Our Team

Margaret Blakeney
Team Member

A long-term Abbotsford resident and user of the Yarra’s paths for recreation and spiritual renewal, Margaret didn’t have much ecological knowledge but noted the degradation of our lovely riverbank over the years. She was inspired by the Riverbankers’ gentle, persistent and inclusive approach, so decided to offer her muscle to the team. Margaret’s learned a lot!

April Newton
Team Member

April is a Conservation Officer with Trust for Nature, based in Castlemaine. She’s juggling work with Conservation and Ecological Management studies at RMIT. April loves bird watching and flower spotting and enjoys getting to know the biota of new regions – last year it was the Yarra riverbank; this year it’s the Box-Ironbark country. She’s very project-based in her work, and thoroughly enjoyed leading the Abbotsford River Bird Survey.

Anna Ridgway
Team Leader

When not Riverbanking on hands and knees and managing the group, Anna runs a consultancy helping businesses improve how they communicate and manage business relationships across cultures.
Anna’s worked and volunteered in local conservation, migrant English, employment support and anti-slavery programs in Australia and El Salvador.

Salvatore is one of those quiet legends we all know – they bring down the tools you forgot (often doing more than one trip), transport stuff, haul weed bags, bring coffee and food…then assert seriously, ‘I don’t really do anything.’

As Treasurer, Salvatore brings a super methodical approach, financial smarts and an eagle eye for detail.

Salvatore is also Careers Practitioner at one of Melbourne’s large private schools, as well as being a business and (being Sicilian born) Italian teacher.

Jennie Irving
Committee member

Jennie is what we’d call a ‘Renaissance woman’.
As well as a get-stuck-into-it Riverbanker, she’s also a musician, blogger, craftswoman and mother of 4 great young people, 3 with ASD.
Jennie’s gone from corporate law to language teaching to performing arts teaching in a small specialist education setting. She’s strong, witty, possesses that elusive quality called charm…and she’s someone you know you can rely on.