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The Australian Water Association joins Pride in Water

“The Australian Water Association (AWA) is delighted to join Pride in Water, to nationally support our LGBTIQ+ members, customers and community. AWA will continue to enhance diversity and inclusion across the water sector as a part of our Strategy, so that we can continue to inspire and drive a sustainable water future.” Corinne Cheeseman, CEO, Australian Water Association

With the Sydney Mardi Gras just around the corner, we proudly announce that The Australian Water Association has joined Pride in Water, a network created for LGBTIQ+ people and allies that work in the water industry throughout Australia.

Pride in Water was established in 2019, driven by Yarra Valley Water and inspired by the broader water industries proactive leadership stance in encouraging a collaborative approach across the industry. The idea for Pride in Water emerged from the experience of two LGBTIQ+ employees at Yarra Valley Water (Jacquie Moon and Brendan Moore), passionate about creating a collaborative initiative, they co-founded the Pride in Water network to create an industry where every LGBTIQ+ person feels valued, safe and included.

A report by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2014 indicated that 11% of people in Australia identify as LGBTIQ+. It further stated that 50% of LGBTIQ+ people felt compelled not to reveal their sexuality or gender identity at work for fear of isolation, discrimination or abuse. In a 2019 study on workplace inclusion by the Diversity Council of Australia, 44% of LGBTIQ+ workers had personally experienced discrimination and/or harassment in the past 12 months.

Yarra Valley Water’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace has changed the culture of the organisation. Celebrating visibility days, providing information blogs and championing the importance of LGBTIQ+ allies have all contributed to a significant cultural change, and has seen an increase in employees feeling comfortable to identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community and as strong allies. Through their experience of being involved in this cultural change work at Yarra Valley Water, as well as Jacquie and Brendan’s lived experience and connections within the LGBTIQ+ community, they could see that the water industry had significant opportunities to improve conditions for employees, customers and community, and align with leading organisations. This led to a vision for connecting with metro and rural water authorities across Australia to share resources, ideas and create a better practice approach to LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the water industry.

We look forward to working with Pride in Water to celebrate LGBTIQ+ diversity and inclusion in the water industry.

Click to find out more about how you can get involved with Pride in Water.