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Indigenous scholarship a first for an Australian water utility

Water Corporation is leading the way in supporting reconciliation and closer partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by teaming up with International Water Association Australia Committee (IWAA) and the Australian Water Association (AWA) to offer an Emerging Indigenous Water Leaders (EIWL) scholarship.

In a first for an Australian water utility, the scholarship will provide opportunities for members of the Western Australian Indigenous communities to share their knowledge, improve networking and enhance the value of their contribution to the sustainable management of water and, crucially, its connection to Indigenous culture.

Water Corporation Chief Executive Officer Pat Donovan said the business had developed its fifth Reconciliation Action Plan this year, which was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

“We are now undertaking activities to support our vision for reconciliation – to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, businesses and communities, enhancing opportunities for
employment and training, leading to skill development and sustainable employment,” Donovan said.

“The EIWL scholarship is an exciting opportunity to nurture and utilise Indigenous knowledge in regards to water as a natural resource at a national and international level.”

Donovan said the recipients would also support a state government project to upgrade services in remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia to ensure these communities have reliable drinking water and wastewater services for the first time.

The scholarship will fund travel, accommodation and admission to attend and where possible, present, at selected national and international conferences. Each recipient will be supported and mentored by experienced and emerging industry professionals from Water Corporation, IWAA and AWA.

For more information, contact Collene Castle.