Conference ReportThe 20th Annual WA Wetlands Conference 2024

Bridging Science, Art, Cultures, and Communities: Advancing Wetland Conservation at the 20th Annual WA Wetlands Conference 2024

The 20th Annual WA Wetlands Conference, celebrated at The Wetlands Centre Cockburn on the 1st and 2nd of February 2024, commemorated two decades of commitment towards the conservation of wetlands in Western Australia. Coinciding with World Wetlands Day, this year's theme, "Scientific Innovation, Cultural Wisdom, Artistic Vision and Collective Action towards Wetlands and Human Wellbeing: Nurturing our Natural Connection" aimed to highlight the multifaceted approach necessary for the preservation and appreciation of wetlands.

For the first time, the conference broadened its scope to integrate the humanities, underlining the profound connection between wetlands and human wellbeing. This inclusion underscored the importance of viewing wetland conservation through various lenses, including cultural significance, artistic interpretation, and scientific research. The event attracted a diverse audience, from scientists and environmental managers to Indigenous leaders and artists, all converging to share insights and strategies for wetland conservation.

The conference featured an engaging array of keynote speeches, interactive workshops, and presentations that covered innovative research, successful management practices, and the critical role of indigenous knowledge and artistic expression. These sessions facilitated a comprehensive exploration of the challenges and opportunities in wetland conservation, offering attendees a platform to exchange knowledge and foster partnerships.

By weaving together science, culture, and art, the 20th Annual WA Wetlands Conference not only celebrated the achievements of the past two decades but also set the stage for future collaborative efforts. It highlighted the essential role wetlands play in the ecosystem and the collective responsibility to ensure their protection and restoration, encouraging a unified approach to safeguard these vital natural resources for generations to come.


2024 Sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our sponsors for the 20th WA Wetlands Conference 2024. Their contributions are pivotal in sustaining our efforts towards wetland conservation and community engagement.

Sponsorship LevelSponsors
Main SponsorCommunity Bank – Fremantle (Bendigo Bank)
Gold SponsorDepartment of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions
Silver Sponsors·         Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

·         Harry Butler Institute

·         City of Cockburn

Bronze Sponsors·         Peel-Harvey Catchment Council

·         Water Technology

Supporters·         NRM Jobs

·         WA Poets Inc

·         Hayden Watkins Technical Services


Each sponsor and supporter play a crucial role in the success of our conference, from the main sponsorship provided by Community Bank Fremantle, a testament to local enterprise and community development, to the valued contributions of our gold, silver, and bronze sponsors, and the support of NRM Jobs, WA Poets Inc, and Hayden Watkins Technical Services. Their commitment underscores a shared vision for environmental sustainability and community well-being.


Objectives and Themes

The Conference was anchored by specific objectives and thematic focuses aimed at enhancing wetland conservation efforts:


  • To increase knowledge, awareness, understanding, and commitment to the conservation, interpretation, and management of wetlands.
  • To provide an annual networking forum for organisations and individuals involved in or interested in wetland conservation.

Thematic Sessions:

The conference unfolded across four half-day sessions, each aligned with the overarching Ramsar theme of 'Wetlands and Human Wellbeing'. These sessions were titled and themed as follows:

  1. Day 1; Session 1: The Floodplains Session: Embodying the vastness and fertility of floodplains, this session delved into the diverse dynamics of wetland ecosystems. It encompassed a range of topics, paralleling the rich diversity and extensive reach of floodplain environments.
  2. Day 1; Session 2: The Mangroves Session: Reflecting the unique convergence of land and sea in mangroves, this session of ‘Artists meet the Scientists’ panels merged science with arts and humanities in wetlands. It explored the interplay of ecological knowledge and cultural insights, akin to the intertwined roots of mangroves at the water's edge.
  3. Day 2; Session 1: The Billabongs Session: Inspired by the secluded and vibrant life of billabongs, this session delved into specialised areas of wetland research. It mirrored the focused and introspective nature of billabongs, highlighting unique and in-depth studies.
  4. Day 2; Session 2: The Marshes Session: Drawing inspiration from the adaptable and broad-reaching marshes, this session of workshops covered a diverse range of topics. It reflected the dynamic nature of marshes, emphasising adaptable and wide-ranging approaches to sustaining wetland ecosystems..

These thematic sessions showcased the expertise of leading wetland scientists, managers, and artists, offering a comprehensive exploration of the essential role of wetlands in sustaining biodiversity and human well-being.



Inaugural and opening:

Day 1: Opening of the Conference and Welcome to Country Highlights

The conference kicked off with a warm and moving Welcome to Country by Robyn Collard, accompanied by Tryse Rioli. Robyn, a respected Nyungar Yorga from the Whadjuk and Ballardong groups, along with her grandson Tryse playing the didgeridoo, performed a significant water ceremony. This alternative to the traditional smoking ceremony, chosen especially as a reprieve from the day's heat, was a refreshing and innovative way to bless the conference, leaving a lasting impression on all attendees, including dignitaries such as the Hon. Peter Tinley AM, MLA.

Hon. Peter Tinley AM, MLA, the member for Willagee officially opened the Conference and extended the wishes of the Minister for Environment and Climate Action for its 20th anniversary. He talked about how the Beeliar Wetlands brought the community together to put a stop to the Roe 8 highway project through the wetlands and how the movement created a story for future generations to learn from. He projected this idea onto the Swan Coastal Chain of Wetlands, the ‘aqualung’ of the land, and how it offered the same opportunities to communities that live around it to connect to the oldest living culture on earth and make it part of their stories.

Professor Treena Burgess, the chair of The Wetlands Centre, took the stage to acknowledge the conference sponsors and introduce new team members, General Manager Ana Terrazas and Admin Officer Jaki Richardson, highlighting the ongoing commitment and expanding efforts of The Wetlands Centre towards wetland conservation. She welcomed everyone and tahanked the Convenor, Michael Coote and the staff and volunteers in their invaluable roles in  putting up the Conference.

The Chair of Community Bank Fremantle – Bendigo Bank, Debra Rule and the Bank Manager, Peter Cirillo, briefly spoke about their community endeavours in sponsoring this event and encouraged participants to take advantage of the Bank’s offerings and support the Community through shared interest.


Day 2 - World Wetlands Day - Opening Highlights

Day 2 began with a poignant Acknowledgement of Country by Lakshmi Kanchi, Chair of WA Poets Inc, delivered through a poem, that resonated deeply with the attendees and reinforced the connection to the land and its stories. Her poetic delivery set a reflective tone for the day's sessions.

The opening remarks were given by Hon. Dr Brad Pettitt MLC, who shared his vision for Perth's wetlands, reviewing current policy and emphasizing the need for policy improvement for these critical ecosystems. In outlining his dream vision for Perth’s bicentennial in 2029, he advocated for a network of protected and thriving wetlands and bushland across Perth. This vision underscored the Green Party’s broader environmental and conservation goals and was well received by the attendees.

Dr. Jane Chambers from Murdoch University commemorated World Wetlands Day with a presentation that focused on Ramsar wetlands within Western Australia. Her presentation of incredible pictures of these wetlands and the information about the broader environmental landscapes of the region, inspired the audience with a deeper appreciation for our state’s diverse and unique wetland ecosystems and the imperative for concerted conservation efforts for these.

These detailed openings for both days set a powerful precedent for the conference, combining traditional acknowledgments, governmental support, and academic insights to frame the discussions and activities that followed.


3 Keynote Speeches

The Floodplains Session Keynote

Assoc. Professor Robyn Heckenberg from Curtin University presented "Story, Place, and Identity Within Contemporary Contexts of Eco-Theology and Saving Our Planet." Heckenberg's speech was a profound exploration of Indigenous perspectives on environmental stewardship, emphasizing the deep spiritual and cultural connections Indigenous peoples have with the land and waterways. She advocated for integrating Indigenous knowledges and eco-theology to address the planet's environmental crises.


The Billabongs Session Keynote

Greg Keighery from the Western Australian Herbarium, alongside co-presenter Bronwen Keighery, delivered "Water Is Life In Our Dry State," focusing on the critical importance of ephemeral wetlands in South West Australia's biodiversity. He highlighted the unique and biodiverse ecosystems of saline systems, claypans, seeps, springs, and linear wetlands, emphasizing their role as refuges for climate change and their challenges. Keighery's keynote spotlighted the biodiversity of ephemeral wetlands in Julimar Forest. He detailed the unique plant communities and the vital role these habitats play in conservation, especially as refuges for climate adaptation. Keighery's findings underscore the importance of understanding and preserving these ecosystems, highlighting the rediscovery of species unseen since the 19th century and advocating for the protection of such critical biodiversity hotspots.


The Marshes Session Keynote

Professor Pierre Horwitz from Edith Cowan University discussed "Trends in Ecology – Comments on Resolved and Unresolved Matters," tracing the evolving trends in wetland ecology and its reflection of broader environmental agendas and priorities. Horwitz offered insights into how these trends impact policy and practice in wetland conservation, emphasizing the need for adaptive management strategies.


Each keynote address brought unique insights and urged the integration of diverse knowledge systems and disciplines to advance wetland conservation and management.


3 ‘Artists Meet the Scientists’ Panels

The Conference saw a groundbreaking series of forums where the realms of art and science converged to explore and celebrate the complexity and beauty of wetlands.


Forum 1: Art and Science: Exhibits and Actions

Convened by: Professor Mindy Blaise and Dr. Pierre Horwitz, this forum showcased a collaboration between artists and scientists from the Centre for People, Place, and Planet at Edith Cowan University. It featured interactive exhibits and performances that explore wetlands from various expressive and scientific perspectives.

  • Participants: Mr. Trevor Ryan, Dr. Liz Edmonds, Mrs. Sabrina Dowling Giudici, and Mr. Anton Blume shared their unique interpretations of wetlands through art and science, encouraging viewers to engage with and reflect on these ecosystems' significance.
    • Anton Blume shared his journey with aerial photography, capturing the raw beauty of Australia's landscapes, highlighting the intricate patterns and colors of wetlands from above. His work emphasizes the connection between land, water, and cultural heritage.
    • Sabrina Dowling Giudici explored the dialogue between glass art and environmental conservation, using recycled glass to represent the fragility and resilience of wetland ecosystems.
    • Liz Edmonds combined her background in palaeoecology and art to depict the ancient landscapes of southwestern Australia, offering insights into the history and ecological significance of wetlands through detailed paintings and mixed media.
    • Trevor Ryan presented interpretive dances inspired by local fauna, connecting Indigenous culture and storytelling with the conservation of wetland habitats.
  • Objective: To foster a dialogue on the integration of scientific knowledge with artistic expression, enhancing our holistic understanding of wetlands.


Forum 2: Wetland Stories Presented Through Video, Audio, and Interactive Displays

Convened by: Independent artists Marie Mitchell, Sharon Meredith, Stephne Sands, and Alana Grant, this forum delved into the identity and conservation of the Peel-Yalgorup Wetlands through various media. Panel convened by Dr. Ben Roennfeldt.

  • Aim: To illustrate the deep connections between the community and the wetlands, highlighting stories of hope, resilience, and the critical importance of conservation efforts.
  • Summary: This talk was presented in conjunction with the 'Wetland Stories' Exhibition which was unveiled during the Conference. The exhibition provided a sensory-rich exploration of wetland stories, aiming to inspire greater appreciation and advocacy for these vital ecosystems. Two of the artists, Mitchell and Meredith, talked about the exhibition with Dr. Roennfeldt. Each of the panellists brought in their unique inspirations and perspectives of wetlands art.


Forum 3: Wetland Whispers: Contemporary Arts as a Lens for Environmental Empathy

Convened by: Lakshmi Kanchi and featured panelists Miriam Wei Wei Lo, David Whish-Wilson, Liana Joy Christensen, and Angela Rossen. This forum explored the role of contemporary arts in promoting environmental empathy and awareness.

  • Focus: The discussion centred on how art, literature, and poetry can engage the community in environmental activism and education, highlighting the transformative power of creative expression in fostering a deeper connection with wetlands.

These forums represent a pioneering effort to bridge the gap between scientific research and artistic expression, emphasizing the multifaceted value of wetlands to both human and ecological well-being.


21 Expert / Case Study Presentations

The WA Wetlands Conference 2024 featured an array of concurrent presentations across different sessions, encapsulating a wide spectrum of topics within each themed session. These included both expert presentations and case study presentations, offering attendees a rich diversity of insights into wetland research, conservation strategies, community engagement initiatives, and the integration of scientific and social knowledge in wetland management. Each session provided a platform for sharing cutting-edge research findings, practical conservation efforts, and innovative approaches to wetland education and advocacy, highlighting the multidisciplinary nature of wetland conservation initiatives.


Expert Presentations / Case Study Presentations at THE FLOODPLAINS SESSION | Day 1 | Morning

Concurrent Presentations – Round 1 (10:30 AM – 11:00 AM)

  1. Dr. Essie Rogers, School of Environmental and Conservation Sciences, Murdoch University
    • Topic: Linking Wetland Ecosystem Health to Improved Human Wellbeing: A Win-Win Opportunity
    • Description: Dr. Rogers' presentation explored the measurable benefits of wetland ecosystems on human health, including mental restoration, reduced cardiovascular disease risk, and enhanced socialisation opportunities. The research provided novel insights into the correlation between the ecological quality of wetlands and human wellbeing, offering evidence-based guidance for conservation planning.
  2. Em Charlton, Founder of the Bottle Top Hill Volunteer-Run Community Group
    • Topic: Bottle Top Hill: A Grassroots Movement 'Taking It to The Top' With The 12r's
    • Description: Em Charlton highlighted the transformative power of water and wetlands on human tranquillity and wellbeing. Through the grassroots initiative Bottle Top Hill, Charlton presented a sustainable living model using the 12 R's, underpinned by community engagement and environmental stewardship, aimed at protecting our waterways.
  3. Ryan Flint, Environmental Officer, City of Stirling
    • Topic: Social Media vs Wetland Biodiversity
    • Description: This case study by Ryan Flint delved into the unexpected consequences of social media fame on a local wetland, examining the impact on biodiversity and community dynamics. The presentation covered strategies employed by the City of Stirling to manage and protect the area amidst its newfound popularity.

Expert / Case Study Presentations – Round 2 (11:05 AM – 11:35 AM)

  1. Dr. Ben Roennfeldt, South Metropolitan TAFE and Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University
    • Topic: Wetland Thievery and Piracy Through the Eyes of a Drone
    • Description: Dr. Roennfeldt used drone technology to reveal the complex and often harsh realities of life for wetland birds and animals, focusing on the ecological relationships and ethical considerations of using drones in conservation research.
  2. Sedigheh Ghafari Kondari, PhD Candidate, University of Tehran – Murdoch University
    • Topic: Assessing Water Governance for Livelihoods: Social Relations and Conflict Interactions in the Hoor al-Azim Wetland, Karkheh Basin
    • Description: The presentation assessed the effectiveness of water governance in Iran's Hoor al-Azim Wetland, exploring the social network dynamics, conflict interactions, and the critical role of stakeholder engagement in sustainable wetland management.
  3. Anthony Santoro, Murdoch University
    • Topic: The Saving Our Snake-Necked Turtle Project – Two-Year Update
    • Description: Anthony Santoro provided an update on the conservation efforts for the Southwestern snake-necked turtle, highlighting the project's expansion, its achievements in mitigating threats, and the importance of community involvement in conservation efforts.

Expert / Case Study Presentations – Round 3 (11:40 AM – 12:10 PM)

  1. Adrian Pinder, Ecosystem Science Program Leader, DBCA
    • Topic: Desert Wetlands: Just Add Water
    • Description: Adrian Pinder's presentation shed light on the biodiversity and ecological significance of Western Australia's arid zone wetlands, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive surveys and conservation amidst increasing mining interests.
  2. Rebecca Cooper, Environment Officer, City of Bayswater
    • Topic: Working Together to Manage a Threatened Ecological Community
    • Description: Focusing on the Maylands Samphire Flats, Rebecca Cooper discussed the collaborative efforts in managing and conserving the saltmarsh community, highlighting the successful partnerships between the City, volunteers, and contractors for optimal conservation outcomes.
  3. Joyce Gadalon and Robyn Walsh, Turtle Trackers, City of Cockburn
    • Topic: Track Your Way: A Volunteer’s Perspective – Saving Our Snake-Necked Turtle (SOSNT) Project
    • Description: This presentation offered insights into volunteer contributions to the SOSNT project, showcasing the effectiveness of community engagement and innovative conservation strategies in protecting the Southwestern snake-necked turtle.


Expert Presentations / Case Study Presentations at THE BILLABONGS SESSION | Day 2 | Morning

Concurrent Presentations – Round 1 (10:45 AM – 11:15 AM)

  1. Rick James, DBCA Mandurah
    • Topic: The Vegetation Dynamics of Ephemeral Wetlands
    • Description: Rick James provided insights into the changes in wetland vegetation over a decade, influenced by varying climatic conditions. He demonstrated how ephemeral wetlands are particularly dynamic, with significant implications for conservation practices in Western Australia.
  2. Thilo Kruger, Curtin University
    • Topic: Precarious Suckers: The Bladderworts of the Cape Le Grand-Mandooweernup Wetlands
    • Description: Thilo Kruger shared findings from his collaborative research on the unique carnivorous bladderworts in Mandooweernup's freshwater wetlands, highlighting the species' adaptability and the threats they face from environmental changes.
  3. Kim Nguyen, Biologic Environmental Survey
    • Topic: Aquatic and Terrestrial Invertebrate Survey of the Maylands Samphire Flats
    • Description: Kim Nguyen discussed the comprehensive invertebrate fauna survey conducted at the Maylands Samphire Flats, emphasizing the habitat's role in supporting diverse invertebrate life and the importance of ongoing restoration efforts.

Concurrent Presentations – Round 2 (11:20 AM – 11:50 AM)

  1. Andy Williams, DBCA
    • Topic: Ashfield Flats Master Plan
    • Description: Andy Williams outlined the collaborative development of the Ashfield Flats Master Plan, aimed at preserving its ecological and social values amidst urban pressures and climate change challenges.
  2. Dr. Konrad Miotlinski, UWA
    • Topic: Ecological Indicators of Fire Disturbance Affecting Water Quality in Wetlands
    • Description: Dr. Konrad Miotlinski explored the impact of fire on wetland water quality, proposing ecological indicators that can help assess post-fire transformations and guide conservation efforts.
  3. Brianna Sullivan, Stantec
    • Topic: The Most Outwardly Wetlands: Current Studies and Future Prospects in Salt Lake Ecology
    • Description: Brianna Sullivan shared insights into the unique ecology of Western Australia's salt lakes, highlighting the challenges and opportunities for research and conservation in these dynamic environments.

Concurrent Presentations – Round 3 (11:55 AM – 12:25 PM)

  1. Nii Amarquaye Commey, University of Yamanashi, Japan
    • Topic: Wetland–Catchment Sustainability: The Case of the Sakumo Ramsar Site, Ghana
    • Description: Nii Amarquaye Commey presented a case study on the Sakumo Ramsar Site in Ghana, discussing the impact of land use changes on wetland sustainability and the need for integrated conservation strategies.
  2. Assoc. Prof. Alan Lymbery, Murdoch University
    • Topic: Rivers And Wetlands of The South-West: A Tragedy in Four Acts
    • Description: Assoc. Prof. Alan Lymbery provided a critical overview of the threats to freshwater biodiversity in South-Western Australia, calling for a significant shift in conservation priorities and approaches.
  3. Adj. Assoc. Prof. Dan Carter, UWA and Friends of South Perth Wetlands
    • Topic: A Partnership of a Friends Group and Local Council on The Rehabilitation of Foreshore Wetlands
    • Description: Adj. Assoc. Prof. Dan Carter highlighted the successful partnership between a community Friends group and local council in rehabilitating foreshore wetlands, showcasing the benefits of collaboration in conservation efforts.


Expert Presentations / Case Study Presentations at THE MARSHES SESSION | Day 2 | Afternoon

Concurrent Presentations – Round 1 (2:20 PM – 2:50 PM)

  1. Dr. Alan Cottingham, Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University
    • Topic: Canaries Off the Coastline as A Fish Kill Early Warning System
    • Description: Dr. Cottingham discussed the development of an innovative early warning system for fish kills in the Peel region, using bivalves as biological indicators to monitor water quality and potential pollutants in real-time, aiming to improve response strategies.
  2. Assoc. Prof. Belinda Robson, School of Environmental and Conservation Sciences, Murdoch University
    • Topic: Restoration Of Urban Wetlands for Dragonfly Biodiversity
    • Description: Assoc. Prof. Robson shared insights from her research on enhancing dragonfly biodiversity through urban wetland restoration, highlighting the importance of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation in supporting diverse dragonfly species.
  3. April Sturm, PhD Candidate, Murdoch University
    • Topic: Identifying Conditions for Ex-Situ Incubation of Freshwater Turtle (Chelodina oblonga) Eggs to Optimise Hatching Success
    • Description: April Sturm presented her research on optimising incubation conditions for the eggs of the Southwestern snake-necked turtle, focusing on the effects of temperature and moisture on hatching success and hatchling survival.


2 Poster Presentations

These presentations highlighted the critical research being conducted in understanding the adaptations and strategies of plant species in phosphorus-impoverished ecosystems, contributing to our knowledge of ecological conservation and plant biology in biodiversity hotspots.

  1. Shu Tong Liu, University of Western Australia
    • Topic: Leaf Phosphorus Allocation to Chemical Fractions and its Seasonal Variation in South-Western Australia
    • Description: Shu Tong Liu explored the seasonal variation in leaf phosphorus (P) allocation among different chemical fractions in native plant species of south-western Australia. This study, conducted at Alison Baird Reserve, examined 18 species from the Proteaceae, Myrtaceae, and Fabaceae families across two distinct habitats. Results showed species-specific patterns of foliar P allocation and highlighted the high photosynthetic P-use efficiency common to native plants in the region, despite varying strategies among species to achieve this efficiency.
  2. Lingling Chen, University of Western Australia
    • Topic: Phosphorus-Acquisition Strategies of Acacia Pulchella and Acacia Lasiocarpa in Contrasting Habitats
    • Description: Lingling Chen's research focused on the phosphorus-acquisition strategies of Acacia pulchella and Acacia lasiocarpa, two species thriving in the phosphorus-impoverished soils of Alison Baird Reserve, Western Australia. By studying these species in contrasting habitats within the reserve, Chen aimed to uncover the nuanced strategies these plants employ to cope with low phosphorus availability, contributing valuable insights into the adaptation mechanisms of native flora to nutrient-deficient environments.


4 Workshops

  1. Everything You Wanted to Know About eDNA-Based Monitoring
    • Presenter: Shane Herbert, Curtin University
    • Summary: Shane Herbert led an informative workshop introducing participants to environmental DNA (eDNA) and its applications in biodiversity monitoring. The session covered the basics of eDNA, including its collection, analysis, and the interpretation of DNA sequence data from Bibra Lake. Attendees learned how eDNA technology could be leveraged to identify species, conduct biodiversity audits, and monitor ecosystem health, thereby enhancing conservation efforts.
  2. Connecting With Nature to Improve Management of Wetlands
    • Presenter: Gun Dolva, SERCUL
    • Summary: Gun Dolva's workshop focused on the importance of reconnecting with nature to foster better wetland management practices. Through an exploration of historical and current nature-based philosophies, participants were encouraged to assess their own relationships with the natural world. The workshop highlighted how a deeper understanding of our connection to nature can lead to more effective and empathetic conservation strategies, particularly in the context of wetland ecosystems.
  3. Painting A Picture of Wetlands Around Woogenellup
    • Presenter: Joanne Francis, Independent Artist
    • Summary: Artist Joanne Francis shared her passion for capturing the essence of wetlands through her artwork. Her presentation delved into the process of observing and portraying the dynamic changes in wetland environments, emphasizing the balance between beauty and harshness. Joanne's artworks serve as a visual and emotional bridge to the wetlands, offering insights into their seasonal transformations and the diverse life forms they support.
  4. Plant Propagation Techniques: Uncover Floral Wonders at The Wetlands Centre's Nursery
    • Presenters: Lanie Cottam and Hazel Dempster, The Wetlands Centre Cockburn
    • Summary: This hands-on workshop provided attendees with practical knowledge on propagating Australian native wetland plants. Led by Lanie Cottam and Hazel Dempster, the session covered various propagation techniques using locally sourced seeds and materials. Participants learned about the diversity of plant species suitable for gardens and revegetation projects, including rare plants and bush tucker species, all cultivated at The Wetlands Centre's nursery.


In conclusion, the 20th Annual WA Wetlands Conference 2024 successfully facilitated a multidisciplinary exchange that enriched understanding and appreciation of wetlands. It underscored the importance of integrating scientific research, indigenous knowledge, and artistic perspectives to advance wetland conservation. The event fostered collaborative efforts and innovative approaches to environmental stewardship, highlighting the crucial role of wetlands in biodiversity and human well-being. This gathering of minds sets a forward-looking path for sustainable management and conservation practices, with a unified call for continued engagement, research, and advocacy in protecting these vital ecosystems.


Noteworthy Achievements

The total number of Conference participants were nearly 160 people on each day, with about a 135 repeat participants on each day. We totalled about 200 unique participants this year. Among them, there were representatives of 60 organizations (including 5 educational establishments) from 15 cities, including:

  • Ministers and MLAs
  • Local government representatives
  • Intergovernmental organisations
  • Regional authorities
  • Wetland professionals
  • Academics, educators, and students
  • Businesses (including interstate businesses.)
  • Universities and educational institutions
  • Associations and Friends Groups
  • Not for profits

Our state-of-the-art website was revamped for the Conference as part of the Centre's community and engagement program. The website featured an interactive Conference program, an intuitive registration system, a new submission portal, and a detailed feedback questionnaire.

On all three days, refreshments, morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea were catered to by Little Hawk Freo, Beaconsfield. Read More

The Conference was conducted with a focus on environmental sensitivity, green initiatives, and greater sustainability to reduce the environmental impact of this event. Here are a few initiatives and guidelines that were followed:

  • E-program: The Conference program was available via email or through the new website. Only limited copies of the program were printed on recycled paper and made available for viewing around the centre.
  • Upcycle and Recycle: The name badges were re-used from previous conferences and the names were printed on recycled paper. The name badges were collected at the end of each day of the Conference.
  • Shuttle to encourage Public Transport: Where possible, we encouraged the use of public transport and carpooling to the venue. We thank those who opted-in to carpool during the registration.


The Conference participants were invited to fill in a feedback questionnaire. The reviews so far have been highly positive. The feedback to the organizers was that the Conference was highly topical and informative, and it exceeded the participants' expectations.

The 20th Annual WA Wetlands Conference, marking its milestone anniversary, brought together a diverse array of disciplines and participants to celebrate and deepen the commitment to wetland conservation, and highlight their role in human wellbeing. This year's theme underscored the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, integrating science, art, and indigenous knowledge to enhance our understanding and stewardship of wetlands. The art exhibitions, innovative workshops, engaging keynote speeches, and collaborative forums that bridged the gap between art and science contributed to this goal. The conference's success was a testament to the collective effort and shared vision of sponsors, speakers, and attendees, all dedicated to safeguarding these vital ecosystems for future generations.

Conference Phtos and Video Proceedings Coming Soon! Watch this space!