Keynote Speakers

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Keynote Speakers





Professor Ellen Wohl
Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, USA

Ellen Wohl received her PhD in geosciences from the University of Arizona and joined the geosciences faculty at Colorado State University, where she is now a professor, in 1989. Her research focuses on river form and process in diverse settings, including mountain streams, bedrock canyon rivers and, most recently, large river floodplains.

Ellen has conducted field research on every continent but Antarctica. She is particularly interested in how physical and ecological processes interact in river corridors, and how management has altered rivers during the past few centuries. In addition to research monographs and a fluvial geomorphology textbook, she has written several books about rivers for non-scientists, including Virtual Rivers (2001), Disconnected Rivers (2004), Of Rock and Rivers (2009), A World of Rivers (2011), Wide Rivers Crossed (2013), and Transient Landscapes (2015).

To view Ellen Wohl's Keynote Abstract click here.






Dr Mehreen Faruqi
NSW Member of Legislative Council representing the NSW Greens

Dr Mehreen Faruqi joined the NSW Legislative Council in June 2013 as a member of the NSW Greens. Since migrating from Pakistan to Australia in 1992, with her young family, Mehreen’s work has focussed on developing real solutions to social and environmental challenges.

Mehreen has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, and a Master and PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). She has worked in leadership positions in local government, consulting firms and higher education institutions in Australia and internationally.  This includes her role as Manager of Environment and Services for Mosman Council, Manager of Natural Resources and Catchments for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and as the Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies (UNSW) and an Associate Professor in Business and Sustainability (AGSM UNSW).

Mehreen has delivered major projects such as stormwater reuse and recycling infrastructure, cycle ways, hydropower generation and rainforest rehabilitation as well as doing work for action on climate change and waste reduction. She has chaired a number of panels and committees on sustainability, water and waste management for industry, local, state and federal government.

She is a Fellow of the Institution on Engineers Australia and a member of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

Mehreen is a passionate activist on a range of issues, and has worked as a volunteer, campaigner, Convenor of NSW Greens’ Women’s Group and candidate for The Greens NSW, including achieving a record 30% of the vote in the 2012 Heffron by-election.

In 2013, Mehreen received the UNSW Faculty of Engineering Award for Leadership and was voted No.5 in Fairfax Media Daily Life list of top 20 women for 2013 who made a difference and inspired Australians  and a finalist in 2015. In 2015 she was announced as one of the top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia.






Chris Chesterfield
Director, Strategic Engagement, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Chris has nearly 30 years senior executive and general management experience in the public sector, water and environment industry and is nationally recognized for his leadership in waterway and urban water management and establishing Melbourne as a world leader in water sensitive urban design.

Chris was instrumental in establishing the Waterways Group at Melbourne Water. As General Manager he expanded the operating area to include 38 local governments and a population of over 4.5 million people. During his time community satisfaction with waterways increased from 64% to %86.

Since leaving Melbourne Water, Chris has taken up an executive role with the Co-operative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, is a Commissioner of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, sits on the Board of the Urban Development Institute’s, EvnviroDevelopment accreditation program and is Chairman of a not for profit, Loci Environment and Place. Earlier this year, he was appointed as Chair of a Ministerial Advisory Committee to review and provide advice to the Victorian Government on management of the Yarra River.








Dr Derek Robeson
Senior PO - Integrated Land & Water Management, Tweed Forum, UK

Derek Robeson trained as a geologist, gaining a Ph.D from Trinity College Dublin in 1990. Derek works for Tweed Forum, an environmental charitable trust based in the Scottish Borders, UK. Tweed Forum promotes Integrated Catchment Management and the Ecosystem Services approach to land management planning.

Derek spent 15 years as a Senior Conservation Advisor with Borders Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. He went on to work with Scotland’s Rural College, as a Conservation Consultant before joining Tweed Forum. Derek has broad range of knowledge and experience of land management issues and has worked with the farming community in the Tweed Catchment, on many land and water management projects, designed to deliver environmental gain.

Derek has recently assisted Scottish Borders Council with Stakeholder Engagement, as part of the Land Use Strategy pilot. He is part of a Tweed Forum team, working with Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Government to develop a map based tool, to help facilitate target mapping for woodland planting and agri-environment (wildlife conservation) opportunities. Derek believes that conservation is as much about engaging and educating people, as it is about managing land.

To view Derek Robeson's Keynote Abstract click here.


Conference Dinner Speaker

Ticky Fullerton




Ticky Fullerton
Journalist, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Ticky Fullerton presents ABC’s The Business program and Business PM on radio.   In twenty years with the broadcaster, she spent five as an investigative reporter with Four Corners where she won the Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism. Ticky was also the presenter for Landline, and reported for Lateline in Canberra and Sydney.  Prior to journalism, Ticky was an associate director with investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston for ten years in London and then Sydney.  In the water field, Ticky is the author of ‘Watershed’, the first comprehensive book on the challenges facing Australia in water and she’s a former director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures. 


Workshop Presenter

Siwan Lovett









Siwan Lovett
Director, Australian River Restoration Centre

Siwan has been working in natural resources management for the past twenty years, focusing mainly on research and science communication for river and waterway management.  She established the Australian River Restoration Centre (ARRC) in 2008 following a thirteen year career with Land and Water Australia managing the National Riparian Lands R&D Program. 

The ARRC believes in sharing knowledge, restoring and protecting rivers for all to enjoy, and valuing people and the work they do.  Siwan currently manages the successful on-ground Rivers of Carbon Program that is part of the ARRC.  The ARRC also produces the RipRap Magazine, a popular free monthly email newsletter, and a range of resources.

Siwan is currently co-facilitator of the Peter Cullen Trust Science to Policy Leadership Program, as well as facilitator of the Glenelg Hopkins CMA inaugural twinning mentoring program.  

A National Riverprize Judge for five years, she is a strong advocate for integrated approaches to river management that consider social, cultural, economic and environmental needs.  She lives in Canberra with her husband Tom and son Finn, as well as two welsh republican corgis Merry and Pippa.  Favourite pastimes are singing, camping, kayaking and enjoying great conversations with friends.



For further information please contact the Conference Organisers on +61 2 9744 5252


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For all Conference enquiries, please contact
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