Merri Creek Management Committee

Big Clean Up March2018Close to 80 enthusiastic people turned up on a gorgeous sunny Autumn morning (on 17 March) to remove unsightly litter from the banks of the Merri Creek in East Brunswick and Northcote. After a safety induction, donning of gloves and a statement of purpose from the community organiser, Tara Patwardhan-Kalra, the volunteers got down to business. Because there was such a great turn-out of volunteers, a large area of the creek’s bank, the nearby Merri Park wetlands, and surrounding stormwater drains, were literally picked clean of litter! In four hours over 40 large bags of rubbish were collected, and bundled up neatly ready for collection by Council. About a quarter of this could have been recycled.

Great news - Moreland Council has decided to make an offer to the State Government to buy VicRoads land at Leonard St, Fawkner. This land is an integral part of the Merri Creek habitat and parkland corridor but has been declared 'surplus' to VicRoads' needs. If not acquired by Council it could be been sold off for residential development. MCMC has congratulated Council on this decision, made on 13 June 2018. We've also said that we share Council's frustration at having to use ratepayer’s funds to purchase land from another level of government.
It's still not a done deal yet as the State Government may want more than Council offers.  It will also take some time for the negotiations to be completed and land to be transferred.
Leonard St Parkland end of current roadPhoto: Community members gather at Leonard St Fawkner to save the parkland, May 2018

Brian 2017After almost 21 years, Brian Bainbridge, MCMC's Ecological Restoration Planner, has left us for a position as Biodiversity Officer with Hepburn Shire Council. This move enables Brian to work closer to where he now lives. Brian has amazing skills in identifying fauna and flora and is excellent at planning, analysing and communicating ecological restoration projects. He has discovered a number of rare species at Merri Creek sites, including Golden Sun Moths. However we haven't lost Brian's valuable contribution altogether as he's still working for us one day a week, helping out with a hand-over to Michael Longmore.

Galada Tamboore Chris Clarke smallIf you would like to help protect Merri Creek beyond your lifetime, please consider making a gift in your will to Merri Creek Management Committee. Your gift, large or small, will fund important projects which may not otherwise be possible.
We understand that making your will is a very personal matter and all bequest information is held in the utmost confidence.
If you’d like to discuss your bequest ideas, or advise us of an intended gift, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Luisa Macmillan on (03) 9380 8199.

Gorse Phalaris mappingMerri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has been awarded $45,000 from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to update our mapping capabilities. The 90 year-old charity aims to make ‘a real and lasting impact on the big challenges facing Melbourne’. Currently, one of its key areas is protecting water eco-systems

Leaf and stem cuttings for propagationThe native White Elderberry, cousin of Europe’s Black Elderberry, is now a rare plant along the Merri Creek. The European plant has a rich folklore and a new MCMC project aims to secure the local plant’s future. Read more.

Murnong EncountersDuring July 2017’s NAIDOC Week, Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di Kerr provided a Welcome to Country for the big group of 60 people who came to a special Murnong Encounters evening put on by MECCARG (Merri and Edgars Creeks Confluence Area Restoration Group).  Murnong, or PlainsYam Daisy, was a staple food for Wurundjeri people and Aunty Di has been closely involved in the local MECCARG project to revive and celebrate this vital food plant.

The MECCARG community was very proud to have Dr Beth Gott (on left in photo) lead the evening with a detailed account of Murnong, based on her long and distinguished career as an ethnobotanist. 

Yakai Barring gardenThis flourishing indigenous garden, planted in 2015 at Brunswick North West Primary School and named Yakai Barring in Woiwurrung language (meaning ‘surprise track’), is full of educational opportunities. After two years growth, the Poa labillardieri  (Common Tussock-grass) was quite abundant, so in May 2017 students in Grades 1 & 2 harvested it. They noted that the soft flower heads had already dropped their seed and could understand how Wurundjeri got clues from nature to know the seasons and the right time of year to collect seed.  Later, the 125 students examined water bugs, gazed at toy dalai wurrung (playtypus) and iuk (short finned eel) and made detailed observational drawings. 

Colin HUnterOn National Eucalypt Day 2017 Merri Creek Management Committee staff showed students from Collingwood College and Kangan Institute’s Gunung Willam Balluk the three Eucalypt trees at the Merri Yarra Confluence that were scarred by Wurundjeri in 2016. The new marks provide fresh significance for understanding this very special place.  The schools' excursions were supported by funding from Eucalypt Australia.  

The original Merri-Yarra Biik project was  supported by a Partnering for Sustainability grant from the City of Yarra.  The project is summarised as a case-study on the City of Yarra website (Go to success stories towards the bottom of the page). Photo: Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter Jnr. inspires students from Collingwood College as he shows the recently scarred trees, March 2017.

VicRoads land at McBryde Hood StreetsMoreland Council has joined the community in calling for a parcel of VicRoads land by Merri Creek in Fawkner to be retained as public open space. The land is zoned Public Park & Recreation Zone (PPRZ) and is actively used by the community and wildlife. VicRoads has declared the land 'surplus' to its requirements; the majority of the land is headed for a rezoning before it is sold for residential development.  Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) is calling on the state government to show leadership to protect the land, a vital part of the Merri Creek corridor.