View the 2022 Wise Water Ways Workshop Program

In 1999 the founding Wise Water Ways Committee believed there was a need for a training program that covered both practical and theoretical waterways management.

Today, the Wise Water Ways Workshop, North East Victoria, covers a broad range of rural and urban stream issues and provides participants with the skills to better understand aquatic environments and to make informed on-ground management decisions.

The format of the program offers participants an opportunity to work in teams, as they would in their work role. Each team develops a management plan for a stream and then presents a report to their group of peers for critical assessment.

2022 Program at a glance

2022 Speakers

Professor Nick Bond

Professor Nick Bond is the Director of the Centre for Freshwater Ecosystems and Research Theme Lead for Resilient Environments and Communities, at La Trobe University. Nick has over 20 years’ experience working on river and catchment management, with a focus on Australia’s water-stressed regions. He has strong connections across the water sector and currently sits on a number of government advisory panels, including the Murray-Darling Basin Authority Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences.

Keynote Speaker – Professor Susan Lawrence FAHA FSA

Keynote Address: Rivers of Gold 

Human influence on Australian rivers is nothing new. Recent research has demonstrated that Victoria’s nineteenth-century mining boom dumped a deluge of sand, silt and gravel into local rivers for over 50 years. ‘Sludge’ permanently altered floodplains and river channels all over Victoria. Theimpact was particularly great in the north east where alluvial mining sent millions of tons of sediment into the rivers and dredges churned up lengthy stretches of river bank to depths of up to 40 metres. Downstream communities in the north east led the fight to get sludge out of the rivers. After decades of struggle their efforts resulted in some of the world’s first legislation to restrict mining pollution and remediate former mine sites. That legislation continues to influence mining regulations internationally even though the recent human history of Victorian rivers has been forgotten.

The environmental impact of mining in Victoria is one of the great untold stories of the gold rush and is of lasting significance for communities and natural resource managers today. The story of sludge has implications for river remediation programs, catchment management, public health, the management of cultural heritage and debates about how people and environments interact.


Professor Susan Lawrence is an industrial archaeologist at La Trobe University, Melbourne. She is a co-Chief Investigator of the AR- funded Rivers of Gold project, a multi-disciplinary investigation of the lasting effects of historic mining sediment on Victoria’s rivers. Susan has nearly thirty years’ experience working on archaeological sites all over Australia, including the Victorian goldfields, Tasmanian whaling stations and South Australian farms. She is the author of several books and over 90 articles and has published internationally on gender, material culture, urban archaeology, colonialism, environmental and landscape archaeology, and industrial archaeology. Susan is a past president of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and was on the Archaeology Advisory Committee for the Heritage Council of Victoria for many years. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Society of Antiquaries of London. Her most recent book, Sludge: Disaster on Victoria’s Goldfields (Black Inc/La Trobe University Press 2019), co-authored with Peter Davies, was short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Andrew Briggs

Field Projects and Construction Works

Andrew is the River Health Project Manager with the North East Catchment Management Authority. He has extensive experience in river health restoration, with a strong focus on native fish and the reintroduction of fish habitat into waterways. Over the last decade he has played a major role in project managing and implementing fire and flood recovery works across the catchment. Andrew applies his expertise and innovation to address challenges such as Biochar and Virtual Fencing.

Professor Andrew Boulton

Pub Meal with a Side-Serve of Science – Tying it All Together – Waterway Ecosystems in Human Modified Landscapes

Andrew has researched river and groundwater ecology for over 25 years, with particular interests in invertebrate ecology, river/groundwater health assessment, temporary streams and effects of drought and environmental flow allocations.  He has lectured in several universities in Australia and the US and carried out ecological research on diverse rivers in France, New Zealand, the US and Australia.  He has co-written some 120 peer-reviewed journal papers on stream ecology and three books, including the second edition of “Australian Freshwater Ecology: Processes and Management” published in 2014.  Currently, he serves on the Independent Expert Scientific Committee that provides scientific guidance to the Australian Government on assessments of water-related ecological responses to coal seam gas extraction and coal mining, and is on the editorial board of the international journal ‘Aquatic Conservation’.


Chris Dwyer

Field Demonstrations

Chris is a Waterway Management Practice and Director/Engineer of Confluence Pty Ltd .  He has been working in the industry for the past two decades and has extensive experience across New South Wales and Victoria, as well as numerous other projects spread around Australia. Chris’ key focus is the investigation, design and implementation of major river health programs.


Dr James Grove

Field Demonstrations

James is a geomorphologist who uses GIS and field research to undertake research on riverbank erosion, arctic fluvial geomorphology, river condition assessment.

Ross Hardie

Waterway Management

Ross is a founder and director of Alluvium Consulting, a past president of the River Basin Management Society and an inaugural fellow of the Peter Cullen Trust. Ross has worked in both local and state government, but has spent most of his career in private consulting, working on Australian and international stream management projects and programs.

Jarod Lyon

Fish Habitat

Jarod leads a team of researchers examining restoration ecology, ecological management plans and intervention based research that helps inform management and policy decisions. He has many years experience as a freshwater scientist, including restoration of woody habitat into rivers and streams, understanding the impact of bushfires on aquatic systems, threatened species management, angler liaison and developing ecological management plans.


Dr Paul McInerney

Role of macro-invertebrates

Paul’s research focus areas include freshwater food webs, how energy flow in ecosystems may be changed by both biotic and abiotic disturbance or by anthropogenic intervention and how invasive species alter the structure and function within freshwater ecosystems. Paul is interested in the responses of basal resources to altered ecosystem conditions and how such changes can influence trophic pathways for higher consumers. Paul is experienced in field based research programs, both within the MDB and overseas, and is involved in a number of large–scale basin–wide research programs. Paul works collaboratively with other scientists and government to produce highly quality peer reviewed research that remains useful, relevant and interpretable to natural resource managers. 

Professor Gerry Quinn

Pub Meal with a Side-Serve of Science – Tying it All Together – Waterway Ecosystems in Human Modified Landscapes

Prof Gerry Quinn is Chair in Marine Biology at Deakin University. Gerry has extensive research experience in coastal marine ecology, especially the effects of human activities on rocky shores and estuaries. He was also a program leader within the CRC for Freshwater Ecology (from 2000-2004) and has experience in freshwater ecosystems and the effects of flow change on rivers and wetlands. He has co-authored two books on experimental design and data analysis and monitoring human impacts in aquatic environments. He chairs Parks Victoria’s Science and Management Effectiveness Advisory Committee and is a member of their Conservation and Science Committee. He has recently been appointed to the Board of the Glenelg Hopkins CMA.


Dr Jane Roots

Jane has been working in catchment management and river restoration In Australia since 1995. She worked for the Murray-Darling Basin Commission in Canberra for seven years where she was Manager of the Lake Victoria Project and later, Executive Officer of the Community Advisory Committee of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council. In 2002 Jane work for 3 years on floodplain restoration projects in South Australia that included the first River Red Gum watering project on the Chowilla Floodplain. She has since returned to North East Victoria to manage an inaugural River Tender project and in 2013 completed her PhD, whilst working on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project with the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre. In 2015, Jane joined the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as Program Manager Biodiversity for the Hume Region.


Associate Professor Ian Rutherfurd

Stream Rehabilitation Concepts

Ian Rutherfurd has 20 years experience in the water sector. At present he is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural  Resource Management and Geography in the University of Melbourne. He has also worked at a senior level in the Victorian State Govement in the water and river management area. Ian’s area’s of interest include river channel change, stream rehabilitation and fluvial geomorphology.


Dr Ewen Silvester

Water quality with Dr Paul McInerney

Dr Ewen Silvester: Associate Professor in the Centre for Freshwater Ecosystems (CFE) based at the Albury-Wodonga Campus of La Trobe University. Ewen’s research interests are in understanding biogeochemical processes in rivers and wetlands, particularly the patterns and responses of these systems to seasonal changes and climatic events.  He has broad interests in the development and application of new techniques and approaches to the investigation of aquatic ecosystems and how ecological processes influence (and are influenced by) water quality parameters. Ewen has a PhD in Physical Chemistry (University of Melbourne) and prior to his current position at La Trobe University worked at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS; France; 3 years) and CSIRO (10 years). He has published broadly in the fields of geochemistry, mineralogy, spectroscopy and aquatic ecology and has recently completed an 8-year term as Associate Editor with the Journal of Hydrology. Contact: or 02 6024 9878.

Jo Slijkerman

Riparian Vegetation Field Demonstration – Field Demonstrations with Chris Dwyer, Dr Michael Shackleton, Dr James Grove

Johanna is a scientist with over fifteen years’ experience in waterway management, monitoring and policy. She has completed field-based assessments of riparian areas around rivers and wetlands, monitoring design and management planning. She has provided flora and fauna input to projects; and designed and coordinated waterway condition monitoring programs which identify condition, trajectory and adaptive management approaches. She understands waterway processes and management methods, developed through working with a range of waterway engineers, geomorphologists, aquatic scientists and agency staff in Victoria and Tasmania.

Johanna also worked in DELWP’s water policy division for seven years and has a strong understanding of the policy and legislation framework and development process in Victoria.


Ben Tate

Stream Hydrology and Hydraulics

Ben is Water Technology’s National Practice Lead of Flooding. Ben has many years of experience in urban and rural floodplain management, working to protect the natural values of our rivers and floodplains and help flood prone communities to live safely on the floodplain. Ben often helps VICSES to respond to real flood events during emergencies, earning him the nickname of ‘Flood Man’ from his kids.


Dr Geoff Vietz

The Dirt on Managing Geomorphology and Sediments in Waterways

Dr Geoff Vietz is a geomorphologist and water management specialist with 18 years experience in catchment, river and wetland management. Geoff is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne where his research is focused on the geomorphology, ecohydraulics and sustainable management of streams and wetlands. He is also the principal of Streamology (, a consulting company focused on narrowing the research-consulting divide and ensuring novel and appropriate solutions are applied to waterway, wetland and water resources management.

Participation in the Wise Water Ways Workshop program offers delegates the opportunity to receive a subject credit towards a Charles Sturt University Master of Environmental Management (with specialisations):