Knowledge Banquet delivers all-you-can-learn feast

17 May 2016

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA held its first Knowledge Banquet in May 2016. The event was a great success, providing nearly 200 guests with an ‘all-you-can-learn’ feast of learning and networking opportunities.

The Knowledge Banquet was designed for people helping to achieve the Regional Catchment Strategy targets from local governments, agencies and non-government organisations.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Anthony Carbines MP, opened the event and built on the partner recognition ceremony held in August 2015, by presenting awards to five new Regional Catchment Strategy partners.

Participants then had the opportunity to choose from three concurrent sessions, with five running throughout the day. Served by 15 diverse speakers, there was a feast of practical information and tips for attendees to take back to their work. Ten practical messages that Knowledge Banquet participants walked away with included:

  1. Collaboration is learning out loud; having the right mindset is essential, share yours and be curious about your collaborators point of view, values and beliefs;
  2. Be cautious how we apply models as tools to predict the future and be curious about the data that underpins them;
  3. It is important to share perceptions and motivations to clearly articulate the connections between health, ecosystems and society as these will define how we create a health and wellbeing narrative in our business;
  4. Bringing threatened species back to life requires open dialogue and many partnerships to ensure long-term success;
  5. Private land conservation is a powerful worldwide movement and opens up opportunities for new dialogue on ecosystem services valuations and payments, securing natural resource investments, stewardship and multi-partner landscape projects;
  6. Planting indigenous and native species in our gardens can create a sense of community and belonging whilst being beneficial for native fauna;
  7. Many proposals for philanthropic funding are weak because they don’t make a convincing case for their benefits in meeting a pressing, well-understood need;
  8. Building relationships with politicians is like building a relationship with anyone. You have to make time to get to know each other before you ‘pop the question’!
  9. Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water offer rewarding collaborations. Partnerships with Melbourne Water are in well-defined, funded programs; Parks Victoria offers skills and administrative capacity to support tailor-made projects;
  10. Measurable targets are not just part of good strategy and planning; they’re essential to success in defending your environmental goals at VCAT.