$120,000 over three years
The Yarra is the first name that usually springs to mind when people think of a Melbourne waterway.
But there is another important and much-loved river – the Maribyrnong, which at 160km long is home to flora and fauna including platypus and birds of prey, culturally significant, and a place of calmness for many.
For years, there have been three water keepers in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Catchment - Port Phillip Baykeeper, Yarra Riverkeeper and Werribee Riverkeeper.
And now funding from The Ross Trust means the Maribyrnong River also has a dedicated carer and advocate – ecologist Dr Nicole Kowalczyk, the first Maribyrnong Officer.
In May 2021, the trust committed $120,000 over three years to fund the role, which strongly aligns with the trust’s focus on biodiversity conservation. It also recognised the need to eventually establish a Maribyrnong Riverkeeper.
On 31 August 2021, The Age newspaper featured the appointment of Dr Kowalczyk, who explained her love for the river and surrounding bushland. Read about Dr Kowalczyk’s vision here.You can find out more about the Yarra Riverkeeper Association at https://yarrariver.org.au/