What’s the secret? An Australian Perspective on Partnerships for Change

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As a sunburnt country with droughts and flooding rains, rainforest and deserts, cities and the outback, Australia has a highly complex environment with widely variable issues across the landscape. In the 1990s, the Australian government supported a move to catchment‐based natural resource management, which has built over a decade of learnings in how to achieve societal change at catchment scale under a range of different models. As one of the 56 regional bodies, Condamine Alliance have tested many innovative approaches, and have compiled invaluable insider knowledge on what has worked and what hasn’t throughout this period. Natural resource management projects in the Condamine catchment have been built on partnerships in their truest form—everyone has “skin in the game”, everyone invests (time and/or money) and everyone benefits. These partnerships ensure the buy‐in and ownership necessary for success, and increase the buying potential of any individual investment. This partnership approach has also facilitated focusing on real priorities, as those involved need to all value an activity for it to happen; no one gets their outcomes for free. This legacy of ownership supports the continuation of work after the projects move on to other issues, with networks and skills left behind to maintain and expand upon the outcomes over time. From 2‐year flood recovery projects to 10‐year multi‐award winning river recovery programs, the Condamine catchment has seen significant investment in improving the condition of its natural resources. The catchment‐based partnership approach has built the region’s capacity in a way that provides legacy way past the direct environmental benefits to the catchment and into the resilience of the catchment community. These challenges and successes of these activities and of the broader Australian approach, can provide important learnings of relevance to other regions and nations across the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
EditorsBrendan Galbraith
PublisherUniversity of Ulster Business School
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978‐1‐910309‐47‐6
ISBN (Print)978‐1‐910309‐45‐2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event9th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Sep 201419 Sep 2014


Conference9th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Australia
  • Catchment management
  • Partnerships
  • change
  • Natural resource management
  • Watershed management

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