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Queensland President’s Update - July 2023

As we settle into the new financial year, it’s a great opportunity to update you on some of the recent achievements of AWA and the Queensland Branch.

We recently held our Branch Committee and YWP Subcommittee elections. I would like to make a special thanks to two of our past Queensland Branch Committee members (Jeff Ballard and Simon Taylor) that did not renominate this year. Thank you for the hard work and commitment to helping us provide greater engagement to our members. I would also like to make a special thanks to our YWP Subcommittee members that have finished their terms, thank you to Lachlan Guthrie, Shanae Walker, Valentina Velez-Rivera and Alice Strazzabosco.

Our congratulations to those who sought re-election and are continuing. From the QLD Branch Committee, welcome back Will Speirs, Olivia Newman and Natalie Muir. From our YWP Subcommittee, welcome back Ming Zhou.

We have some newly elected members that I would like to welcome. To our QLD Branch Committee, welcome, Declan Hearne, Toni Veronese and Shihu Hu and welcome to our new YWP Subcommittee members, Nina Clark, Dinuka Ginige, Jonathan Jo, Samantha Guy, Min Zheng and Richard Bladon.

Profiles of each of the new committee members are included in this issue of Source and I would encourage all members to consider nominating to join one of our committees in future. It’s a fantastic way to grow your network of industry colleagues and to contribute to the water sector beyond your own organisation. I’ve met so many people that I am pleased to have as colleagues and friends through my involvement in AWA and it has definitely helped me in my career progression. Ozwater’23 was a great example of this, spending three days learning from others and continuing to develop my network, both with members from QLD and across the country. This issue we hear from Cassandra Mai, one of our QLD Young Water Professionals, about her experiences at Ozwater’23.

After the dust settled on Ozwater, the QLD Branch turned our attention to hosting our local technical event. Who would have thought holding a technical event on the night of the State of Origin would be so successful? Thanks to the fantastic planning and a very relevant topic of ‘The Journey to Net Zero’ with highly knowledgeable and skilled presenters, we had 100 people join us, which is the largest technical event we’ve had for a while now. Delegates had the opportunity to hear presentations from three utilities and participate in a panel discussion and networking before heading home or out to watch the game. Our facilitator, Natalie Muir, has written a summary about the event later in this newsletter.

For this first half of the new financial year, we have a packed calendar with several major events for the Queensland Branch. The first is the NQ Conference which is being held in Townsville. It is always a fantastic event attracting not only members from the regions but also delegates from Southeast Queensland. Registrations are still open for the conference on 15-16 August in Townsville. Why not make it a holiday and head up early and spend some time at Magnetic Island! We already have more than 140 delegates registered, so if you do intend to attend, book your tickets and accommodation quickly before we sell out.

The follow up event is our premier QLD Water Awards and Gala Dinner to be held on Thursday 5 October at the Brisbane Hilton where we celebrate our award finalists and winners – please note this new date, and keep an eye out for tickets when they go on sale later this month! Nominations to be part of the QLD Water Awards will close on 4 August, so please take the opportunity to recognise the great projects and people that make up this great industry by submitting nominations. The winners of these awards go on to compete at the national level where we had the Logan Water Partnership pick up the national Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro) for their Biosolids Gasification Facility at the Ozwater’23 Gala Dinner. Read more about that project in this issue and get your nominations in now!

In addition to the Gala Dinner, we have the YWP Amazing Race being held on Saturday 21 October during National Water Week. The YWP Subcommittee have started making plans for this event and will provide more information soon.

The final major event for the first half of this financial year is the QWater Conference. QWater’23 will be held in Brisbane on 9-10 November with a welcome reception on Wednesday 8 November. The Call for Papers is open until Friday 28 July, so please submit your abstracts soon!

The Queensland Branch will also be hosting a technical event in September and providing an opportunity for members to meet the new QLD Branch Committee and YWP Subcommittee in the next few months.

I hope to catch up with you at an AWA event very soon and encourage you to get involved in what the Queensland Branch has on offer whenever you can.