The story of the Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia is nothing less than inspirational.
Until the mid 1980s this vibrant wetland refuge was a dump in every sense of the word! Over the previous century, the massive Hunter estuary wetland system known as Hexham Swamp had been progressively filled for rubbish, railways and recreation, leaving only fragmented patches of remnant wetlands across the estuary. A significant patch of wetland in Shortland was converted to football fields and a clubhouse. This one-time home ground of the Hamilton Rugby Club was to become the eventual site of the Hunter Wetlands Centre.
Today, Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia is a vibrant wetland ecosystem bursting with life. The site is regarded as a wetland of national and international importance and the centre enjoys a growing reputation for excellence in wetland conservation, education and ecotourism.
This remarkable transformation was due to the determination and persistence of the local community and some far-sighted organisations, who have joined forces to protect and restore this remarkable wetland for the benefit of all who depend on it… and those who simply enjoy it!.
Over the years the Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia has built important partnerships with a range of organisations that have contributed to our work. Partnerships provided an important cornerstone in 1984.
Our founding partners Hunter Bird Observers Club and Australian Plants Society (Newcastle Group), have gone on to play important roles in the management of the site. A key partnership with the NSW Department of Education and Training over 20 years has supported the development of our highly regarded School Excursion program.
Local service organisation, Jesmond Lions, continue to contribute to our programs and facilities. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which manages nine wetland centres in the UK, provided an international mentoring role and this partnership continues through our participation in Wetland Link International.