Ten years of insights and inspiration

Tuesday 28 October, 2008
International River foundation launches River Journeys, the human history of award-winning river restoration projects worldwide.

International River foundation launches River Journeys, the human history of award-winning river restoration projects worldwide.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA) has been featured in River Journeys, a stunning coffee table book on river restoration journeys worldwide.

With this book International Riverfoundation (IRF) recognises the founders and winners from ten years of the Thiess Riverprize - the world's foremost prize in river management - for their vision, their courage, their commitment, and their accomplishments. Each watershed group has shown true passion and dedication to changing the health of their riverine environment, creeks and wetlands and has accomplished major and long-term improvements.

GB CMA was awarded the National Thiess Riverprize in 2001 for the work undertaken to enhance and protect the waterways within the region.

Wayne Tennant, Manager Strategic River Health said that the award was accepted on behalf of the catchment community. It was in recognition of the level of commitment by our community towards waterway protection.

"The Goulburn Broken Catchment community was proud to become the recipient of the 2001 National Thiess Riverprize."

"The Riverprize funds have been invested wisely to assist over 30 young students from the region to attend the MDBC's Youth River Health Conference each year," said Mr Tennant.

"This was a commitment of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's Chair, Mr John Dainton, to invest in our future when accepting the prestigious 2001 Riverprize."

Martin Albrecht, Chairman of International Riverfoundation said river health is critical to sustainable fresh water supplies worldwide. The issue extends beyond conservation to a matter of survival.

"As the world's population increases and economic development transforms once third-world countries and their standard of living rises, so too does their demand for water. As drought conditions and the impacts of climate change take their toll on our rivers, water quality and availability has become a critical issue for current and future generations.

"After ten years of driving river restoration worldwide, we feel an even greater sense of urgency to address the global freshwater crisis," says Mr Albrecht.

"In this context, the stories of those who are achieving world's best practice in river management become more remarkable, even more compelling," he says.

Within a decade, 18 river restoration groups have joined the alumni of the Thiess Riverprize, each one of them representing an amazing and unique river journey. Winners have built bridges across political borders and ideological divides, such as with the Alexander River shared by Israel and Palestine.

Their work has been ground-breaking in terms of policy and implementation, such as with the Murray Wetlands Working Group in Australia. They have forged strong transnational collaborations, such as with the Mekong and the Danube Rivers, and have overcome cultural and language barriers.

The alumni of Thiess Riverprize winners have celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Thiess Riverprize, the launch of River Journeys, and the announcement of the 2008 winners at the 2008 International Riversymposium.

The 2008 National Thiess Riverprize (AU $150,000) went to Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, and the 2008 International Thiess Riverprize (AU $350,000) went to St. Johns River in Florida, USA.

International Riverfoundation, a Brisbane-based international NGO, is at the heart of a global movement driving river restoration projects around the world. With this book of insights and inspiration from a decade of Thiess Riverprize winners, International Riverfoundation hopes to motivate more corporations and individuals to support its programs, vital to the achievement of better outcomes for our waterways and water supplies worldwide.

River Journeys is available from International Riverfoundation for AU $39.95. Order online at, fax your order to (07) 3103 4574, or call (07) 3123 7767. Library and bookstore orders welcome.


International Thiess Riverprize winners:
2008 - St. Johns River, USA; 2007 - Danube River, Europe; 2006 - Sha River, China; 2005 - Drôme River, France; 2004 - Siuslaw Basin, USA; 2003 - Alexander River, Israel, in cooperation with the Palestinians; 2002 - Mekong River, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and