After four years as WSAA Chair, Pat McCafferty’s time could be best summed up by these words: Engaging, thought leading, adaptable, definitely fun and unswervingly positive.
Pat started as Chair in November 2016 and willingly stayed on for a couple of extensions. He has just recently handed over the baton to new Chair Roch Cheroux, Managing Director of Sydney Water. Pat’s time as Chair has been highlighted by his leadership through collaboration around key issues such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and customer centred water services.
From the ‘get go Pat’ engaged and garnered views from the Board and membership about the direction of the industry, while prosecuting the case for the industry to get behind the Sustainable Development Goals. Pat’s signature leadership included the development and launch of two papers in this area:
Global Goals for Local Communities: Urban water advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals launched in Canberra in August 2017 and a progress report the following year.
I think it speaks volumes that so many WSAA members joined Pat’s views that access and delivery of water and sanitation services to indigenous Australian’s under SDG6 was one of the highest priorities – despite it being a difficult path forward at times. Leadership in this area will be a lasting legacy of Pat’s time as Chair.
Pat has also led the industry in a passion for collaboration around customer centred water services and in particular vulnerable customers. He was instrumental in driving the formation of the Thriving Communities Partnership – and WSAA maintains a strong connection to that important initiative which continues to grow.
In the midst of these important strategic issues, Pat was instrumental in supporting joint industry statements on other issues including:
- Wet wipes (ongoing, industry statements and collaboration)
- Mental health and safety (industry commitment)
- The Circular Economy
- Innovation and the advent of the W-Lab innovation program at WSAA.
Pat has also helped the team at WSAA, leading by example with his passion for engaging customers encouraging us to work harder to engage with our members – our customers – to produce better supported joint outcomes.
Representing WSAA at the utility leaders forum at the IWA World Water Congress in Tokyo in 2018, Pat spoke generously about all of the WSAA members, not only Yarra Valley Water. It’s that collaborative culture of his that lead to even stronger relationships for WSAA and Yarra Valley Water with the UK water industry, in particular Peter Simpson CEO of Anglian Water.
While Pat will not enjoy this fanfare it can’t be left unsaid that he is a treasure of the water industry and his leadership in tough and strategic issues will not be forgotten and indeed we will keep watching!