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Celebrating our Lifetime Achievement and Exceptional Service Award Winners!

Water industry megastars were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the industry during the President's Dinner held May 9, 2023 during Ozwater'23 in Sydney.

Water's best and brightest celebrated at the iconic Campbell's Stores waterfront with two award categories 'Exceptional Service' and 'Lifetime Achievement' honouring AWA Members who have empowered significant change for the sector and their commitment to a sustainable water future.

Sponsored by Programmed, the event was marked by loud applause, friendly camaraderie and kind words by AWA CEO Corinne Cheeseman and outgoing AWA President Louise Dudley.

Please join us in congratulating our award winners! 

Lifetime Achievement

Kuruvilla Mathew

Dr Kuruvilla Mathew has given a lifetime of dedicated work to the Australian Water Industry through his ongoing service to tertiary education, research, Aboriginal communities, developing countries and the water industry generally since his arrival in Australia from India in 1977.

His 55-year career in the water industry to date has spanned working directly for water authorities, leading water research programs and mentoring research students and staff, developing and delivering courses on water, working passionately to develop better water services for homeland Aboriginal communities and developing countries as well as serving on many AWA, IWA, government and university committees.

Well beyond retirement he continues to organise water conferences, support staff in their water careers and supervise students in research and teaching.

Paul Byleveld

Paul Byleveld has worked tirelessly as a public health professional, with over 24 years of service in NSW Health and oversees, championing policy and regulatory reform and promoting safe drinking water. 

His achievements within NSW include supporting implementation of the NSW Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewage Program and securing over $10 million to support implementation of drinking water management systems to the most under-resourced local water utilities across regional and remote NSW.

Paul’s dedication to water health service has also extended oversees, with his deployment to international crisis areas with the Australian Government, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross, where he has set up critical water supply infrastructure and water quality monitoring programs in times of international need. Paul has promoted the awareness of safe drinking water as a WASH specialist supporting humanitarian responses in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, and the Pacific.

Paul is the recipient of a Legend of Water award by the NSW Branch of AWA in 2015, a Public Service Medal in 2017 for his outstanding public service to the development of improved water quality and public health in New South Wales, and the Environmental Health Australia’s Margaret Hind Memorial Award 2020, in recognition of his leadership of the highly specialised NSW Health Water Unit to improve water quality across NSW and role in supporting the NSW Chief Health Officer during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For over 30 years, Paul has worked as a water quality specialist for the Army Reserve. He has promoted the awareness of safe drinking water and water treatment measures among Australian Defence Force members operating in the field in Australia and on overseas deployment.

Exceptional Service

Carmel Krogh

Carmel Krogh OAM represents the essence of the association’s highest individual honour that rewards exceptional service. Carmel has worked tirelessly and purposely for the AWA for over 35 years in various roles.

She served on the NSW AWA Branch committee and later was elected to the AWA board for 9 years while also becoming National President in 2019. As National President Carmel championed the formulation of the AWA’s very first Strategy 22 that articulated a value proposition for AWA members. This was a defining moment for the association that enhanced both membership and committee members engagement through a clearer vision and purpose. 

Her leadership and commitment are outstanding, especially as the AWA navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with a lasting legacy of a strengthened and more attractive online platform and service offering to members. Carmel’s passion for regional communities has surfaced in all that she does with a key pillar of the Strategy 22 collective strategic goals being “Extending our reach”. The culmination of this passion, establishment of the strategic goals and pivot to digital engagement has fostered the establishment of the successful NSW and Queensland Regional Champions program which is continuing to actively engage the regional water sectors through online and regionally focused AWA events.

As a prominent industry figure, holding many leadership roles throughout her career so far, Camel has actively provided exceptional personal service to the AWA for over 35 years, elevating the water industry and AWA across multiple platforms, which has resulted in positive and demonstrable future focused changes that will support the association for many years to come. 

Darryl Day

Darryl Day has held senior executive roles in the water industry for over forty years and has held non-executive Board roles in water research and industry associations. Darryl served as President of the Australian Water Association (2005 – 2007) which coincided with increased community and political interest in water reform during the millennium drought.

Darryl is an experienced executive and managing director with a passion for curating organisational culture for high performance and leading strategically focused and innovative teams. He has forty years of experience in the water and energy utility sector with high level skills in transformational leadership, strategic planning, business performance, asset management, service delivery, crisis management, capacity building, and stakeholder management.

Darryl has provided national and international leadership in water security, water planning, equity (gender) in water management, water and public health, water services and sanitation.

Through his lifelong passion to address access to sanitation and safe drinking water supplies Darryl has dedicated his life to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians and some of our most disadvantaged community members. He has been a committed and passionate participant in the sector for 40 years, with 35 of these being in service to the NT Government and through his volunteer participation in peak industry bodies, education providers and research institutions. During this time he has improved the performance of organisations, companies and government departments across the water sector through his transformational leadership style. He has sponsored the careers of many young professionals most of which are key contributors to the sector.
Darryl has had a highly distinguished career demonstrated through the awards and recognition he has received.

Congratulations to all our award winners!

Award Winners Group Shot