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Turning Water to Wine

Queensland’s 2023 Water Professional of the Year is not only a Civil Engineer and highly regarded member of the Queensland water community, but also an amateur wine maker and podcast host.
Read Anthony Domanti’s Water Story.

What drew you into the water industry?

As with most, I wasn’t exactly sure what my career path would look like. I am a Civil Engineer, and I always thought I would end up being a Structural Engineer. However after graduating, I was contacted by an old work experience colleague who told me about an opportunity with a small consultancy in Townsville specialising in River & Waterway Catchment work which I was successful in getting and the rest is history. I love working in the water industry, because it’s like a universal language – no matter who you talk to in the community, everyone has a connection with water and an opinion on it.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from hardworking and dedicated people who have overcome struggles or major set-backs in their life. I am a massive fan of David Goggins (retired Navy SEAL and endurance athlete), and often listen to his motivational speeches - which drive me to be the best person I can be.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well, a couple of things. I am an amateur wine maker who makes about 200L of wine (normally red) a year – this is an amazing hobby and I love sharing my wine creations with friends and people I meet – its the perfect ice-breaker.

I also spend time preparing or editing episodes associated with the podcast that I am part of – it’s called “The Good Drop with Hawkes & AD – A water industry flavoured podcast”. - check out The Good Drop Podcast for more!!!

Finally, as a result of one of the guests on the podcast I have recently overcome my fear of water, and now love going to the pool to swim. I love that Summer is fast approaching and the days are longer – more time for laps.

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

We need to do more in educating the community about the importance and value of water.

We know the climate is changing, and ensuring water security is essential.

We must overcome political and other external pressures and continue to have the open conversations about the importance of pursuing indirect potable reuse.

Further, we must continue to ensure that all our engineering decisions continue to incorporate a Sustainability approach. This can involve consideration of low embodied carbon products, and to sweat existing assets as much as possible to delay capital expenditure where possible.

It is also imperative that our designs are Future Ready by incorporating sufficient design flexibility which enables them to be adapted easier as our world changes.

How do you consider your organisation benefits from most by being a corporate member of the Australian Water Association?

One of the greatest lessons I have learnt (a little late if I am personally honest) is the importance of having a strong professional network.

The reason I say this, is because I want to emphasise to everyone that it’s ok to not know all the answers to the questions – but what you do need is a network of friends and colleagues who may know the answer, or perhaps know of another person who may know the answer.

The Australian Water Association is a wonderful and open organisation, whose members are always willing to share knowledge and their experiences. I encourage everyone who is passionate about water to get involved in AWA and start building your network and industry profile. It will take you great places.

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

Wow, great question…. Here are three messages I’d like to share.

  1. Commit to improving yourself every day (a.k.a. Kaizen).
  2. Get involved and build your industry profile – you won’t regret it…
  3. Get a mentor, be a mentor - enjoy sharing your knowledge and learning.