Merri Creek Women’s Walk
The idea to establish a Women’s Walk along the Merri Creek began in response to hearing the horrendous story of a man’s assault on a woman as she was jogging along the creek in broad daylight in 2019.
While several events have been held to both acknowledge the harm and to try and reclaim the area as safe to be enjoyed by the broader community, AWA VIC Committee member Meredith Gibbs felt that a more lasting commemoration, and indeed celebration, of women along the Merri Creek would be appropriate.
In addition to this, the Merri Creek is one of the most polluted urban waterways in Melbourne and local groups have been working tirelessly for some time to improve the waterway and riparian zone.
In line with AWA’s Strategy to Share, Connect & Inspire
With the support of AWA’s Victorian Branch Committee of the Australian Water Association, Meredith was looking for a practical project to connect Merri Creek with AWA members and local groups for inspiration and provide an opportunity to share stories, which resulted in the idea to establish a walking trail, featuring women's stories, from Joe’s Garden along the Merri Creek between Moreland Road and Bell Street.
During times of lockdown, we have all learned how important our local parks are in managing our well-being. By creating a greater awareness of people’s connection to the land and water, we hope to increase knowledge about the waterway among the wider community.
SHARE stories and knowledge about the Merri Creek:
- how to achieve healthy (and safe) waterways and riparian areas that can be enjoyed by all and provide necessary ecosystem services;
- celebrate indigeneity and diversity around the Merri Creek waterways through the sharing of stories by key women who have lived and/or worked on or near the Merri Creek, and
- encourage and support care for the creek, improve the health of the waterway and its fauna and flora.
CONNECT by engaging with stakeholders and communities of the Merri Creek including:
- Wurundjeri and other Aboriginal people living in the area
- Melbourne Water
- Moreland Council (noting that the trail will be on the western side of the creek)
- Stormwater Victoria
- Merri Creek Management Committee
- Joe's Garden
- local community groups such as Friends of the Merri Creek
- local multicultural groups; and
- others as identified during the project.
INSPIRE positive change by:
- recognising key female figures and their connection to the Merri Creek, acknowledging the diversity of communities who enjoy and respect the Merri Creek and its surroundings, by
- supporting current care for the creek through collaboration with before mentioned stakeholders to improve riparian ecosystems, and
- by participating in existing activities such as clean-up days, riparian weeding, planting and more.
The next steps:
- seeking nominations for stories by women to feature along the trail, either by using the link shared here or QR code below,
- develop a virtual trail map with storytelling points,
- launch the trail during National Water Week in October 2021,
- invite members along for a walk along the trail, and
- secure funding for real life interpretive markers and plantings along the trail to tell the story.
If you'd like to be involved in this project, come on board as a sponsor or have questions, please email email@example.com.
QR code for nomination survey: