IWA News and Updates
Chair's report: A year in review
2020 has been a challenge, but I am proud of what the committee and our members have been able to achieve during this time. A key focus for IWA Australia has been providing better value and visibility to our members and partners. We are currently finalising our 2019/20 annual report to celebrate the achievements of our members and share what activities our committee have been driving and supporting. A couple of my key highlights include:
- Tom Mollenkopf being voted IWA president-elect – I know technically this happened in late 2019 but it’s a pretty big deal!
- Jurg Keller and Saravanamuthu Vigneswaran being recognised IWA distinguished fellows– two of the seven new appointments which means Australian members are really punching above our weight
- Emily Ryan elected as chair of the Emerging Water Leaders steering committee – it’s great seeing our YWPs thrive internationally
- Stuart Khan selected as part of the IWA Covid-19 taskforce and Ben Thwaites sharing his experience working on the frontline in an IWA webinar
- The Young Water Professional (YWP) presence on the committee has been a notable strength, driving new and inclusive initiatives such as:
- Partnering with Water Corporation to develop and award the first Emerging Indigenous Water Leaders scholarships
- Shaping the first YWP Trans-Tasman conference as a safe and inclusive space. My highlights included a water story from the Gaza Strip and pride in water stories.
- We had some great wins from our conference bidding teams, who were able secure opportunities for Australia to:
- Host the 21st International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology in Sept 2021
- Host the 20th International Conference on Diffuse Pollution & Eutrophication in November 2021
- Co-host the10th IWA ASPIRE (Asia Pacific Region) conference with New Zealand in 2023
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday period and we look forward to working with you all in 2021!
IWA Australia Committee Chair
The Sustainable Development Goals in Australia: How are we tracking, and what is the IWAA doing?
The Transforming Australia SDG Progress Report – 2020 Update was launched in November this year. The report tracks Australia’s progress on 56 of the 232 SDG indicators from 2000 to 2020, and it aims to stimulate a national conversation about what Australia can and should be in the future, especially in the face of COVID-19 recovery.
Collaborating within the IWA
This year, perhaps more than others, we have had the time to reflect as professionals on our sense of achievement and how we are recognised by our peers. IWA has members spread across more than 140 countries and there are ways to collaborate and get involved that spans the full diversity of our global water industry.
Australian elected Chair of the IWA Emerging Water Leaders
Emily Ryan is the newly elected Chair of the IWA Emerging Water Leaders (EWL) Steering Committee. In her role as Chair, Emily will lead 12 other young water professionals from all around the world and different water industries, for a period of 2 years. We spoke with Emily to learn more about the EWL, her role and goals, and what this means for Australia.
Emerging Water Leaders Scholarship
The Australian Emerging Water Leaders Scholarship will benefit young water professionals who want to attend AWA and IWA national and international events. The scholarship terms and selection criteria are under development by the IWAA committee. It is planned that there will be more than one scholarship, and at least one targeted at Australian Indigenous people specifically, thanks to support from WaterCorp. If you are interested in finding out more or in sponsoring this initiative, please get in touch with the IWAA Committee.
The IWA-ASPIRE (Asia Pacific Region) group was established in 2004 to improve collaboration within the region. A core component of this vision is the IWA-ASPIRE Conferences which facilitate connections and knowledge sharing between regional water professionals. Recognising the growing importance of the region, IWA Australia held the 2nd ASPIRE conference in Perth in 2007 and is now collaborating with IWA New Zealand to host the 2023 conference in Auckland. It is an incredible opportunity to showcase our regional water knowledge as well as strengthen relationships with and learn from our neighbours. Please contact the IWA Australia committee if you are interested in contributing to the program.