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Victorian water sector celebrates its achievements at Water Awards

The 2023 Australian Water Association's Victorian (VIC) Water Awards winners have been announced at the VIC Gala Dinner & Awards on Thursday, 26 October in Melbourne.

The VIC Water Awards recognise the contribution of the Association's members for their inspiring leadership and innovative research, programs and infrastructure projects.  

 AWA CEO Corinne Cheeseman congratulated all the finalists and winners, noting their outstanding achievements and significant contribution.  

“AWA’s Water Awards recognise the important and groundbreaking work our members do for their communities,”  Cheeseman said.     

“The  VIC Water Award finalists and winners showcase the best examples of our members’ collective contribution towards our sustainable water future in the state. 

“I congratulate all of the finalists and winners for their dedication, hard work and achievements.” 

This year's VIC Water Award winners will represent the state in the national Australian Water Awards, which will be presented at the Association's annual water conference and exhibition, Ozwater'24, in Melbourne.   


Organisational Excellence Award (Sponsored by Fulton Hogan):  

Fulton Hogan-horizontal

South East Water Environmental Sensitivity Map

South East Water’s Environmental Sensitivity Map identifies environmental sensitivities in our service area to proactively protect our environment. Insights include 26 sensitivity categories across local waterways, terrestrial and marine environments. The map is used in incident response, environmental planning and assessments, pushing boundaries beyond risk management for real biodiversity improvement. 

R&D Excellence Award (Sponsored by Water Research Australia): 

Water Research Australia-horizontal-1
Barwon Water, South East Water and The Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action with Contributing Organisations  – Biochar to Batteries 

"Biochar to Batteries" revolutionises waste management by turning biosolids into potential energy storage solutions. Harnessing advanced research, this initiative transforms wastewater by-products into viable battery anode materials, paving the way for sustainable energy innovations and a greener future.  

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Regional):  

North East Water with Contributing Organisations – Beechworth Sewer Upgrade – An Innovative Solution 

A complex $6.5 million project to bore through granite and upgrade Beechworth’s sewer system has stopped raw sewage spilling into Beechworth Historic Park during heavy rain events, reduced public health risks, improved environmental outcomes and provided support for future growth. 

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro):  

Melbourne Water and John Holland-KBR Joint Venture – Eastern Treatment Plant Biogas Handling System Stage 1 Upgrade 

The ETP Biogas Handling Plant Upgrade project is an industry leading example of Melbourne Water delivering the necessary operational requirements while ensuring immediate and on-going social, economic, and environmental benefits. The project team worked collaboratively, to ensure the Plant’s biogas conversion to bioenergy is maximised supporting their Net Zero strategy. 

Student Water Prize (Sponsored by Eurofins): 


Ibrahim Hakeem, RMIT University Heavy Metals Recovery and Biochar Production from Biosolids via Integrated Mild Acid Pre-treatment and Pyrolysis Processes 

Ibrahim has recently completed his PhD at RMIT University. His work focused on developing integrated chemical-thermal process for the conversion of biosolids to high-quality biochar. Ibrahim is a student of the ARC Biosolids Industrial Transformation Training Centre and WaterRA research leadership program.

Young Water Professional of the Year (Sponsored by Xylem): 
Dr Samuel Skinner, Lead Process Engineer, Water at Aureon

Dr Sam Skinner is a Lead Process Engineer, Water at Aurecon who leads hydrogen, energy, water, and oxygen (HEWO) projects supporting many water utilities. He focuses on the water industry’s path to net zero and beyond. Sam completed his PhD at Melbourne University on improving water recycling and sludge handling. 

Water Professional of the Year: 

Niru Gosavi

Boasting a 40-year career always swirling around water, Niru, a water industry treasure, is an expert in capital delivery and widely sought after for his leadership and mentoring. Niru’s endeavours to lift the disadvantaged to achieve success makes him an inspirational advocate and catalyst for change in the water sector. 

The Association congratulates all the award finalists and winners and thanks our partners and sponsors for supporting this event and these important industry awards. 

Read more about our 2023 Finalists and Winners

AWA VIC 60 Years Video



Principal Sponsor
Principal Partner for VIC Water Awards
Greater Western Water

Yarra Valley Water

Major Sponsors

Arup red-1 Programmed


National R&D Excellence Award Sponsor Organisational Excellence Award Sponsor
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National Young Water Professional
of the Year Award Sponsor
Student Water Prize Sponsor
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Industry Vision Sponsor