia Howitt attended and gave a presentation at a two day workshop, organised by CSIRO on the hypoxic blackwater risk in the Murray-Darling Basin and the processes leading to hypoxic blackwater events, their impacts and management options, Jan 30 and 31.


Aged Care Taskforce

In December Associate Professor Maree Bernoth was invited to take part in the Federal Government’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, which has been put together by the Minister for Ageing, Ken Wyatt. She spoke first to a peak industry body, Leading Age Solutions Australia Ltd, in Sydney to aged care providers about the evidence researchers have about staffing for ageing. She was then invited by the head of the ageing task force Professor John Pollaers to a summit in Melbourne.

Launch of ACIAR 10 year research strategy

Professor Max Finlayson and Dr Lee Baumgartner attended the launch of the ACIAR 10 year research strategy at ANU in Canberra, December 11-12, 2017.

Feral Horse Management Plan

Dr Alexandra Knight is a member of the Technical Reference Group which has provided specialist input to the Victorian Government’s “Protection of Alpine National Park – Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan”.

Advisory group meeting

Dr Luis Silva attended the National Carp Control Program's Science Advisory group workshop in Canberra in July.

Fish project planning meeting

Dr Lee Baumgartner attended a project planning meeting on fish protection in irrigation systems in September in Canberra with representatives from the Department of Primary Industries, Arthur Rylah Institute, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Aquatic Sciences, NSW Agriculture and Tenure Chasers.

Sustainability Indicator

In June Professor Max Finlayson had a meeting in Canberra with the former Australian Governor General Major General The Hon. Michael Jeffery and Ashley Bland, from SkillSet in Bathurst, and others to develop a national level Sustainability Indicator.


ACIAR project leaders’ meeting

Dr Lee Baumgartner attended the ACIAR fisheries project leaders’ meeting in Brisbane, February 18 and 19 where project leaders were briefed on ACIAR's new 10 year plan.

Scoping project meeting

ILWS members Dr Michael Mitchell, Dr Richard Culas and Institute Adjunct Dr Jay Punthakey were part of an ACIAR delegation that met with Mr. Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Agriculture, Supply & Prices Govenment of Sindh and his team in Karachi, Pakistan, February 7. The meeting was to further scope the ACIAR project Improving Salinity and Agricultural Water Management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan.

Evolution to Conservation

Dr James Van Dyke gave a presentation on "Integrating animal reproduction: applications from evolution to conservation" to the Department of Ecology, James Madison University in Virginia, U.S. on January 26.

International Lake Environment Committee

From Jan 24-26 Professor Max Finlayson was in Kusatsu City in Japan for a meeting of the Scientific Committee of the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) to plan for the International Lake conference later in the year.

Last meeting as a member of the Ramsar STRP

From Jan 15 -19, Professor Max Finlayson attended a Ramsar STRP(Scientific and Technical Review Panel)  meeting in Gland, Switzerland.

Virtuous practitioners

Professor Manohar Pawar was invited to deliver a special guest lecture at University of Mysore, Mysore, India, on January 8, 2018. He presented some of the findings of his ARC Discovery project, Virtuous practitioners: empowering social workers.


Meeting with World Bank

In November Dr Wayne Robinson and Dr Lee Baumgartner attended a meeting with Mr Khamhou Phanthavong from LAO’s Department of Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, (MAF) and representatives from the World Bank in Vientiane, LAO.The meeting  was to discuss a MOU between CSU (and in country partners), the WB and MAF to oversee a monitoring program to evaluate the efficacy of a number of MAF works that have been installed on irrigation structures with an aim to improve fish migration.

Country Consultation (Lao PDR)

In November Dr Lee Baumgartner participated in a country consultation between Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.The aim was to present the new Xayaburi Dam research program to a wide-range of stakeholders including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Mekong River Commission.

Malaysian Visit

In November last year Professor Maree Bernoth went to Malaysia at the invitation of Nambucca Valley Care, an aged care organisation that CSU has an MOU with. While in Malaysia she looked at that country's existing aged care facilities and liaised with Malaysian universities and talked about their education programs

Visit to Florida

From November 6 to 9 Professor Max Finlayson was in Florida in the US where he:

  • gave an invited presentation on “Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Ecosytems – Evidence from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Mangroves” for the Edward and Bonnie Foreman Biodiversity Lecture Series at Stetson University College of Law, on Tampa Bay in Florida, U.S.
  • took part in a ELI-Stetson Wetlands Workshop and panel discussion on the state of the Caribbean reefs, Florida mangroves and salt marshes, and Tampa Bay’s seagrass beds.

IHE Delft meeting

Professor Max Finlayson went to The Netherlands in September where he met with researchers from IHE Delft to discuss collaboration as part of his shared appointment as the Ramsar Chair for the Wise Use of Wetlands.

US State Department presentation

On September 7, Dr Baumgartner gave a presentation to the US State Department in Washington on the ACIAR Fish Passage project and sustainable river development. This followed an informal meeting on the previous day with staff from the US Embassy who specialise in Mekong issues.

Fish project planning meeting

Dr Lee Baumgartner attended a project planning meeting on fish protection in irrigation systems in September in Canberra with representatives from the Department of Primary Industries, Arthur Rylah Institute, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Aquatic Sciences, NSW Agriculture and Tenure Chasers.

Pakistan Groundwater

While in Lahore in Pakistan August 21-25 for the ACIAR funded Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods in Pakistan project to progress the project and set future actions, Professor Max Finlayson took part in a meeting with that country's Department of Environmental Protection to discuss water pollution and wetland issues.

Bangkok planning meeting

In July, Dr Lee Baumgartner and ILWS PhD student Vu Vi An (who represented the Vietnamese government) attended a planning meeting in Bangkok on extending the outcomes of the ACIAR Fish Passage project in Laos to Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. The meeting was with people from Myanmar Department of Fisheries, ACIAR, US Geological Survey and fisheries agencies in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. The Cambodian Secretary of Fisheries His Excellency Nao Thuok, who was at the meeting, has taken a personal interest in seeing this work extended to Cambodia and briefed the Cambodian prime minister on the workshop.

UN Sustainable Development

On June 20 Professor Max Finlayson took part in a webinar on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6.6 which is about determining change in wetlands at the global scale.

Scoping tour in Laos

In June Dr Lee Baumgartner and adjunct Professor Martin Mallen-Cooper participated in a scoping tour of Xayaburi Dam, the first mainstem dam to be constructed on the Lower Mekong River, northern Laos. The trip was a collaborative effort between Australian and USA scientists to advise on a monitoring program that will be implemented when the dam becomes operational in 2019. The visit occurred by invitation of the Xayaburi Power Company Limited.


Dr Wayne Robinson worked at the Panthera office in Cali, Columbia for five weeks in April and May helping to process and analysing numerous data sets the NGO, which is working to save jaguars, has accumulated over the past several years.

Mangrove decline

As 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, Professor Max Finlayson had video conference meetings in March and June.

San Juan Statement on Climate Change

Institute Director Professor Max Finlayson was one of the contributors to, and amount the 200 signatories of, the San Juan Statement on Climate Change posted by the Society of Wetland Scientists in June. The Statement supports the importance of international frameworks for addressing climate change and recognises the role that wetlands play in the carbon cycle.

China Mega Research Initiative

Professor Max Finlayson had a Skype conference, April 10, with the Institute for Wetland Research, China Academy of Forestry to discuss a proposal for a submission under the China Mega Research Initiative. The project is on wetland restoration and management.

Ramsar engagement

Institute Director Professor Max Finlayson, as a member of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Scientific and Technical Review Panel, is involved regularly in its meetings and workshops. These include:

  • Attendance at the 20th meeting of the STRP (Scientific and Technical Review Panel) Gland, Switzerland, Feb 13-17. Main tasks were planning a report on the state of the world's wetlands as a "showpiece" for the next Ramsar Convention in Paris, late 2018, and contributions to a Ramsar report reviewing the application of Earth Observation, for wetland management.
  • Participation participated in a workshop at the Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, South America in June on the complexity of managing wetlands in the Caribbean related to efforts by Ramsar to develop a project in a number of Caribbean countries on the vulnerability of coastal wetlands.
  • Attended a Ramsar meeting, September 19 to 22, in Gland, Switzerland to draft a report on the state of global wetlands for the Ramsar Convention

Tour Guiding

As the treasurer of Guiding Organisations Australia, Associate Professor Rosemary Black represented Australia at the 17th International Convention of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) with the convention theme of "Iran: Friendly faces, open arms, ancient cultures, timeless charms" held January 28 to February 1, in Tehran, Iran.