By the bubbler with Jane Stokeld

Posted 19 October 2017

Jane StokeldJane is an Operations Support Engineer working for TRILITY in Townsville a role she has held for 3 years. She was born and raised in Townsville and attended James Cook Uni. She is a member of the Young Water Professionals (YWP) Queensland Committee and is the first YWP committee member from outside the SEQ corner. She is passionate about the 2018 YWP mentoring program and is keen to see regional members sign up for the new “remote” program.

What drew you into the water industry?
I was fortunate to undertake Vacation work at the Townsville City Council while I was at uni and decided I would stick with it for the tight knit culture and challenging work - the fact I could be based in the city with my husband didn’t hurt either!

Who or what do you draw inspiration from? 
My co-workers - their enthusiasm, humour and drive picks me up on days when I’m not feeling as excited for work. I never thought I’d be someone who enjoys open plan offices but I learn a lot from getting drawn in to conversations over coffee. Having a good chat always gives me a picture of how we’re progressing in the big scheme of things and how my work contributes to that.

What do you like to do in your spare time?   
I love to travel, sew and cook. There's nothing like picking up fabric I’d never find in Australia and making something by hand at home later. I love taking a few recipes home too. I’m yet to give tofu another crack since our trip to Japan last year but I’ve been cooking curry almost every week since we went to India in 2016. 

What do you believe has been the greatest advancement, or the greatest challenge, for your part of the water industry?   
The greatest challenge would definitely have to be climate change. We’ve faced the effects of it recently in Townsville – we had a close call this year with Ross River Dam down to 15% in February. This is a clear example of the extreme climate conditions that will continue to challenge operations now and into the future. Then fortunately, the levels went from 20% to 80% in 3 days early March.

What do you benefit from most as a member of the Australian Water Association? 
For me it is the opportunity to meet people from the wider water industry. I’ve really enjoyed the information sharing in the newsletters and at Ozwater. I’m very excited that Ozwater is in Brisbane this year, and I’m planning to check out the YWP program.

If you were being asked to write a letter to a younger self setting out on your career what sort of things would you have included?
I’m only 3 years in to my career so this is too soon for me to judge. If I could talk to 17 year old me starting out at uni I’d have plenty to say though! Get involved in societies and organised activities, they’re a great way to challenge yourself and meet people. Also it’s alright to not know what you want to do yet, just take on opportunities you find exciting and you’ll work it out from there.

The Queensland committee is always thinking about how to better engage with our regional members and those who exemplify the diverse nature of our membership. Would you like to share your experiences and in doing so potentially encourage others to think outside the box for opportunities in their career paths? Please do let us know if you are keen