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Highlights from the 2023 SA YWP Forum

On a bright and sunny winter’s afternoon, South Australia’s emerging professionals in the water industry congregated together at the Adelaide Zoo for the AWA’s annual SA YWP Forum. With an eagerness to connect and learn, these future industry leaders prepared themselves for an engaging, determined, and fun afternoon to confront how the water industry tackles and prepares for disasters. 

The day was jam-packed with high quality presenters to share with those early in their water career and it was brimming with memorable moments. These included:

  • An insightful and reflective keynote address from Hon. Karlene Maywald illustrating that, regarding disaster response, “we cannot engineer our way out of this”. She highlighted with fluency and eloquence the importance of working with others and building relationships with the community around disaster relief.
  • A dynamic and diverse panel discussion with numerous perspectives from Nicole Hughes, Aaron Zecchin, Michael Edgecombe and Grant Pelton. Their experiences in disaster response taught about the complexities behind operations during crisis times, as well as stoking thoughts about disaster resilience with their expertise.
  • An interactive and thought provoking workshop ran by the SA State Emergency Service. People were put into a unique disaster scenario and asked to role play those facing said disaster. This stretching of people’s comfort zone and forcing to think outside of their own work showed a whole new side of disaster response and the amazing work the SASES do. 

This all was dispersed with networking time and facilitated discussions about disaster response and resilience, working the minds of the attendees to think proactively about their roles. With drinks and food to top it off at the end, the day was a rousing success, thanks to the support of the AWA’s YWP Committee and Steelmains sponsorship. And it’ll be back again next year, so keep your eyes peeled for the next SA YWP Forum!