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Message from our VIC Branch President – Amanda Hazell

June to August is typically a busy time of year for AWA here in Victoria as we go through the nomination, election and induction of the new committee and prepare ourselves for the Victorian Annual Dinner and 2021 has been no different. 

We received an overwhelming response to our call for nominations and will be welcoming back three existing committee members with another three new members joining us. I also wanted to say congratulations and thank you for putting your hand up to Shay Xie (Eurofins) who is the new Victorian Branch Vice-President and Georgina Catto-Smith (Jacobs) who has taken on the role of Chair of the Young Water Professionals sub-committee. I am super-excited to be working with the two of them this year alongside the rest of the committee, to deliver a program of events and initiatives, which will hopefully mean we get to see a bit more of all of you in person. 

With the changing committee, I am also going to take the opportunity to thank Julian Kinder (Programmed) who was Vice-President of the Branch Committee for the last 12 months. I appreciate the support he gave to myself, Digna and the rest of the branch over that time. In particular his leadership in supporting member engagement by coordinating a task to contact all of our Victorian Branch members this year, was not a small feat, along with the new corporate members he supported coming on board. We are very thankful to him for staying on the committee this year despite not re-nominating for Vice President.   

Similarly I have to give huge thanks to my leadership partner in the YWP Sub-committee this year Sam Skinner (Aurecon). Sam led the YWP committee through some interesting challenges this year, including having to support a committee through multiple iterations of a regional conference and yet another cancelled YWP Ball. And he did it all with a calm, relaxed attitude, which has definitely made my role as Branch President easier. This year has really seen the Branch and YWP committee become one committee (even if it’s enormous) and I am very grateful to Sam for his willingness to approach things this way. 

The branch committee will also say farewell to David Kirby as he finishes up as Immediate Past President. I am not going to say much about that here, as the farewell is deserving of its own article so please read that! 

Now there may be a few of you wondering what has happened to the Victorian Annual Dinner for 2021. We have decided to merge the Annual Dinner and the Victorian Water Awards into one event this year which will be held in November. This supports us in not only making the most of our resources to deliver this event, and will again raise the profile of our amazing Victorian Water Award Finalists and Winners. We are really looking forward to this event in November and if you have any questions about the change please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. 

I look forward to seeing you at an AWA event sometime soon! 

Amanda Hazell – President – AWA Victorian Branch