08 Nov Andy Lowes
Andy Lowes has been involved in environmental watering programs within the Murray-Darling Basin for over 6 years. Formerly with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, he now works with The Living Murray Initiative at the Murray Darling Basin Authority. His roles have included planning, delivering, monitoring and evaluating the use of water for the environment. His focus is now on improving communications, engagement and education about water for the environment. He holds a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Science from the University of Canberra and lives a ten-minute walk to the Murrumbidgee River in the ACT.
Using Storytelling to Communicate the Benefits of Water for the Environment
Stories are a powerful way to engage people and communicate information in a memorable way. Communicating the benefits of the work we do through stories merges emotion and meaning, to make the facts and figures we often present much more personal, meaningful and memorable.
River restoration is often undertaken by dedicated and passionate people working to give our natural systems a chance to withstand the human impacts. However, often the passion and motivation of those on the ground is not captured in the products designed to communicate the benefits of their work. We don’t get to hear the information from those on the ground and, more importantly, we don’t get to hear why they are out there doing this work.
This project was designed to allow people to discover The Living Murray Program Icon Site Managers and learn why they do what they do – hearing the stories from the person behind the camera. The Living Murray Icon Site managers are a dedicated, passionate and hardworking group of people with years of knowledge and experience to share. This project personalises their achievements and insights by allowing their stories to be told, shared and celebrated in a series of short videos. The videos complement a series of report cards developed to communicate ten-years of monitoring data, showing changes in site condition in response to water for the environment and natural flooding.
Proving the opportunity for those on the ground to tell their stories allows aspects of complex science and natural resources management to be made instantly relevant and memorable to the communities that depend on healthy waterways. Further, this project demonstrates the power of providing information directly from scientists and managers involved in river restoration and is an example of how passionate experts can also be powerful communicators of river restoration.