Despite dependence on the rivers, the Shepparton-Mooroopna communities’ appreciation of, and engagement with our river environment have varied due to past practices of “turning our back to the river”.

Over the last 60 years, the Goulburn River was redirected away from the Shepparton town area, complementary buildings and infrastructure were removed and the focus of urban development turned away from the river.

Simultaneously, as the focus on utilisation of the area for economic benefit increased and our urban centres grew, individual connection with the spaces and the health of our rivers declined.

In the early 2000s, many observed these changes and a groundswell of interest led to the development of the RiverConnect program. 

Collaboratively we were motived to find solutions and understood the need for a whole-of-community approach to reconnect people to the river environment whilst protecting and enhancing these spaces.

Founding Members

Meeting 14th Dec 2005

Bill O’Kane, Scott Morath, Rachael Spokes, Neville Atkinson, Wayne Tennant, Ken Sampson, Peter Howard, Lisa McKenzie, Bruce Cumming, Terry Batey, Rod McLennan, Greg McKenzie, Anne McCamish, Lilian Parker, Dianne Hanna, Phil Stevenson, Bruce Wehner, Merv McAliece. 

RiverConnect Steering Committee 2006
RiverConnect Steering Committee 2006
Left to Right: John Laing, Scott Morath, Rod McLennan, Bill O'Kane, Dennis Wapling, Kate Martin, Merv McAliece, Anne McCamish, Cr Jenny Houlihan, Dianne Hanna, Ken Sampson.

To this day, RiverConnect continues to evolve as it aims to foster the community's love, respect and connection to the river environment.