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Matt and Renee attend NCCARF SEI Network Workshop and Coast to Coast 2016 Conference

Above: Dr. Tim Smith, Renee Currenti, Dr. Noni Keys, Sarah Connor and Matthew Brown at the NCCARF Early Career Researcher & Practitioner Workshop Day

Matthew Brown and Renee Currenti were fortunate enough to be the recipients of an NCCARF sponsored scholarship to attend the NCCARF SEI Network Early Career Researcher & Practitioner Workshop Day as well as the first day of Coast to Coast 2016 Conference hosted by the Victorian Coastal Council held in Melbourne at the end of August, 2016. The NCCARF SEI Network workshop was facilitated by Dr. Tim Smith and Sarah Connor of the NCCARF Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions Network (SEI Network) and existed as a platform to share best practice climate change adaptation knowledge relating to the social, economic and institutional dimensions.  The workshop included presentations from leading adaptation experts; discussions exploring adaptation challenges, strategies and successes; and discussions about the National Adaptation Research Plan. The workshop brought together a wide range of academics, policy-makers and leaders from community and non-government organisations.

Key lessons from the workshop highlighted the necessity to cooperatively work with all stakeholders in the development stages of adaptation plans in order to increase the success of the plan upon implementation and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach.  The need for effective communication to bridge the gap between scientists and the general public was highlighted by Dr. Mark Norman (Chief Conservation Scientist, Parks Victoria) at the Welcome Reception on the Monday evening. We found it very encouraging to see such passionate and knowledgeable people working in the field of climate change adaptation and environmental and marine conservation.

The first day of the Coast to Coast 2016 Conference was a highly educational and inspirational event which connected us with local, interstate and international people with shared interests and passion for marine and coastal areas in ways that left us feeling inspired and empowered to create positive change in our respective fields of research.  We were surrounded by researchers, managers and leaders from community and non-government organisations, coastal volunteer groups, universities, private companies, regional natural resource management organisations and all levels of government.  The conference offered a platform for delegates to raise the profile of marine and coastal environments and their values, and provided a variety of networking opportunities.  

This day consisted of a series of multi-streamed sessions and workshops to enable us to better understand and respond to coastal and marine issues and sustainable outcomes.  Some of the most memorable and inspiring presentations were part of the Sea Country themed session which engaged with indigenous and non-indigenous people discussing projects aimed to better land and sea management through engaging with Traditional Owners and indigenous ways of knowing.  

The NCCARF SEI Network Workshop and the Coast to Coast 2016 Conference were incredible opportunities for us to meet passionate people from a range of professional fields working on an incredibly wide range of adaptation projects and we hope to be involved in more events like these in the future.   

"Today we have a choice." - Dr. John Church, CSIRO Fellow

Above: Dr. Rochelle Spencer introducing the Coffs Harbour case study at the NCCARF Workshop from Twitter


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