Is your utility or council a member of WSAA? Are you 30 or under (or know someone who is), passionate about the water industry and looking for a money can’t buy opportunity to work with and learn from the best? 

The WSAA Young Utility Leaders Program will not only expose you to senior leaders within the urban water sector, but it will also have you working alongside them on Board Committees and at thought leadership events and initiatives. In addition, WSAA has partnered with the Peter Cullen Trust to provide you with tailored leadership coaching, helping you to understand your strengths, opportunities for improvement and leadership values. 

If you are passionate about the urban water industry, ready to step out of your comfort zone, and explore and enhance your leadership potential, check with your management that they are happy to support your application and apply now.

We welcome candidates from all backgrounds and value diversity and inclusion at WSAA. We encourage all applicants, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, LGBTIQ+ and culturally diverse communities to apply.

Applications close 5.00pm (AEST) Monday 26th June 2023. 

Likewise, if you as a manager, have some fantastic young talent in your team, please encourage them to submit a short video for this amazing opportunity. 

The Program is free for the individual participant and costs associated with the program are supported by your home utility and WSAA. So, check with your manager that they will support your application.  

Selection criteria 

  • 30 years old or under.  
  • Working for a WSAA Utility or Council Member. 
  • Support from your organisation and manager with resources and encouragement (please include a signed letter from your organisation, draft below to download and use). 
  • Passionate about the urban water industry. 
  • Willingness to learn from the best. 
  • Confidence to share your thoughts and ideas. 
  • Adaptive and innovative. 
  • Able to commit time to attend: 
    • Peter Cullen Trust coaching sessions (four full days face to face, multiple video-conference sessions)  
    • WSAA meetings – usually at least one interstate meeting 
    • Ozwater24 in Melbourne and WSAA’s all day program 
    • A number of thought leadership events and initiatives  
    • All in a 12-month period! 

How to apply 
Put together a two-minute video pitch or written application (maximum 500 words) explaining why you are the ideal candidate for this incredible program. 

Provide a letter from your employer (draft template below) supporting your application and acknowledging that they will meet some costs associated with the program (expected to be approximately $4,000 in 2023-24; subject to changing costs of travel and accommodation for interstate meetings). 

Submitting your video or written application 

  • Upload your two-minute video to YouTube, using a YouTube account. 
  • Mark the video with a reference to WSAA and your full name in the title (e.g. Dale Watson WSAA). 
  • Adjust the viewing settings to ‘unlisted’ rather than ‘private’ in the video manager tab. 
  • Test that the video can be viewed by someone else, to ensure your application is accessible. 
  • Email the link to your YouTube video to Dale Watson, at by 5.00pm Monday 26th  June 2023. 
  • Email your written application (maximum 500 words) to Dale Watson, at by 5.00pm Monday 26th  June 2023.

Not sure if you should apply? Go on, challenge yourself! 

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Some testimonial from YULs:

“The program has been great, I have gotten to know myself and my wonderful YUL colleague’s incredibly well. Through our workshops we have been able to develop our leadership and interpersonal skills together and through involvement in WSAA committees : gotten a better understanding on the broader water sector in Australia.” - Ricardo Kobas, Barwon Water, 2022/23 Participant 

"The WSAA Young Utility Leaders Program was an invaluable experience! Throughout this program I have laughed, cried, learnt more about myself than ever before, and made lifelong friendships with 5 incredible people. I cannot recommend this experience enough, so, let me ask you one question - are you ready to make a splash?" - Kate Buckley, Seqwater, 2022/23 Participant 

“My experience with young utility leader program has been absolutely phenomenal. And it's not just because of the program itself, but also the people who have participating in the program. The other young utility leaders have been absolutely wonderful people with such diverse backgrounds, and we all learnt off each other and have grown off each other.” – Chantal Keane, Urban Utilities, 2021/22 Participant 

“The program helped me understand myself better. Understand my values. What motivates me. How I communicate. How I work. These are the things that will stay with me for the rest of my career. On top of this I managed to create relationships with four other incredible people on this program that I think will last for the rest of our lifetime and the rest of our career.” – Ali Ahmadi, SA Water, 2021/22 Participant

“The WSAA Young Utility Leader Program was a life changing experience. The program supported, encouraged and empowered me to evolve into the best version of myself and gave me the confidence to turn career dreams into reality. I cannot recommend this experience highly enough; it not only exposes you to some wonderful and inspiring industry leaders but through it you establish amazing and lasting friendships with your cohort of other Young Utility Leaders. Get your application in today!” - Brendan Moore, Yarra Valley Water, 2019/20 Winner of the Ross Young Memorial Scholarship

30 May 2023

Dale Watson

Dale Watson

Manager, Member Engagement