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Getting to know our new CEO

AWA's new CEO Corinne Cheeseman is a mother of two daughters, aged 10 and 13. She feels her impact in the water sector aligns with her sense of purpose and to make a difference. She has always been an advocate for the water industry and the important role it plays to society.

The AWA Queensland Branch sat down with Corinne to learn more about her.

What drew you into the water industry?

I loved science at school so it was obvious that I would study it at university. Near the end of my degree I applied for a job in AWT’s algal laboratory. Once I was in I was hooked – what’s not to love about the water industry?

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

For me it’s about purpose and feeling like I am making a contribution so I look to leaders that tap into that. It’s pretty easy when you look around the industry to see some fantastic leaders but I also draw inspiration from leaders outside the industry such as innovators and those that foster diversity and inclusion.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to spend time with my family and friends, walk along my local beach, exercise (pilates, gym and play soccer). When I am working, I like to listen to podcasts and read about emerging trends in leadership, business and emerging technology but when on holidays I love to read a good book.

What drew you to the role of CEO?

I have always thought that one day I just might be lucky enough to be AWA’s CEO. To be able to lead a member-based organisation in the water industry really taps into my love of the industry, its people and the whole purpose of what we do. It’s quite unique and I feel very privileged.

What do you believe is currently the greatest challenge for the water industry?

The economic recovery on the other side of COVID combined with the management of water in a drying climate. The water industry is well-placed to respond, especially given the way we have reacted to COVID and our ability to manage drought and plan for the future.

How do you think AWA can assist in meeting the needs presented by this challenge?

The Association provides the platform for our members to collaborate and share good practice examples of how these challenges can be solved. Our reach is broad and we are inclusive, that is the strength that we find together and it really does make us impactful.

What messages would you like to give to your colleagues in the Queensland water sector?

I actually lived and worked in Brissie in the late 90’s so I am particularly fond of Queensland. I know the QLD Branch has always been and remains an integral part of the Queensland water industry. I’d love to see the membership expand and be connected across QLD – these challenges we face will be with us for some time, if we can connect and work together we will be well placed into the future.

The QLD Source Editorial committee is always thinking about how to better engage with our broader membership. Do you have a diverse background or experience you would like to share? <a href="mailto:qldbranch@awa.asn.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Do let us know</a> if you would like a chat by the bubbler…