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An update from the NSW Branch

NSW Branch President Nanda Altavilla reflects on a packed few months in the NSW space.

2023 is shaping up to be a big year for the NSW Branch. We kicked off by hosting our awards evening by recognising and celebrating the exemplary individuals and projects in NSW. All finalists showcased at Sydney Ozwater and scooped up three awards. Congratulations to our winners below!

Ian Law widescreen
Water Professional of the Year Award 
Ian Law, Principal, IBL Solutions
Young Water Professional of the Year Award
Chelsea Hayward, Senior Process Engineer, Jacobs
Mikayla widescreen
Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize
Mikayla Rodger from Meriden School NSW
Infrastructure regional
Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Regional) (sponsored by SMEC)

Jubullum Aboriginal Community Water Project

NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Clarence Valley Council and Ecoteam

Plus thanks to the our judging committee- this is never an easy job.

One of our key strategic goals for our committee is to expand our reach to regional NSW and beyond demonstrating the value proposition for engagement and membership of AWA for both current and future members. The regional champion team have harnessed the enthusiasm of our regional members to host collaborative and interactive online events at regional hubs, blending the best of ‘IRL’ interactions with the online experience.

The most recent event was held simultaneously at Taree, Orange, Newcastle, ACT and Sydney with three speakers who told their personal water stories of working in the regional water sector. Both Mel Slimming from Forbes Shire Council and Adam Wilson from Coffs Harbour City Council recounted their intersecting professional and personal experiences when managing the extreme event of recent flood, which stimulated discussions within our hubs and then shared with all participants online.

The Regional Champs are building on this model for the next event on 26 October when we expand beyond NSW to include  Canberra, Darwin and Alice Springs. We will continue the theme of hearing water stories, this time about the personal perspectives of First Nations People, including and celebrating an award-winning project for the Aboriginal community of Jubullum. Three speakers will discuss the importance of water, the connections they share with water and stories from a personal and community perspective.

Gender equity is another key strategic goal for our committee. We ran a successful Women in Water forum at Oz Water. In the crowded exhibition centre a large audience gathered while eating their lunch to hear from three generations of women in the industry. Sammy Jung from Goldenfields Water, Lindsay Brown from GHD and Annette Davison shared experiences of working and learning in the water sector.

While having Ozwater in Sydney was a great opportunity to show off our great city and reconnect with colleagues both from Australia and the world, we have missed our state conference in 2023. However, that gives us more time organise a bigger and better NSW State conference for 2024…. Watch this space.