BirdAn origami like bird iconCaseA briefcase like bagCoinA dollar sign in a circleDirectory of WomenDirectory of WomenDocumentsA pile of documentsFacebookFind Victorian Women's Trust on FacebookFlagsSeveral strings of flagsHeartA heart iconInstagramFind Victorian Women's Trust on InstagramLinked InFind Victorian Women's Trust on Linked InMap markerMap marker iconMegaphoneMegaphone iconMountainsMountains with flag on top iconScalesA set of scalesTickTick in a circleTwitterFind Victorian Women's Trust on TwitterYoutubeFind Victorian Women's Trust on Youtube

Watermark

With dams running low, years of below average rainfall and demand for water growing, Watermark Australia was a timely and innovative response to an urgent policy problem. Australia has historically lent heavily upon rivers to satisfy growing human demand for water. Fresh water shortages were ‘fixed’ with engineering solutions – a new dam or pipeline.

Published in 2007, Watermark Australia re-framed the debate around water, emphasizing the social, cultural and environmental context of water use.

Building Watermark

Watermark was built upon trust in the wisdom of ordinary people and their ability to learn in the company of others. The Victorian Women’s Trust led the project, developing an innovative ‘kitchen table’ methodology to engage the community in discussing water. Hundreds of volunteer Group Conveners held meetings with people in their social network and their thoughts and conclusions were reported to the project team. Land and water scientists provided their expertise for free. The results of these deliberations was documented in the Our Water Mark report.

The Watermark project had a significant impact on the water policy development under the Victorian Bracks and Brumby Governments, leading to greater consideration of water efficiency as a viable policy solution. People who had participated in the project became involved in the water debate, challenging the need for expensive water infrastructure to solve the state’s water woes.

Water Efficiency

The 2009 Final Report of the State Parliamentary Committee inquiring into sustainable water use for Melbourne adopted the definition of water efficiency as advocated by Watermark:

Real water efficiency is reached when we significantly reduce the volumes of potable water and when we use all available water (rainwater, storm-water, treated waste water) again, and again, before we finally discharge it.

Women played a crucial role in the success of Watermark, both as the majority of donors to the project and through the enormous voluntary efforts of women who acted as Group Conveners.

The Watermark approach highlighted the power of collaboration and community deliberation as a means to find solutions to complex and seemingly intractable issues.

Watermark group meeting - central Vic smaller

Our Interview with June Oscar AO | Sheilas

Our Interview with June Oscar AO | Sheilas

We had the privilege of interviewing June Oscar AO, a Bunuba Woman from the Central Kimberley Region and one of Australia’s great Indigenous leaders. She is joint CEO of the Marninwarntikura Fitzroy River Women’s Centre where she has played a key role in uncovering and addressing the extraordinarily high number of children afflicted by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

Beth Nokes
The Fleur Spitzer Sub-Fund | Pro Bono Australia

The Fleur Spitzer Sub-Fund | Pro Bono Australia

We launched a new sub-fund to honour and recognise one of Melbourne’s most influential philanthropists, Fleur Spitzer.

Breakthrough 2016 | Melbourne

Breakthrough 2016 | Melbourne

Breakthrough is a two-day event bringing together big ideas and powerful women and men to the fore; mapping out how we can accelerating the pace of change. It’s a chance to come together and revel in the lives, stories and wit of women. At Breakthrough, you’ll hear from Australian and international thought leaders. We’re talking innovators in social change, experts in their fields and pros at putting equality on the table. We’ll deep dive into issues and find out where we are today, gather momentum as a group, and plan our pathway forward.

Health & Safety
Focus Areas

Health & Safety

Everyone has the right to be safe in their homes, on the streets, at work and in digital spaces.