Who we are, how we operate

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About RiverFoundation

 

 

 

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.

 

A Murray River billabong (lagoon) near Albury in New South Wales, Australia © Kerry Trapnell

 

 

Our Programs | Support Us | Visit our Facebook Page 

 

 

Our vision

 

To be a truly global leader in supporting and fostering best practice river management and restoration, delivering superior economic, social and environmental returns. 

 

Our goals

  • To identify, recognize and reward the exceptional efforts of organisations in river management and restoration.
  • To catalyse the replication of best practice river management practices in regions of need, promoting long-term relationships for sharing knowledge.
  • To raise awareness of environmental, economic, social and cultural river values and the importance of integrated river basin management.
  • To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge on sustainable river management.
  • To support the corporate social responsibility of companies by facilitating actions and projects in sustainable river basin management.
  • To promote co-operative, long-term relationships on river management between developing and developed countries.
  • To help maximise the effectiveness of global action to protect and revive rivers by building partnerships and alliances with organisations seeking similar outcomes worldwide.
  • To provide tangible and measurable economic, social and environmental outcomes on behalf of our sponsors.
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The History of International RiverFoundation

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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.

 

brisbane River at Night

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Our Achievements

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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.

Our Staff

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Ian Atkinson

CEO
+61 7 3026 0914
Ian has over 30 years’ experience in agriculture and natural resource management, having joined the IRF after leading the Nature Foundation SA, a not-for-profit conservation charity that works towards saving, protecting and restoring South Australia's natural biodiversity. He holds qualifications in Agricultural Science, Horticultural Science, Science Communication and Law. He has many years of experience in senior roles as well as ... MORE
Phone: +61 7 3026 0914
Email: ian@riverfoundation.org.au
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Ian Atkinson CEO

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Ian has over 30 years’ experience in agriculture and natural resource management, having joined the IRF after leading the Nature Foundation SA, a not-for-profit conservation charity that works towards saving, protecting and restoring South Australia's natural biodiversity. He holds qualifications in Agricultural Science, Horticultural Science, Science Communication and Law. He has many years of experience in senior roles as well as a very practical knowledge of water and land management, including CEO and leadership roles with Irrigation Australia, the CRC for Irrigation Futures (CRCIF) and the Nursery Industry Association of Australia.

Phone: +61 7 3026 0914
Email: ian@riverfoundation.org.au

Trish Dalby

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
+61 7 3026 0823
Trish shifted from New Zealand to Brisbane in 2011 and has over seven years' experience in the areas of marketing and communications.   After graduating with a Bachelor of Communication from Massey University in Palmerston North, Trish began working for a national healthcare organisation in Wellington where she coordinated the planning, implementation and launch phases of a major re-branding project.   Trish has experience in a wide ... MORE
Phone: +61 7 3026 0823
Email: patricia@riverfoundation.org.au
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Trish Dalby MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

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Trish shifted from New Zealand to Brisbane in 2011 and has over seven years' experience in the areas of marketing and communications.   After graduating with a Bachelor of Communication from Massey University in Palmerston North, Trish began working for a national healthcare organisation in Wellington where she coordinated the planning, implementation and launch phases of a major re-branding project.   Trish has experience in a wide range of marketing activities including marketing strategy, written communication, website management, social media, events management, advertising, corporate branding, design, stakeholder liaison and reporting. 

Phone: +61 7 3026 0823
Email: patricia@riverfoundation.org.au

John Hayes

FINANCE MANAGER
+61 7 3026 0958
After ‘trialling’ retirement for nine months, John was ready to re-engage with his vocation but this time wanted to become more environmentally aware and make a contribution. In November 2010 he commenced with the International RiverFoundation as a volunteer accountant.   John spent over 30 years in the public service in human resources, program and business management. He completed his accounting degree later... MORE
Phone: +61 7 3026 0958
Email: john@riverfoundation.org.au
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John Hayes FINANCE MANAGER

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After ‘trialling’ retirement for nine months, John was ready to re-engage with his vocation but this time wanted to become more environmentally aware and make a contribution. In November 2010 he commenced with the International RiverFoundation as a volunteer accountant.

 

John spent over 30 years in the public service in human resources, program and business management. He completed his accounting degree later in life and spent after a few years as a tax accountant. His time is now divided between travel, grandchildren, the RiverFoundation and cooking. Baked cheesecakes are his specialty and he has found the RiverFoundation staff and volunteers willing judges of his creations.

Phone: +61 7 3026 0958
Email: john@riverfoundation.org.au

Daniel LeBlanc

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & PROGRAM MANAGER
+61 7 3026 0826
Daniel brings over 25 years in project management experience to the IRF, in a wide range of sectors including river restoration (former Riverkeeper), renewable energy and humanitarian aid (UNHCR). His river management work brought him to direct campaigns at the leading edge of environmental law enforcement and environmental communications. Today, Daniel consults between Australia and Canada in the field of project management, public advocacy a... MORE
Phone: +61 7 3026 0826
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Daniel LeBlanc BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & PROGRAM MANAGER

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Daniel brings over 25 years in project management experience to the IRF, in a wide range of sectors including river restoration (former Riverkeeper), renewable energy and humanitarian aid (UNHCR). His river management work brought him to direct campaigns at the leading edge of environmental law enforcement and environmental communications. Today, Daniel consults between Australia and Canada in the field of project management, public advocacy and project financing, drawing on a blend of skills successfully employed in business, international relations and environmental advocacy to build stronger communities and achieve winning results. He loves surfing and helping social change actors become more effective, so that we may all achieve our goal of creating a better world.

Phone: +61 7 3026 0826

Tanushree Rao

COMMUNICATION AND EVENT COORDINATOR
+61 7 3026 0826
Tanushree joined the International RiverFoundation in 2015, bringing expertise in economic communication, writing and international development research to the newly created role of Communication and Event Coordinator.   From 2014-2015, Tanushree worked in Queensland Treasury Corporation's corporate affairs team, specialising in digital communication, investor relations and communication with public sector clients. She worked both activ... MORE
Phone: +61 7 3026 0826
Email: tanushree@riverfoundation.org.au
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Tanushree Rao COMMUNICATION AND EVENT COORDINATOR

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Tanushree joined the International RiverFoundation in 2015, bringing expertise in economic communication, writing and international development research to the newly created role of Communication and Event Coordinator.

 

From 2014-2015, Tanushree worked in Queensland Treasury Corporation's corporate affairs team, specialising in digital communication, investor relations and communication with public sector clients. She worked both actively and responsively in accordance with a range of business needs, including market communication, publications, design, digital media, social media and app development. Prior to this, she completed an honours thesis in large dams, politics and social impact, and worked as a research assistant writer, video producer and graphic designer.

 

Tanushree holds a Bachelor of Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours, with majors in International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies) and Diploma in French from The University of Queensland. She is currently completing various courses in environment and science communication, and also works as a technology communicator, freelance writer, musician and children's soccer coach.

Phone: +61 7 3026 0826
Email: tanushree@riverfoundation.org.au

Abdula Bansuan

PROJECT COORDINATOR - RIVER RECOVERY (PHILIPPINES)
Abdula spent 20 years of his professional career in the academe, NGOs, research centers, and local and national authorities, with over 10 years focused in the environment sector. Proficient in policy and governance, he joined the Mindanao State University – General Santos City (MSU-GSC) in 1996, and since he left in 1998, had been holding a part-time lecturer position from time to time until the present.   Working with communities... MORE
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Abdula Bansuan PROJECT COORDINATOR - RIVER RECOVERY (PHILIPPINES)

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Abdula spent 20 years of his professional career in the academe, NGOs, research centers, and local and national authorities, with over 10 years focused in the environment sector. Proficient in policy and governance, he joined the Mindanao State University – General Santos City (MSU-GSC) in 1996, and since he left in 1998, had been holding a part-time lecturer position from time to time until the present.

 

Working with communities, governments and other key stakeholders has been his passion, by facilitating holistic catchment management of some of the Mindanao’s biologically rich forests and inland waters. All throughout this long experience, he learned the success and failure elements in building institutional relations and capacity.

 

Mainly, Abdula has delivered leadership capability advancement for communities and local governments, contributed to several river basin management plans formulation, and implemented environmental projects designed to uplift the socioeconomic status of rural people. In a number of situations, he applied pragmatic approaches, grounded on mutual benefits and accountability sharing, in resolving conflicts on resource use and access.

 

The multi-stakeholders watershed cooperation – Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance (AVLDA) – under his directorship received a national acclaim in 2008 by then Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for its outstanding innovative performance in inter-provincial, multi-level governance. 

 

His recent research work on sustainable water resources in mining gave him the break to be involved in catchment and river management projects in mining regions. Abdula observed that employing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) could have more challenges in mine areas, and hard choices and decisions are necessary. However, he sees wide windows of opportunity of bringing issues to resolution, if common agenda are well-defined and addressed by stakeholders who will be merged by sincere commitments to make progress possible at all fronts and sectors.

 

He holds Master of Integrated Water Management from The University of Queensland, Master of Science in Environmental and Resource Management from the University of Southeastern Philippines and Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

 

He is a member of International Water Association (IWA), Secretary of the Philippine Watershed Management Coalition (PWMC), and Ambassador of the International Water Centre (IWC), as well as a current Ambassador of the International RiverFoundation (IRF). 

Tarika Khanna

RIVERSYMPOSIUM 2016 COORDINATOR (INDIA)
Tarika is our 2016 Riversymposium coordinator, based in New Delhi, India.   Previously, Tarika worked with TERI and ICRIER in New Delhi before taking up a masters in Australia in 2014. She worked on projects in natural resources management, especially in the urban and rural water and sanitation sector. She possesses in-depth knowledge of the water and energy sector, water and environmental quality, water and ecosystem integrity and... MORE
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Tarika Khanna RIVERSYMPOSIUM 2016 COORDINATOR (INDIA)

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Tarika is our 2016 Riversymposium coordinator, based in New Delhi, India.

 

Previously, Tarika worked with TERI and ICRIER in New Delhi before taking up a masters in Australia in 2014. She worked on projects in natural resources management, especially in the urban and rural water and sanitation sector. She possesses in-depth knowledge of the water and energy sector, water and environmental quality, water and ecosystem integrity and water and sanitation sector. She also has hands-on experience in planning and arranging promotion and awareness programs on various themes. She has played a stellar role in working with cross-disciplinary field specialists like water research experts, government officials and media personnel to produce video documentation of best practices in the sector for handling integrated water management projects.

 

Tarika has completed a Bachelor in Life Sciences majoring in Chemistry, Botany and Zoology and Masters in Natural Resources Management from New Delhi, India. In 2015, she completed a Master of Integrated Water Management from The University of Queensland and the International Water Centre, Australia.

Ambassadors

Ambassadors

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*please click map to enlarge

Governance

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Chair – Dr Roger Higgins

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Dr Roger Higgins CHAIR

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Roger Higgins has more than 40 years experience in the resources industries.  He began as an engineering hydrologist, and has worked in environmental, planning, operations and project development roles in the minerals industry. From 2008-2013, he was Senior Vice President Copper for Teck Resources, and prior to that held positions with BHP Billiton over a period of 25 years, in Australia, Chile, Papua New Guinea and USA.  He is a graduate of the University of Queensland, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of New South Wales where he completed a PhD in water resources. He attended the Stanford Executive Program in 1997. Roger serves as a non-executive director for two mining companies, and is an Adjunct Professor with the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland.

Director – Mr Martin Albrecht AC

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
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Mr Martin Albrecht DIRECTOR

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Martin was the inaugural Chairman of the International RiverFoundation founded in 2003 and retired from the position in December 2010.  He now remains involved as a Director.

 

Martin was CEO of Thiess for over 15 years from 1985 and Chair of the Thiess Board and a Director of Leighton Holdings from 2001 - 2008.

 

Martin maintains an active interest in a wide range of government, community, and cultural activities. He is a member of the Board of Governors for CEDA and recently retired as Chairman of Wesley Research Institute. He was awarded Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2002, and also the Centenary Medal in 2003.

 

Martin is also a recipient of Honorary Doctorates from University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and University of South Australia along with many other awards, and is Patron of Life Stream Foundation for people with intellectual disabilities as well as the Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra.

Director – Prof Bill Dennison

BALTIMORE, USA
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Prof Bill Dennison DIRECTOR

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Bill leads the Integration and Application Network, a collection of scientists interested in solving, not just studying, environmental problems. He is actively involved in the Chesapeake Bay Program, USA and had an active role in the Healthy Waterways Campaign of South-East Queensland, Australia.

 

Bill has a marine science background, and has published books and papers on a wide range of marine topics. In his current role as Vice-President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, his focus is on developing ways to effectively communicate science and to create credible and rigorous environmental report cards.

Director – Dr Deborah Nias

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
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Dr Deborah Nias DIRECTOR

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Deborah is the CEO of Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd and has over 20 years experience in the management of wetlands and environmental water within the Murray-Darling Basin. Her broad experience includes wetland ecology, large project management, community engagement, Board governance, government liaison, water management and management of multi-discipline teams. She is a Churchill Fellow, Peter Cullen Trust Fellow, Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, IRF Ambassador and current Chair of the Australian Riverprize judging panel. Deborah holds a PhD in wetland ecology and believes good science with meaningful community engagement and involvement should underpin all natural resource management.

Director – Dr Peter Rowley

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
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Dr Peter Rowley DIRECTOR

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Peter is the London-based Director and Head of the Global Oil & Gas Services Sector with ERM, and was also a Fulbright  Fellow and Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry at Colorado State University. Peter has worked in the environmental consulting industry and has been involved in a large range of extractive industry projects in Asia, the Middle East , North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union.

 

He is the ERM Liaison Delegate to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He has lectured at The Judge Institute of Management at Cambridge University in the UK on sustainability in the global mining industry and gave the keynote address at the Zurich Global Risk Managers Conference on emerging mega risks for the industry.

Director – Mr Michael Wright

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
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Mr Michael Wright DIRECTOR

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Michael is Executive General Manager of Thiess Services, one of Australia's most trusted and innovative Services providers. With qualifications in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering, Michael has more than 20 years experience across a range of disciplines, including civil engineering, contaminated land remediation, telecommunications, utilities, mining and services.

After some 10 years working in Australia and the UK in project management and engineering roles, Michael joined the Thiess Group in 1998 as a Project Manager to lead the remediation of the former nuclear testing site at Maralinga. Prior to his current appointment Michael ran Leighton Asia’s operations in China and Mongolia. Though Michael’s leadership, Thiess Services maintains a strong focus on client relationships, operational performance and innovation.

Director – Mr Philip Weller

VIENNA, AUSTRIA
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Mr Philip Weller DIRECTOR

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Philip Weller is an environmental planner by training. He studied Environmental Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada and received a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the same University with a focus on rehabilitation and clean-up of environmental hotspots within the Great Lakes of North America. He served for four years as director of Great Lakes United, a unique bi-national coalition of interest groups including local municipalities, research organizations, businesses and NGOs in both Canada and the United States focused on the clean-up of the Great Lakes.

 

As Programme Director of WWF International (Danube Carpathian Programme, 1995-2002), Philip was the driving force behind the “Lower Danube Green Corridor” - an agreement between Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine and the largest wetland protection and restoration initiative in Europe.

 

Philip subsequently served for 10 years as the Executive Secretary of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). The ICPDR is the forum for the 14 major Danube countries and the European Commission to implement the commitments they have made under the Danube River Protection Convention to improve water quality and water management in the Danube River Basin. The Commission recently received the prestigious Thiess International Riverprize for success in ensuring effective cooperation in the most international river basin in the world.

 

Philip has also managed successful consulting businesses in both Canada and Austria and has done numerous assignments for governments and international organizations. Since July 2013 he has been serving as the Danube Water Program Coordinator for the International Association of Danube Water Companies (IAWD) administering and managing a joint project together with the World Bank aimed at improving and supporting the efficiency of Danube region water supply and waste water companies.

 

Philip has considerable practical experience in the restoration of natural ecosystems and in planning processes to achieve public involvement in environmental decision-making. He is author of three books on environmental topics including ‘Freshwater Seas’ an environmental history of the Great Lakes of North America.

Director – Dr Selina Ward

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
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Dr Selina Ward DIRECTOR

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Privacy Statement

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Introduction
International Riverfoundation is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of personal information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect personal information in our care.

How do we collect personal information?
We may request information about you when you purchase or make enquires about our products and services; when you enter competitions or register for promotions or when you request brochures or other information. We may also collect information when we invite you to complete surveys or provide us with feedback.

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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Servicing our relationship with our customers by, amongst other things, providing updates on promotions and services we think may interest you or to involve you in market research.

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Terms of Use

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This website is owned and operated by International RiverFoundation.

Use of this website is subject to the terms of use.

International RiverFoundation is not liable to you or any other for any loss in connection with the use of this website or a linked website. This general disclaimer is not restricted or modified by any of the following specific warnings and disclaimers. Please read the full terms of use.
 
Please note: International RiverFoundation reserves the right to amend the terms of use at any time. However, since you are bound by these terms of use,  you should periodically refer to them.

 

DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

General Disclaimer

International RiverFoundation is not liable to you or anyone else for any loss in connection with use of this website or a linked website. This general disclaimer is not restricted or modified by any of the following specific warnings or disclaimers.
 
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The Trade Practices Act and similar State and Territory legislation in Australia may confer rights and remedies on you in relation to the provision by us of goods or services on the Website, which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. We do not exclude these rights but do exclude all other conditions and warranties implied by custom, law or statute.

We are not liable to you or anyone else if interference with or damage to your computer systems occurs in connection with use of this website or a linked website. You must take your own precautions to ensure that whatever you select for your use from this website is free of viruses or anything else (such as worms or trojan horses) that may interfere with or damage the operations of your computer systems. We do not warrant that your access to the website will be uninterrupted or error free or that any defects will be corrected.

We may, from time to time, change or add to this website (including these terms of use) or the information, products and services without notice. However, we do not undertake to keep this website updated. We are not liable to you or anyone else if errors occur in the information on this website or if that information is not up-to-date.

Under no circumstances (including but not limited to any act or omission on the part of International RiverFoundation) will International RiverFoundation be liable for any indirect, incidental, special and/or consequential damages or loss of profits whatsoever which result from any use or access of, or any inability to use or access, the website.

In these terms of use, certain words (particularly capitalised ones) may have special meanings. If they do these special meanings are set out in the "General" section.

The terms of use are effective until terminated by International RiverFoundation and International RiverFoundation may terminate this agreement and your access to the website at any time without notice. In the event of termination you are no longer authorised to access the website, but all restrictions imposed on you and all disclaimers and limitations of liability set out in the terms of use will survive.

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In this website:

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"Personal Information" means any information from which your identity is apparent or can be reasonably be ascertained.

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In order to begin the online application process, please fill out some simple details for us and select which application you'd like to complete. Text fields with asterisks are mandatory. You will then be emailed a secure link to your online application form which you can access at any time.

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