Individual Awards

Water Professional of the Year

Honouring individuals who have displayed passion and commitment to the water industry, while also demonstrating leadership and influence.

 Nomination form

Judging criteria:

  • Displayed an exemplary personal and professional contribution in their field
  • Recognised for their leadership and influence amongst colleagues and peers
  • Recognised for raising the profile of careers in the water industry
  • Held in high esteem for the mentoring roles they play to junior water industry professionals
  • Recognised for fostering diversity, inclusion and equality in the water sector
  • Recognised for their contribution to water awareness in the community



When completing the online nomination form you will be asked to answer the following.

  • How has the nominee contributed professionally to the water sector? (500 words)
  • From a voluntary and personal perspective, how have they contributed to the water sector? (500 words)
  • How has the nominee's leadership positively impacted their organisation, colleagues and peers? (500 words)
  • How has the nominee raised the profile of careers in the water industry? (250 words)
  • Provide examples of how they have mentored Young Water Professionals. (250 words)
  • Provide examples of how the nominee has encouraged diversity, inclusion and equality in their career to date. (250 words)
  • Water awareness in the community is important. How has the nominee raised a greater awareness of water across the wider community? Please provide at least one example. (250 words)
  • What is the nominee’s proudest ‘water’ achievement to date? (500 words)
  • Please upload:
  • - Biography
    - Resume
    - Hi-resolution photos x 3
  • Please provide a short overview of the nominee, to be used at the awards presentation night, should they be selected as a finalist. (50 words)

Note: A new element has been added to the 2018 National Awards. Winners of the State Award who progress to the National Award will asked to prepare a one-minute video overview of the nominee for promotional purposes.

2018 Winner - Australian Water Professional of the Year

2018 Australian Water Professional of the Year

Ciara Sterling, Head of Community Inclusion, Yarra Valley Water (VIC)
With over 15 years’ experience in the water industry, Ciara is an industry leader in supporting customers experiencing vulnerability, hardship and family violence. She is the driving force behind Yarra Valley Water’s extremely successful WaterCare initiative and Head of the Thriving Communities Partnership, a cross-sectoral collaboration of organisations tackling the root causes of hardship and inequality. Through her advocacy and passion, Ciara has been relentless in her support for vulnerable customers and exemplary in her ability to bring people together towards a common goal.
Ciara’s dedication, professionalism, and track record in driving positive change have raised the profile of women in what is traditionally a male-dominated sector while her intersectoral initiatives
have raised her profile in many other industries, including the energy, finance, telecommunications, government and community sectors.
By raising awareness of the water industry’s innovative approach to inclusion, vulnerability, hardship and family violence, Ciara promotes our sector as a leader in tackling these issues and is a worthy recipient of the 2018 Water Professional of the Year.

No content found