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Get to know the new Queensland YWP Chair

Cassandra Mai is an energetic young water professional who has been elected as the Queensland YWP Sub-committee Chair from July 2024. In this issue of Source, Cassandra shares her water story and passion for volunteering, inclusion and diversity, and supporting the STEM pipeline.

Cassandra Mai has been part of the water industry for the past six years working as a process engineering consultant at WSP. Cassandra’s work has involved delivering water, recycled water, desalination and wastewater treatment engineering solutions for both the public and private sectors across Australia. She enjoys collaborating with her team to solve complex problems, particularly in the planning phases of the project.

What drew you into the water industry?

Having the opportunity to attend wastewater treatment plants during university site visits was my first eye-opener to the water industry – I thought it was so cool to hear how a bioreactor worked! I had the opportunity to do my undergraduate work placement at a local water utility and the rest is history.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

I draw a lot of inspiration from people within our water industry. Hearing the passion and incredible, inspiring work that everyone has done drives my inspiration to do good work.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love volunteering my time to any committees or initiatives I’m part of, which currently includes the AWA YWP sub-committee, Winnovators program and work-related initiatives. Beyond that, I thoroughly enjoy playing board games, quality time with loved ones, camping, overnight hikes and cooking. The other weekend I joined in on a board game tournament for the first time, but also came fourth last...

If you were a breed of dog, which would you be and why?

Border collie, because that is the breed of my current dog and I am incredibly bias! That way, I can laze around the house with him all day.

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

Picking just one is hard, but I’ll say: educating the community and other industries on the value of water.

How do you consider your organisation benefits from most by being a corporate member of the Australian Water Association?

The connectivity, engagement and discounted memberships that our organisation gets from being a corporate member. Personally, I’ve benefited a lot from networking, professional development and personal growth.

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

Continue to be our water leaders – everyone has a role to play in listening and collaborating together, committing to sustainability, and being responsible for driving positive change. Don’t underestimate the impact you can make!