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SA Branch President Carmen Wentrock's President's Column July 2022

There has been a lot of change since my last newsletter update. Things seem to be returning to some kind of ‘normal’, which has meant that events are back on with minimal restrictions and risks of being cancelled.  

The AWA held a very successful Ozwater ’22 in Brisbane, which I had the privilege to attend. The week was full of meeting new people, creating connections and reigniting old ones, as well as being inspired by the keynote speakers and challenged by some of the paper presentations. The challenge is always to come back to the office and share the energy and inspiration with the wider team.

Last week, I attended the ‘Industry and Academia’ series, this time linking industry to UniSA. This was a very informative session, with a theme of Integrated Water Management. The event showcased examples of IWRM and the types of research that address contemporary IWRM challenges. We heard from Dr Greg Sixt from MIT, Hannah Ellyard from DEW and Nick Swain from SA Water, as well as a Panel of UniSA researchers across water and economics. This event was well attended, and the networking opportunity continued the discussions on the topics that were raised.

SA has seen a change in State Government and we have had a change at the Federal level as well. 

Back in January, the SA Branch Committee had planned a Minister’s Breakfast that was going to showcase the Minister and Shadow Minister before the State election, which unfortunately got cancelled. Now we have an opportunity to hear from the new Minister for Environment and Water, the Honourable Susan Close. The rescheduled Minister’s breakfast is booked for Thursday 21 July 2022, and I look forward to hearing the direction the new government is taking in water. 

The YWPs continue to plan for the upcoming YWP Forum, scheduled for August. I am always enthused by the energy and passion our YWPs bring to anything they do. 

The Conference sub-committee is in full swing in preparations for 2022 Water Matters: Securing Our Future, which is being held on 30 September 2022. Call for papers will launch shortly, so you are encouraged to contribute and share. 

To close the year out, we will be having our Awards Dinner, scheduled for 18 November 2022. More details are yet to come, but I do encourage you to think about projects, research results, your people and YWPs who may be eligible for nominations under the various categories. We have seen huge success at the National Level, most recently at Ozwater ’22, where The Goyder Institute for Water Research - Second Term Research Program (2015-2020) won in the R&D category, and SA Water’s Zero Cost Energy Future Program won in the Infrastructure Project Innovation Metro Category. There is so much going on in our industry that is worth celebrating.  

I am enthused and hopeful that the new ‘normal’ will enable continued opportunities to share, connect and inspire. I hope to see you at one or more of the above events.