What happened at Ozwater'18?

Posted 20 June 2018
Written by Courtney Brown

Ozwater'18As I flipped through the expired Ozwater'18 program, I wondered, “How does this event stay relevant? Year after year, conference after conference. How did this year stack up against the rest?” There is no shortage of engagement, development, and passion within the industry that one could see from the robustness of the program. Maybe it was the theme ‘Evolution Revolution’ that really got the crowd going this year? Maybe it was Adriana Marais, the Mars One Project candidate giving the crowd a taste of life on a different planet? Maybe it was Dr Paula Robinson talking about positive psychology and the wonder drugs: Sleep, exercise and nutrition? Maybe it was the technology like drones and 3D goggle experiences, or the free coffee served all day in the exhibition hall? This and a whole lot more was made possible with an enthusiastic committee that brought the event to fruition for 2018. Louise Dudley, the chair of the Ozwater'18 Committee stated, “the purpose is to get people thinking, asking questions, and sharing knowledge and ideas”. I also thought I’d ask a few members what they thought of the event… 

“I left Ozwater feeling an overwhelming sense of pride for the work we do as an industry. An area that stood out for me was the calibre of competition for the Water Awards. The high quality and diversity of the nominees was excellent. Speaking to a few “non-water” people on the night, they were so impressed by the calibre of people in our industry and the diversity of the work being done. Another area that never disappoints me is doing laps of the trade exhibition. It always reminds me of how many cogs and gears there are in the machine of the water industry and how proud and passionate most people are of the part they play. Roll on Melbourne Ozwater'19!” – Matt Dawson (TRILITY) 
“I am not sure if I’ve ever been part of an Ozwater that had such a strong feeling of good will and excitement about the future. It was clear that although we face challenges in the near future as an industry, both at home and around the globe, we have the will and capability to solve any problem. More importantly, it's impressive to see how we are more and more receptive to new ideas, new thinking and new capabilities. In addition to the highest number of female presenters, the diversity in thinking brought to the conference through the various streams called out the broad nature of what we actually do as an industry. Great conference!”
– Richard Petterson (Queensland Urban Utilities)  

“We’ve all seen the statistics and by every metric it is fair to say that the team at AWA HQ, ably assisted by the cracking team of industry heavy weights that made up the Conference Organising Committee, have led Queensland into a dominant position as the Ozwater from which comparisons will be drawn for years to come (at least until we set the new standard at the next Brisbane Ozwater). All jokes aside, Ozwater is the one time of year when we can celebrate all the core principles of the Association (Information, Networking and Recognition) in one place at one time. Our information offering this year continued the push to diversify the program streams while remaining true to the technical content and knowledge sharing that makes each conference so worthwhile. The trade exhibition was, as always, a fantastic tour of the best our industry has to offer as well as providing the perfect catalyst for spontaneous catch ups. Finally, recognition – every year I am surprised by the ability of those within our industry to push themselves and come up with new and improved ways to get things done. Our crop of national finalists in each award were outstanding. Congratulations to each of our Branch finalists and also to our national winners. The pressure’s on Melbourne!” – Justin Simonis (Promethean Projects)  

Thanks to all that took part in the event, to our very appreciated sponsors, and to those who were able to attend. To those who didn’t attend, it is fair to say you may have missed the best Ozwater to date – but there is always next year in beautiful Melbourne City for Ozwater'19. We hope to see you all there!