How much time do I need to do the fellowship?

The fellowship runs over nine months from March to November and includes:

  • 3 x 2.5-day in-person retreats in March, May and July
  • 8 x monthly one hour campaign strategy catch ups (via video/phone conference) with current and former river fellows and other advocates
  • 8 x monthly 1.5 hour training webinars
  • 1 x three day summit in Canberra in October
  • 1 x single day workshop you co-facilitate in your local town
  • Time to run your own local campaign activities
  • Optional monthly coaching

How much does the Rivers Fellowship cost?

The fellowship fees are $350, covering training, coaching, a small campaign budget and materials valued at over $3000 per participant.

This includes:

  • Training, materials, food and accomodation at three retreats (not including travel to the training)
  • A small budget to run local campaign activities (campaigner training, petitions, town hall events etc)
  • A spot at the Canberra Water Week Summit (travel and accommodation not included) 

We can also provide a payment plan if you are not able to pay for the full amount up front. 

Scholarships are also available for Indigenous applicants who are strongly encouraged to apply. Scholarships may be extended to cover travel expenses as well as fellowship costs.

 

How do the scholarships work?

We strongly encourage Indigenous people to apply. If you identify as an Indigenous person in your application and your application is successful, you will immediately be offered a scholarship. 

The scholarship amount depends on how many Indigenous people apply. It will at least cover the cost of the training ($330) and the cost of travel to training retreats. It may extend to covering the cost of travel to and attendance at the Water Week Summit. 

If you are not Indigenous but have a low-income and need financial assistance to be able to participate in the program, please note this in your application – we will see what we can do.

The scholarship funds are separate to the small campaign budget each fellow will receive to run local campaign activities. 

Am I eligible to apply?

Selection criteria

Places are limited. Participants will be selected for the rivers fellowship based on:

  • Values alignment: You are passionately committed to the health of rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin
  • Personal connection: You have a personal connection to the Murray or Darling rivers, tributaries, floodplains or estuaries 
  • Demonstrated leadership: You are a leader in your community
  • Commitment: You are committed to developing your skills, actively campaigning for the Basin Plan in 2018 and setting up a local group or network

What will I learn?

During the Rivers Fellowship, you'll learn practical skills to impact policy decisions and shape the public conversation on how to look after the rivers in our Basin. 

We will skill you up and support you to run local campaigns in your area including community organising, media, mobilising tactics, events, lobbying decision makers and mobilising people in your community to come to Canberra to meet with your elected representatives. 

Training and coaching during the fellowship is delivered by experts in their fields – plus participants sharing their own valuable knowledge and experience from their communities. 

Training and coaching includes:

  • Three intensive weekend retreats
  • Eight webinars
  • Eight coaching sessions
  • Ongoing support and a small budget to run your own local campaign activities including community events in August
  • The Canberra Water Week Summit and fellowship graduation (October 2018) 

Can I just do part of the course?

We strongly encourage you to do the course in its entirety, both for your own learning and for the group's cohesion.

To graduate, you must complete the training and campaign activities (with exceptions for rare circumstances). We will preference applicants who can do the full course in the selection process. 

Have a chat with ACF community organiser Bethany Koch about your circumstances (book a time to talk or send an email). 

How do I apply?

Applications for the Rivers Fellowship are due by 28 February 2018. If you miss this deadline, please still get in touch to see if there's a place left. 

Apply now

Once you have submitted your application, we will set up a time for a short Skype interview with you and one or two people from our selection panel. The panel will consist of ACF community organiser Bethany Koch, a River Fellow alumni and a staff member from a Lifeblood Alliance organisation. 

Following the application deadline, the selection panel will consider all applications and notify candidates. 

If you apply, please keep the training retreat dates free.

Who runs the Rivers Fellowship?

The Rivers Fellowship is a program designed and run by the Australian Conservation Foundation, in partnership with the Lifeblood Alliance. 

The Lifeblood Alliance consists of environmental, Indigenous and community groups committed to keeping the rivers, wetlands and aquifers of the Murray-Darling Basin healthy for the benefit of current and future generations. Key groups of the Alliance providing support and guidance to the Rivers Fellowship include the Conservation Council of South Australia, Birdlife Australia, the Inland Rivers Network, the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) and Environment Victoria. 

Who is the Rivers Fellowship for?

The Rivers Fellowship is for leaders in river communities who are passionate and are willing to speak up and stand up for a healthy river. We're looking for farmers, scientists, Traditional Owners, local businesses and leaders in the Basin to hold the long view, stand up to vested interests and make sure our rivers can keep flowing through our vast dry land. Places are limited. Participants will be selected for the Rivers Fellowship based on:

  • Values alignment: You are passionately committed to restoring the health of rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin
  • Personal connection: You have a personal connection to the Murray or Darling rivers, tributaries, floodplains or estuaries
  • Demonstrated leadership: You are a leader in your community
  • Commitment: You are committed to developing your skills, actively campaigning for the Basin plan in 2018 and setting up a local group or network. 

We strongly encourage Indigenous candidates to apply.