2017 Program

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2017 Brisbane


06:30 PM
Welcome function – cruise (networking event)

This networking event includes a 2 hour cruise around the iconic Sydney Harbour with drinks and canapes served.

09:00 AM
Monday plenary
10:30 AM
Monday morning tea
11:00 AM
Integrated River Basin management – Water Sensitive Cities
11:00 AM
Rivers by Design
11:00 AM
Engagement, Inclusiveness and Ethics
11:00 AM
Technology Innovation in Restoration and Monitoring
12:30 PM
Monday lunch
01:30 PM
Special session 3
01:30 PM
Special session 4
01:30 PM
Special session 1
01:30 PM
Special session 2
03:00 PM
Monday afternoon tea
03:30 PM
Special session 5
03:30 PM
Special session 7
03:30 PM
Special session 8
03:30 PM
Special session 6
06:30 PM
Diversity and Water (networking event)
09:00 AM
Tuesday plenary
10:30 AM
Tuesday morning tea
11:00 AM
Science to Policy
11:00 AM
Integrated River Basin Management
11:00 AM
Technology Innovation in Restoration and Monitoring
11:00 AM
River Science
12:30 PM
Tuesday lunch
01:30 PM
Tuesday special session 3
01:30 PM
Tuesday special session 4
01:30 PM
Tuesday special session 1
01:30 PM
Tuesday special session 2
03:00 PM
Tuesday afternoon tea
03:30 PM
Tuesday special session 5
03:30 PM
Tuesday special session 7
03:30 PM
Tuesday special session 8
03:30 PM
Tuesday special session 6
06:30 PM
Riverpize gala dinner
09:00 AM
Wednesday plenary
10:30 AM
Wednesday morning tea
11:00 AM
Integrated River Basin Management
11:00 AM
Governance, International Relations and Leadership
11:00 AM
Communicating Science
11:00 AM
Water Security, Climate Resilience and Flooding
12:30 PM
Wednesday lunch
09:30 AM
Study tours
Select date to see events.

Please note: This schedule is a draft only and is subject to change at any time as the program develops.

Keynote speakers

Prof Rebekah Brown



Professor Rebekah Brown is a leader in interdisciplinary sustainable development research. As a social scientist with a background in civil engineering, Rebekah pioneered the sociotechnical model that became the precursor to the water-sensitive cities approach innovated at Monash University.

As Director of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, she is harnessing the power of interdisciplinary research to understand the social and institutional...

Read More »

Special sessions

Achieving SDG6 at home and overseas | Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Australia’s integrated water reform approach | Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Building Queensland’s flood resilience | Queensland Reconstruction Authority
COMPASS: Navigating the water challenges of the 21st century | Water Future, Griffith University
Delivering environmental water: The role of government, NGOs and the community | Australian Water Partnership / Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder
Emerging River Professional Award finalists | International RiverFoundation / IWCAN / OceanaGold
From the back seat into the driver’s seat: Steering your own development as an emerging leader | International WaterCentre
GEF IW:LEARN: A global initiative to advance Twinning | International RiverFoundation / GEF IW:LEARN
Lessons from Australian efforts to support river basin water reform projects in Asia | Australian Water Partnership
Listen to the river: Lessons from a global review of environmental flow success stories | WWF
Riverprize: What does it take to win and what are the benefits? | International RiverFoundation
The river basin report card game | University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science
Water Stewardship:  A market-driven solution to shared catchment water challenges | Alliance for Water Stewardship

What is the value of Moreton Bay? | Queensland Urban Utilities

Social events

Riversymposium social events offer the chance to network, mingle and relax with other delegates working towards sustainable river basin management. The 2017 social program includes the Riversymposium welcome reception, the popular Women in Rivers event and the world-renowned Riverprize Gala Dinner.

Women and Water


Sunday, 17 September (5.30-8.30pm)
Arbour Lounge, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Grey Street, South Brisbane

Understanding gender roles is important in managing the world’s water, recognised by the United Nations and proven to result in more efficient water management. In the developing world, women are often the principal water managers at the family level—but have been frequently excluded from high-level decision. Women and Water provides a forum for perspectives on the significance of rivers and waters to gender and culture, recognising women as agents of change and plan for a more equitable water future. The event will feature a panel discussion alongside informal networking, food and drink.

For more information on the Women and Water event, please click here.

Riversymposium Welcome reception


Monday, 18 September (5.30 – 7.30pm)
Plaza Foyer, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Grey Street, South Brisbane

The Riversymposium welcome reception offers the change to connect with delegates from around the world in a relaxed social setting. After the conclusion of sessions on day one, join fellow delegates for an informal and warm welcome over food and beverages.

All delegates who attend the Riversymposium on Monday will receive a ticket to the welcome reception.

The Riversymposium welcome reception also offers the chance to launch a new initiative, service or product to hundreds of passionate river management enthusiasts.

Would you like to sponsor the 2017 Riversymposium Welcome Reception? Let us know!

Riverprize Gala Dinner


Tuesday, 19 September (6.30 – 10.30pm)
Plaza Terrace Room, BCEC

Riverprize is a prominent environmental award giving recognition to those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management and restoration. The Riverprize Gala Dinner, sponsored by Brisbane City Council, is the highlight of the Riversymposium social program, bringing award finalists, conference delegates, IRF partners and VIPs together for a night of networking, entertainment, food and drinks—and, of course, the announcement of the 2017 International Riverprize winner. The evening will also include the announcement of the Vera Thiess Fellowship for Women and the 2017 Emerging River Professional Award.

Dress code: cocktail

Would you like to book a table at the 2017 Riverprize Gala Dinner, with VIP placement, logo and verbal recognition throughout the evening? Tables are available for a cost of $1450 for 9 seats, or $1600 for ten seats. To book, contact patricia@riverfoundation.org.au.

Study Tours and Workshops

Two full-day study tours and a half-day game/workshop are available for Riversymposium delegates on Thursday 21 September.

Through our study tours, learn about the economic, environmental and social benefits of the Ramsar-listed Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island, or check out the innovative Beaudesert nutrient offsets project – which  regenerated and rehabilitated an eroded riverbank to prevent five tonnes of nitrogen and 11,000 tonnes of soil from entering the Logan River.

If you only have half a day to spare, participate in our Sustainable River Delta game, working as part of a team to develop and implement a Sustainable Water Management Plan for the coming 100 years in the fictional setting of the Tainui Harbor.



The International RiverFoundation will present two prestigious awards at the Riverprize Gala Dinner in conjunction with the 2017 International Riversymposium: the Emerging River Professional Award and the Thiess International Riverprize.

Riverprize is the world’s most prestigious river award, recognising, rewarding and supporting outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management—and the Emerging River Professional Award (ERPA) recognises and fosters those in the early stages of their careers in rivers who have demonstrated innovation, excellence and leadership in river, basin or river-dependent community management.

The Vera Thiess Fellowship for 2017-18 will also be formally awarded at the gala dinner.



RiverExpo was introduced to Riversymposium in 2014 and is a modern new take on the traditional trade exhibition, enabling all groups with services, products or ideas to meet and network with a diverse global audience—from river managers to policy developers, scientists, consultants, students, NGOs, indigenous and community organisations and business and industry representatives. The RiverExpo space incorporates art, culture and interactive activities.

Want to exhibit at RiverExpo? Contact us now.