Where We Came From…

WRivA’s basic beliefs are to act strategically in order to achieve better outcomes for the Werribee River catchment and its waterways.

That realisation first arose in initiatives to form a body to protect the Werribee River in 1972. A local report by Werribee Jaycees on the health of the river and its wildlife,1 prompted a call for a River Preservation Society, 2 and the Society was to consider the whole of the river catchment, “…not merely the water and banks.”3

Then Werribee River Association was formed in 1981. WRivA’s first role and objectives were:

  1. To maintain, improve and develop the Werribee River catchment, for the purpose of passive recreation and sport while conserving the native flora and fauna.
  2. To promote the wider appreciation and use of the river in accordance with the first objective by the residents of, and visitors to, the region.
  3. To achieve a balance between the quality and quantity of water within the Werribee River catchment necessary to fulfill the above objectives and the use of the river water for irrigation purposes. 4

WRivA’s work has covered a broad spectrum of activity: 

  • River strategies and policies
  • State Government policies and plans
  • Catchment management
  • Environmental flows
  • Better Bays and Waterways Plan
  • Werribee River Biolink planning
  • Forests management and care
  • Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan
  • Healthy Waterways Strategies
  • Water quality research
  • Inappropriate urban development
  • Litter control advocacy and policy
  • Human liveability and health outcomes

In 2016, with the changes brought about by urbanisation and a growing population, Werribee River Association Inc registered as a charity and set a course to become a professional body, to meet the new realities of the catchment.

Its purpose then became fourfold5:

  1. Protecting water quality in the Werribee River, other local waterways and wetlands flowing to the coastline and into Port Phillip Bay
  2. Promoting the re-establishment of natural habitat for wildlife in the Werribee River catchment
  3. Providing attractive natural places for people to access and enjoy
  4. Providing educational programs about environmentally sustainable practices, educating a growing and diverse population living in the west of Melbourne

WRivA believes it must continue to act strategically to ensure that the river and its fauna and flora are protected, so that future generations will receive the benefits of a healthy river and waterways for their own well being and good health.

1 “Light and Darkness: an investigation into the present and future possibilities…of…Werribee’s river.” Werribee Jaycees 1972 
2 Werribee Banner P.5 Oct 4 1972
3 Sir Vernon Christie Werribee Banner Werribee Banner P.6 Dec 6 1972
4 Werribee River Association Role and Objectives 1981
5 Werribee River Association Inc Own Rules P.3 Mar 2018