Young Water Professionals Queensland Committee Election

The election is now open for YWP Queensland Committee Members for 2017-19. The Committee consists of 14 members, including the President & Vice President of which six (6) positions are available this cycle. 

Please note - to be eligible to vote, you must be a financial member of the Australian Water Association Queensland Branch as at 30 April 2017. Water Supporters are not eligible to vote in Branch Elections. Voting closes on Tuesday 20 June at 17:00 QLD time.

To vote, please click here.

Candidate Statements


Thakshila Balasuriya, Gold Coast Water and Waste City of Gold Coast Council

I’m a Process Engineer at Gold Coast Water and Waste, City of Gold Coast Council. For the past 5 years I’ve enjoyed working in a practical environment where my problem solving skills are called for day to day for ongoing wastewater treatment process optimisation. I joined the AWA in 2014 and have been a YWP committee member for the past 2.5 years. I’ve enjoyed attending many of the valuable and fun AWA events, I’ve also immensely enjoyed coordinating the QLD YWP Mentoring Program 2016, in addition to helping organise the unique QLD YWP Amazing Races. I’ve met some exceptional people in the Australian water industry through my commitments in the YWP group and learnt much from them. I would like to re-nominate myself to continue as a member of the YWP committee in 2017/18 and continue to learn and collaborate with YWPs and the wider water industry.

Courtney Brown, Queensland Urban Utilities
I feel I am a suitable candidate to resume my QLD YWP position due to my variable water industry experience. My experience includes, but is not limited to, environmental compliance of a large water utility, operations at the luggage point treatment plant, and also point source compliance from industry via my current role as a trade waste officer.   My vision for the QLD YWP committee henceforth is to strengthen the regional engagement of YWPs through my role as communications coordinator. Part of my vision is also to continue to work with the committee to provide high quality events, as a commitment to improving both the networking ability and professional development of young water professional’s state wide. I feel the QLD YWP committee is very well placed to greatly engage and impact the water industry, and I am committed to being a part of this and seeing this through.

Alice Connell, TRILITY

I am a process engineer with seven years’ experience in the Australian Water Industry. As a fresh graduate I found the events offered by AWA YWP to be an invaluable opportunity to learn, network and grow. For me, the ability to engage with a senior water industry mentor was instrumental in my professional growth. Through the AWA I have also presented papers at Ozwater’12 and ’17 and NQWater’13, which helped build my technical and presenting skills. I am eager to contribute to the YWP committee, organising technical and networking events like these, so that other young water professionals can have the same opportunities. My experience lies in the design and operation of water and wastewater treatment plants. I have worked across a number of states, with government and private organisations and with regulatory bodies. I am member of Engineers Australia, Engineers without Borders and a passionate supporter of WaterAid.

Gavin Hainsworth, Steel Mains 
I am keen to support the AWA by investing my time and energy into the AWA committee and support the industry that supports our community. Working as a qualified mechanical engineer at Steel Mains, an Australian manufacturing company for the last 6 years within the water and wastewater industry provides me with a unique perspective. Our ability to work with the utilities and contractors to provide engineered solutions from a manufacturing base is still considered extremely valuable. Can there be a more important resource than providing safe, clean and reliable supply of water to the community and the removal of waste water streams from the urban environments. What other human intervention in history has done more for human health than these two water management systems.

Amira Salma Haruwarta, Unitywater
As a treatment plants process engineer for Unitywater, I am committed to engaging with the water industry. I have been an active member of the AWA YWP QLD committee for the past 1.5 years. My ongoing commitment has seen me organise and support several AWA events, including the Amazing Race and Discussion Panels, and serving as the unofficial photographer.  I also currently sit on the AWA Queensland Events Sub-Committee where I am working with a small team to organise a unique event at this year’s QWater conference. At Unitywater, I am a member of its Under 35's Group to advocate and coordinate events for the development of young employees. I also volunteer as a graphic designer, including projects for the Journal of Humanitarian Engineering. What I hope to bring to the committee is enthusiasm and creativity to engage, develop and raise the profile of the next generation of water professionals.

Samuel Pickett, Queensland Urban Utilities
I am a current AWA YWP Committee member, having recently delivered the successful leadership event ‘How to lead yourself before leading others’. This financial year, I am in the early stages of planning a QWater event which will discuss regional resilience in an ‘out of the box’ method. 

I am a water industry professional with 9 years of experience in the project management of water, sewerage and control system infrastructure. My formal qualifications include: MBA (UQ), DipPM, DipBus, RegPM (AIPM), BSc of Sport & Exercise Science, other various industry specific qualifications. 

Having a high performance sporting background, I am passionate about creating high performance cultures that attract people driven by causes greater than their own individual needs, my vision for the Young Water Professionals Committee is to create an environment that nurtures, grows and develops young professional that are informed, confident and influential. 

Sandrika Ryan, Unitywater
My name is Sandrika Ryan – I am an enthusiastic new recruit to the water industry with my recent up-taking of a Graduate Engineering position at Unitywater. I have formerly been involved with the UQ Metallurgy Committee as Secretary and am also an active member with the AusIMM in various specialist chapters. As a dual major graduate in Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, my vision for the YWP committee is to foreground and promote the water industry’s key role in Queensland, amongst alike industries in the resource and energy sector. One of my key strategies is to engage across industries and promote young professional’s involvement in integrated regional and urban challenges currently faced by the water industry. I would drive this vision through wide-spread education initiatives, the introduction of professional programs supported by University associations, and water industry ‘challenge’ events that tap into the networks of young high school and tertiary students.

Muhammad Awais Sharif, Griffith University
I am currently working as a work experience student engineer at QUU. I am working on couple of project like High Rate Algae Pond at Boonah Pilot Plant) and DO optimization at Oxley STP.  I will be back to Griffith university for my last semester in July. (MS Environmental Engineering & Pollution Control). I want to be a part of AWA YWP's in Queensland as I want to work with fresh graduate in Queensland Universities. 

William Speirs, Unitywater
I have six years of experience across multiple sectors of the water industry in Queensland and the Northern Territory. This experience comprises roles in research at CSIRO, water infrastructure planning and design at Jacobs, and currently, in strategy and innovation at Unitywater. My areas of focus concern the economics of water, and how the science of scarcity shapes our relationship with our most critical resource. Previously, I have served on the Young Engineers Australia Northern Division and the Jacobs/SKM Graduate Committees.  My vision for AWA YWPQ is for it to be an inseparable part of establishing and developing a career within and alongside the water industry. To achieve this, I aim to;   - Drive our engagement with academic, technology, policy and business professionals affiliated with our industry;   - Improve our digital offering to our members; and   - Increase the visibility of AWA YWPQ as a platform for debate and discussion

Jane Stokeld, TRILITY
I would like to be considered for a position on the Queensland YWP committee. I have been in the water industry for two and a half years. I worked for the Townsville City Council for six months as a student engineer while completing my bachelors with honours in chemical engineering at JCU. I am currently working as an Operation Support Engineer for TRILITY, where I work on the Douglas and Northern WTPs. Working and studying in a large regional centre, I have developed a unique insight into the professional development and networking challenges faced outside South East Queensland. As a committee member, I would like to increase the participation of regional members in the YWP network. As a student, I was a member of the JCU Engineering Undergraduate society. I have also volunteered as a mentor at the JCU student mentorship program, and the City Libraries migrant and refugee homework program.

Karina Thiele, SMEC

Karina is an experienced engineer with over 5 years of industry experience and has worked on a broad range of water supply and wastewater projects. She has a keen interest in local alternative water management systems, onsite wastewater management and wastewater recycling, and has been at the centre of many innovative water harvesting projects. Projects include the Fitzgibbon Chase Potable Roofwater (PotaRoo) and Stormwater (FiSH) harvesting projects. Karina has previous committee experience, including being a member of the South Australian Water Aid Committee, and regularly attends AWA and AWA YWP events. Karina’s vision for AWA YWP is to encourage young water professionals to be part of the association and to enable the sharing of knowledge in the industry. She is keen to be involved in the organisation of events and initiatives to achieve this goal.

Angelique Van Walle, Unitywater
I have been working as a graduate engineer at Unitywater for the last 10 months. I studied chemical and environmental engineering at the University of Queensland. I have had some experience working in a wastewater and membrane technology consultancy, with Unitywater process engineers in the Treatment Plants area and am currently working within Infrastructure Planning and Development. I have completed the AWA's Online Leadership program and am currently a participant in the Smart Seeds program. My area of interest is within process engineering and energy optimisation through renewables, waste to energy, etc. As a young professional that can often feel overwhelmed in such an important industry, I want to assist in providing opportunities for others to feel engaged and build a strong network. My vision for the AWA YWP's in Queensland is to create a close community for these young professionals and provide support for our leaders of tomorrow.

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