Water Journal : Current May 2016
13 www.awa.asn.au SPOTLIGHT ON WATER'S BEST IN THE NATION The water sector's eyes will be firmly on the main stage at the Melbourne Convention Centre this month, when the industry gathers for the Australian Water Awards. Held in conjunction with Ozwater'16, the national awards will recognise the finest achievement in Australian water over the past 12 months in eight categories. Innovation will be applauded in three categories -- the Research Innovation Award, the Program Innovation Award and the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award. Projects that have actively improved safety and prevented injury in the sector will also be up for contention in the WSAA Water Industry Safety Excellence Award. One of the most keenly anticipated awards is the Water Professional of the Year, honouring those who have displayed passion and commitment while demonstrating leadership.Won in 2015 by MWH's Peter Fagan, the finalists are Data 61's Dr Fang Chen, Mackay Council's David Brooker, Osmoflo's Marc Fabig and WA's Mike Harold. Meanwhile, six finalists are also vying for the Young Water Professional of the Year title, aimed at identifying those with potential to play an influential role in the water industry. ACT's Walter Reinhardt, NSW's Kathryn Silvester, Queensland's Tim Wong, SA's Michael Webber,WA's Ben Mitchell and Tasmania's Cameron Jessup are all in the running. Similarly, the Undergraduate Water Prize will celebrate the best students in water studies and research, while the Xylem-sponsored Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize will be awarded to a high-school student with a keen passion for water research. The awards, sponsored by ANZ, will be announced on Wednesday, May 11 at the Gala Dinner, sponsored by TRILITY. See our Ozwater'16 coverage on pages 121-122 for the full list of finalists. ASSOCIATION STRENGTHENS WATER TRAINING ARM BROADENING MEMBERS' SKILLS A TOP PRIORITY FOR NEW ROLE Association news EVERYBODY BENEFITS WHEN WATER PROFESSIONALS BROADEN THEIR SKILL SET. Member skills and expertise are being given a renewed focus at Australian Water Association, with the recent appointment of a Professional Development and Training Manager. Nicola Helme, previously in a marketing role with the Association, was appointed to the new role in April, as the Association moves to bolster the professional development of the water sector. Helme said they had explored different options to make sure training programs are as relevant as possible to members. "A lot of focus will be on online training, because, being Australia, it s not exactly easy for everyone to pop to training," she said. "That s why we ve chosen this approach, because we think it will reach the widest possible audience, and be able to support our members no matter how remote their workplaces are. "The way members can access training will vary from one-hour webinars through to interactive virtual classroom sessions that take place over a number of weeks." Helme said the goal was to make all the training packages easily accessible so as to improve the skills of water professionals and further the goals of the broader sector. "Everybody benefits when water professionals have the opportunity to grow and broaden their skill set. It improves the environment and our water services; it reduces costs and increases efficiency, because it allows people to be at the cutting edge of their professions," she said. "We want to encourage a culture of learning, continuous development, innovation and collaboration across the water sector."
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