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Collaborating for a water sensitive future


Alex Gunn and Emma Church, Monash University (AUS)

Speakers Profile

With Monash University since 2015, he has helped design sustainable water strategies for cities around Australia and internationally. His work focuses on collaborative strategic planning for sustainable, resilient and adaptive futures. Prior to joining Monash, he held a senior policy role with the Victorian Government advising on the governance of community-managed recreation reserves, before that working in regional strategic planning.

Emma Church has worked with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities for several years. She has worked on water sensitive vision and transition strategies for the City of Gold Coast, Sydney and Bendigo, and previously supported the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities’s 'Easten Hub' at The University of Queensland as Regional Manager. Emma has also worked in communications and marketing roles within the renewable energy sector. She has a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Environment in Education for Sustainability from Griffith University.

Abstract title

Collaborating for a water sensitive future


The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities engaged community members and industry and government representatives in a collaborative planning process to develop a vision and transition strategy for the regional city of Bendigo, Victoria. The project had several aims, including promoting a shared understanding of how, over time, water has been a critical influence on the urban landscape, liveability values and environmental resilience of the community, and how these links may change in the future in response to external environmental threats. The project positions Bendigo to pursue an integrated strategy that brings together water system planning, healthy urban design and inclusive decision-making for the first time. More broadly, the methods employed show potential for encouraging long-term collaboration between government, industry, traditional owner groups and the broader community to develop future-ready sustainable water initiatives and practices in other towns and cities.

Earlier Event: October 15
Backing Leisure to Win
Later Event: October 15