Catalysing Change - A national independent water and catchment policy centre

Image credit: Peter Soleness.

A fence splits the land and waters in this aerial photo taken near the Macquarie Marshes in NSW, showing the impact of different land management practices on vegetation, soil runoff and water quality. (Image credit: Peter Soleness)

We have a bold vision

The vision of The Ian Potter Foundation and The Myer Foundation is to create a new, independent, authoritative and trusted centre that can bridge the gaps between knowledge and power while working collaboratively with all stakeholders on solutions to Australia's water and catchments challenges.

What is needed to catalyse change?

We are seeking contributions from the philanthropic and corporate sectors to ensure the centre's long-term independent operation.

Total cost $35 million - The new centre has a projected cost of $3.5 million per year.

Funds committed $10 millionThe Ian Potter Foundation and The Myer Foundation have committed $10 million over 10 years.

Funds required = $25 million over 10 years.

Join us and be a catalyst for change

Click to the image below to download the Catalysing Change brochure for more information on this initiative.

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Argent, R.M., 2016. Inland water. In Australia: State of the Environment 2016. Commonwealth of Australia.

Chiew, F. et al., 2017. 'Future runoff projections for Australia and science challenges in producing next generation projections'. 22nd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 1745-1751.

CSIRO. 2009. Water Availability in the Murray-Darling Basin: A report from CSIRO to the Australian Government. CSIRO.

CSIRO. 2010. Climate variability and change in south-eastern Australia. CSIRO South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI), 2010.

CSIRO. 2012. South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI) - Phase 2 Synthesis Report. CSIRO South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI).

CSIRO, 2015. Australian National Outlook 2015: Insights for food, water and energy. CSIRO.

CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology. 2015. Climate Change in Australia Information for Australia’s Natural Resource Management Regions: Technical Report. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology.

Dryzek, J.S., Bächtiger, A., Chambers, S., Cohen, J., Druckman, J.N., Felicetti, A., Fishkin, J.S., Farrell, D.M., Fung, A., Gutmann, A. and Landemore, H., 2019. 'The crisis of democracy and the science of deliberation'. Science, 363(6432), pp.1144-1146.

Fishkin. J. 2018. Democracy when the people are thinking: revitalizing our politics through public deliberation. Oxford Univ. Press.

Freund, M., Henley, B. J., Karoly, D. J., Allen, K. J. and Baker, P. J. 2017. 'Multi-century cool- and warm-season rainfall reconstructions for Australia’s major climatic regions', Clim. Past, 13(12), 1751-1770.

Gregory, R., Failing, L., Harstone, M., Long, G., McDaniels, T. and Ohlson, D., 2012. Structured decision making: a practical guide to environmental management choices.
John Wiley & Sons.

Hatfield-Dodds, S. et al., 2015. 'Australia is “free to choose” economic growth and falling environmental pressures'. Nature, 527(7576):49–53.

Jackson, S. E. 2017. “Enduring and persistent injustices in water access in Australia,” in A. Lukasiewicz, S. Dovers, L. Robin, J. McKay, and S. Graham, Eds. Natural resources and environmental justice: Australian perspectives, Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing. 121–132

Jones, D. A., Wang, W. and Fawcett, R.: 2009. 'High-quality spatial climate data-sets for Australia', Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal, 58.

Keenan, T. D. & A, C. H. 2011. Climate Science Update: A Report to the 2011 Garnaut Review. CSIRO.

Neblo, M.A., Esterling, K.M. and Lazer, D.M., 2018. Politics with the people: Building a directly representative democracy. Cambridge University Press.

Peel M.C., McMahon T.A. & Finlayson B.L., 2004. 'Continental differences in the variability of annual runoff - update and reassessment'. Journal of Hydrology. 295, 185-197.

Point Advisory, Alluvium and Global Change Advisory. 2019. Establishing a new entity to influence land and water policy in Australia: Final report to The Ian Potter Foundation
and The Myer Foundation. Melbourne.

Stoker, G., Evans, M. & Halupka, M. 2018. Trust and democracy in Australia. Museum of Australian Democracy and University of Canberra.


The rainfall anomaly shown in the Catalysing Change brochure was calculated with respect to the 1961-1990 average. Data for 1900 to 2017 are from updates to the AWAP NRM precipitation monthly means of the gridded AWAP dataset by Jones, D.A. et al. 2009. Data for 1880 to 1900 are from Freund, M., et al. 2017.

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