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Water contributions recognised in the 2023 Australian Honours List

With the release of the 2023 Honours List, we are delighted to see achievements for those working in water being highlighted. Chris Davis and Tom Mollenkopf have been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) respectively. 

On 27 January, the release of the 2023 Australia Day Honours List recognised Chris Davis who was posthumously awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal for his significant service to water management. Chris’ contributions extend beyond the water sector, with extensive involvement and work also across the not-for-profit space.

From early on in his career Chris’s specialist skills in wastewater saw him receive the Hatfield Award and international recognition leading to emigration to Australia. His leadership skills and desire to promote positive change always shone through his work. Serving as Chief Executive of the AWA for 14 years, he transformed the association into what it is today.  A champion for a sustainable approach, he consulted policy makers and corporate members with a balanced industry voice.

He chaired multiple councils as a water expert and was a founding committee member of WaterAid Australia. He also served as the president of Parkinson’s NSW from 2010 - 2014 and remained a council member for a further two years. His accomplishments and efforts are remembered and celebrated with this prestigious award.

Tom Mollenkopf was Chief Executive at AWA from 2007 to 2013 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his work across essential services and to the community. Serving various roles in two Surf Life Saving initiatives and numerous government water industry advisory roles, Tom has shaped policies on how water is used. Currently serving as president for the International Water Association, Tom has collaborated internationally to promote and impact the way we use and perceive water.  This is a highly deserved award.

In congratulating the outstanding Australians recognised in the 2023 Honours List the Governor-General said, “The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring.  They go above and beyond, are from all over the country, and contribute every day in every way imaginable. These are the people who see us through good times and bad. They’re the first to show up and the last to leave”.

AWA is delighted to celebrate Chris and Tom’s achievements and recognition and acknowledges the significant roles they have played in developing the water sector.