We look forward to seeing you in Ararat. Here is some information that you might find useful.

You can download the full program for the Symposium HERE.



Registration will begin at 9.00 AM on Friday 22 June at Gum San Great Hall, 31-33 Lambert St, Ararat.


RIVERS OF GOLD - Symposium Dinner

The bus to Barney's Bistro in Pomonal, will leave the Gum San car park at 6 pm, returning at 9 pm to Ararat.



Meet at the front of the Ararat Library on Queen St. The bus will depart at 9am.

Parking is available in the street or in the RSL carpark. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. 

Rain is currently forecast for Saturday, so please bring a rain jacket and waterproof boots.

The bus will return to Ararat at about 4pm. 



Train - you can jump on the train at Southern Cross station.

See timetable and ticket information at the PTV website.

Car -  if you are looking for a car pool,  get in touch with us (info@biolinksalliance.org.au) we may be able to link you up with someone. Alternatively, if you've got a spare seat in your car, please let us know!



If you are looking at staying in Ararat, the Ararat Central Motel and Ararat Motor Inn have been recommended to us. 



Professor Nick Bond, La Trobe University, Albury

Professor Nick Bond is the Director of The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre. Previously a Principal Research Fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University and adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the University of Melbourne. Nick has more than 20 years’ experience working on freshwater ecosystems. His primary research interests are in the effects of flow variability on stream biota and ecological processes, and integrating this knowledge into catchment management and water planning to achieve conservation and restoration outcomes. Much of his work examines the role of floods and droughts in driving population and ecosystem processes, and combines both empirical field studies with quantitative modelling approaches. He has extensive experience working with quantitative and semi-quantitative methods in ecological modelling and risk assessment.  He has extensive experience working on river management and environmental flow issues in Australia and internationally. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and numerous peer reviewed technical reports. His research focus is supported by active engagement with regional, national and international water and natural resource management agencies.


Professor Don Driscoll, Deakin University

All of Don’s research has conservation biology as a central theme, with a focus on how species use whole landscapes, particularly the role of dispersal. He takes a range of approaches, including manipulative experiments, natural experiments and the application of population genetic techniques. A strong emphasis is being placed on testing ecological theory using applied conservation problems.

Projects under way are examining how reptiles, beetles and butterflies respond to habitat fragmentation and degradation, including examining the influence of the matrix on species that depend on remnant vegetation.


Dr Michelle Casanova, Federation University & Charophyte Assoc.

Dr Casanova has been working on the ecology and taxonomy of water plants since 1988. Her major interest is in the family Characeae, the charophytes. Charophytes are macroalgae of inland waters, and the closest living relatives of the ancestors of land plants. They are indicators of water quality and water regime, and are the basis of many aquatic food webs. Australia has a huge diversity of charophytes, and there are many new and endemic species.


Dr Jon Fawcett, CDM Smith

Jon has 20 years’ experience in the field of hydrogeology and soil water landscape studies related to salinity, soil water dynamics, groundwater dependent ecosystems and groundwater resource assessments.  Jon expertise residues in combining knowledge of how groundwater systems and the water requirements of ecosystems interact.   Jon was involved in nationally significant foundation projects regarding groundwater dependent ecosystems, the national Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (www.bom.gov.au) and the GDE Tool Box. 

In his current role, Jon is the CDM Smith Technical Specialist in Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem and provides advice to project teams, expert panels and government agencies on the management of GDEs in Victoria and interstate. 


Darren Griffin, Barengi Gadgin Land Council

Darren is a cultural heritage specialist with over 20 years’ experience in the archaeological consulting and research sector. Darren has worked on a range of cultural heritage and archaeological places in all of the States and Territories in Australia, as well as overseas (including England, Germany, Austria and Tanzania). In Victoria, Darren has worked as the Manager of Cultural Heritage for the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Inc. (the Wurundjeri), and is currently the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) Manager at Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLC). During his career, Darren has worked for Traditional Owners to assist in fulfilling their legal and cultural responsibilities when managing the impacts on the cultural landscape from a range of various stakeholder groups across Australia, including government agencies at all levels and in all States and Territories; private companies across a range of industries; local community and friends’ groups; contractors for a wide range of construction projects; and land management agencies, such as Catchment Management Authorities, Water Management authorities and Parks and Wildlife agencies. This work includes forming partnerships between the Traditional Owners and these stakeholder groups using legislative requirements as the basis for building relationships. Darren has also assisted in the establishment and management of a number of cultural events allowing Traditional Owners to continue their cultural practices (including the Koorong and Bakang Dyakata projects).

Professor Susan Lawrence, La Trobe University, Albury

Susan Lawrence is an industrial archaeologist and Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and History at La Trobe University.  She has been studying the gold rush for many years and is the author of Dolly’s Creek: An Archaeology and History of a Victorian Gold Rush Community (MUP 2000).  In 2017 she delivered the Geoff Craig Memorial Lecture at the Stanley Athenaeum.  Susan is the Director of the Australian Research Council funded Rivers of Gold Project.


In addition to the above speakers, the following people will be running hands on workshops as part of the symposium: Greg Fletcher (WCMA), Ben Zeeman (GHCMA), Prof Peter Gell, Paul Foreman, Mark Bachmann (Nature Glenelg Trust), James Nellson, Helen Arundel or Aggie Stevenson (GHCMA)