As part of their 12 month program our Young Utility Leaders are invited to WSAA’s major events and participate in discussions with the CEOs and MDs at water utilities from around Australia and New Zealand.

We were really pleased, after a year with COVID-19 and few opportunities, to have Karina Albanese (SA Water) and Michael Nolan (Icon Water) in the room, and Bec Rai (Goulburn Valley Water) join us online for our first hybrid Members Meetings.

We asked our Young Utility Leaders for their reflections on the day and this is what they said.

Karina Albanese, SA Water

Meeting face to face with the other utility representatives after a year of zoom calls was an invaluable experience – everyone that attended was so generous with sharing their knowledge and experience and providing an opportunity for us to be involved. I particularly enjoyed the presentation from Sydney Water on how they are incorporating circular economy thinking into their design of the Western Sydney development, and the presentation on Hydrogen and its opportunities and challenges for the next few years. All presentations really got me thinking about the bigger picture – and the significant impact the water industry has on cities, climate change and the economy. I really valued the opportunity to be part of such important and inspiring conversations.

Bec Rai, Goulburn Valley Water

Although I was joining the WSAA members meeting via webinar, I couldn’t help but feel privileged to be surrounded by and interacting with so many industry leaders.

My highlight of the day was hearing about the collaborative work happening between the water industry and other bodies, to work towards a common goal of creating increasingly liveable communities. Furthermore, I enjoyed reiterating some of the effects COVID-19 has had on the way we operate and interact with staff as well as customers. For me, this helped to put into perspective just how much things have changed in the past 12 months and how the water industry as a whole adapted to this change.

Michael Nolan, Icon Water

The Members Meeting was genuinely refreshing for me. To get to hear and discuss key topics impacting our water industry with leaders was enjoyable, but overall, observing and receiving authenticity and kindness from them was most uplifting. I’ve come away sure that our industry’s future is full of opportunity, especially because we have the right people leading the way.