As you may already be aware, from 1 January 2022, the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA) will be integrating into Melbourne Water. 

Living Links is coordinated by the PPWCMA on behalf of its partner organisations.

This means that the catchment and waterways management responsibilities across the Port Philip and Western Port region will come under single, integrated entity with a shared vision to improve and enhance our land, water and biodiversity. 

From this date, Melbourne Water will be the host and coordinator of the Living Links Program. Melbourne Water has been a longstanding partner of Living Links and will ensure Living Links continues its strong history of delivering on-ground outcomes through collaboration and partnerships. 

The PPWCMA is proud of its strong relationships with partners, Traditional Owners and community groups. The PPWCMA’s shared expertise, connections and projects will become an integral part of Melbourne Water.

Adrian Howard will be moving over to Melbourne Water and will continue as the Living Links Coordinator. From 2022 Adrian can be contacted at

After two years of coronavirus (COVID-19) interruptions, the Living Links Coordination Committee were finally able to to catch up for a face-to-face meeting in November.

After the formalities of the committee meeting, the group had a chance to visit the Dandenong Police Paddocks where numerous Living Links projects have taken place.

ThecCommittee were honoured to be Welcomed to Country by Bunurong Elders, Uncle Mik Edwards and Uncle Shane Clarke. Uncle Mik and Uncle Shane provided a powerful and important smoking ceremony and shared some of their wisdom with the attendees on Caring for Country.

It was an amazing experience and Living Links looks forward to continuing to walk alongside Traditional Owners to Care for Country.

Living Links is proud to work with the community to deliver education and sustainability outcomes. As a partner of the annual Earthwatch Kids Teachings Kids Conference, Living Links supported 2000 students from across the nation to come together on 26 and 27 November for this two-day interactive and empowering celebration of sustainability learnings.

Students participated in workshops and legacy projects to become environmental stewards. The virtual experience offered student-produced workshops, environmental ambassador keynote speakers, and in school legacy projects.

Read more about the Kids Teaching Kids Conference

The 2021 Living Links Ambassador school, River Gum Primary School (RGPS), presented their project, ‘Our Miniature Nature Reserve’. Grade 5 students at RGPS created a pond on the school grounds and upcycled a garden shed to house seedlings until they where ready to plant around the school. The students also created a how to guide for creating insect hotels from recycled materials.

Congratulations to the Grade 5 students and their teacher, Chris Taylor, for showing such great resilience and innovation in a challenging year to produce a fantastic sustainability result

Greater Dandenong, Casey, Monash, Kingston, Knox, Frankston, Mornington Peninsula, Cardinia, and Yarra Ranges councils invite you to celebrate Biodiversity Month by joining the Biodiversity Blitz 2021.

They are running a competition to see which municipality can record the most species and you can participate in your local community. By taking part you’ll be contributing to community science and showing the world the amazing biodiversity your local area has to offer!

Join your local Biodiversity Blitz 2021 project by clicking the relevant link below, then from 1-30 September 2021 head outdoors to snap photos of flora and fauna and upload them to iNaturalist.

Your observations will automatically be added to this project. It is a great way to learn about local plants and animals and get involved in local conservation!

To learn more about how to use iNaturalist see this great video made by the Shire of Yarra Ranges or look at the video tutorials on the iNaturalist website.

Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – Cardinia Shire Council
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – City of Casey
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – City of Frankston
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – City of Greater Dandenong
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – City of Kingston
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – City of Knox
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – City of Monash
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – Mornington Peninsula Shire
Biodiversity Blitz 2021 – Yarra Ranges

Living Links is a proud partner for this year’s People and Parks foundation #NaturePact.

It’s round two of our #NaturePact, and this year, we want you to make a pact to spend intentional time in nature. For one month, experience nature daily and make your own connection with it, as we are all a part of nature and nature connects us all.

The People and Parks Foundation is calling on everyone to make a #NaturePact, and to feel the difference in their mood, energy and wellbeing when spending time outside in fresh air.
Time spent with nature makes us healthier, happier, and better connected to what each one of us is born a part of – life on earth. So, this September, schedule some time with nature every day, grab a friend (or fur-friend!) and head outside for your daily #NaturePact.
We are all a part of nature, and nature connects us all.
Sign up to make a #NaturePact with a family member, friend or colleague. If you’d like to share your experiences being in and noticing nature, you’ll have the chance to win some beautiful nature-based prizes from our valued partners. Stay tuned for special themes and challenges.

Have you made your #NaturePact? | People & Parks (

Over the last four years something wonderful has been happening on the Dandenong Creek in Melbourne’s south-east. Living Links partners have been working together to transform this important corridor into a world-class urban living link.

With funding from the Victorian Government, we’ve improved the quality and connectivity of natural habitat along the creek. Together we’ve planted 63 hectares of native plants across 38 sites along the Dandenong Creek, undertaken over 89 hectares of weed control and engaged more than 6,800 people in community events and activities.

Whilst the Transforming the Dandenong Creek Corridor project has come to an end, it leaves behind a lasting legacy of improved environmental condition along the Dandenong Creek corridor, as well as substantially increased community appreciation and engagement in its stewardship.

Learn more about the Transforming the Dandenong Creek project.

Wild By Nature Short Film Festival was held online on Saturday the 7th of November 2020.

Celebrating everything we love about Victoria’s great outdoors, the themes of the festival were Caring for Nature, Together in Nature and the Dandenong Creek Corridor. Living Links’ very own Sarah Maclagan was one of the judges.

The winners were:

  • Pobblebonk Division – 12 years and under
  • Killara Primary School Students – “Killara’s Biodiversity Wonderland”
  • Swamp Skink Division – 13 to 18 years
  • Marlowe Wilton- “LISTEN”
  • Black Swan Division – 18 years and over
  • Andrew Robb & Jessica Gerger – “Dog Fruit”

Check out these amazing films and all the finalists at the Wild by Nature website.

The Wild by Nature Short Film Festival was presented by Remember the Wild in partnership with Living Links, Port Phillip & Westernport CMA and the Victorian Government.

Working out how to deal with environmental weeds can be a real challenge. Living Links has been pleased to support Dr. Graeme Lorimer of Biosphere Pty Ltd to develop a series of educational videos to steer people in the right direction.

The first video provides some really helpful ecological concepts for assessing the seriousness of an environmental weed problem and how it will respond to your actions. The second video shows you how use that knowledge, along with other information, to prioritise environmental weed problems. That’s important to make your efforts and resources really count.

The videos can be found on our Educational Resources page.

The videos are mostly directed to people in Victoria, Australia but the ecological concepts are relevant much more widely.

Further reading:–

– about the role of disturbance: Fox M.D. & Fox B.J. (1986). The susceptibility of natural communities. pp. 57-66 in R.H. Groves and J.J. Burdon eds., Ecology of biological invasions: an Australian perspective. Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.

– about ecological drivers and passengers: Pulsford S.A., Lindenmayer D.B. & Driscoll D.A. (2014). A succession of theories: purging redundancy from disturbance theory. Biological Reviews 91: 148–167.

– about Sweet Pittosporums: O’Leary B., Burda M., Venn S.E. & Gleadow R. (2018). Integrating the Passenger-Driver hypothesis and plant community functional traits to the restoration of lands degraded by invasive trees. Forest Ecology and Management 408: 112–120.SHOW LESS

We are very excited to announce the commencement of a new project to create an Aboriginal arts trail along the Dandenong Creek over the next two years. In partnership with Living Links, the City of Greater Dandenong has secured a $150,000 grant from health promotion foundation VicHealth to create the arts trail. Working closely with Aboriginal Peoples and the broader community, the project will co-create seven place-based public artworks along a 22km section of the Dandenong Creek Trail between Heathmont and Dandenong. This will build on the success of the stunning ‘Spreading the Message’ artwork completed by Aboriginal artist Ian Harrison at Tirhatuan Park (Dandenong North) in April 2020.

Spreading the Message, created by Ian Harrison at Tirhatuan Park, Dandenong North

The arts trail project was motivated by a desire to:

  • foster a deep sense of connection to place, nature and community, improving health and wellbeing of participants and trail visitors;
  • draw inspiration from traditional Aboriginal cultural values whilst also weaving in and celebrating the perspectives and values of our contemporary multicultural community; and
  • increase use and appreciation of the Dandenong Creek Trail, creating a regional attraction that provides health and wellbeing benefits to all users.

The project is currently still in the early planning stages, with the crucial first step being to consult closely with Aboriginal Peoples about their ideas and aspirations for the project. In due course there will be opportunities for the broader community to get involved, so stay tuned for further updates.

The Dandenong Creek Arts Trail is one of 7 initiatives that will share in over $1 million in funding as part of VicHealth’s Everyday Creativity grants (follow the link to learn about the other projects being supported). The program is designed to promote health and wellbeing at the local level through participation in arts and culture.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio says creative new projects like the Dandenong Creek Arts Trail are designed to increase access for communities to encourage more people participate in and benefit from our arts, cultural and creative sectors.

“Regular arts and cultural engagement mean better health outcomes, but unfortunately opportunities to engage in arts, cultural and creative experiences are not evenly distributed. Many people in our community face significant and complex barriers to participation,” Dr Demaio said.

“In the midst of coronavirus (COVID-19), it is more important than ever to support our community to feel socially connected and included.

“We are proud of these new partnerships that can ensure cultural, physical and systematic barriers to good health are addressed and diminished so more Victorians live healthier lives.”

Together with our six partner councils (Maroondah, Knox, Whitehorse, Monash, Greater Dandenong and Casey), Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water, we’ve been working to transform the Dandenong Creek corridor into a world-class urban Living Link over the past four years. This has involved restoring habitat for wildlife in this important corridor, as well as making it a more beautiful place for people to enjoy.

The project was due to wind up in June 2020, but due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, has now been extended until December 2020. The vast majority of works are already complete, including environmental works at 37 out of 38 priority sites, and 90 community events that have involved more than 5,500 participants so far.

In 19/20, we achieved a total of 15.6 hectares of revegetation and 14.1 hectares of new (and 70.24 ha ongoing) weed control, as well as 2 ha litter removal. 18 nesting hollows installed in previous years were also monitored. We also ran a 33 commuity events, including 15 site preparation/planting days, 2 litter clean-up events, 8 sessions of Wayapa in the Park and 6 other educational events, including the Wild Pollinator Discovery Day. In total, these events engaged 2083 participants, providing 3517.5 volunteer hours. In addition, 27 citizen science surveys were completed throughout the year, comprising 25 frog surveys and 2 bird surveys. Another key achievement in 2019-20 was the completion of the ‘Spreading the Message‘ art project by Indigenous artist Ian Harrison. With these achievements, we have now substantially exceeded all of the original project targets.

The next few months will see the delivery of some exciting final activities for the project. We will deliver the Wild by Nature Film Festival with our partners at Remember the Wild, an online forum on using Indigenous burning practices in urban areas in partnership with Trust for Nature, and a documentary on the eels of the Dandenong Creek with the First Friends of Dandenong Creek and Remeber the Wild. We are also supporting the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation to undertake a cultural activity to create a ‘Message Tree’ (like a scar tree).

We would like to thank all of our wonderful delivery partners for their fantastic work so far, the community for their enthusiastic involvement, and the Victorian Government for funding this $1M project through their Our Catchments, Our Communities initiative.

Learn more about the Transforming the Dandenong Creek project.

14 December 2021
As you may already be aware, from 1 January 2022, the Port Phillip and Western...
25 November 2021
After two years of coronavirus (COVID-19) interruptions, the Living Links Coordination...