Designing protections for the Gippsland Lakes in partnership with the community 

In September 2020, we kicked off a project working on proposals to improve laws and governance around the Gippsland Lakes.  

Participatory design process  

The Gippsland Lakes project applies EJA’s unique model of participatory design processes to partner with local community groups advocating for improved protection and restoration of rivers and waterways. Our previous participatory design process has successfully led to Victoria’s landmark Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act, and proposals currently being considered by the Victorian government for new forms of governance for waterways in Melbourne’s est and on the Barwon River. 

Threats to our waterways  

The Gippsland Lakes face distinctive and serious challenges and threats. This includes the impacts of mining, irrigation, and the dredging of a permanent entrance to the Lakes. Many of these challenges are the result of broader governance and legal issues including the impacts of colonialisation and a fragmentation of legal and bureaucratic processes. In partnership with key community groups, including the Gippsland Environment Group, we’ll be will working to identify and advocate for legal and governance solutions to address these challenges and threats.  

The participatory design process includes a series of workshops that create a space to discuss and work through issues, visions, options and proposals for a new approach to legal protection. The first Gippsland Lakes community workshop was held on Tuesday 8 September 2020. Future workshops in October and November will discuss issues, visions, options and proposals for a new legal and governance approach to protection of the Gippsland Lakes.  

Get in touch  

For more information or if you would like to join the next Gippsland Lakes workshop, please contact Nicola Silbert at