2018 Program

Keynote speakers

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2018 program

2018 topics

  • Integrated river basin management (e.g. resilient rivers; managing large river basins; water sensitive cities; rivers, wetlands and groundwater; restoring freshwater ecosystems; urban rivers; rivers and industry; adaptive management)
  • River science (e.g water quality; aquatic biodiversity; river and wetland processes; fish passage and connectivity; waterbirds; valuing river ecosystem services)
  • Environmental and cultural flows (e.g. e-flows science, monitoring and assessment; e-flows costs and benefits; e-flows implementation and adaptive management; e-flows policy and law; social and cultural benefits; protection and restoration of free-flowing rivers)
  • Communicating science (e.g. communicating to multiple disciplines; visualising data; mapping; influencing policymakers; river report cards; educating youth; sharing knowledge)
  • Rivers by design (e.g. river basin planning; master plans; creating a vision; water wise cities; cultural heritage; water resource planning; water sensitive urban design; rewilding rivers/natural channel design)
  • Engagement, inclusiveness and ethics (e.g. community science; participatory planning; partnerships; driving change & capacity-building; ethical principles; cultural diversity; stewardship; traditional knowledge, preserving cultural heritage)
  • Governance, international relations and leadership (e.g. river basin scale decision making; influencing decision-making; governance models; public-private partnerships; transboundary rivers; managing conflicting interests)
  • Technology innovation in restoration and monitoring (e.g. new & emerging monitoring technology; GIS & mapping tools; metrics;real-time data; drones; remote sensing)
  • Water security, climate resilience and flooding (e.g. water-energy-food nexus; water source protection; planning for and recovering from extremes; floods; droughts; building climate resilient infrastructure, cities and communities)
  • Science to policy (e.g. Water administration and river governance; science influencing policy; rivers and the economy; integrating social values; science-policy interface)

Networking events

Riversymposium netorking events offer the chance to network, mingle and relax with other delegates working towards sustainable river basin management. The 2018 networking program includes the Riversymposium welcome reception, the Diversity in Water event and the world-renowned Riverprize Gala Dinner.

Riversymposium Welcome reception

Sunday, 14 October (6.30-8.30)
Sydney Harbour Cruise
Departs: Casino Wharf, Pyrmont

The Riversymposium welcome reception offers the change to connect with delegates from around the world in a relaxed social setting. This networking event gives delegates a chance to meet each other before official proceedings begin on Monday.

All delegates are welcome to attend this 2-hour sunset cruise which includes drinks and canapes. Tickets are available when you register.

Diversity in Water

Monday, 15 October (6.00-8.30pm)
Soho Room, Doltone House
Jones Bay Wharf, Pirrama Road
Pyrmont, NSW

An evening cocktail function celebrating diversity in all its forms, and discussing how equal opportunities can help to advance sustainable river basin management.

All delegates are welcome to attend this evening function which includes drinks and canapes. Tickets are available when you register.

Riverprize Gala Dinner

Tuesday, 16 October (6.15-10.00)
Heritage Wharf, Doltone House
Pirrama Rd
Pyrmont, NSW

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 is the highlight of the Riversymposium networking 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 Riverprize winner. Other awards announced on the night include the Vera Thiess Fellowship for Women and the Emerging River Professional Award.

Dress code: business / semi-formal or traditional dress

Would you like to book a table at the 2018 Riverprize Gala Dinner, with VIP placement, logo and verbal recognition throughout the evening? Tables are available for a cost of $1575 for 9 seats, or $1750 for ten seats. To book, contact kelly@riverfoundation.org.au.

Study Tours and Workshops

There will be two study tours offered as part of the 21st International Riversymposium. Both of these tours will run on Thursday, 18 October. Numbers are capped so we recommend booking early to secure your place.

Tomago Wetland – Award-winning Restoration

UNSW Water Research Laboratory has been working in collaboration with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) and the Department of Primary Industries (NSW Fisheries) since 2004 to transform the Tomago Wetlands site from a large acidic landscape into a restored productive tidal wetland. The project has proven a terrific success, winning awards for both conservation and engineering excellence. Innovative technical, modelling and monitoring solutions were developed to provide the precise conditions required to regenerate saltmarsh ecosystem and restore over 400 hectares of severely degraded land into a thriving ecosystem.

The tour will be hosted by experts from both UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory & the Centre for Ecosystem Science and the NSW Office for Environment and Heritage.

Click here for full details.

Our Living River tour – making Parramatta River swimmable again

The Parramatta River flows through the heart of one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with the burgeoning metropolis of Parramatta now dedicated as the ‘Central River City’ in the three city vision for greater Sydney. High density residential and business developments are rapidly replacing old industrial and residential sites along the river. With this has come a massive increase in community demand for quality river interactions.

In response to this, the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) launched the mission to make the Parramatta River swimmable again and embarked on the co-development of a Masterplan for the river. The PRCG is an alliance of local Councils, state government agencies and the community who are working together to improve the health of the river.

Click here for full details.

Guided walk of water sensitive urban design in Annandale

A guided walk of water sensitive urban design in the heritage-listed conservation area of Annandale, is being offered on Thursday, 18 October.

This 4-hour tour includes a visit to a site of reintroduced Mangroves, a constructed salt marsh wetland, a living street, swales on streets, constructed fresh water wetland and the Harold Park site.

Click here for more details.

Emerging Water Professionals Program (EWPP)

A tailored program of events for Emerging Water Professionals will be implemented in conjunction with the  Riversymposium, fostering education and innovation in water management by supporting the professional and personal development of future water leaders.

The EWPP is open to anyone who is within the first ten years of their career, and identifies as an emerging water professional – including postgraduate students and early career professionals. Participants from any related discipline are welcome, including science, policy, planning, community development, business, governance, aid, development and many more.

The cost to participate in the EWPP is an additional $100 on top of the Riversymposium registration fee, which covers the cost of  two webinars prior to the symposium plus special events during the symposium including an ‘EWPP meet and greet’, a ‘meet the special guests’ breakfast event, and a celebration dinner.

The EWPP is generously sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Places are strictly limited, so register now!


During the Riverprize gala dinner, three awards are presented for outstanding contribution to water management.

Riverprize, the world’s most prestigious river award, recognises, rewards and supports outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management. In 2018 two prizes will be awarded – Australasia Riverprize  and Asian Riverprize. 

The  2018-19 Vera Thiess Fellowship for Women  gives women from developing countries the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through the IRF and its partners, with the goal of advancing women’s participation in water and river management.

The Emerging River Professional Award (ERPA), sponsored by OceanaGold Corporation, recognises, rewards and fosters those in the early stages of their careers in rivers. The award is presented to those who have demonstrated innovation, excellence and leadership in river, basin or river-dependent community management.


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.