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 10 – What motivates curious people to become climate leaders?

In this episode, Siwan is joined by author Rod Taylor to discuss Rod’s new book ‘Ten Journeys on a Fragile Planet’. Rod’s book follows the stories of ten inspiring Australians who are confronting our changing climate in unique ways. Rod broadcasts a weekly science show and appears on ABC and BBC radio shows. He also writes a column in the Canberra Times called Fuzzy Logic. This podcast discusses the importance of people, technology and political institutions in addressing climate change. Rod and Siwan talk about the different ways they keep hope for the future of the planet and how being curious and asking the right questions can be powerful.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

Episode 9 – Why is thinking about the future hard?

In this episode, Siwan has a Conversation over a Cuppa with Associate Professor Lorrae van Kerkhoff about why thinking about the future is hard, and the importance of institutional environments that allow for uncertain futures. Lorrae is the Director of the Institute for Water Futures and Associate Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. Lorrae uses a multidisciplinary approach to solving complex environmental and water problems. Lorrae explains the importance of creativity in problem-solving and planning for the future. She talks about how we, as humans, imagine our future selves as strangers, making it very difficult to anticipate the reality of the future. This is a thought provoking conversation and together Siwan and Lorrae delve into futures thinking, uncertainty and the adaptive capacity we are all going to need to develop for today and tomorrow.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

Episode 8 – Is raising dam walls an effective strategy to manage climate change impacts?

In this episode, Siwan and Professor Jamie Pittock discuss whether raising dam walls is an effective management strategy to address our changing climate. They discuss the current proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall in outer Sydney, and whether the stated aims of it being to address flooding and protect downstream communities, will actually be achieved. Jamie has worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature, and is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and World Commission on Protected Areas. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy. He is now based at the Fenner School at the Australian National University where he teaches and writes across environment, society and climate change adaptation topics. In their conversation, Siwan and Jamie discuss the ecological and cultural consequences of the proposal to raise the dam wall, and highlight how a multi-million dollar ‘flooding’ solution is likely to fail.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

Episode 7 – Retaining hope in the face of a changing climate

In this episode, Siwan talks with Professor Mark Howden about how we can retain hope in the face of a changing climate. Mark is the Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions at the Australian National University, as well as being the Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As a global expert on climate science, his work over the last thirty years has explored climate variability, change and adaptation. In this conversation Mark and Siwan discuss how we can look to each other for the skills and hope we need to adapt to our changing climate.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

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.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

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?

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

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?

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

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.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

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.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

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.

Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    👋Subscribe here and we'll let you know when a new podcast episode is out!

    About Siwan

    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.

    Episode 7 – Retaining hope in the face of a changing climate

    In this episode, Siwan talks with Professor Mark Howden about how we can retain hope in the face of a changing climate. Mark is the Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions at the Australian National University, as well as being the Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As a global expert on climate science, his work over the last thirty years has explored climate variability, change and adaptation. In this conversation Mark and Siwan discuss how we can look to each other for the skills and hope we need to adapt to our changing climate.

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    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.

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    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?

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    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?

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    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.

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    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.

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

    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.

    Don’t have Spotify? You can listen to the episode here.

      👋Subscribe here and we'll let you know when a new podcast episode is out!

      About Siwan

      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.