Skip to content
Resources > Latest News > Celebrating the sectors finest at the 2019 australian water awards

Celebrating the sector's finest at the 2019 Australian Water Awards

More than 1000 Australian water professionals spent the evening celebrating at the Australian water sector's night of nights, the Ozwater'19 Gala Dinner held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The highlight of the Ozwater social program, the Gala Dinner recognises the Australian water industry's finest, with the announcement of the Australian Water Association’s national Australian Water Awards.

The Australian Water Awards brings together the country’s most inspiring leaders, and each state’s most innovative programs, research and infrastructure projects.

Australian Water Association Chief Executive Jonathan McKeown attended the awards dinner and congratulated all finalists and winners for their hard work and outstanding achievements.

“Our national award finalists show just how talented and innovative our water sector is,” McKeown said.

"On behalf of the entire Association, we’d like to congratulate the professionals and organisations who are truly transforming the world.

“We’d also like to thank ANZ for their sponsorship of these industry awards and their support in recognising the great work being done across the sector.”

Here are the winners.

Research Innovation Award


Driving Change from Conservatism to Pragmatism – Better Use of Biosolids and Recycled Water by Using Research to Challenge Guidelines

South East Water

Through this project, South East Water explored changes to existing regulations around biosolids and recycled water. Using rigorous research, the project team delivered regulatory changes that significantly streamlined storage requirements for both biosolids and recycled water. These changes are now driving major efficiency gains for the industry both in Australia and beyond.

Highly commended

UGOLD – A Decentralised Technology for the Removal & Recovery of Valuable Nutrients from Source-Separated Urine

Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland and Queensland Urban Utilities

Program Innovation Award

Award Category Sponsor: Broadspectrum


Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek

Melbourne Water

Melbourne Water’s commitment to working with the community and other agencies to achieve exemplary outcomes is clear in the Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek program. The project has seen measurable on-ground benefits, through the reintroduction of two nationally threatened fish species, and world-leading waterway renewal works.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award

Award Category Sponsor: SMEC


Groundwater Replenishment Scheme

Water Corporation

As the first water project of its kind in Australia, the Groundwater Replenishment Scheme has made a significant contribution to the country’s long-term security of water supplies, by creating a new climate-independent water source and increasing the capacity to safely and efficiently recycle water.

Highly commended

Sun and Salt: Logan’s Water Quality Solution

Logan City Council, Downer, Cardno and WSP

Water Industry Safety Excellence Award

 Award Category Sponsor: WSAA


Potable Robotic Tank Cleaning Program

Watertight Robotics

Watertight Robotics has developed a world-first technology for online cleaning and inspection of potable water storages. The technology eliminates all requirement for human entry while delivering quality cleaning, water efficiency and cost of execution superior to all traditional methods.

Best Water e-Journal Paper 2018 - In honour of Guy Parker


A New Approach to Assessing Water Quality Risk

Stephen Westgate and Matthew Robertson

This paper highlights the robust model TasWater has developed to assess and manage water quality risk. The visual assessment tool plots the results onto a single chart, to allow for visualisation and prioritisation of water quality risk reduction activities across all 51 of TasWater’s potable drinking water systems. This has allowed for the development of efficient programs of operational improvements and capital upgrades to reduce risk to consumers. This paper is a valuable contribution to water industry knowledge in Australia.

Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Award Category Sponsor: Xylem


The SODIS Sticker: Development and testing of a Film based detector system for appropriate Ultraviolet Solar Disinfection (SODIS) of Water

Macinley Butson, The Illawarra Grammar School

Macinley has developed the SODIS sticker, an innovative ultraviolet radiation sticker which accurately measures the solar UV exposure required to sanitise drinking water. This is done through a high accuracy transparent UV-sensitive film coupled with a partially UV blocking filter, which allows the SODIS sticker to measure direct UV exposure from the sun and reflected UV from other objects. At just over one cent to produce, it is also a cost-effective and safe way of purifying drinking water for developing communities.

Highly commended

Deadly Heavy Metals Filter: Using Carbon Coated Mussel Shells and High Magnetic Field Magnet for the Filtration of Heavy Metal-Contaminated Water

Uriah Daisybell, CAPS Coolgardie

Student Water Prize


Real-time Monitoring of Cyanobacteria: Validation of Fluorometers as a Tool for Optimising Treatment Processes – Florence Choo, University of New South Wales

Florence is a final year engineering PhD student at UNSW and was a visiting research student at SA Water. Florence is the recipient of the Water RA Nancy Millis Scholarship award and the UNSW Women in Engineering Award. Her work focuses on monitoring cyanobacteria in real-time for drinking water processes.

Young Water Professional of the Year

 Award Category Sponsor: TRILITY


Matthew Robertson
Process Engineer, TasWater

Matthew is an emerging leader driving change, engagement and critical thinking across the water and wastewater portfolio. He has pioneered innovations in water quality risk management and his career highlights to date rival the achievements of many experienced water industry professionals.

Matthew plays a critical role in improving TasWater’s reputation through his ability to engage with concerned customers during emergency incidents. His calm and mature approach with customers is helping to raise awareness and appreciation of the water industry within the community. He is also a strong advocate for positioning the water sector as an attractive career and is a key ambassador and mentor for TasWater’s cadetship program.

In only a short time Matthew has already made significant contributions to the industry and is a worthy recipient of the 2019 Young Water Professional of the Year Award.

Highly commended

Kate Bowker
Senior Technical Advisor - Wastewater Recycling, Water Corporation

Water Professional of the Year


Darryl Day
Managing Director, ICE WaRM

Darryl has dedicated his life to the water sector, as a committed and passionate participant for nearly 40 years, with 35 of these being in service to the Northern Territory Government. His lifelong passion to address access to sanitation and safe drinking water supplies is evident through the endless time he has devoted to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians and some of the Northern Territory’s most disadvantaged community members.

In his current role Darryl works with international organisations in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals by leading collaborative approaches in capacity development. Darryl’s personal commitment to the industry is showcased through his extensive volunteer participation in peak industry bodies, education providers and research institutions and the numerous industry Board’s he has directed.

Darryl’s efforts have created a lasting legacy which he continues to grow and expand with each working year and he is a highly deserving recipient of the 2019 Water Professional of the Year.

Highly commended

Kevin Young
Managing Director, Sydney Water

The Association wishes to congratulate all the award finalists and winners and thank our generous sponsors for their support of these important awards.