River Stories | Environment Victoria

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River Stories

Every river tells a story. And so do the people who live along them. That's why we've been  capturing the stories of those people who love and care for our rivers.

Throughout history, cultural knowledge and values have been passed from generation to generation through the use of stories. They bring to life the lessons of our past and paint pictures of our future. Yet more often river advocates and managers rely on facts and figures to influence decision makers and garner public support.

We've walked a different path.

For many years, we've found capturing stories a useful way to highlight the many social and cultural values of healthy rivers. Our first program - Your River - has been building an online living record of the people who love and care for Victoria’s great rivers and wetlands since 2004.

Take a minute and explore these rivers through the eyes of these river champions.

North-East Rivers

Western Rivers

Gippsland Rivers

Greater Melbourne Rivers

In 2007 we took this work with stories to a new level with our Storylines project, which celebrates the stories of personal connection to Murray River wetlands through the use of the digital story-telling.

Gunbower-Koondrook-Perricoota Storylines 
Hattah Lakes Storylines

Telling stories through new media

Digital storytelling combines the compelling tradition of oral storytelling with new technologies, creating short, autobiographical video-clips that explore the authors' own story and experience. The production process brings together video, photos, text, music and voice-over narration. This modern-day form of capturing and sharing stories offers a powerful way to celebrate and the personal moments, memoirs, and connections that make a place unique.

Our Storylines participants tell us that they found the experience of celebrating their connection to this special place to be an empowering experience. They were left with a feeling of renewed confidence and determination to defend it.

Lean more about the Storylines project here

Each story we capture is different, but ultimately they are all the same. In an era of branding and marketing, what came through was that people love their rivers. And any damage to those rivers, damages the lives of the people who love them.

Now, it's over to you...

Tell a River story

The project is now inviting the general public to contribute their own anecdotes and memories about rivers. So far we have received a handful of evocative contributions about the Yarra. We look forward to reading many more and, more importantly, publishing them on our website.

Tell a River story



Catch up with the latest news and stories below.



Environment Victoria reaction to Andrews government’s Water for Victoria plan

Wednesday19 October 2016

Environment Victoria has today welcomed the release of the Andrews government’s water plan Water for...


No more delays to Murray-Darling Basin Plan

Thursday 21 April 2016

A coalition of eighteen environment, Indigenous and community groups has called on State and Commonwealth governments to rule out delaying or weakening environmental...


Senate inquiry misses the mark on Basin Plan

Thursday 17 March 2016

The Senate Select Committee on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has degenerated into farce with dissenting reports and disputed recommendations, Environment Victoria said...


Water Plan lacks vision for rivers

Wednesday 16 March 2016

The Andrews Government’s new Water for Victoria...


Andrews Government river plan welcomed

Tuesday 15 December 2015


Today’s announcement of a new plan to improve the health of rivers and streams across Victoria by limiting livestock access to riverbanks...


New water report identifies next steps for Andrews Government


Sunday 13 December 2015


Victoria needs a fresh approach if it is to become a leader in protecting its rivers and saving and reusing water, according...


Buyback cap threatens rivers - and Howard's legacy


28 May 2015

The Abbott Government’s proposed legislation to cap water buybacks is a major threat to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and trashes John Howard’s legacy, says Environment Victoria.


Environment Victoria calls on all parties to get cows out of our rivers

26 November 2014

Environment Victoria will today inflate a giant cow in central Ballarat as part of its Cut the Crap campaign to highlight the issue of cows trampling and polluting the state’s rivers...


Environment Victoria welcomes first step in getting cows out of our rivers

18 November 2014

Environment Victoria has welcomed the Napthine government announcement of an extra $20million for fencing livestock out of public land on river banks.

Environment Victoria...


Cut the crap – Environment Victoria inflates a giant cow on the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong

11 November 2014

Environment Victoria will today inflate a giant cow on the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong as part of its...


From Twitter Twitter


The Aquaprint : A community vision for water reform in Victoria

posted by Juliet on Monday, 1 August, 2016 - 15:21

While you may think it’s been raining buckets recently, some parts of Victoria are experiencing their driest two year period on...


Have your say, say, say

posted by Juliet on Wednesday, 6 April, 2016 - 15:59

It's a public consultation trifecta! Right now, the state government and its agencies are seeking public feedback on three important things: managing our water and rivers, protecting biodiversity and looking after our River Red Gum National Parks. Here's how to have your say,...


Melbourne’s secret water supply…

posted by Juliet on Tuesday, 8 March, 2016 - 17:05

A whopping 440 billion litres of storm water is available for re-use every year, even under dry conditions – more than the City’s current consumption of around 400 billion litres. Add to that the more than 400...

Nicholas Aberle

8 outrageous things we learnt at the inquiry into coal mine rehabilitation

posted by Nicholas Aberle on Wednesday, 16 December, 2015 - 14:29

While the word ‘inquiry’ might conjure up images of people sitting in a stuffy room speaking legalese, the revelations of the inquiry into coal mine rehabilitation have been anything but boring. In my role as Safe Climate Campaign Manager, I have been representing Environment Victoria at the...


Reality checks and the Basin Plan

posted by Juliet on Monday, 7 September, 2015 - 16:28

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is really quite simple – it’s a $13billion investment in river health and sustainable water use. Yet it is subject to a constant barrage of criticism from user groups and political attempts to undermine its environmental outcomes.



From Flickr Flickr

Our Community Counts Rally - Jane Stabb's speech On Sunday 6 July, 25,000 Victorians braved the cold yesterday to speak out against a Budget that cuts key programs for our climate and environment, while continuing to support big polluters. Environment Victoria's Community Organiser Jane Stabb...

Frankston Enviro Hub Grand Opening On Thursday 5 June, Environment Victoria launched the Frankston Enviro Hub - our brand new 2014 State Election HQ. The Enviro Hub is a place where local groups can get together and share ideas and where people can wander in for information to find out how they...

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  • The kids of Forrest Primary School share their memories of the Barwon River...

  • Robyn Grant helped stop the proposal to dam the Mitchel...

  • Karen Garth and her family have spent much time caring for Badger Creek...

  • Dennis Carter recalls childhood memories in sharp detail...

  • Tim Read has a majestic outdoor office...

  • Chris Tipler took an Otway Ranges tree-change to help...


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