Saturday, October 18, 2008

Knowledge for Regional NRM Program wins Platinum Award!

Exciting news! Phase 2 of the Land & Water Australia Knowledge for Regional NRM Program has won a Platinum Award in the actKM Forum 2008 Knowledge Management Awards. 'Platinum' is the highest award category and awards at this level are rarely made. The award was announced at 2008 actKM Forum Conference dinner on 14 October 2008 in Canberra.

To find out all about the award and see some photos from the awards ceremony see the latest News on the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit.

Andrew Campbell speaks on 'Knowing and learning to deal with the climate challenge'

Andrew Campbell's excellent presentation to the 2008 actKM Knowledge Management Conference looked at climate change impacts and the implications for how we learn and manage knowledge at all levels and across all sectors of the economy and society. Andrew is currently Managing Director of Triple Helix Consulting, and in his former role as Executive Director of Land & Water Australia he was instrumental in setting up the Knowledge for Regional NRM Program.

Other highlights of this year's actKM Forum Conference, held on 14-15 October 2008 in Canberra, included Dr. Jane Chrystal from Central West CMA presenting on their pilot Regional Knowledge Strategy, and the innovative Collaboration Cabaret. The Collaboration Cabaret saw conference participants collaborate in the weeks leading up to the conference to create a unique piece of entertainment staged at the Conference Dinner. In doing this, delegates explored focused, online collaboration using a variety of Web 2.0 tools prior to the event - actively learning (or learning more) about collaboration by really doing it.

To see other presentations and information from the conference visit the actKM Forum website.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Seeing a little bit of the country

The Regional Knowledge Leaders training workshops continue, this week the team are HOT in Darwin, and last week they were in Tamworth, where we had a record number of participants – 19 not counting the Magnificent Three! Why is Tamworth so popular? Could it be we have some secret guitar-strummers (or boot-scooters) out there? Anyway, whatever the team are doing, it’s working – we’ve had some positive comments back, including the following:

“I really did enjoy the training. The team had refined the 3 days of training that I did in December to a very tight and professional two days of training. They had a good mix of experiential and paper based learning and I would recommend the training to all those involved in NRM.” Megan Tattersall, Aust Govt NRM Facilitator, NSW Biodiversity

“THE COURSE WAS GREAT!.... THE PRESENTERS EXCEEDED THE COURSE!!!” Garry Reynolds, Aust Govt Facilitator, NSW Coastal and Marine (pictured below at his certificate ceremony with Bruce Boyes)

“It was really good!!! And I’ve finally got a decent pen!!!” Tony Clancy, Communications Manager, Land & Water Australia (OK so he’s biased – I didn’t pay him anything to say this though)

Next week the team are heading to Townsville, then Launceston, then Perth. For more information, go to

Cheers, Kathy

Picture below: Garry Reynolds receiving his certificate from Bruce Boyes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Program being blogged about

Guess what, the program is being blogged about around the world! It's very exciting that the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit and associated Regional Knowledge Strategy process are being noticed internationally.

Knowledge Futures blog by Luke Naismith describes the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit as 'an incredibly valuable KM [Knowledge Management] resource'. (Luke currently works for the Strategic Directions Unit of the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice).

A blogger in France picked up on Luke's post and included a link to the RKRK wiki page. Stan Garfield (from Hewlett Packard) also picked up Luke's post and included it in his blog post entitled: KM and Sports, Dave Pollard and Bruce Hoppe, Regional Knowledge Resource Kit, KM Toolkit, Managing Knowledge-Based Initiatives.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Training training training

Just a quick update on the Regional Knowledge Leaders training schedule for late March and April...

In March, we had 8 participants at the training session we ran in Adelaide. They came from a range of different regions in SA and Victoria including: Kangaroo Island, Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Alinytjara Wilurara, Mallee. There was also a representative from South Australia's AG NRM Facilitator team.

We had 9 people in Melbourne from North East CMA, West Gippsland CMA, Murray Darling Basin Commission, Glenelg Hopkings CMA and the Regional NRM Facilitator network.

In West Wyalong we had 12 people from Murrumbidgee CMA, Western CMA, Lachlan CMA, Hawkesbury-Nepean CMA, Lower Murray Darling CMA and the AG NRM Facilitator NSW and ACT teams.

The training continues and we are greatly enjoying taking so many enthusiastic people through the process. We are told often that the training is well-structured and participants are getting a lot out of it. It is great to hear that the resources we're providing at the training and on the RKRK are being received positively and with great eagerness.

Signing off until we reach the Northern Territory (14/15 May),
Melanie and Bruce

Monday, April 7, 2008

Connecting with WA regional bodies

Well it's been all hands on deck recently (& it's going to continue!).
The Western Australian NRM Conference went really well and I think I could fairly say that the team enjoyed the beautiful South-eastern region of WA.

We met many people and demonstrated our products (RKRK and NRM Toolbar) at the stall including staff from: the Ord Catchment Reference Group, the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council, Rangelands NRM Co-ordinating Group, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

Visitors to our stall were also very interested in the LWA products.

Since making contacts with people at the conference, we now have a few more attendees at our Regional Knowledge Leaders training sessions and a couple of regions have now signed up for the Evidence Base software.

Below: Nerida and Alison in front of the program's Land & Water Australia stand.

Below: Mat demonstrating the NRM Toolbar while others look on.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Preparing for visiting the West Coast

Hi, Claire here, just a quick post to update on the imminent departure for Bridgetown in Western Australia. The K4RNRM program is sponsoring the WA State Natural Resource Management Conference from 31 Mar - 3 April.

We'll have a stand at the conference (number 15) so if you're there, please drop by. We're hoping to talk to more people from the regions who might be interested in Regional Knowledge Strategies and we'll be showing the NRM Toolbar up on a tv too.

Nerida is speaking about our work on Tuesday 1st April at 1:30pm.

So, back to my packing of boxes for the courier! Can't wait to visit WA!

Monday, March 17, 2008

First Regional Knowledge Leaders training well received

Participants have described the first Regional Knowledge Leaders training workshop, which was held in Brisbane on 6-7 March, as excellent. Regional Knowledge Leaders training sessions are being conducted across Australia between March and May. The training is designed to enable regionally based people to facilitate Regional Knowledge Strategies using the resources in this Regional Knowledge Resource Kit.

Have you registered for the training in your State/Territory? Register now to avoid missing out - click here to find out more.

The Brisbane Regional Knowledge leaders training workshop was organised through the Friends of the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit and was hosted with the assistance of the Queensland Regional NRM Groups Collective and the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water (NRW).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

ABARE Outlook 2008

Photo: Claire Harris, Michael Robinson (Executive Director, LWA), Nerida Hart at the LWA stand at ABARE.

The K4RNRM team has just spent 2 days at the ABARE Outlook 2008 conference.

Apart from hearing some very interesting speakers the Knowledge for Regional NRM Program shared a booth with LWA and the National Land and Water Resources Audit.

We had lots of interest in the Program from the various State Government Departments who were attending and a selection of Research and Development Corporations. It is amazing to hear about all the databases and information sources which we will be linking in behind the NRM Toolbar.

We are always on the lookout for relevant new content to add to the coverage of the NRM search engine.

Our next posting will be after our first Queensland Knowledge Leaders training on March 6-7,2008.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Knowledge Management Roundtable (KMRt)

This week I attended a meeting of the Knowledge Management Roundtable in Melbourne. Land & Water Australia is a corporate member of the KMRt which means we get to send 2 staff to each meeting and take advantage of their great Common Interest Working Groups as well. Each meeting (quarterly) has a series of guest speakers within the theme of Knowledge Management.

This week we had the pleasure of hearing about
  • Managing a Workforce of One from Hewitt Associates
  • Collaboration is all about People from James Robertson at Step Two Designs
  • Trying out a Peer Assist with 3 of our colleagues
  • Setting the agenda for the rest of 2008
  • Evaluating our Common Interest Working Groups and where to from here.
The KMRT meets quarterly and is a great blend of both public services and private enterprise charing their information and knowledge issues and developing solutions collaboratively.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Education for Information Professionals

Hi all I have just spent another fascinating week. Sunday through to Tuesday evening last week I was at Charles Sturt University School of Information Studies in beautiful Wagga Wagga, NSW. I was very lucky to be invited to sit on a Think Tank which was looking at the future of information management education at CSU. CSU is one of the few universities which offers undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD opportunities for librarians and information managers. I met up with some old friends from the information industry such as Sally Dallas from Zenith Information Management (providers of information professionals to all types of organisations), Robert McEntyre from Robert McEntyre and Associates (who I have worked with in the past developing strategic plans for library and information services), Kay Harris who for many years has been one of the key people in driving the Online Conference which is held in Sydney every 2 years, and met Mike Eisenberg from University of Washington iSchool.

I also learnt that CSU has 28 PhD candidates who are undertaking research in information management. Very impressive.
The venue was the wonderful Wine and Grape premises at CSU which is set in a vineyard with the most spectacular views.

The end of the 2 days left me very confident that CSU will develop into an iSchool like the model used in the USA.

I could not resist but take photos.

This event was topped off with a visit to Buckman Labs and dinner with Mark Koskienimi the MD for Australia and New Zealand. Buckman is famous for being one of the (if not the) first ever knowledge enabled company. Robert Buckman's book 'Building a knowledge-driven organization' is a classic in the KM field. This photo is of Mark Koskienimi MD of Buckman Labs in front of their amazing premises in Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Victorian State team training a huge success

Another blog post from Nerida (who is starting to get the hang of this) Last week Melanie, Bruce and I conducted our first solo Core Group Knowledge Leaders training for our Victorian State colleagues. By solo I mean we did not have our consultants (Anecdote) with us for moral or practical support. We managed to cram 3 days worth of training into 2 and a bit days and still came out smiling. Although there were a few moments such as Melanie losing her voice and having multiple coughing fits.

We had 4 State level participants who were put through the entire Knowledge Strategy process as documented in the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit (RKRK).

Feedback was excellent and I am meeting with the participants for a follow up on the 14th Of February when I am back in Melbourne for the VCMC KM Meeting

We are now booking the other States into our calendars for he Regional Knowledge Leaders training and expect all States to be completed by the close of the Program on 30 June 2008

Our next blog will be from Alison, Claire and Pam (AANRO manager) from the VALA conference in Melbourne.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Brisbane - beautiful one day - perfect the next!!

Hi from Nerida. I have been in Brisbane at a Statewide Social and Economic Workshop hosted by the Qld Department of Natural Resources and Water (DNRW), Social and Economic Unit this week.

The aim of the workshop was:

  • to network and collaborate with other colleagues involved in social and economic aspects of NRM
  • to determine the social and economic capacity, knowledge and research priorities of NRM regions in Qld, and
  • to inform and guide future collaborative research and capacity building.

There was a great mix of Regional NRM Body staff, researchers and consultants, Australian Government, Queensland Government and Local Government participants.

The highlight for me was the presentation by Nicole Blackett on the MERI (Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Improvement) process which I have convinced her to add to the RKRK (Regional Knowledge Resource Kit). This was the best description of the MERI process I have heard yet.

Also, the presentation by Mark Fenton on the Social and Institutional Foundations of NRM, RECaP project. Both these presenters stand out as being excellent communicators with an ability to convey complex topics in simple and straight-forward language. Also, Mark presented without Powerpoint - what a joy!

Day 2 was based on interactive sessions using techniques working around 'world cafe'. This gave us all a great opportunity to network and learn from each other.

Another highlight was the fantastic Japanese restaurant we went to for dinner on day 1 and a beautiful venue on the river - the Brisbane Powerhouse Terrace level.

DNRW (Derec Davies) is now following up with the setting up of a Community of Practice around social and economic issues in NRM. More news soon...

Next blog will be about our second RKRK Knowledge Leaders Training being conducted in Melbourne right now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What is Australia's third largest island?

That's where Nerida, Bruce and Melanie are today and tomorrow - Australia's third largest island is Kangaroo Island, located off the coast of South Australia. The largest is Tasmania, and the second largest is Melville Island, located off the coast of the Northern Territory.

We're here with Kangaroo Island NRM to observe a Performance Story pilot workshop and then explore links between our Regional Knowledge Strategy process and the Performance Story process. You can hear about Performance Stories in this presentation (mp3 audio). One of our Regional Knowledge Strategy pilots, NRM North in Tasmania, has already also gone through the Performance Story pilot process.

Despite an amazingly strong, cold wind, we were last night able to take a walk to explore some historic sites in the town of Kingscote where we are staying, including a visit to Kangaroo Island's penguins. The
Island is famous for its natural assets, particularly its wildlife.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Social software options

There has been quite a bit written recently about web 2.0 and social software – particularly headlined by the Facebook rage. It got me thinking about the tools our team uses. We have a blog (yes, this thing you’re reading), a Google calendar that the team contributes to, and a couple of Google groups. Some other examples:
  • Many of us have Facebook sites.
  • Nerida and Bruce use Twitter a ‘micro-blogging’ program where they can send short messages via website, email or mobile phone.
  • Alison, Claire, Nerida and Bruce are on LinkedIn (a professional networking site).
  • Bruce has his own personal blog and China blog. Kathy writes her own blog (through (oops, must update this - K).
  • Claire and Melanie have Google Reader to subscribe to websites using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds – a great way to see when something new has been posted on your favourite websites, from one page (rather than having to visit every website separately).
Max Kiesler, an internet reviewer, has posted in his blog a list of 40 open source (free) social software programs. He writes:

While large scale social sites like Flickr, Digg, Youtube and Myspace have predominated the web-o-sphere over the past few years there still is a need for narrow content verticals in this arena. This list will give you links to 40 open source resources to get you started building your own social bookmarking, networking, filesharing or search application. The following is a list of what I consider the be the best open source social software that I've found over the past year.

Find his post here.
And Robin Good has also reviewed some options for collaborative software in a recent blog post here. He got some of his list of products from a website which looks very interesting – it’s an RSS feed all about collaborative software.
Robin’s list includes tools to send large files to anyone, instant messenger gateways allowing you to connect simultaneously to all your favorite instant messaging networks and a couple of interesting tool to draw, annotate and share web page markups.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A new post for a new year!

Phew, seems ages since the last blog – well it WAS last year!! Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous holiday and to those of you still on holiday – don’t forget to come back, we miss you!

The main event of December (apart from all the seasonal festivities of course!) was the National Core Team training held in Melbourne from 10 – 13 December. Ahhh Melbourne – home of culture, cricket, shopping and damn fine coffee. (How did they get everyone to concentrate for 4 days – lock the doors on the conference venue?) The point of the whole thing was to give Knowledge Strategy training to the National Core Team – State and Australian government staff and non-governmental organisations involved in working with the regions. The training explained the knowledge strategy process and demonstrated techniques for taking the regional staff through the process. Regional Knowledge Leaders training will start in February, and places are available – if you are interested please see the information at

Now we would hate to raise anyone’s blood pressure after the lowering effects of a chilled Xmas on the beach, but the deadline is fast approaching for tenders for a trial provision of an independent advisory service to assist NRM bodies select decision-making approaches. Proposals must be received by email no later than 5pm AEDT on 18 January 2008 (ha! I remembered to put 08 not 07!), with one hard copy received by mail soon after. For more info see

Try to stay cool in the January heat everyone! More soon…cheers, Kathy

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Up the creek without a... canoe???

Up the creek without a… canoe???

Imagine being shown a beautiful traditional Tasmanian bark canoe and being asked “Can you build us one of those?” No instructions in any language, much less an allen key…

It seems that this is pretty much what a small team of indigenous boat builders were faced with when they got together to build one – but with the ultra-modern help of a CT scanner, the result was the Toillinne Bark Canoe Project, the first full size bark canoe built by Tasmanian Aborigines in 170 years, winning the actKM Award for 2007, and "a HIGHLIGHT!" of the actKM conference for Melanie. Melanie says that, accepting the award at the actKM conference dinner on behalf of the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery (TMAG), Tony Brown and Tony Burgess related how the boat builders rebuilt from scratch a fully functioning bark canoe. Without even anecdotal information in existence, the team had to rely on CT scans of an1840s model bark canoe on show in the Tasmanian Museum. An added complication was that Tasmanian bark canoes were of a completely different design to those on the mainland!

From collecting the bark, to fumigating it, to painstakingly constructing it section by section, to successfully testing it on the Derwent River, this is "a story of indigenous knowledge once lost and now recovered, to be shared and stored for future generations." (Thanks for this story, Melanie! You were obviously ready to sail away into the sunset...) Cheers, Kathy

Story and pictures at

Friday, November 30, 2007

Delivery date set for Knowledge Base Software

One of the most important features of the concept design for the NRM Toolbar is the Knowledge Base application. This software will allow any group working in NRM to create web-based databases of relevant knowledge. This capability is becoming increasingly important as organisations wish to show they are using best available evidence for NRM decision-making.

The schedule for delivery of this software has been finalised and it will be available from the end of Feb 2008.

The team has already received interest in the software from ten regions that are looking to use it to catalogue internal hardcopy material and link to external digital items. Key features of the new software will be:
  • the ability to select search results of interest from the NRM Search Engine and automatically add the metadata from that source into the knowledge base, dramatically reducing the need to add metadata;
  • the ability to select where research has been done and automatically adding decimal degrees from the Place name Gazeteer, allowing generation of Google map interfaces in future releases;
  • a standard metadata schema but also the ability to add your own customised metadata fields, for example your organistation 'themes';
  • a built in workflow for any member to add suggestions of new items but then going through a nominated quality assurance moderator.

If you are interested in what the Knowledge Base software could do for you, please contact Mat Silver from the team for a chat.

Friday, November 16, 2007

That special time

It's coming to that time of the year - the office Christmas Party. The theme for tonight is disco!! Should be good fun :)

It's a shame Melanie and Bruce are not in town - they're still on the road back to Canberra from Colac where they were meeting with the Corangamite CMA. This regional body is up to stage 3 of the 5 stages within the process for developing a knowledge strategy. The Regional Knowledge Resource Kit is available at with lots of great information for regional bodies.

Anyway, hope to see Bruce and Mel in the office Monday - bright-eyed & bushy-tailed (as they say) **where does that phrase come from??


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gotta quesion? service

Just thought I'd post up one of the recent questions we received to our Gotta question? service ( The question was passed on to the Exchange service run by Greening Australia as this is one of the areas they specialise in.

What is the proper density (per sqr metres) required for establishing a new riparian vegetated zone comprising a diversity of trees, shrubs and groundcover?

Other question topics include:
  • roadside vegetation management policy and management guidelines for local governments
  • Envirofund money provided in the Wet Tropics
  • Land & Water Australia's knowledge and adoption program
  • what research has been done on serrated tussock management.
The service is FREE to NRM professionals - so if you have a question about anything NRM-related and can't find answers or papers or other information, do let us know!