Skip to content
Resources > Latest News > Meet the 2023 queensland young water professional of the year

Meet the 2023 Queensland Young Water Professional of the Year

Amber Craig is a hydroclimate analyst and project officer with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. She was recently announced as the Queensland Young Water Professional of the Year and here she shares how her passion for helping people and the planet is inspiring her career in water.

What drew you into the water industry?

I felt disheartened by the repeated negative news of what climate change meant for the world, particularly how it will impact our most vulnerable worst and first. I wanted to work to be meaningful and help address the tangible impacts of climate change.

In 2019, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my Masters in Earth Sciences, but kept being drawn to the devastating news of the significant droughts in Australia and of the announcements of ‘Day Zero’ for groundwater in various parts of the world. I had the realisation that my education and passion could enable me to make a positive impact through water, and after that I never looked back.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from those I am on a mission to help - people and the planet. I am inspired by the people I work with who are extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and dedicated, to the people on the ground I get to speak to who share their experiences, their successes and their issues, and it always energises me to hear someone’s story – everyone has a story about water.

I feel equally inspired when I connect to the environment, seeing seasons change and water come and go in our rivers and lakes. It reminds me of why I do what I do, I feel a deep connection and a call to do all I can to care for our land.  

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well, I actually dig up dinosaurs in my spare time! No… really! I am a digger with ‘Dinosaur Dreaming’, a Victorian based program connected to the Melbourne Museum and Monash University, run on the love of volunteers. Other than that, you can find me dancing, spending time at the beach or with loved ones, or travelling (next big trip is to Antarctica with the STEMM Women in Leadership Program ‘Homeward Bound’). 

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

I think the greatest and most important challenge to address is going to be around climate change, and communication of its risk and impact to water resources. There are many different perspectives on what we should do to address our water issues.

We need to ensure there is clear two-way communication to understand the experience and perspectives of the people on the ground so it can be considered when decisions are made. We also need to clearly communicate why certain decisions are made and the science that supports it. Australia is a country of extremes, floods and droughts, likely to be amplified and become more frequent under a changing climate.

Good communication will enable us to build trust so when we are in those difficult moments we know we are all working together towards the best possible outcome. 

What do you see are the benefits of being a member of the Australian Water Association?

I joined the Australian Water Association as an individual to be more connected with the broader water community, and to join the Queensland mentoring program which has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling! 

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

To my Queensland water sector colleagues, firstly I want to say thank you for all you do and being a part of a collective dedicated to solving some of our biggest problems, it is truly inspiring.

I would like to take the opportunity to prompt colleagues to consider who is at the table making decisions and how are you incorporating perspectives from those who are impacted from those decisions – do you have an equal weighting of genders, and include gender diverse people? Do you include a range of people from various cultural backgrounds, ages, experience, those with varying sexualities, different abilities, or who are neurodiverse? How are you incorporating the perspectives of our Traditional Owners and Custodians into decision marking?

We have big challenges ahead of us, having better representation will lead to better outcomes, more innovative solutions and a more inclusive and safe working environment for all. .