Melbourne Water presents

You're invited to join a lively panel discussion at Arts Centre Melbourne on Tuesday 19 September. Join passionate Yarra people and engage in a conversation about how we can shape the future of Victorian’s most iconic river.

Your MC for the evening will be Jonathan Green, presenter of Blueprint for Living on ABC Radio National and editor of quarterly literary magazine Meanjin. Jonathan will kick off proceedings with a series of short and thought-provoking presentations from Yarra experts, to help paint a picture of its past, give context around its current uses and challenges and provoke thinking around what it might look like in 50 years’ time.

A panel discussion will then follow, focused around how we can all plan to protect the Yarra into the future, with consideration around

  • the river’s environmental health;
  • how people can access the water and its nearby parks;
  • the surrounding landscape and how it’s used; and
  • its incredible history.

Panelists include:
  • Author, musician and environmental educator, Maya Ward
  • Architect and co-founder of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria, Jefa Greenaway
  • Director of Strategic Engagement at the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities at Monash University and Chair of the former Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee, Chris Chesterfield
Presentations from:
  • Historian and prize-winning author, Gary Presland
  • CEO of Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management at the University of Melbourne, Dr Vincent Pettigrove
  • Author, founder of ‘Port Places’ and former Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Janet Bolitho
  • General Manager Customer and Strategy at Melbourne Water, Gavan O'Neill
  • Wurundjeri Elder and Manager of Wurundjeri Land Council’s Narrap (Country) Team, Uncle Dave Wandin

Following the panel discussion there will be an audience Q&A, as well as other opportunities for participants to contribute to their stories and ideas for the future of the Yarra.

Melbourne Water is currently leading a series of community engagement activities on behalf of the Victoria Government to help develop a 50 year community vision for the river, which will be the foundation for a new Yarra Strategic Plan. For more information and to contribute your Yarra story visit


Tuesday 19 September

5.40pm for a 6pm start | Concludes at 8.00pm

The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne | Level 8, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

To book your free ticket click here

For further information email