What we do

Our community is the custodian of the skills, resources and commitment we need to care for our environment. We achieve our goals by leveraging this community strength wherever our community is – among residents, visitors, workers…even friends we’ve never met. We do this through flexible planning and activities, around a strong core of committed volunteers and in partnership with supporting groups and organisations.

Our Mission


Our mission is to help transform this degraded, weed-infested ribbon of riverland into a healthy riparian corridor as part of Melbourne’s most important river system.

We aim to help our community embrace their identity as ‘Riverbankers’ and custodians of our precious riverland.

We aim to honour its ancient and complex heritage:

- its geological significance at the eastern edge of Victoria’s Great Western Basalt Plain.
- its place in the lands of its traditional owners the Wurundjeri-willlam people of the Kulin Nation; and
- its place at the heart of Melbourne’s pastoral and industrial beginnings, its contemporary life and a healthy future, benefiting residents and wildlife alike.

Our Team

Jen Ross
Team Member

Jen’s an Australian wildlife artist and special needs teacher.

When she’s not painting or teaching, you’ll find her down at the river, battling Madeira Vine, spreading mulch gathered from gutters, or playing “what weed is that?” with the other Riverbankers.

Anna Ridgway
Team Leader and Secretary

When not Riverbanking on hands and knees and managing the group, Anna runs her own consultancy helping businesses improve how they communicate and manage business relationships across cultures, and advocate on special needs. 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.

Become an Abbotsford Riverbanker member

Help transform the Yarra River in Abbotsford into a thriving river corridor