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Published: 21 March 2022

Tickets are now on sale for the second annual River reflections regional water conference, taking place on 1 and 2 June 2022 in Mildura, Victoria.

River reflections provides the space and time for the diverse communities of the Murray–Darling Basin to come together to listen and learn from one another. The first conference was held in Griffith in June 2021.

Murray–Darling Basin Authority acting Chief Executive Andrew Reynolds said regional communities had lived and worked with the rivers of the Murray–Darling Basin for generations and held vital knowledge and experience. 

“The conference is a chance to connect Basin communities, industries and ideas,” Mr Reynolds said.

“It provides an opportunity for diverse communities to come together and learn from each other.

“People of the Murray–Darling Basin rely on a healthy, productive river system to sustain their lives and livelihoods, and water management in the Basin relies on a partnership between governments, industries and communities.”

The 2022 conference will see a wide range of national and local speakers sharing their insights and perspectives on challenges and innovations, community resilience, and river and ecosystem health.

The program includes a combination of on-the-ground tours, conference presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions.

Acclaimed demographer Simon Kuestenmacher will give an address on day 1, sharing insights on the macro trends created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts and opportunities for Basin communities. On day 2, the MDBA Chair, Sir Angus Houston, will speak on the future of the Basin and the knowledge needed to support industries, communities and the environment for the long term.

Hosted by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority, the conference is taking place at The Grand Hotel in Mildura, Victoria on Wednesday, 1 June and Thursday, 2 June 2022. Tickets are $100 each (plus $6.59 booking fee) to attend in-person, including the conference dinner on Wednesday night, or you can register to attend most sessions virtually via live streaming at no cost. 

The MDBA developed the program with members of the Mildura community and surrounding regions.

To find out more and to book your ticket, visit River reflections conference | Murray-Darling Basin Authority (

Speakers' background 

Sir Angus Houston – MDBA Chair

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret'd) was awarded the Knight of the Order of Australia in January 2015 for extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit in service to Australia, through distinguished service in the Australian Defence Force, continued commitment to serve the nation in leadership roles, particularly the national responses to the MH370 and MH17 disasters, and in a variety of roles in the community.

Sir Angus retired from the military in July 2011 after serving for 41 years. He was Chief of the Australian Defence Force from 2005 to 2011 and prior to that was Chief of Air Force for 4 years.

Sir Angus is Chancellor for the University of the Sunshine Coast, Chair of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority and chairs several other boards. He also serves as a board member for numerous organisations as well as being a visiting fellow of the Australian National University National Security College. In addition, he is the ambassador/patron for a number of charitable organisations, including several mental health charities. Sir Angus has been awarded 4 honorary doctorate degrees from the University of South Australia, the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales and Griffith University.

Sir Angus has extensive experience in bringing different interests together to work towards a common goal and is well placed to lead the Authority for the next stage of implementation ahead.

Simon Kuestenmacher – Demographer

Simon is a Director and Co-founder of The Demographics Group based in Melbourne, Australia.

Simon holds degrees in geography from leading universities in Berlin and Melbourne and worked for several years as a business consultant with KPMG Australia.

In 2017 Simon, with Bernard Salt, co-founded The Demographics Group. The group provides specialist advice on demographic, consumer and social trends for business.

Simon has presented to corporate and industry audiences across Australia and overseas on demographic trends, consumer insights and cultural change in Australia.

His presentations and quirky observations are enjoyed by groups from the financial services, property, government, education, technology, retail and professional services industries, among others.

Simon is a also columnist for The Australian newspaper and The New Daily newspaper; a media commentator on demographic and data matters.

In his spare time Simon runs what is by now the world's largest Twitter account dedicated to maps and data. He has amassed 300,000 global followers, reaches over 25 million people every month and ranks as one of the world's Top 10 influencers in data visualisation. If you're not already following Simon on Twitter, he can be found at: @SimonGerman600.


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