A one-off chance to learn from experts in artificial intelligence, manufacturing, disaster recovery and more.

By hearing from experts outside our immediate sector we can begin to identify alternative approaches, new ways of thinking, and innovative solutions to these challenges.

Presented by the AWA’s South Australian Branch and the SA YWP Network, the 2019 Lessons from the Outside Symposium brings together exciting speakers from a range of industries outside the water sector to talk about their approaches to the significant challenges facing our world. 

This is an outstanding professional development and networking opportunity for water professionals of all ages. Fresh perspective and knowledge will build our capacity to continue delivering cost effective water and wastewater solutions, meeting the needs of current and future generations.

View Program

Registrations for this event are now closed. For information please contact Cat Murtagh at or 0439 893 304.

AWA Members $250
Non-members $350
AWA Young Water Professionals $185
Students $160
Session-Only Pass $80 (AWA Members and Non-members)


Welcome Address

Dr Richard Harvey MP
A former Medical Research Scientist, SANFL Field Umpire, and Piano Teacher, Dr Harvey is the member for Newland, in Adelaide's north-east. As a research scientist for the University of Adelaide, Richard worked to find new ways of preventing and treating pneumonia and meningitis. Richard’s diverse skills and experience give him a great perspective from which to open proceedings at 'Lessons from the Outside'. Dr Harvey will deliver the Symposium welcome on behalf of Minister for Environment and Water, the Hon David Speirs.

Keynote Address

Daniel Sullivan, CEO Iota Services, and AWA Board Director

Daniel joined South East Water in August 2017 as a member of the executive and run its commercial arm, Iota. He has over 20 years’ experience in senior roles across technology commercialisation, consulting and international trade. Daniel is excited to translate South East Water’s expertise and technologies that it is developing to enable its digital transformation, to the global water industry.

Speakers and Workshops

Professor Holger Maier, The University of Adelaide

Holger is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Adelaide and has worked on water related research for the last 25 years, including urban water supply systems and river management. Holger's talk will outline some of the lessons learnt from his work in the disaster management sector that are also applicable to the water sector, especially those related to long-term planning in an increasingly uncertain environment.

See Holger's full biography here.

Frank Wyatt, Strategic Advisor, Enterprising Partnerships

In this session, Frank will be joined by four leading innovators who will dive into:

 - How they’ve each addressed building a culture of innovation, a mindset of creativity and future-focused thinking in their organisation.
 - How they’ve stimulated ideation and ensured it is respected and sustained within the culture of their organisation
 - What challenges people taking this journey are likely to expect.
 - What advice (other than don’t do it) have they got for achieving the different aspects of innovation: product, process, business model, and servitization.

There will also be time for Q&A with the audience.
On the Panel

Ben Flink
- Senior Manager Business Innovation, RAA Group
Emma Cole - Innovation Manager (Acting), SA PowerNetworks
Dr Bernadette Eckermann - Innovation Specialist, SA Water
Myles Clarke - Squadron Leader, Royal Australian Air Force

David McKay, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Thomas Foods International

Forced to deal with a significant event in Thomas Foods International’s history, David will share in his presentation:
 - His experience on how the magnitude of and the impact this event had on Thomas Foods International
 - How the message was managed in an effort to limit its impact to the organisation
 - What some of the learnings were
 - How such a negative issue could be managed into a “positive message” and 
 - The exciting future on the organisation

See David's full biography here.

Jake Berry, Mechanical Engineer, WSP

Indigenous peoples and infrastructure have had problematic relationships in the past with roads, bridges and railways which can break connection between people and country. How can we create infrastructure to help reconnect relationships between country and people? How can country be represented and add meaning to the design of infrastructure spatially and its surfaces?

Combining design with local indigenous principles enhances peoples’ connections to a place, its stories and what came before. These set of design principles are a starting point of engagement with local people and country. Real life examples will be presented of what it could potentially look like and will include concepts such as soundscape design.

See Jake's full biography here.

Krissy Raman, Head of Strategy and Innovation, AGIG

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) is one of the largest gas infrastructure businesses in Australia, with operations across the value chain and across Australia. Gas is an important part of our energy mix and therefore has an important role to play in meeting our carbon emission targets. With this in mind, AGIG are developing an Australian-first hydrogen production facility at the Tonsley Innovation District in South Australia. Hydrogen Park South Australia, HyP SA, will use a 1.25MW PEM electrolyser to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. The renewable hydrogen will be blended with natural gas and supplied to customers and may also be supplied to other users via tube and trailer.

Krissy’s presentation will focus on the HyP SA development including community engagement on the project. She will also outline AGIG’s future low-carbon vision and potential synergies with the water industry.

See Krissy's full biography here.

Kevin Hecketsweiler, Energy Project Engineer, PREDICT

Digital technologies are booming all around the world. Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, Digital Twins are examples of technologies that bring direct benefits to today’s society to overcome the modern challenges such as the management of energy and resources. Predictive maintenance is a part of this value chain. Combining data science, engineering and experts’ knowledge, predictive maintenance provides some powerful outcomes to anticipate unknown events and take effective actions accordingly. 

Water industries facing such challenges as energy management and assets maintainability can now be supported in a safe and efficient manner thanks to advanced predictive analytics.

See Kevin's full biography here.

Anna Jackson, General Manager, Customers, Strategy and Innovation, SA Water

Anna leads SA Water's Customers Strategy and Innovation team consulting and engaging with the customers and the communities they work in, transforming customer insights into actions to improve customer experience, and effectively communicating with 1.7 million South Australians as they deliver world class water services for a better life. With 25 years of experience in both Australia and internationally in corporate and government sectors, Anna brings her background in market and business development, stakeholder and community engagement, journalism and corporate communications to the executive team. Speaking at the end of the day, Anna will draw the many threads of the Symposium together for us.

See Anna's full biography here.

Amir Vahdani
Regional Sales Manager, WA and SA, Steel Mains

Amir graduated from one of the oldest universities of the Middle East with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He moved to Australia in January 2012 and joined John Holland Group as a project development manager in the Energy & Resources department until he decided to start a new journey with Steel Mains from Feb 2017 as a Regional Sales Manager WA & SA. Prior to that Amir has had various roles in some International designers and contractors of the Middle East and central Asia. He has been involved in some significant projects such as:
*Cape Lambert Port B with Rio Tinto
*Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade with Water Corporation of WA
*Potable water main replacement in Nelson Point with BHP WA Iron Ore
*M6 Pipeline Replacement with BHP Olympic Dam
*Morgan WTP Upgrade with SA Water
Arrival tea & coffee, lunch, morning and afternoon tea from a menu of fresh South Australian produce. Join us for networking drinks at the end of the day.


The SA Symposium 2019 will be held on Thursday 19 September 2019 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor at 65 Hindley St, Adelaide CBD. 

AWA Members $250
Non-members $350
AWA Young Water Professionals $185
Students $160
Session-Only Pass $80


Thought Leader Partner


Young Water Professional Partner


Policy Partner

Thank you to our partners in promoting the 2019 Symposium, the Civil Contractors Association of South Australia, the Local Government Association of South Australia and the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association, and the Water Industry Alliance.

19/09/2019 - 19/09/2019
Hotel Grand Chancellor, 65 Hindley St, Adelaide CBD

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