For the very first time in its thirteen year history, the International Riversymposium was held out of Brisbane and on the other side of our great country in Perth. As is the case at every International Riversymposium there was a mix of international case studies and presentations about key developments in river management and science, as well as a number of Australians sharing the work they have been doing. For me the sessions on community engagement were enlightening, as well as some I attended on urban water and the work that is focusing on engagement with city dwellers to reconnect them to their rivers and waterways.
The highlight of the Riversymposium was the announcement of the winners of the International and National Riverprizes. This year the worthy winners are the River Thames in London and the Derwent Estuary in Tasmania. Both rivers have been declared biologically dead in the past, however, as a result of coordinated and visionary actions, otters are now breeding up and down the length of the Thames, and recently a Southern Right Whale gave birth to her calf in the Derwent – the first time in one hundred years!