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Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 NSW Water Awards

Winners of the 2023 NSW Head of Water Awards

The winners of the Australian Water Association’s New South Wales Water Awards have been announced at the NSW Heads of Water Gala & Awards Dinner on Friday, 3 March at the Hilton in Sydney.

The NSW Water Awards recognise the contribution of the Association’s members for their hard work in inspiring leadership and innovative research, programs and infrastructure projects. 

AWA CEO Corinne Cheeseman congratulated all the finalists and winners, noting their outstanding achievements and significant contribution in the field of water. 

“AWA’sWater Awardshonourthe crucial and incrediblework our NSW members do fortheir communities and businesses.”Cheesemansaid.      

“From using artificial intelligence to estimate an areas ability to absorb rainfall to building new water infrastructure for the delivery of safe, clean, reliable drinking water to the Aboriginal community of Jubullum, all of ourNSWWater Award finalists and winners display how we are united by water to tackle challenges head on with a positive focus.  

“I congratulate all the finalists and winners for their commitment, inspiring dedication and achievements. I’m ecstatic that we set a record attendance with 450 attendees coming together to celebrate our NSW finalists.”   

This year’s NSW Water Award winners will represent the state in the national Australian Water Awards, presented at the Association’s annual water conference and exhibition, OzWater’23 in Sydney this May. 


R&D Excellence Award (sponsored by Water Research Australia) 
Infinite Water and Sydney Water - Collaborative Research Project for NOM Reduction Through Catalytic Advanced Oxidation  
Sydney Water and Infinite Water designed a test plant to simulate the effectiveness of the Hydroxon system within Sydney Water’s Water Filtration process. Hydroxon is Infinite Water’s proprietary process that generates Hydroxyl radicals in-situ when suitably conditioned water is brought into contact with the solid phase catalyst. 

Organisational Excellence Award (sponsored by Fulton Hogan) 
Department of Planning and Environment - Town Water Risk Reduction Program  

The New South Wales Government in partnership with local water utilities and the wider water sector collaborated on the Town Water Risk Reduction Program. Developing and implementing a new approach of working together enabling utilities to manage risks and priorities more strategically and effectively and, as a result, reduce risks in regional New South Wales communities over time.  

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro) 
Hunter Water, Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure and Tunnelling Solutions - Balickera Tunnel Restoration  
The Balickera Tunnel Project involves the restoration of a critical water asset supporting the Hunter. There were conflicting safety, environmental and operational challenges presented, when combined with the unexpected effects of La Nina and the Covid pandemic, innovative and adaptable thinking from a team of construction, ecological and design specialists. 

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Regional) 
Department of Planning and Environment, Clarence Valley Council and EcoTeam  - Jubullum Aboriginal Community Water Project  
Safe, clean, reliable drinking water was delivered to the Aboriginal community of Jubullum, which suffered critical water supply challenges after a series of natural disasters. The Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program worked closely with residents to build new water infrastructure and implement a culturally led water efficiency and leak repair campaign, ensuring long-term water solutions.  

Student Water Prize (sponsored by Eurofins) 
Rebecca Carlier, The University of Newcastle  
Integration of Ecological Response Feedbacks for Optimisation of Water Resource Management

Rebecca’s research aims to provide environmental water managers with a tool to compare trade-offs between water management decisions and ecological outcome through the integration of ecological response feedbacks into a decision support framework. Using the Macquarie Marshes as a case study she explores ecological resilience and sustainability of strategic decisions.  

Young Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by Xylem) 
Chelsea Hayward - Senior Process Engineer, Jacobs

Chelsea strives to use her technical capabilities and excellent people skills for good. She is driven to give back to her community, bettering the lives of all through access to clean water and sanitation. She is well connected across the water industry and is an ardent learner and considered mentor.  

Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by KSB) 
Ian Law - Principal, IBL Solutions 

Ian is an internationally recognised and awarded thought leader. He is described as the embodiment of professional excellence in urban water solutions, an ambassador for the water industry, and is dedicated to building a secure water future, for all. 

Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award  
Renny Chivunga - Engineer Water, Aurecon

Renny has over 19 years’ experience in mentoring within NSW. Every year, she helps to build capacity within the water sector and wider industries by mentoring eight to ten professionals. Renny provides her mentees a well-rounded perspective with her unique experience as an engineer, researcher, board member, manufacturer, retailor, pilot, model and fitness instructor. 

The Australian Water Association congratulates all the NSW winners and finalists. We will see you at the upcoming Ozwater'23 conference in May. 

The Association congratulates all the award finalists and winners and thanks our sponsors WaterNSW, Arup, Water Research Australia, Xylem, Fulton Hogan and KSB for their support of this event and these important industry awards.