What the Experts are Saying​ about our work

'Wettenhall Environment Trust supports groups and projects that are making a positive difference to the natural living environment. We invited Wetland Revival Trust to join our portfolio of landscape restoration projects so that we could offer them our long-term support, and capacity funding when needed. We want to ensure that this group can continue to restore wetlands on public and private land, to partner with First Nations people, and to use their ecological expertise to have a real impact on precious wetland ecosystems in the north of Victoria.'
Beth Mellick
Executive Director, Wettenhall Environment Trust
'Damien has been a pioneer in wetland restoration which I have witnessed at Waterways...over the last 20 years. Damien has taken his lifetime experience in wetland restoration, plant propagation and vegetation survey and monitoring as a consultant to provide a solid foundation for the Wetland Revival Trust.'
David Cameron
Senior Botanist, Flora Database Curator & Threatened Species Officer, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
'Damien and the WRT team have achieved truly remarkable environmental outcomes at several key Victorian wetlands by fostering strong delivery partnerships with agency and community and bringing landholders and Traditional Owners together into the wetland restoration and management space. Now more than ever, a strong voice is needed to advocate for wetland conservation and health and to promote (and educate) about their unique ecology and values.
Sascha Healy
Senior Environmental Water Manager, Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group
'I first encountered Elaine Bayes when, as education and training manager for Greening Australia Victoria, she invited me to deliver training sessions in plant identification...She brings her management, environmental education and ecological monitoring expertise to the Trust, having also worked for my department at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research...in monitoring programs for the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly and threatened frogs such as Growling Grass Frog.
David Cameron
Senior Botanist | Flora Database Curator & Threatened Species Officer | Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
‘Watching WRT work with Traditional Owners engenders hope that we can combine ecological repair and social justice helping Elders and younger folk access natural classrooms. But there is not a moment to lose. Cultural resilience is hanging by a thread and so supporting such Indigenous-led programs is a matter of supreme urgency.’
Dr Tein McDonald AM
Restoration Ecologist and Practitioner, SERA & AABR Board Member
'We have worked on environmental projects with Damien over the past 5 years. We strongly advocate for the Wetland Revival Trust's effectiveness and ability to implement wetland restoration projects. We believe that high value outcomes will be delivered for the natural landscape and the local farming community of the Lower Loddon.'
Jo and Greg Bear
Farmers, Loddon Vale
'The proposals for landscape [restoration] by the Trust have great merit. The Wetland Revival Trust have the abilities and experience to bring together people to acheive their objectives. Their knowledge of both terrestrial and wetland plants, ecology and restoration is superb.'
Jill and Ken Hooper
Owners of Wirra-Lo, Retired Dairy Farmers
'We have known Damien professionally for the last 12 years. His level of expertise regarding wetland projects is exemplary. I can think of no-one with the knowledge, management and integrity to deliver outcomes as well as him.'
Ken Wellard
Neangar Revegetation and Forestry Nursery

'I first encountered Damien in the early 1990s when he was collecting vegetation data for remnant stands of critically endangered grassland, grassy woodland, wetland and coastal communities south and east of Melbourne. Damien entered quadrat data for vegetation samples into the Flora Information System which I subsequently curated for the state environment department Flora and Fauna Survey and Management team.

Over subsequent decades Damien continued to supply quadrat data of the highest quality for threatened plant communities throughout the state. Damien’s data, spanning four decades of vegetation monitoring, has contributed significantly to our knowledge of these communities and their management requirements. Damien’s personal knowledge of these communities and their inexorable decline across the last half century has been instrumental in informing the monitoring, restoration and protection of the state’s wetland and grassland communities with a strong focus on remnant stands in the most depleted landscapes in the state, namely the Victorian Volcanic Plains, Northern Riverine Plains, Murray Valley and Gippsland Plain.

Damien has been a pioneer in wetland restoration which I have witnessed at the Waterways development on Mordialloc Creek over the last twenty years. Waterways represents a pioneering beacon to wetland restoration in Victoria as the largest metropolitan restoration initiative at the time, which aimed to restore the vegetation types characteristic of the former Carrum Carrum Swamp, reintroducing over two hundred wetland and grassland species propagated at the Australian Ecosystems nursery from locally sourced provenances.

As the brains trust and co-founder of Australian Ecosystems, Damien has taken his lifetime experience in wetland restoration, plant propagation and vegetation survey and monitoring as a consultant to provide a solid foundation for the Wetland Revival Trust. Damien also brings to the Trust his wealth of knowledge of fauna, including birds, mammals, frogs and reptiles, and his overseas experience as a consultant in Inner Mongolia and Timor Leste.

I first encountered Elaine when, as education and training manager for Greening Australia Victoria, she invited me to deliver training sessions in plant identification over twenty years ago. Elaine brings her management, environmental education and ecological monitoring expertise to the Trust, having also worked for my department at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in Heidelberg in monitoring programs for the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly and threatened frogs such as Growling Grass Frog.'

David Cameron
Senior Botanist, Flora Database Curator & Threatened Species Officer, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
'I have been fortunate to visit multiple WRT project sites in northern Victoria and they have shown time and time again that they can turn around degradation and nurture recovery in freshwater wetlands. This is not because they are magicians but because they combine deep familiarity with the ecology of individual plants and animals with knowledge of the ways ecosystems work. Indeed - WRT are particularly attuned to the extraordinary resilience of wetland species, resilience derived from adaptations of those species to natural fluxes of wetting and drying over evolutionary timeframes. The way that WRT can pull off the management actions critical to this recovery is a testament to their ability to work well and sensitively with a whole range of partners and stakeholders that are critical to the success of wetland restoration. In my view the most important of these relationships are those between the WRT and Traditional Owners. Watching WRT working with Traditional Owners engenders hope that we can combine ecological repair and social justice – helping elders and younger folk to access natural classrooms. But there is not a moment to lose. Cultural resilience is hanging by a thread and so supporting such Indigenous-led programs is a matter of supreme urgency.'
Dr Tein McDonald AM
Restoration Ecologist and Practitioner, SERA & AABR Board Member
'Damien and the WRT team are knowledgeable, hands on and incredibly passionate about landscape and wetland rehabilitation. WRT have achieved truly remarkable environmental outcomes at several key Victorian wetlands by fostering strong delivery partnerships with agency and community and bringing landholders and traditional owners together into the wetland restoration and management space. Now, more than ever, a strong voice is needed to advocate for wetland conservation and health and to promote (and educate) about their unique ecology and values. Damien and his team provide this connection, are generous with their time and knowledge and work tirelessly in this dynamic space. The MDWWG wholeheartedly support WRT because they are committed to long term wetland rehabilitation and restoration, which is confirmed by decades of industry experience.'
Sascha Healy
Senior Environmental Water Manager, Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group