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September QLD Source President’s Report

The end of July saw the North Queensland Water Conference hosted by Mackay Regional Council.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make it back to my old stomping ground for a multitude of reasons and, honestly, I was very jealous. I did see the abstracts and the final program; and it was our most successful NQWater event with 167 attendees and 24 trade exhibitors. This was just after a COVID scare in the SEQ corner and a couple of trade exhibitors not able to travel due to ongoing (and new) COVID restrictions, making this success even more impressive. There was also a very successful Young Water Professional (YWP) breakfast, so it was good to see so many YWPs and supporters at the dinner and throughout the conference. 

Thank you all for attending and supporting not only AWA, but the region. These events are critical to continuing the engagement between our members. It was an excellent opportunity to support the industry, do some face-to-face networking, share technical information and hear some fantastic presentations. 

The record number of attendees keeps alive the friendly rivalry between our regional partners Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Whitsunday councils as “the host with the most”. It looks like the challenge continues! 

In Mid-August we held a fantastic Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) webinar, presented from different locations across Queensland. The three presenters were Ashley James from BHP, Harry Hartman from Constructionarium and Naomi Lock from Unitywater. The panel shared their different but successful approaches to the D&I challenge.   

In line with the extending our reach to our members and ensuring that we provide technical events to the regional membership, this was an online forum. This approach will become the new normal for presenting the QLD Branch technical events, where it is online first and foremost, and face to face in a hub model at different locations. This model is paramount to our committee and we are, in fact, leading the way of the states to see this become the typical way to hold technical events.   

Now just a few key reminders for AWA upcoming events: 

The AWA Gala Dinner is scheduled for Friday, 10 September 2021. While the judging has been finalised, I don’t know the winners so I’m genuinely excited to see the results! Due to the current COVID restrictions, numbers are limited at the venue, but we are keeping a close eye on the restrictions and working with the venue. As the restrictions ease and numbers increase so will the availability of tickets, so please, to ensure that you don’t miss out, register your interest as the waitlist will be prioritised first. 

October’s technical event is regarding various contracting models and will hopefully be presented from different areas. It will again be held as a webinar with bonus face to face hub models at various locations so keep an eye out and support the hubs. You could perhaps even consider hosting one yourself or getting a group together for a “boardroom” event. Registrations will be on the website shortly. 

Lastly, we are of course busily organising QWater Conference 'Embracing Positive Change Through Disruption', to be held in Brisbane at the end of November. The papers are in and there are over 40 very interesting abstracts, so register now and guarantee a jam packed and exciting conference.