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 strongly encourage First Nations people to apply. We encourage all applicants including people with disability, LGBTIQ+ and culturally diverse communities to apply.

Applications close at 9 AM (AEST) Tuesday 11 June 2024. 

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 with 4 full days in person & video

           > WSAA meetings – usually at least one interstate meeting 

           > Ozwater25 in Adelaide 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 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 $5,000 in 2024-25. To be invoiced by WSAA at the start of the program.

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. 
  • Complete WSAA Young Utility Leaders Program Application Form 2024-2025 by 9 AM (AEST) Tuesday 11 June 2024. 

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

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Some testimonials from YULs:

The benefits of participating in the Young Utility Leaders program are not just limited to yourself – your friends, colleagues and managers will see the difference to your mindset and outlook, and this ripple will impact everyone around.

Intimate access to thought leaders, organisational chiefs and young change-makers is priceless, and the opportunities these interactions could lead to for your professional and personal development are limitless.

– Rex Ho, South East Water, 2023/24 Participant

Our Peter Cullen Trust Coach was a highlight of the program; they provided topics and guiderails while tailoring the experience to what we each were looking for and changed with us along the way. It was almost like professional therapy, the way we were prompted to reflect on our own work experiences and values. Being part of a WSAA committee gave such incredible exposure to decision-making at an executive level and gave us practice at communicating effectively to advocate for those minority groups not represented.

– Emily Hill, Hunter Water, 2023/24 Participant

“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 

22 May 2024

Dale Watson

Dale Watson

Manager, Member Engagement