International RiverFoundation works in partnerships around the world to fund and promote the sustainable restoration and management of river basins. As an international dynamic public benefit organisation, we have a life-changing impact on individuals and communities. By helping restore and sustainably manage rivers we have achieved improved health, ecological, economic, and social outcomes for people and the environment.
IRF rewards and champions best practice in river basin management through the International, Australian and European Riverprizes. From the Danube River in Europe, to the Mekong River in South-East Asia, and the St Johns River in the United States, the IRF has a far reaching network. IRF acts as a catalyst for replication of effective river system management around the world and promotes long term relationships between developed and developing countries around sustainable river system management.
IRF provides companies and individuals with the opportunity to be part of the solution and to establish an enduring legacy. We are only limited by the funds we raise.
IRF is also a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct and we are committed to full adherence to its requirements. These good practices ensure transparency and accountability, improve international development effectiveness and increase stakeholder trust. Further information about the Code and its complaints process is available at www.acfid.asn.au.
We envision a future in which people and ecosystems benefit from sustainably managed rivers.
The journey began with a vision of the City of Brisbane and the then Lord Mayor Jim Soorley to put best practice for restoration of rivers onto the global agenda.
The vision extended to a prestigious Riverprize to complement International Riversymposium, an internationally recognised forum of river management.
The first Thiess International Riverprize was awarded in 1999 (the National Riverprize was introduced two years later) at the International Riversymposium, held during the Riverfestival, an annual celebration of Brisbane's people, culture and environment.
In 2003, Riverfestival established the International RiverFoundation to ensure the continued funding of the Riverprizes and support of International Riversymposium.
From 2003 to 2008, Riverprize was delivered in a partnership between Riverfestival and RiverFoundation at the International Riversymposium. RiverFoundation funded the prize money and Riverfestival managed the delivery of the Riverprize awards dinner. During this time the programs of the International RiverFoundation expanded to include twinning - to ensure world's best practice was shared.
Since 2009, RiverFoundation now manages the Thiess International and the Australian Riverprizes, which are awarded at the Riverprize Gala Dinner, held as part of the International Riversymposium.
Riverprize – Recognising best practice
Riverprize is the world’s most prestigious award giving recognition, reward and support to those who have implemented outstanding and visionary programs in river restoration, protection and management. The first Riverprize was awarded in 1999 and 30 Riverprizes have since been awarded to a range of organisations, big and small, from different parts of the world.
Twinning – Applying best practice
There is simply no better way to share knowledge than by connecting river basin professionals with their peers around the world. IRF Twinning programs allow Riverprize winners to engage with other river management groups, harnessing knowledge and passion and often benefiting those in the developing world. The IRF Twinning program has continued to expand and evolve, with 8 twinning projects across different countries, and 3 within Australia.
International Riversymposium – Exchanging knowledge
As the preeminent conference on rivers, the Riversymposium provides a meeting place for communities, businesses, governments and scientists to meet, network, debate and develop future ideas for river management. IRF has worked hard to revitalise all aspects of the conference since acquiring the management in 2014, ensuring Riversymposium is accessible and attractive to a wide audience and reinforcing the values of excellence, collaboration and integration.
River Recovery – Facilitating on-ground solutions for healthier rivers and communities
IRF has developed the River Recovery program for river restoration works around the world, coordinated in partnership with local communities, governments and businesses. River recovery projects are about implementing on ground solutions, providing a vehicle for those passionate about river restoration to make a difference and raising awareness for those groups who are already working tirelessly in their pursuit of healthy rivers and communities. This dual focus of rivers plus community is essential in realising meaningful, long-term results that change lives.
Sponsored delegates – Helping river professionals in developing countries
Since 2003, IRF has funded over 250 delegates from developing countries to attend the International Riversymposium where they have the opportunity to learn, share their experiences and develop professional networks for improving river health in their home country.
Scholarships - Developing the next generation of leaders
Not just about rewarding academic excellence, the Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship also seeks to nurture and develop future leaders in integrated water resources management. Through the generosity of the Thiess Family, the IRF has awarded 8 scholarships to exemplary high achievers who will make a difference back home and around the world.
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What personal information do we collect?
We collect information that is required for use in the business activities of International Riverfoundation This may include: name; mailing address; e-mail; telephone number(s); financial details necessary in order to process various transactions and any other information you may elect to provide to us.
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We may disclose information about individuals as permitted by law. We may share information with regulatory bodies and law enforcement officials, provide information to protect against fraud and share information with your consent.
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International Riverfoundation has implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial security procedures in order to protect personal information from loss, misuse, alteration or destruction. International Riverfoundation regularly reviews security and encryption technologies and will strive to protect information to the fullest extent possible.
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