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We are the KooyongKoot Alliance (KKA) – an alliance of over 20 Friends Groups working along the Gardiners Creek (KooyongKoot) catchment in Melbourne, Australia.

KooyongKoot” is the first nation’s name for Gardiners Creek in the Woi Wurrung language.

Our focus is the entire catchment – not just the streams. The catchment is a significant tributary of the Yarra River (Birrarung) and covers an area of over 100 square kilometers.


The KooyongKoot Alliance sprung into life during the depths of the 2020 Covid-19 winter. It started as a Zoom meeting with Friends Groups from the Gardiners Creek (KooyongKoot) catchment, leaders from other Yarra River tributary catchments and the Yarra Riverkeeper (KooyongKoot is a tributary of the Yarra). It ended with a common bond to work together for the betterment of the KooyongKoot.

We are now 20 Friends and Advisory Groups strong and are working collectively to act as the voice for the creek.

By working together, the Alliance has a strong, independent and influential voice.

Current Organisational Status

We are independent and incorporated as KooyongKoot Alliance Inc. and are a not-for-profit, registered charity with the ACNC.

We are a founding member of the Gardiners Creek (KooyongKoot) Regional Collaboration. The GCRC collaboration is an alliance of organisations and groups working together to protect and enhance the Gardiners Creek catchment.


Gardiners Creek (KooyongKoot) Catchment

The Gardiners Creek catchment covers 112 square kilometers and spans much of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Its area includes large parts of the local government areas of Boroondara, Monash, Stonnington, Whitehorse and a small part of Glen Eira. Gardiners Creek itself originates near Blackburn and flows through Burwood and Malvern East before following the Monash Freeway to the Yarra River (Birrarung). Major tributaries of the creek include the Scotchmans, Back and Damper creeks.

The Kooyongkoot has a significant impact on the quality and health of the water in Yarra River (Birrarung) and, in turn, Port Phillip Bay.


Although the catchment still contains fragmented biodiversity hotspots including areas of remnant habitat, the ecological state in general of the catchment is poor.  There is declining tree canopy and understory coverage, and additional stormwater continues to be added to the creek. 

The catchment does provide significant open space with many parks, reserves and sports grounds.  These activities have important community strengthening and health benefits. 

The catchment is impacted by continuing water quality and pollution issues as a result of the urbanisation of the area. Restoring and maintaining the vegetation and canopy cover is essential in the face of climate change, lessening the Urban Heat Island effect in the suburbs, as well as supporting, biodiversity and the wellbeing of local community, through connection to nature and for recreation.  However, increasing densities and recreational use due to population growth, is putting growing pressure on us all to ensure that we conserve green spaces and the benefits that they provide. 

The councils in the area, Melbourne Water and the large number of Friends and Advisory groups have long been actively involved in ecological restoration.

We believe that we, The KooyongKoot Alliance, have a key role through hands-on actions and advocacy to help stem, and indeed reverse, some of these pressures.

The Vision

Our vision is:

Communities working together to heal KooyongKoot, its waterways, land, and ecosystem.

We aim to shed light on the importance of Gardiners Creek, not just as a tributary of the Yarra River, but also as a key piece of green infrastructure in the east of Melbourne offering multiple benefits to both community and the environment.

The Goal

To come together with other key stakeholders to act as a catalyst in the development of a Strategic Plan for the entire KooyongKoot Catchment. We aim to help bridge boundaries and break down barriers. We aim to overcome the current lack of holistic strategic planning to manage the Creek for future generations. We aim to resolve it quickly and positively for the benefit of all.

We will inject a sense of urgency into achieving this vision.

KooyongKoot Catchment Keeper

The KooyongKoot Catchment Keeper (KKCK) is a very important role within the KKA. The KKCK is the spokesperson for all aspects of KooyongKoot and works closely with the three levels of government and the community to raise awareness and support.

The KKCK acts as a voice for the creek and its biodiversity and also advocates for a strategic plan that involves all the major stakeholders, such as governments, landowners, businesses, educational institutions and the catchment community.

Graham Ross was engaged in the role beginning 1st December, 2022. Graham has a background in conservation and land management.