13 July 2018
Every year, Hub leaders, researchers and stakeholders come together to reflect on the past year and discuss the future direction of the Hub. As the Hub has reached the mid-point of its funding under the National Environmental Science Program (NESP), this year’s annual workshop (3–4 July) featured many discussions around the need to show the path to impact of the Hub’s research and the value of its science to the Australian community.
Representatives from the Hub’s management team, the Department of the Environment and Energy and the Hub’s Steering Committee and Stakeholder Advisory Group provided a review of the Hub’s activities over the past year from their different perspectives. This review highlighted the progress made to date by the Hub in its research, engagement activities and stakeholder-focused case studies.
Upcoming opportunities and challenges were discussed. There are exciting opportunities for the Hub with regards to climate science strategies and activities planned by the Department, and the Hub Stakeholder Advisory Group’s engagement with the finance and banking sector. It was noted that the large quantities of data resulting from international modelling and downscaling programs would be a challenge.
Lively discussions were undertaken by Hub researchers in planning the structure and design of the future research program of the Hub, including workshopping project ideas and ways to increase collaboration between projects, partner organisations and with other NESP research hubs.
The workshop was facilitated by Ben Wilson, a Yuggera man from Brisbane who provided a fresh approach to open and equitable discussions, engagement and idea sharing. A highlight of the workshop included Ben’s Indigenous engagement session where he provided his tips for encouraging successful engagement with Indigenous communities and highlighted the need to respect different cultures and ways of viewing the world.
Overall the annual workshop progressed the thinking and planning around how the Hub will structure its research program going forward, and provided a rare opportunity for stakeholders and scientists to come together in such large numbers.
The development of the Hub’s next research plan will be ready for implementation in 2019. The current research plan which outlines projects and activities underway this year can be found here.