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Thank you from the Queensland Branch President

As her term as Queensland Branch President nears the end, Margit Connellan reflects on the highlights of her tenure and what’s ahead for the Queensland Branch.

Over the past couple of years, serving as the leader of the Queensland Branch Committee has been an immense privilege and a source of great joy. Our committee stands out as one of the most inclusive and diverse, reflecting the rich tapestry of our membership. Throughout this period, the collective efforts of our dedicated committee have yielded abundant rewards. We’ve witnessed a surge in attendance at our conferences, annual gala dinners, and technical programs—a testament to the value we bring to our membership. As I reflect on my tenure as President of the Queensland Branch, I can wholeheartedly say that it has been a truly fulfilling experience.

As volunteers, there’s no greater validation for our efforts than seeing active participation. And a significant part of this validation comes from the unwavering support we receive from our corporate members. Whether it’s through sponsorships, hosting meetings or events, or providing in-kind assistance that allows our Branch Committee and YWP Sub-Committee to volunteer for the association, every contribution is deeply appreciated.

Reflecting on the past, our journey into 2024 began with a resounding impact. The Queensland Industry Breakfast and Discussion Panel took centre stage, delving into the future of the water industry. This dynamic event, held at Victoria Park, drew an enthusiastic audience of 307 attendees. Notably, our reach extended further, with online hubs in Cairns and Mackay actively participating. You can read more about the event in this issue of QLD Source. The event served as a powerful testament to the vibrant interest and engagement within the water sector across the state. And mind you, this was just the beginning chapter of the QLD Branch program for the year!

In early March, our annual President’s Dinner took centre stage at Blackbird at Riverside — an occasion where the AWA Queensland Branch Committee expresses heartfelt gratitude to the key supporters of our branch. These supporters include those who contribute through Principal membership of AWA, sponsor our events, or serve as key industry partners. Their collaborative efforts significantly impact the water sector in Queensland, and we deeply appreciate their unwavering support.

The YWP’s led the Mentoring Launch at the Ship Inn on 14 March. 32 pairs registered for the event with 44 delegates on the night. The mentoring program continues to grow demonstrating the strength of the water industry in Queensland.

I am pleased to see that our initiative that commenced in 2023 to provide a technical event in regional Queensland has continued to expand with 50 delegates attending the event in Hervey Bay on 21 March. This event was kindly hosted by Fraser Coast Regional Council, and they supported the event by sending their people to attend and provided a great space for us to meet and hear from three great presenters. Janice Wilson has provided a comprehensive overview of the event in this issue of QLD Source.

This event was followed by the Women of Water Sundowner on 27 March hosted jointly with the Young Water Professionals with almost 50 people in attendance. It was a great networking event and Nat Muir has shared her thoughts on the conversations that occurred during the evening.

Our hardworking committee is currently arranging a technical event to be held in June 2024, exploring the topic of Sustainability Reporting. More details about that event will be available soon but save the date of 12 June for this one.

The North Queensland Conference, themed “Unearthing the Hidden Gems of the Water Industry in the North,” promises to be an incredible affair. Set against the stunning backdrop of Hamilton Island, this event boasts an engaging program that will undoubtedly captivate numerous water professionals.

As my tenure as Branch President draws to a close, I extend heartfelt gratitude to those who served on the Branch Committee and YWP Sub-Committee during the past two years. To all members, thank you for your unwavering support throughout my term. And I would like to congratulate William Spiers who was declared as the Queensland President-Elect and who will commence as the Branch President from 1 July 2024. Congratulations, Will as I move into the more relaxing role as Immediate Past President, a more advisory role.

I have been and will continue to champion the water industry and look forward to catching up with you if you’re attending Ozwater’24 or at a Queensland event soon.