GOGREEN logo. It says GOGREEN in light green. Underneath, in dark green, it says: "Governing Green Transitions". There is a green square that frames the text on the left.

Goulburn Murray Resilience Taskforce

Location: Regional Victoria, Australia  

Case study conducted by: Professor Carolyn Hendriks and Ms Christie Woodhouse  

Time span: 2021-now  

Green SDGs: 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 

Partners:  Individual community members and community organisations; local businesses and the agricultural sector; diverse local, regional and state government agencies; water utilities; and universities. 

Data sources: Interviews, documents, observations, mini-survey 

Image taken by Carolyn Hendriks and Christie Woodhouse. It shows a river from the view of a short, wooden bridge. There are five boats in the river. It is banked by trees. The sky is blue. The water is brown.
Image by Carolyn Hendriks and Christie Woodhouse
Poster. The Top half is a decorative photo of nature. The bottom half is blue-green and has the following text: "Goulburn Murray Resilience Strategy. Adapt. Transform. Thrive. 2020." To the right there is five icons, showing a fresh shoot in purple, drops of water in orange, a flag in yellow, a dollar-sign in between two bent arrows that point in a circle in dark blue, and finally two straight arrows pointing in opposite directions in light blue.
The image has the following text on it. Title: "Resilience principles". Description: "The Following principles describe the characteristics of systems that demonstrate resilience. They must underpin any interventions taken to increase resilience within a system." List: "Develop a complexity perspective. Develop governance that embraces change. Foster cohesion, self-organisation and local responsibility. Design for flexibility. Manage networks and connectivity. Value, retain and build response and recovery capacity. Focus on slow variables, leverage & tipping points. Learn for change."

In GOGREEN, we define the green SDGs as the following SDGs: SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15

This case centres on the implementation of a community-led regional planning initiative for the Goulburn Murray region — Australia’s largest irrigation district. This is a productive agricultural region that produces diverse commodities including dairy, cropping, fruit, beef, sheep and horticulture.

The Goulburn Murray region is located in north-west Victoria, Australia. The Traditional Owners of the lands across this region include: Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Barapa Barapa, Wamba Wamba, Wadi Wadi and Taungurung peoples. 

The Goulburn Murray region has faced successive challenges including salinity, farm debt and severe drought. Today it faces the uncertainties of a changing climate, with predictions suggesting much drier and warmer conditions.  The region also faces a diverse range of changes such as water recovery for the environment, technological change, dynamic markets, energy challenges and biosecurity risks.

In early 2015, in the face of all these changes, particularly the changing climate, some leaders from within community began to engage in ideas on resilience thinking and climate adaptation. These community leaders wanted to develop a vision for their region that promoted resilience and long-term thinking – something that piecemeal policy making to date by successive local, state and federal governments had not fostered.  

In 2018-19 this group led a consultative process on resilience thinking for the region by engaging diverse members from local communities and towns, as well as relevant local, state and federal government agencies, farmers and the agribusiness sector.

Emerging out of this consultative process was a community-led planning strategy, the Goulburn Murray Resilience Strategy, which was launched in Dec 2020. The Strategy has since received the support of the relevant state government agency, Regional Development Victoria. The Strategy is promoted as pathbreaking community-led intervention that has the potential to respond to the complex challenges the region faces due to climate change. It centres around the following five intervention streams:

  1. futures of agriculture
  2. learning for change
  3. circular economy
  4. natural and built assets
  5. leadership and coordination.


To drive and guide the implementation of the Strategy, the community established the Goulburn Murray Resilience Taskforce. This is collaborative body composed of community members, farmers, private sector companies and a variety of local, state and federal government actors.

The case study will focus on the work of the Taskforce, and its implementation of particular aspects of the community-led Resilience Strategy. The case will provide insights into the  practices and politics of a community-led collaboration that seeks to advance green solutions by bringing together community, business, and multiple levels of government. The case will also illuminate how communities and governments can seed and build community leadership capacity and promote innovative long-term thinking for green solutions.

A map. It includes the Murray River and Goulburn River. Also featured is Loddon River and Campaspe River. The following are also marked on the map: Swan Hill, Kerang, Boort, Cohuna, Pyramid Hill, Echuca, Tongala, Rochester, Stanhope, Tatura, Shepparton, Nathalia, Cobram, and Yarrawonga.
The image is a figure. The title of the figure is "Goulburn Murray Resilience Taskforce". It includes seven boxes, three across the top, one in the middle, three across the bottom. They are connected through arrows. From top-left to right: The first box says "Drawn from: Community". It points right to a box that has two inner boxes. The top one says "Community Board: Co-chaired by LCRP & GRP". The bottom one says "Staff". The third box (which the second one points towards) says "Report via" and then a list of three option, the first being "Regional Partnerships: Loddon Campaspe", the second being "Regional Partnerships: Goulburn", the final one being "Regional Partnerships: Mallee". Below the three boxes is a centered box, which the second box points down towards. It says "Support and engage resilience initiatives with". The box points to the first box and the three boxes below it. The three boxes below, from bottom-left to right: The first box says "Place-based resilience groups: Build resilience locally", the second says "Resilience stream forums: Take action on initiatives", the third one says "Multiple levels and areas within government". The last one has an arrow that points two ways between itself and the top-right box. Between the arrow and the top-right box it says "Advocate and inform".

Cookie Consent Form

This website uses strictly-necessary cookies. To read more about WordPress cookies, click here. Please click on the ‘Accept’ button to continue on to the GOGREEN Project site.