Everyone is talking about the Gippsland Lakes

An event focused on Gippsland Lakes projects attracted over 120 participants, as interested members of the local community took the opportunity to learn more about the projects and the science behind how they are managed.

Gippsland Lakes Conversations – a gathering of people and ideas, held on Tuesday, 3 April at Forestec, included a day of presentations, an outdoor expo and culminated in a boat trip around the Lakes.

Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee Co-Chair, Peter Jennings, said the fully booked event was a great success.

“We were overwhelmed by the community’s enthusiasm for the Gippsland Lakes. There is tremendous interest in the projects happening in and around the Lakes and this was a unique opportunity to be able to hear from, and talk to, the people who are on the ground working on these projects.”

The event began with a Welcome to Country, then participants were formally welcomed by Peter Jennings. Mr Jennings also announced the opening of the Gippsland Lakes Community Grants.

“These grants will provide up to $285,000 to help Landcare and community natural resource management groups to undertake environmental projects to improve the health of the iconic Gippsland Lakes.”

The Grants opened at the event and will close on 16 May.

Presenters on the day included:

  • Dr Perran Cook, Associate Professor at Monash University, discussing his research into the Gippsland Lakes.
  • Documentary maker and climate change activist Liz Courtney on filming ecological tipping points in some of the most fragile regions in the world.
  • Roger Fenwick, Daniel Miller and Grattan Mullet Junior of Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, highlighting the importance of the Corporation and the work of GLaWAC in the area.
  • Dr Kate Charlton-Robb, Founding Director and Head of Research at the Marine Mammal Foundation shared her research into marine mammals, including identifying a new species– the Burrunan dolphin – in the Gippsland Lakes.
  • Martin Potts from Greening Australia talking about his work on the fringing wetlands of the Gippsland Lakes and the discovery of rare frogs at new breeding sites.

The outdoor expo included representatives from projects such as Friends of Beware Reef who have been photographing creatures over a series of 37 dives under the surface of the Lakes, BirdLife East Gippsland who are researching the Australasian Bittern, Greening Australia who are restoring habitat at wetlands around the Gippsland Lakes and many more.

The expo gave attendees the opportunity to chat to community grant recipients and agency representatives about their projects.

The two-hour boat trip started from Lakes Entrance and took in key sites across the Lakes including Pelican Island, Boole Poole and Legend Rock.

For more information about the Community Grants, including grant guidelines, please email grants@egcma.com.au or phone Carolyn Cameron at the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority on 5150 3582.

This project was funded by the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes.