Join social ecologist and river restoration expert Dr. Siwan Lovett in conversations about the ideas, issues and opportunities that relate to our connections with ourselves, each other and our planet. This podcast offers open, honest and practical insights for us to reflect on in our daily lives.
Episode 6 – Their Stories: Professor Ross Thompson
‘Their Stories’ is a mini-series of conversations exploring the thoughts, motivations and lives of people who work in connection with nature – whether it be as a scientist, communicator or landholder. In this episode, Siwan talks to Professor Ross Thompson, Director and Chair of Water Science at the Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra. Their talk focuses on work currently underway in environmental flows, with both involved in the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Flow – Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Program project, which is exploring how to manage and deliver water to gain the greatest environmental benefit in areas of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Episode 5 – River Champions
In this episode, I have a conversation with Dr. Simon Mould, on what makes a river champion and why we need to support those people who are working for better water and river management. The ‘champion’ concept usefully highlights the importance of critical leaders in environmental management initiatives. However, our experience tells us that the label of ‘champion’ would sit uncomfortably on the shoulders of many who play critical roles in advancing river management agendas in their communities and workplaces. The label conjures the image of a hero or the elite winner, and this is at odds with the humility and modesty of many of the champions we have met – who are typically not the loudest people in the room, but the ones driving change behind the scenes – so how can expand our concept of championship, in order to recognise and support these individuals?
Episode 4 – Bouncing Forward
Paul Ryan – founding director of the Australian Resilience Centre, and a global leader in resilience, adaptation and transformation practice – joins us for a ‘Conversation over a Cuppa’ as we look into the idea of ‘bouncing forward’. The term stems from the notion that the popular belief about resilience being our ability to ‘bounce back’ is a flawed concept. This is because when we go through a traumatic experience such as the bushfires and current pandemic conditions, we come out the other end with lived experience and knowledge that we previously didn’t have. It is not only improbable, therefore, but impossible to return back to the state we entered the experience with. Instead, resilience can be associated with our ability to ‘bounce forward’. What can we learn from the experience, adapt to, and build into our lives going forward?
Episode 3: Take Care to Give Care
Suzy and I reflect on the tough few months we’ve had in Australia, which has caused people to be in a heightened state of anxiety and fear for longer periods of time than we are used to. This episode talks about a resource called ‘Take Care to Give Care’ – a Guide that Two Green Threads has produced for wildlife carers, but which also applies to all of us in current times. We acknowledge and discuss the strength and scale of impact these recent events are having on our minds, body and general well being, and share how we can build resilience through the A-B-C framework shared in the ‘Take Care to Give Care’ Guide – Awareness, Balance and Connection.
Episode 2: Saving Stocky
Over the past few months we have seen the devastation bushfires have caused across many of our beautiful forests – photographs of dead and injured koalas, kangaroos and echidnas have been upsetting, galvanising people to knit booties, put out water and fund food drops for wildlife. But what of those less charismatic species, the ones that are rarely seen, yet have just as much claim to being saved as any other species? Who is looking out for them?
In pools, creeks and rivers across Australia are native fish that are small, unique and hard to find. As a result, we don’t know a lot about them, but Associate Professor Mark Lintermans has dedicated his career to understanding the fish that most Australians know little about. Over the past few weeks Mark, along with colleagues from the University of Canberra and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, has been trekking into the bush, with Rural Fire Service escort, to catch and rescue fish not so much threatened by the fires, but by the impact of ash and debris being washed into their mountain homes once rain arrives.
Episode 1: Container Love
The first episode of our new podcast ‘Conversation Over A Cuppa’ focuses on the impact of the recent devastating Australian bushfires – the loss of people’s homes, death and injury to wildlife, and vast tracts of burnt bushland.
Siwan talks about how it has affected her personally, leading to feelings of anxiety, fear, anger and sadness. She shares how she is finding comfort in understanding more about the ‘ecological grief’ so many of us are experiencing and provides some practical examples that show how through small acts of compassion, like placing water out for wildlife, we can retain hope in ourselves, each other and our environment.
As a social ecologist and river restoration advocate, I have spent the past twenty five years working with people, rivers and communities; with most of my work focusing on sharing knowledge, in all its many forms, to protect and restore our creeks, wetlands, rivers and billabongs. Finding myself working in river restoration is, at first glance, a little strange, as my disciplinary background is sociology and organisational theory. But in fact, this has been a real strength, as it has meant that I can bring my way of knowing the world into a community of people who are passionate about their natural environment, but may not know as much about the importance of social connection and community.