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, it will 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.

At the end of your 12 months participating in the program you will have the opportunity to pitch to the WSAA Board for a chance to win the Ross Young Scholarship, with a value of up to $7,000, to further your personal development journey.

The Program is free and WSAA will take care of all travel costs associated with the Peter Cullen Trust coaching element. WSAA hopes that your organisation will support you with costs associated with traveling to Board Committee or leadership events, although arrangements could be made if this is presented as a challenge.

If you are passionate about the urban water industry, ready to step out of your comfort zone, and explore and enhance your leadership potential, apply now. Applications close 5.00pm (AEST) Monday 14 June 2021.

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. 

Selection criteria

  • Passionate about the urban water industry.
  • Willingness to learn from the best.
  • Confidence to share your thoughts and ideas.
  • Adaptive and innovative.
  • Support from your organisation and manager.
  • Able to commit time to coaching sessions with the Peter Cullen Trust (this could be 3 days face to face or multiple video-conference sessions) and Board Committee Meetings or thought leadership events and initiatives (this could be 3-4 days or multiple video-conference sessions) in a 12 month period.
  • 30 years old or under.
  • Working for a WSAA Utility or Council Member.

How to apply

Put together a two-minute video pitch explaining why you are the ideal candidate for this incredible program.


  • 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. Jaimie Hicks 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 Sandi Kolbe, at by 5.00pm (AEST) Monday 14 June 2021.

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

“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

“The program really gave me the opportunity to focus on my personal development and leadership journey. It was also great to meet young utility leaders from across the country and be able to attend some exclusive national events with water industry leaders.” – Karina Albanese, SA Water, 2020/21 Participant

“The YUL experience has been like none other, like getting a key to the city! The leadership coaching focused on an introspective evaluation of ourselves as Leaders where we could set stretch goals and realise what we are really capable of. Exposure to industry leaders and world changing ideas has been invaluable to me as I work towards a rewarding career in the Water Industry.” - Sophie McGuinness, Watercare, 2019/20 Participant

“The WSAA Young Utility Leadership program provides the opportunity to collaborate with peers at a similar career stage to work towards the common goals of self-reflection, understanding and growth.”  - Harrison Atwell, SA Water, 2019/20 Participant


27 May 2021

Laura Jaquest

Laura Jaquest

Communications Advisor