VIC Branch Committee

Welcome to the Victorian Branch of the Australian Water Association!

In Victoria we are very fortunate to have a very enthusiastic and active Branch Committee. The VIC Branch consists of experienced professionals from the Victorian water industry at the main branch level and a Young Water Professional Sub-Committee, each responsible for a tailored program whilst joining forces to reach all Victorian members through information sharing, providing platforms for networking and recognising substantial contributions to the water sector. 
The new 2019-20 Victorian Branch and YWP Sub-Committees were elected in June 2019. After an inspiring and productive workshop session, our new committee members are excited to organise future events for our Victorian water professionals.  

Branch Committee

The Victorian Committee is comprised of 16 Committee Members elected by the Australian Water Association members from Victoria plus the Immediate Past President and the Young Water Professionals (VIC) President.

State & YWP Committee Members are elected for a two-year term (members who are completing their two-year term are free to re-nominate for a further term). Approximately half the members of each of the State and YWP Committees are scheduled for election each year so as to provide a level of consistency, knowledge transfer and a balance of experience. Elections take place in July each year.

David Kirby - PRESIDENT, KBR 
David has 30 years of experience as a civil engineer, project/program manager, and business manager. David is currently KBR’s Water and Environment Manager for Victoria with a focus on major projects, digital engineering, and risk and asset management. David has been on the AWA VIC Branch Committee for nine years and is also on the Specialist Network committee for the Sustainable Development Goals. David is passionate about delivering community and environmental benefits through the supply of water infrastructure.  
Amanda Hazell - VICE PRESIDENT, Melbourne Water 
Amanda is a water professional with over 12 years’ experience in Western Australia and Victoria in water supply planning, asset management and operations. At Melbourne Water, she manages a team of analysts who support the financial and governance reporting for Melbourne Water's Capital Delivery portfolio. Amanda has been an active member of AWA throughout her career, both as a YWP Committee member and most recently as chair of the Membership Engagement and Growth Sub-committee. She is also an active supporter of the YWP network. 
Lindsey Brown - IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT, Foundry 
Lindsey is an Engagement Strategist specialising in integrated water management and water infrastructure. With experience across three continents, she seeks to bridge the gap between technical water solutions and society. Skilled in building and communicating narratives on complex water issues, she has helped develop key strategic documents for several states. Lindsey is a prominent industry leader and influencer, with many elected roles in industry associations. Most recently, she was Victorian President of the Australian Water Association (AWA) from 2017-2019.
Over the last decade, Meredith has advised various rural water corporations, metropolitan water retailers, government and regulators on a range of legal matters from outsourcing and contractual arrangements for the delivery of services, climate change, governance, environmental watering and water catchment issues. Meredith has previous board and committee experience having served on the board of Victorian Women Lawyers and the YWCA, and is an active member of the Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association and the Australian Land and Groundwater Association.
Russell has been in the Victorian water industry for over 18 years working at consulting firms, water utilities, constructors and industry associations. He has been responsible for facilitating collaboration between like-minded water industry engineers, facilitating WSAA’s Civil Assets Network and Mechanical-Electrical-SCADA Network and being the wastewater collection systems service line leader at GHD. These roles have given Russell exposure to the broad spectrum of issues being faced by the industry.
Chris French - TREASURER, GHD 
Chris joined GHD’s Water Technology Group in 2000 and led that group until 2017 when he took on the role of Operations Manager for GHD Victoria. As a water engineer, Chris has led or contributed to a range of water, sanitation and hydropower projects in Australia, Asia and North America. His main areas of expertise are water supply and treatment, desalination, risk and international development. Chris is a member of IChemE, contributes to WaterAid and Engineers without Borders, and also leads GHD’s national partnership with RedR Australia to deliver WASH training.
Tim Anderson, GHD 
Tim has worked in the water industry as a civil engineer for over 15 years and currently manage GHD's Victorian Water Infrastructure business where he is exposed to the many opportunities and challenges facing the water industry. Tim has worked as a designer, project manager and superintendent on a wide variety of water related designs, and has also been involved in AWA’s mentoring program for the past two years.
Matt Bismarck, Beca 
Matt has worked in the water industry since 1997, and in Australia since 2010. In that time, he has worked in government in environmental protection and regulation, teaching engineering, local government, and consultancy in strategic planning, project delivery and organisational capability development for water authority and industrial clients across in NZ and Australia. Matt's work focuses on developing a deeper understanding of needs and helping different groups understand and value multiple perspectives to align around a unified direction.
Andrew Chapman, Aurecon 
Andrew has been a long term member of the AWA with over 25 years of active involvement. In his current role, Andrew is Principal Servicing Futures at South East Water with over thirty years’ experience in the water industry and an industry leader in Integrated Water Management. He has also been involved in the Fishermans Bend Taskforce, facilitating the planning and delivery of integrated water and sustainability initiatives, and initiatives for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Melbourne Flood Strategy, Integrated Water Forums, and others.
Amy Gason, Nation Partners 
Amy has more than 20 years’ experience in environmental management having commenced her career at Gippsland Water. With extensive environmental consulting experience both in Australia and the United States, Amy leads complex environmental approvals and stakeholder engagement assignments for a variety of public and private clients. She performs the role of specialist environmental lead, approvals and stakeholder lead, Project Director or Senior Project Manager for a number of multidisciplinary projects within the Victorian water industry.
Mohammad Helmy, Spiire 
Mohammad has over 22 years' experience within the Australian water industry, having worked in both the private and public sectors. He has also worked in consulting, contracting and operations. Currently, Mohammad works for Spiire where he works in the areas of water and recycled water treatment covering all phases of project development from options study and feasibility studies advise to design, detailed design, commissioning and operations management.
Bridget McDowall, GHD 
Bridget has worked in the Australian water industry for 15 years, starting her career as a PhD candidate at the Australian Water Quality Centre/CRC for Water Quality and Treatment. After working at TRILITY as a Process Engineer, she moved to Power and Water remote operations in Darwin, and then to Osmoflo as a Senior Project Engineer. This has given her a strong appreciation for the industry and its people. Bridget then spent 3 years as Senior Water Quality Process Engineer at Melbourne Water, working in the Drinking Water Quality planning team. She now works with the Water Technology group at GHD, Melbourne.
Amber Robinson, Downer Group 
Amber is a qualified process engineer with over 14 years’ experience and a passion for the water industry. Much of her experience has been in the area of project, contract management, process design/improvement and operations in the water industry with a brief move to the electricity and gas industries from 2011-2015. Amber has previously been involved with local community committees, including previously holding the office of secretary for her local women’s football club, and she is currently a general committee member for her local running club.
Natasha Sertori, DELWP 
Natasha has a background in environmental science and catchment management and has been involved in the Victorian water industry for three years, first at Gippsland Water and now at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne. Her current work on the Latrobe Valley Regional Water Study – investigating the feasibility of rehabilitating the Latrobe Valley coal mines into pit lakes – has strengthened her skills in communicating with multiple stakeholders across different organisations and sectors, and coordinating workshops and events.
Kristen Shelly, Melbourne Water 
Kirsten is a leader in the water sector having experience across water research/science, policy and planning at a state and national level. Kirsten completed her PhD at Monash University in the area of algal physiology before actively moving into the policy space. In Queensland, Kirsten applied her research knowledge to on ground water challenges at the Department of Energy and Water and the Minister for Water's office, before moving back to Melbourne where she is currently the Manager of Western Treatment Plant at Melbourne Water.
Aprillia Vellacott, Jacobs 
Aprillia has 17 years’ experience in the water industry, predominantly in consulting, with a number of periods seconded into water authorities. She has experience in efficient wastewater treatment and process modelling, including advanced biological nitrogen removal, short cut nitrogen and anammox processes. Aprillia's interests lie in the challenge of integrating water services to better deliver to our communities. Aprillia has 5 years’ experience as president/treasurer in a local community organisation, and is new to her AWA committee role.

Young Water Professionals Sub-Committee

Celeste Ward - YWP CHAIR, Stantec
Celeste is a Process Engineer at Stantec with over 5 years’ experience in water and wastewater treatment plant upgrades, master plans and designs.
Celeste is the Chair of the YWP committee and coordinated the YWP Program for Ozwater'19. Celeste is also a mentor in the Women@RMIT and Industry Mentoring programs and was awarded 2019 Women in Industry Mentor of the Year.
Tessa has been in the water industry for 4 years, moving to Bendigo in 2015 to work at Coliban Water where she was involved in a variety of projects that look at current and future infrastructure needs for both treatment and distribution systems, with a focus on integrated water management. Tessa became involved with the AWA YWP network three years ago, first as a participant, and more recently as a committee member. She has been the chair of the Bendigo Young Professionals Network, and is an active member of Young People for Refugees.

Robbie Frawley - IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR, Melbourne Water
Robbie has been working in the water industry for over seven years, working for Wannon Water, Jacobs and now Melbourne Water. He became involved in the AWA – YWP network over five years ago, initially as a participant, then as a committee member and most recently as the Chair of the Young Water Professionals committee, delivering a wide, diverse and valuable range of programs and events to members. Robbie is keen to continue to give back to this network and empower other young people emerging within the industry.

Georgina Catto-Smith, Jacobs 
Georgina has been working at Jacobs for the past year and has enjoyed getting exposure to a variety of water projects, including water and wastewater treatment plant design, asset management and water utility strategy plans. While relatively new to the water industry, Georgina has a wealth of experience working on other committees, including various university clubs and the EA Victorian Chemical Engineering Committee. At Jacobs, she sits on the community engagement committee and manages the partnership with AMES.

Alex Chesterfield, Melbourne Water
Alex has worked at Melbourne Water for three years across different teams and is now in the Major Program Delivery team working on the delivery of Melbourne Water's major capital projects across water supply, sewerage treatment and waterways and drainage, giving him a good appreciation for the many areas within the water industry. For the past two years Alex has also been a member of the AWA Young Water Professionals Committee and has enjoyed helping young professionals in the water industry to engage with each other and further develop themselves.

Alice Drummond, DiscoverEI 
Alice is a Water Resources Engineer with over 8 years’ experience specialising in surface water and groundwater modelling, and environmental analytics. As Co-Founder of DiscoverEI, Alice applies the latest data analytics and visualisation tools to streamline water modelling and create a shared understanding of the complex environmental systems we are working to protect. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with the broader water community at conferences, and has presented at Ozwater, Australian Groundwater Conference and Stormwater Industry Association.

Dr Casey Furlong, GHD
Casey has been involved in Victoria's water sector since 2011, having worked across 5 teams at Melbourne Water, completing an industry funded PhD and Post-doc on IWM and urban greening, and now working as a consultant with GHD and Senior Industry Fellow at RMIT. During his Post-doc, Casey sat on the Climate Change and Resilience Group at RMIT, and helped run the Resilient Melbourne IWM Working and Alignment Group for over 18 months. Casey has also been involved in supporting the Greening the West Steering Committee.

Mark Gibbins, Coliban Water 
Mark has over 8 years’ experience working in the water industry and over 30 years’ experience as a customer. His areas of expertise include dams and reservoir management, water and sewer modelling, sewer maintenance, having showers, flushing toilets and watering the garden at the correct time. His current job is to reduce the sewer blockage rate in Coliban Water networks.
Alice Greco, Melbourne Water
Alice graduated with a Bachelor in Civil Engineering (Honours) at Swinburne University of Technology, and has gained experience working within Development Planning, Drinking Water Quality and most recently with Major Infrastructure Projects at Melbourne Water. Alice currently acts as the interface between Melbourne Water and the Level Crossing Removal Project. Alice has a strong passion to give back to the community and volunteers on the WaterAid fundraising committee and in Melbourne Water’s Social Club. 

Emma Hodson, Alluvium 
Emma is an environmental consultant with Alluvium Consulting. Emma’s expertise is in geomorphology, GIS, environmental water and waterway health. Having also worked in coastal hazard adaptation projects across Queensland, Emma enjoys the diverse opportunities the water industry offers. She is keen to implement innovative ways to engage AWA members through social media, digital channels and less formal networking and feedback events. She sees the YWPs as an innovative group who can and will have a positive influence on the water industry.

Tansy Huang, Southern Rural Water
Tansy graduated from Monash with a Master degree in Advanced Engineering, specialising in Water Engineering. Tansy joined Southern Rural Water as an Emergency Planning and Assets Officer, looking at flood modelling, drought risks, and dam safety issues. Through this position, Tansy sees the water supply issues and risks associated with this industry through a different lens. Prior to this, Tansy worked in the mining industry and the renewable energy sector. Past volunteering experience includes membership with WA Engineers Without Borders and as a volunteer at IWA conferences. 

Jamilla Hull, Melbourne Water 
Jamilla's journey in the water industry began in 2016 when she started at Melbourne Water in the Graduate Program. Since then, she has become a permanent member of the Process & Plant Optimisation team at the Eastern Treatment Plant. She is a Wellbeing Champion within the ETP Wellbeing Committee, and an active committee member of Refract, Melbourne Water’s LGBTI+ and ally working group. Jamilla is passionate about the environment and social equity and is excited to make a difference within these areas across the water industry.

Jacob Meehan, Western Water 
Over the last 3 years at Western Water, Jacob has filled a variety of roles covering network planning, demand forecasting, community liaison, agricultural design, contract management and more. Before joining the water industry, Jacob worked in construction and land care. Outside of work, he is a committee member for his local football club. His interest in joining the YWP committee stems from his passion for relationship building, and he is keen to pay it forward, and help the next batch of new water professionals feel comfortable and confident in the industry.

Emma Milburn, Iota 
Emma joined the AWA YWP VIC Committee in 2018 and is the Marketing Director for Iota Services, the commercialisation arm of South East Water. After graduating with a BSc. in Business and Financial Economics from the University of Leeds in the UK and moving to Australia, Emma worked for GE in a variety of roles across business continuity planning, employee experience, project and program management and marketing, before joining the water industry.

Samuel Skinner, Aurecon 
Samuel's experience in the water industry is shared across academia, construction and consulting, from his PhD research at Melbourne University into water recycling and sludge dewatering, to working on the design, construction and commissioning of water treatment plants in country Victoria. Currently, Samuel works as a consultant across the contaminated land and water teams at Aurecon. He is also actively involved with Engineers Without Borders, the IWA, the Institute of Chemical Engineers, Engineers Australia and the Australian Society of Rheology.

Amy Syvrud, Aither 
Amy is currently a water management consultant specialising in water policy and governance reform, water markets and water security. She started her career working with The Nature Conservancy, and has been involved in initiatives with UNESCO, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, and the UN-World Bank High Level Panel on Water. She is also a member of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES), the River Basin Management Society, the International WaterCentre Alumni Network and the International Water Association.

Matthew Willox, WSP 
Matthew has been working in the water and wastewater industry for three years with WSP Australia and has been very fortunate in this time to work across the industry on a large variety of projects and roles, working with a range of water authorities, contractors, technical experts and engineering disciplines. He is an active member in the AWA YWP network, attending social and technical events to meet more like-minded professionals. He is currently the Co-Office lead for the WSP young professional network, and is keen to give back to the industry.

Thank you to our 2018-19 Committee Members for your contribution, dedication and enthusiasm over the past year.