OzGREEN programs connect youth with communities to become leaders of innovative sustainable social change

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  • donated 2019-11-14 15:46:00 +1100

    YLTW Global Seeder

    From 25 years of experience, OzGREEN knows that young people have the ingenuity, passion and energy to solve the biggest challenges the world faces for a sustainable future. They just need to be equipped with the right skills. That’s why we’ve been delivering award winning leadership initiatives that empower and educate youth to become global change makers.

    As a valued friend of OzGREEN and by joining our regular givers’ program you will become an 'YLTW Global Seeder'. You will be helping us to continue funding our vital Youth Leading the World Program (YLTW), so we can provide training for more young people and enable them to become advocates and change-makers for the environment.

    Here’s an example of what your regular donations over one year could achieve:

    $10 per month will enable one young person to to participate in YLTW; 

    ➤ $20 per month will support a youth team to deliver on their sustainability action plan;

    $50 per month will train and support one volunteer Facilitator to run YLTW in their own region;

    $100 per month will train and support a whole team young people to run YLTW in their region;

    $150 per month will pay for an entire YLTW program in critical climate change impacted regions globally (e.g. Bangladesh, Kiribati)

    ➤ $400 per month will pay for YLTW to run in one region in Australia

    OzGREEN thanks you for your support.


    Oz Green-Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (Australia) Incorporated is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 82 828 395 461.ACNC-Registered-Charity-Logo_RGB.png


  • published Resilient Communities in Programs 2019-09-13 05:32:44 +1000

    Resilient Communities

    This is a community driven program.  

    "We don't tell the community what to do. Rather, we draw on local intelligence and innovation to enable the community to work out what it will take to be resilient, prepared and sustainable"  Anton Juodvalkis CEO

    Encouraging communities to be partially responsible for their own safety during a natural disaster

    Resilient Communities uses OzGREEN’s award winning community action planning process to empower communities to implement plans that build community resilience.  OzGREEN targets communities that are in hazard risk areas and are especially prone to becoming isolated during a natural disaster such as a flood or bushfire.

    Residents are best placed to innovate local community resilience solutions.

    Resilient Communities adopts a community driven approach. Local facilitators are trained to deliver the program using OzGREEN’s award winning community action planning process that empowers communities to implement projects that build community resilience. 

    Community Workshop Content

    Resilient Communities involves seven community workshops over seven months which aim to inform, educate and empower the community to develop solutions that address threats to community resilience, such as:

    • climate change;
    • food;
    • water;
    • energy;
    • infrastructure;
    • economy;
    • ecosystem; and
    • health resilience. 

    Some of the climate change risks that are addressed through the program include bush fire, flood, storm, east coast low, heatwave, earthquake, landslides, drought and protection of community infrastructure.

    Resilient Communities Objectives:

    • Work with local people to understand natural disaster risks including those associated with flood, storm, drought, bushfire, health emergencies, damage to local community infrastructure, road access, community aid, and climate change.
    • Partner with local people and local groups who can lead change
    • Empower individuals and communities to exercise choice, take responsibility and develop action plans. 
    • Build community capacity for disaster resilience

    Resilient Communities in 2020

    In 2020, OzGREEN is running its Resilient Communities program in the Bellingen Shire.  We have also had requests to support the program in Coffs Harbour and Byron shires and are currently seeking grants or donations to enable the program in these locations.  If you are able to financially support the program in these locations, or you know someone who can, please contact us.

    Currently supported communities include North Bellingen, South Bellingen, Northbank Road, Gleniffer, Kalang (online), Thora/Darkwood, and Dorrigo.

    Who should get involved?

    Community members who:

    • are concerned about the increase in extreme weather events
    • live in a community that can become isolated during natural disasters
    • are wanting to build resilience in their local community
    • are interested in leading their community or 
    • want to participate in a program based on community driven solutions

    How do I get involved?

    Facilitator Training

    Facilitator training has now been completed.  Please watch this page for future facilitator training sessions.

    The next meetings are as follows:


    Tuesday 24th November from 6-8pm at Gleniffer Hall


    Saturday 28th November 2020 from 12-3:30pm at RSL Hall, Bangalow

    North Bellingen

    Sunday 6th December from 2-4:30pm at Bellingen Showground

    South Bellingen

    Sunday 6th December from 2.30pm-4.30pm at Bellingen Golf Club

    Northbank Road

    Sunday 6th December from 5-7pm at Bellingen Showgrounds


    Tuesday 8th December from 5.30 - 7.30pm at Dorrigo CWA


    Tuesday 8th December from 7-9pm online via ZOOM

    Coffs Harbour

    Thursday 10th December from 6-8pm at Community Village Meeting rooms


    Tuesday 15th December from 6-8pm at Thora Hall


    If you are interested in working with your community to identify community driven solutions and build community resilience please complete the Participant Registration Form by clicking the green button below.

    If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen, Resilient Communities Project Coordinator, on Kathleen@ozgreen.org.au or (02) 5615 8108.

    Project Background

    Resilient Communities is based on OzGREEN's Living Communities program. 

    Living Communities began in 2000 as a community education initiative of OzGREEN and Warringah Council to address stormwater pollution. Since then, OzGREEN has worked in partnership with organisations such as Sun Microsystems, AMP, AGSM, Allco, Dimension Data; Hurstville, Canterbury, Bankstown, Wollondilly Shire and Onkaparinga Councils; and trained over 200 community facilitators.


    A list of background reading and resources can be found here.

  • donated 2019-11-14 15:46:00 +1100

  • published Our Team in Bellingen Riverwatch 2019-08-08 05:41:11 +1000

    Our Team

    Bellingen Riverwatch brings together an exciting array of scientific expertise in the areas of ecology, invertebrate taxonomy, citizen science project design, land management, monitoring and evaluation, aquatic ecology and water quality monitoring.

    It is rare to find a project with this level of sustained community engagement, paired with such strong and consistent partner collaboration and focus. The breadth of project partners reflects the importance placed on working together collaboratively with key stakeholders who have a role to play in catchment health and biodiversity. This partnership approach allows us to access the expertise and available resources of a strong group of organisations and individuals

    We thank our volunteers from the bottom of our hearts - without you, this program would not be possible! Our dedicated local volunteers undertake monthly water quality testing across 24 sites across the Bellinger and Kalang catchments. Volunteers have been trained in water quality monitoring techniques and participate in extra optional training water bug identification. Our Assigned Volunteers are supported by our Roving Volunteers, who step in if volunteers are ill, on holidays or move away. 


    Our Scientists


    Sue Lennox 

    Sue Lennox (BSc DipEd) is a former high school science teacher and the Co-Founder of Bellingen based not for profit OzGREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network Australia Inc). Sue is providing on-ground scientific support to Riverwatch during regular testing days, training new volunteers and monitoring Faecal coliform levels. It was Sue’s approach to the Office for Environment and Heritage Citizen Science Unit in September 2016, that was the catalyst for Riverwatch to begin. She brings 30 years of experience in river health citizen science and water quality monitoring. Sue has initiated many citizen science projects that have engaged people in caring for their rivers both nationally (including Bellinger River and Coffs Coast, Hunter River, Murray-Darling, Brisbane River, Sydney Basin, Adelaide Basin, Melbourne’s Yarra River and Hobart's Derwent River) and internationally (including Ganges River in India, Nepal, Timor Leste, Guatemala, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan). 


    Ingrid Garland

    Ingrid Garland is currently Director of a small consultancy – EnviroComm Connections, delivering services to clients on community engagement, citizen science, NSW Waterwatch and administrative projects in the natural resource management and agricultural sector in NSW. Instagram NSW Waterwatch Enviro Comm Connections




    Gerry McGilvray

    Gerry McGilvray is the Project Coordinator of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle Saving Our Species Project and coordinates other threatened species projects for the Office of Environment and Heritage. Gerry has a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Systems) and has worked in a variety of environmental management areas in the government and privates sector for over fifteen years including waste management and vegetation management. Read More



    Ricky Spencer 

    Ricky Spencer is the Head of WildLab and Associate Professor of Ecology at Western Sydney University. Ricky has spent more than fifteen years actively working on vertebrate pests. His major current projects include an ARC Linkage Project on the 'Turtle Crisis' in the Murray River, as well as developing optimal strategies to recover the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle. Ricky is also the manager and developer of TurtleSAT and WomSAT, two community mapping Citizen Science projects. Read More



    Alicia Scanlon

    Alicia Scanlon is a fauna ecologist specialising in bats. She has worked locally as a consultant for Eco Logical Australia for the past ten years, on projects as diverse as residential subdivisions, management plans for Council reserves, fauna inventories of National Parks estate, road and rail upgrades including the Pacific Highway and monitoring of biodiversity on offset lands for the mining sector. Her work often takes her away from Bellingen and she has conducted fauna surveys along the East Coast of Australia.



    Kristen Petrov

    Kristen Petrov is a PhD student at Western Sydney University and is studying the decline and ecology of the Bellinger River Snapping turtle. Kristen’s current research focuses on the remaining Bellinger River turtle population, its overlap in diet and habitat with the nonnative short-necked turtle, and the susceptibility of freshwater turtles to disease.



    Phil Pisanu

    Phil Pisanu is an ecologist who has worked in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales in research, conservation management and policy roles. Phil is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the programs of North Coast Local Land Services, which are focused on restoring terrestrial ecosystems and threatened species. Phil has been working with scientists and managers in the Border Ranges on Eastern Bristlebird recovery and will commence a vegetation monitoring project in the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Corridor in the next couple of months.



    Our Volunteers


    Cassandra Vockler

    "I recently moved to Bellingen and my niece, Skye, invited me to come along with her when she was doing the water testing. Having recently retired from a career in science I thought it would be a great way to help collect vital data needed to further understand the increasing stresses we put on our environment. Good data collection is at the core of good science so it is fundamental that we collect as much as possible.It also helps me integrate into the community and  I get to spend time by the river with my niece."



    Skye Condon

    "In our little town of Bellingen, we are very lucky to have the Bellingen Riverwatch project making it possible for locals to become more educated and involved. I’ve loved sharing the information learnt with my children, and watching them learn, asking questions, and playing an active part in it. I’ve loved learning from the team and seeing their passion and enthusiasm around the project. I'd definitely recommend citizen science to anyone. It’s educational, inspiring...it’s a way to get involved in science and help."



    Jane Grebert

    "I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to gathering baseline and ongoing data of our local river health. Various land uses in the catchment concern me such as unmanaged stock, clear fell forestry, and excessive or inappropriate fertiliser and pesticide use. I hope that my small efforts can help add to a bigger picture that will ultimately improve our care of the local catchment area and therefore the river health, for all the life it supports." 



    Henare Degan

    "I've always loved science and the positive changes it can make to our worlds. Citizen science projects like Bellingen Riverwatch and the volunteers behind them are essential for building evidence and knowledge where our governments can't or won't act. Rivers and their health are a vital part of our local ecosystem so it's critical we care for them."




    Andrew Core

    Sonya Kumar

    Ben Watkins 

    Robert Gale 

    Helen Davies

    Marco McCue

    Our Schools

    We have five local schools involved in the Bellingen Riverwatch program:

    • Bellingen High School
    • Raleigh Public School
    • St Mary's Primary School
    • Orama Primary School 
    • Repton Primary School

    Volunteer with Us

    We are always needing more trained volunteers to support this wonderful program.

    We test on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, so if you are available on those days, have access to a car, and are interested in joining the team keeping an eye on our rivers, come to our next training days!

    We're hosting two Volunteer Training Days on 2nd & 23rd September - place very limited - register here.

    All volunteers need to also complete a Bellingen Riverwatch Registration Form prior to attending our events. 


  • published Our People in About 2019-08-03 10:05:24 +1000

    Board of Directors 


    Jason Errey


    Jason Errey is Director of OEMG Global. He brings a strong background in Environmental and Oceanographic industry including extensive experience in managerial roles in Australia and the Middle East. Jason brings strong project and team management skills and experience working in remote areas with teams incorporating a variety of nationalities and cultures.  Jason joined the OzGREEN Board in 2015.


    Rachael Stewart-Rattray 


    Rachael  has worked for over 10 years as a business analyst and project manager. Growing concern for environmental issues led her to study a Master of Environmental Management, receiving the 2009 Harding/Orica award for academic excellence. Since then her experience has focused on sustainability projects for local government, the community and in public infrastructure. Rachael lives in Bellingen, has trained as a YLTW Facilitator and assisted OzGREEN with business planning for many years.


    Laney Graham


    Laney is an accountant with Quality Accounting in Toormina, NSW. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Accounting at Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour Campus (2016-present).  She has also completed Certificate IV in Small Business Management.  Laney is experienced in online accounting systems and is welcomed as the new OzGREEN Treasurer in May 2018.


    Sue Lennox

    Co-Founder & Director

    To Sue, OzGREEN is not a job – it is her strategic response to her deep concern for the environment and her vision to build a more sustainable, peaceful and equitable world. Sue, along with her husband Colin, has been the driving force behind OzGREEN since it’s inception.

    Sue has 30 years experience in environmental education program innovation, development, management and implementation in urban, regional, remote and Indigenous communities in Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Pakistan.



    Andrew Graham


    Andrew works within Transport for NSW as the Director of Audit and Assurance within Roads and Maritime Services.  He was previously the head of the Governance and Legal Office for Fire & Rescue NSW.  Andrew was a student at Freshwater High School and actively involved in the work that led Sue & Col to establish OzGREEN.


    Rowan Lennox


    Rowan has grown up with OzGREEN and worked with the organisation for over 15 years, most recently as General Manager and project manager of the Stepping Stones Project in the Hunter Valley.  Rowan has a Bachelor of Environmental Science from Macquarie University.  He is currently employed by Mid Coast Communities as Local Area Coordinator Nambucca Region, for the NDIS.





    Jaden Harris


    Jaden Harris is the Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer at Forever Network.  He is co-founder and coordinator of the Sydney Youth Climate Action Network (SYCAN), which was founded in 2009 at an OzGREEN’s Youth Leading Australia congress.  Jaden was winner of NSW-ACT Young Achiever of the Year in 2015.






    Steve Doyle


    Steve is Bellingen based and a long-term friend to OzGREEN.  In his role as founder of Bellingen Solar, he organised support for YLTW in Kiribati.  He has also visited the Swatcha Ganga project in India.


    Ruby Tavener


    Ruby is from rural NSW and is currently undertaking a degree in International Development.  Ruby is a member of the OzGREEN Board and the YLTW Global Council.  She is passionate about environmental issues and making change in the world.  This environmental activism was inspired by her experience with OzGREEN’s Youth Leading the World (YLTW) programs.  She first participated in YLTW in 2010 when she was a year 7 student.  She went on to influence her family to reduce their eco-footprint to “one planet living”.  Ruby trained as a YLTW Facilitator in 2012 and has helped to run multiple YLTW Congresses in Australia, India, Nepal, Cambodia and Vietnam.  In October 2013, Ruby was invited to speak at the BellingenTEDx event.  Here is her story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqSFQCIZMEg&feature=youtu.be


    Vanessa Moskal


    Vanessa is a Youth Leading the World Facilitator and has been actively involved as a volunteer with OzGREEN since 2008.  She currently works with the Australian Stroke Foundation as Community Engagement Coordinator NSW and ACT.  She has a BA (Political, Economic & Social Sciences with an Anthropology Major).  Vanessa was elected as an independent to local government in 2012, as a Councillor for Warringah, and served on the Social LRC for the Northern Beaches Council.  She has been awarded a Certificate of Commendation for Service to the Community by The Order of Australia and is passionate about community service.


    OzGREEN Crew


    Anton Juodvalkis

    Chief Executive Officer

    Anton has a broad skill base ranging from change management, project management, corporate governance, risk and compliance through to IT, accounting, business analysis, procurement, asset management, and engineering. He has worked in a diverse range of industries including the not-for-profit sector, local government, fast-moving consumer goods, telecommunications, print management, investment management, and manufacturing. 

    Anton is passionate about the health of the environment and what makes organisations successful.  For fun, he likes to explore natural areas and serve as a volunteer firefighter.


    Sue Lennox

    Co-Founder, Bellingen Riverwatch Scientific Support

    BSc DipEd 

    Sue Lennox is a former high school science teacher and one of the two Co-Founders of OzGREEN. Sue has played a key role in the design and delivery of OzGREEN programs since it began in 1992. 

    Sue  brings 30 years of experience in river health citizen science, water quality monitoring, environmental education program innovation, development, management and implementation in urban, regional, remote and Indigenous communities in Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Central America.

    Sue provides on-ground scientific support to Bellingen Riverwatch during regular testing days, trains new volunteers and monitors Faecal coliform levels. It was Sue’s approach to the Office for Environment and Heritage Citizen Science Unit in September 2016, that was the catalyst for Bellingen Riverwatch to begin.

    Sue has initiated many citizen science projects that have engaged people in caring for their rivers both nationally across the Bellinger River, Coffs Coast, Hunter River, Murray-Darling, Brisbane River, Sydney Basin, Adelaide Basin, Melbourne’s Yarra River and Hobart's Derwent River; and internationally, including Ganges River in India, Nepal, Timor Leste, Guatemala, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan. 



    Anna Juodvalkis

    Program Manager

    Anna works closely with government agencies, private organisations and individual donors to design and deliver programs that achieve positive outcomes for communities and the environment.

    Anna is a social scientist who is interested in global inequality, social policy, project management and program evaluation.  She is a University of New England Vice Chancellor Scholar and has studied the ‘Norwegian Welfare State’ at Oslo University.


    Amy Denshire

    Bellingen Riverwatch Coordinator 

    B Design Dip Ed (Sec)

    Amy Denshire is passionate about how effective communication can contribute to the change that is needed. Trained in Industrial Design, Teaching and Community Development, Amy brings experience in communication, marketing, community engagement, web and graphic design, grants and event management to OzGREEN.

    In her role as the Bellingen Riverwatch Coordinator, Amy is most proud of her work in collaborating with partners to provide regularly communication of the citizen science data to the community in accessible formats. 

    Ali Thwaites

    YOUth LEADing the World Facilitator & Coordinator 

    Ali Thwaites is from country Victoria and has a double degree in Arts and Asia-Pacific Studies at the Australian National University and a Masters in Primary Teaching at the University of Melbourne. Ali is passionate about empowering young people, working in international contexts, and working in environment and development spaces. Ali has taken her passion for young people an education into her teaching work, and has been teaching in Melbourne for the past two years.

    Ali's interest in international work began early on, as she was lucky enough to travel and live internationally from a young age. Ali has lived in India, Nepal, and Japan, and has worked with young people throughout Asia and the world. Ali has worked with youth-focused environment and development organisation since she was in high school, and continues to facilitate youth leadership programs in Australia and internationally.

    Ali is a qualified and experienced YOUth LEADing the World Facilitator at OzGREEN, where she has been working to empower young people to talk about and act on their environmental concerns for over ten years. 

    Ali is working towards a world where young people are informed, active and innovative voices in global decision-making. 


    Judy Charnaud

    East Timor Program Manager

    BSc (Geol) Dip Ed FGAA

    Judy has had an interesting and varied career including designing and implementing school and community education programs, working as a geologist with a large multi-national mining company, senior secondary science teaching and geology coordinator, costume maker for school musicals and Rock eisteddfods, community volunteer and bush regeneration work.

    Travel to places such as India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and South America and outback Australia really broadened her mind then marriage and two children put a stop to her wanderlust for a while. In 1999, needing a break from teaching, Judy decided to volunteer with OzGREEN and the rest as they say is history! She has since been involved in projects such as “Kids, Companies, Creeks”, MyRiver, YouthLEAD and the Great Eastern Ranges biodiversity corridor. Judy has been a committed environmentalist for many years winning awards for environmental initiatives during her teaching career, acting as Streamwatch coordinator, being a founding member of the Narrabeen Lagoon Committee and now working in the field of overseas aid and development.

    Since 2001 Judy has been Program Manager of the East Timor Project which has involved living and working in the enclave of Oecusse for seven months a year. The core of the project is Village Environmental Action Planning which is a community based, transformative learning program. Villagers are empowered to critically analyse their environment and livelihoods and design their unique, site specific vision to building a society which is socially and ecologically sustainable.




  • published About 2019-08-03 06:17:16 +1000



    OzGREEN educates people around the world, enabling them to take action to improve their environment. OzGREEN engages and equips people to become leaders of positive social change.


    Our Programs

    OzGREEN offers award winning, transformative learning and leadership programs that inspire people to tackle sustainability challenges and become leaders of positive social change. 

    National Programs


    YOUth LEADing the World


    Tomorrow's Change Makers

    Bellingen Riverwatch

    Our flagship program, Youth Leading the World (YLTW) prepares young people to succeed in tackling the massive environmental challenges the world is facing. YLTW equips youth to strengthen their wellbeing, create resilient communities and nurture the environment, allowing them to drive positive social and environmental change in their communities.


    Our MYRiveR program enables young people to become citizen scientists, test the health of the environment, identify key environmental threats and values, develop their own vision and implement their own action plans to sustain the health of their local waterways.




    International Programs


    India Nepal

    East Timor

    Central America



    OzGREEN's Impact



    Sustainability Facilitators and Leaders Trained


    Villages and communities directly engaged in sustainability programs


    Sustainability leadership program participants and


    Sustainability Action Plans developed, achieving average 50% reduction in carbon footprint, including adoption of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption through lifestyle behaviour change


    Hectares forest saved from clearing - from reduction of eco-footprint


    Direct beneficiaries 


    Trees planted in critical biodiversity habitats


    Hectares of critical biodiversity habitat restored


    People directly benefit from clean water installations


    Sue Lennox, 2020 NSW Senior Australian of the Year, Co-Founder OzGREEN with OzGREEN CEO Anton Juodvalkis. 


    OzGREEN has achieved significant national and international recognition.  This includes the Buckminster-Fuller Catalyst Program which recognised OzGREEN as being in the top ten percent of social innovators in the world, the Eureka Prize, which is Australia’s most comprehensive national science award, a Banksia Award for citizen science, a UN Media Peace Award and the UNESCO Wenhui Award and a Best Practice Case Study for the Australian Association for Environmental Education (NSW). In 2007 OzGREEN’s CEO and Co-Founder Sue Lennox was named as one of Sydney’s Top 100 Most Influential People by The Sydney Magazine.

    Our Vision

    A society that is actively engaged in building ecologically sustainable, socially just and equitable ways of living. 

    Our Mission

    Our Mission is to build sustainable, resilient communities by enabling people to tackle the ecological and social challenges of our times and accelerate the transition to sustainability. 


    2019 Principal Partners

    2019 Gold Partners

    2019 Supporters

    2019 Project Partners

  • donated 2019-05-08 06:02:05 +1000

    Make a One-Time Donation to Bellingen Riverwatch

    Currently, Bellingen Riverwatch runs on extremely limited funding. Sustaining a highly functioning community project such as this requires adequate on-ground and administrative support to ensure that the volunteers are well supported and the partnerships are nurtured. 

    By donating to Bellingen Riverwatch, you contribute to this amazing community citizen science project to be able to continue over the years and yield many great outcomes.


  • published Shop 2018-09-03 04:22:14 +1000


    Help support OzGREEN's work towards the recovery of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle and spreading the message for this Critically Endangered species

    Funds raised go towards education programs, research projects and on-ground action.

    We have just 5 years to turn the health of the river around for breeding of the next generation.

    Keep-A-Cup - $35 

    (includes postage to anywhere in Australia)


    T-Shirts - $35 

    (includes postage to anywhere in Australia)



    • Tee, size medium, colour navy - qty 7
    • Tee, size small, colour navy - qty 2
    • Tee, size 7-8 years, colour navy - qty 6
    • Tee, size 3-4 years, colour light blue - qty 3
    • Tee, size 5-6 years, colour white - qty 2
    • Tee, size 9-10 years, colour navy - qty 4
    • Tee, size 11-12 years, colour navy - qty 2
    • Baby suit, size 6-12 months, colour light blue - qty 2
    • Baby suit, size 3-6 months, colour light blue - qty 2
    • Baby suit, size 12-18 months, colour white - qty 1

  • published Contact 2018-08-17 16:35:42 +1000

    Contact Us

    Get in contact with OzGREEN on the details below, or contact our team directly regarding specific OzGREEN programs.  


    Telephone: (02) 5615 8108  |   Email: ozgreen@ozgreen.org.au

    ABN 828 283 954 61



    Amy Denshire

    Bellingen Riverwatch Coordinator

    riverwatch@ozgreen.org.au  |  0490 068 685  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn



    Sue Lennox

    Co-Founder OzGREEN, Founder Youth Leading the World, Bellingen Riverwatch Scientific Support, 2020 NSW Senior Australian of the Year

    slennox@ozgreen.org.au  |  0408 027 995




    Anton Juodvalkis - CEOAnton Juodvalkis

    Chief Executive Officer

    anton@ozgreen.org.au | 0491 105 252 | LinkedIn





  • published Data in Bellingen Riverwatch 2020-08-25 12:45:40 +1000

    When interpreting Bellingen Riverwatch data, we have used the ANZECC Water Quality Guidelines for a healthy lowlands river system. 

    Historical Data

    The graphs below show the Dissolved Oxygen and Available Phosphates data across the Bellinger and Kalang catchments July 2017 to June 2020. These graphs are updated every 12 months. 

    Bellingen Riverwatch data results supports the findings from the Bellinger and Kalang River Eco Health Report Card (2011) and the Bellinger River Health Plan (2010) and tells us that there are elevated nutrient levels in the river, particularly phosphate, and low Dissolved Oxygen levels. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring nutrient that originates from plant and animal matter, and is applied as fertilizer to increase plant growth in agriculture. Dissolved oxygen is a measure of the availability of oxygen to aquatic life. The amount of oxygen in the water regulates the distribution, activity, movement, and behavior of all aquatic animals.

    From Bellingen Riverwatch data to date, we can see elevated Available Phosphate levels presenting in the Upper Bellinger River, Upper Kalang River, Upper Never Never River and Rosewood River. Low Dissolved Oxygen levels are presenting at sites in the Upper Bellinger River, on the Rosewood River and Spicketts Creek, and at all of our testing sites on the Kalang River and Never Never River. In the Bellinger and Kalang River Eco Health Report Card (2011), the Bellinger River received a B- mark, and the Kalang River received a C+ mark.

    Available Phosphate

    Phosphates are the essential plant and animal nutrient that occurs naturally in very low levels in Australian soils. The ANZECC Water Quality Trigger Values for Available Phosphates for moderately disturbed ecosystems for Lowland Rivers is 0.02mg/L.

    Frequent occurrence of Available Phosphate results above 0.02mg/L could be harmful to aquatic ecosystems and increases the likelihood of impacts on waterways such as an abundance of algae and aquatic weeds which out-compete native plants; waterways choked with vegetation; increased biochemical oxygen demand; reduced dissolved oxygen; reduced plant and animal diversity; blue-green algal blooms; and eutrophication.

    Possible causes of results outside these values include sewage, sediments erosion, faeces from feedlots, dairies and pets, phosphate-based detergents, decaying plant material, fertilisers and industrial waste and natural geological sources.

    Scientists from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) are carrying out a comprehensive bi-annual water quality and macro-invertebrate surveys which will help identify the causes of elevated phosphate and nitrate levels.

    Bellingen Riverwatch Available Phosphate Data


    Dissolved Oxygen

    The ANZECC Water Quality Values for Dissolved Oxygen for moderately disturbed ecosystems for Lowland Rivers (less than 150m elevation) is between 85% and 110% saturation.

    Results outside the guidelines could be harmful to ecosystems. Dissolved Oxygen levels below 85% is a threat to aquatic life and the macroinvertebrates that our turtles love to eat. Potential impacts outside ANZECC trigger values include lack of oxygen to support aquatic plant and animal life and fish kills. Monitoring Dissolved Oxygen levels is very important as the Bellingen River Snapping Turtle (BRST) is able to supplement its oxygen uptake through cloacal (bum) breathing, reducing its need to come to the water surface to breathe.

    Possible causes of results outside these values include stagnant water, organic waste such as sewage, fertiliser run-off and plant material in the waterway. Micro-organisms use the oxygen as they break down the organic matter.

    Bellingen Riverwatch Dissolved Oxygen Data

    How to read our Historical Data Graphs

    Box and Whisker Plot

    We have used a box and whisker plot to represent the complete data set from July 2017 to present. This plot style is commonly used to show key parameters regarding data sets. The maximum and minimum are represented via the whiskers and the box is showing average data and the median.

    Average To Date Data
    We now highlight on our graphs and maps (red dots) the sites where their to-date average (mean) does not meet the guidelines of a healthy river.


    To improve legibility of our data, we have removed outliers. Outliers have been removed by determining the midpoint in the upper and lower quartiles, to define the upper and lower bounds of the data. Data outside these bounds has been removed to create the graphs below. 

    Available Phosphates Coloured Bands 
    To aid interpretation of the Available Phosphates results, we have scored the parameters against Water Quality Guidelines to indicate how far the results lie outside of the guidelines:
    • Excellent = below 0.02mg/L 
    • Very Good = between 0.02-0.25 mg/L
    • Fair = between 0.025-0.03 mg/L
    • Poor = between 0.03-0.035 mg/L
    • Very poor = above 0.035 mg/L

    Data Newsletters

    Please see past Data Newsletters at the links below: 

    Raw Data Spreadsheet

    Our latest raw data spreadsheet is available here

    Using the Data? We are trying to gather data on the use of our water quality data. If you are using the data, can you please email our Coordinator on riverwatch@ozgreen.org.au.

    Department of Planning Industry & Environment Report 

    The Bellinger River Turtle River Health Project Report, Part 1: OEH Water Quality Monitoring 2017 – 2018 is now available. Download report here.

  • published Bellingen Riverwatch in Programs 2018-08-17 16:01:40 +1000

    Community scientists and the scientific community working together to support the recovery of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle 

    Bellingen Riverwatch was created to provide consistent water quality data in the Bellinger and Kalang catchments following a disease outbreak that caused a mass mortality event of the Critically Endangered Bellinger River Snapping Turtle (BRST) in early 2015. A lack of water quality data was identified by scientists and community alike as a priority focus area.

    The waterways of the Bellingen Shire are highly valued by the local community and they they support many activities, such as recreation and supplementary drinking water. Ongoing water quality data is important for monitoring the rivers’ health, identifying priority areas for management actions and educating the community on how to reduce the impact they may be having on their environment. Read more.


    Our Volunteers

    Bellingen Riverwatch engages 44 local community volunteers and 5 schools to collect monthly water quality data at 28 sites every month across the Bellinger, Never Never, and Kalang Rivers.


    Volunteer with us

    We test on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, so if you are available on those days, have access to a car, and are interested in joining the team keeping an eye on our rivers, come to our next training days!

    We're hosting a Volunteer Training Day on 23rd September - places very limited - register here.

    All volunteers need to also complete a Bellingen Riverwatch Registration Form prior to attending our events. 

    Our Partners

    Testing Sites 

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