Water Journal : Water Journal June 2014
28 AWA News WATER JUNE 2014 SPECIALIST NETWORK MEMBER PROFILE We ask Richard Scott, Manager -- Learning and Development, Technical and Water, South Australian Water Corporation, what he loves about working in the water industry and what he sees as the key challenges facing the sector in the coming years. What was your rst job in the water industry and what has been your career path since? I applied for a position prior to graduating and was subsequently offered a role as a Senior Environmental Health Of cer with the then NSW Public Works in the Country Town Water Supply Program. The position involved auditing, troubleshooting, training and regulating small town water supplies schemes in country NSW. My career has followed on from the initial placement mainly in a training, auditing and compliance role. What was it that attracted you to the water industry? I was always interested in the public health aspect of water and wastewater services. When I was offered a position to assist management of the NSW Country Water and Wastewater program I thought this was a good t for my skills. What does your job entail (please describe a typical working day) and what are your key responsibilities/accountabilities? My current position entails managing training needs across the corporation, whether that be facilitating in-house procedures or sourcing external providers. Staff competency pro les are written, reviewed and upgraded as required and training plans designed and delivered. The job involves close consultation with RTO providers to contextualise learning material to t national and corporation needs. What aspects of your role do you nd most challenging -- and rewarding? Identifying training needs and facilitating the delivery to industry and corporation requirements is a challenge. The most dif cult aspect is nding appropriate "training windows". Operational staff are time- poor and nding a time slot that suits everyone is dif cult. The greatest reward is always a demonstration or application of training outcome. Also rewarding are receiving a phone call asking for con rmation or clari cation of a point, photographs of jobs/tasks undertaken, etc. How has the water industry changed since you rst started working in it, and how do you see it changing in the future? Change to date includes the greater application and use of policy and procedures, with the understanding that the ADWG is not just a large bureaucratic document but one that helps you better guide your business. In future utilities will need to provide equal or better service with fewer people. This may involve greater use of technology to help staff make informed operational decisions, and less internal specialist activities with greater reliance on specialised outside service providers. What do you think are the key challenges facing the water industry today both here in Australia and globally? Ageing infrastructure and costs associated with continued operation of plant and equipment; increased regulation oversight; and how we can continue to function while still providing the best public health outcomes. Delivering value to our customers is another challenge. If we charge more for our service customers ask: "What extra are we getting?" Unfortunately customers don't relate good public health outcomes to increased costs. The challenge is to provide better or greater service at the same or reduced cost. Research funding is a spend sometimes seen as a luxury; however, if we as an industry ignore building in this section of the business we may as a country start to follow the industry, as opposed to leading it. Why is it important to you to volunteer your time to an organisation such as AWA? Volunteering with AWA special interests groups not only helps to increase your links within a small industry, but also helps you gain valuable insight across the sector. The diverse nature of the group exposes you to different thoughts and needs across the nation. I am of the opinion that if everyone does one voluntary job in their skills area it shares the load for all within the industry. I like the famous quote from John F Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country". What bene ts do you receive from contributing your time and expertise? Broad experience -- and the opportunity to work with a group of professionals that deal with different issues across the industry and Australia. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Looking forward to retirement and travelling, either overseas or locally. If I am still at work I will try to stay in the water industry to continue learning and promoting best practice. If you hadn't chosen to work in the water industry, what alternative career would you have chosen? I think I'd have chosen a role either in the mining or manufacturing industry, where output or results are measurable. 2014 ELECTION OF DIRECTORS: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS In accordance with the AWA Constitution, notice is hereby provided to members of the Australian Water Association Limited (ACN 78 096 035 773) that the election of Directors for the next two-year term of of ce, beginning May 2015, will take place at the AGM to be held Tuesday 14 October 2014. All retiring Directors (i.e. those completing the current two-year term) are eligible for re-nomination and appointment, unless they will have served three consecutive terms (six years) on the Board. Of the current Board, two members will have completed three consecutive terms of of ce, not including the current President who is automatically re-appointed in accordance with the Constitution as Past President for one more year. For the available Director positions at least four re-nominating Directors, including the current President and President Elect, must be re-appointed to the board, subject to rati cation at the annual general meeting. For the remaining six positions, nominees will be selected by the Strategic Advisory Committee from the remaining nominees for rati cation at the AGM. These nominees will comprise the remaining eligible, re-nominating Directors and all new candidates nominating for selection. Due to an existing casual vacancy there will be at least three existing Directors not re-nominating.
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