Water industry’s best and brightest on display at national awards ceremony
Posted 18 May 2017
The Ozwater'17 Gala Dinner and Awards Night were certainly a night to remember – not just for the calibre of finalists and winners, but for the chance it gives this growing and changing industry to highlight innovation and best practice among its ranks.
Held in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s newly minted International Convention Centre, and sponsored by TRILITY and ANZ, the gala dinner and awards ceremony brought together top minds across the industry, from engineering to governance, research, academia, utilities and more.
There were the usual elements that give Association-hosted events such a good reputation: fine food, fun, a few drinks and ample networking opportunities. But beyond that, the atmosphere was one of celebration and an affirmation that water professionals keep setting the bar higher and higher every year.
Managing Director of TRILITY, Francois Gouws, addressed the more than 900 people in attendance, saying that this year’s nominees showcased the talent and capabilities of the industry to solve national and global challenges.
“I’m glad to see the water industry taking the lead to solve some of our biggest issues, and there is evidence of this throughout the entire conference,” he said.
Awards nominees came from all states and territories, and included projects at the organisational level down to individuals.
Up first was the Research Innovation Award for projects that encourage novel approaches to water resources management. The University of Queensland took home the top spot for their work on nitrogen removal from wastewater while maximising resource recovery potential.
Sydney Water’s clever customer education campaign “Keep Wipes out of Pipes” netted the utility the Program Innovation Award, which recognises innovative environmental and sustainability programs. This was another feather in their cap, as the campaign was recently honoured with several other international and national awards as well
This was followed by the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award. The collaboration between Power and Water Corporation, SUEZ and Goodline will take this award back to the Northern Territory for their work on the Adelaide River Water Treatment Plant.
The Water Industry Safety Excellence Award wrapped up the organisational awards. This category recognises active involvement in injury prevention and safety improvement. Water Corporation from Western Australia took the top spot for their adaptation of crawler technology.
The winner of Best Water e-Journal Paper 2016 (in honour of Guy Parker) was awarded to N Taylor, D Kent, K Woodbury, M Lewis, and S Muralitharan for their paper Green Square: Protecting Communities and Enabling Urban Renewal Through Effective Flood Risk Management
Moving on to the individual awards, the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize went to Macinley Butson from the Illawarra Grammar School for her ‘solar system’ water filtration device. An honourable mention was given to Briannan Rider from St Columba Anglican School.
This year’s Student Water Prize, which recognises excellence in water-related studies and research, was given to Kaitlyn Bell from the University of Wollongong. Her thesis, which she tested at Shoalhaven Water, focused on the development of a performance measuring device for improved monitoring of sewer pump stations.
Finally, the creme de la creme were revealed as the Young Water Professional of the Year and Water Professional of the Year took to the stage.
Cail Rayment, a demand management officer from Power and Water Corporation, was honoured for his work on water-saving measures in remote communities in the Northern Territory.
And the award for Water Professional of the Year went to Professor Craig Simmons, director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. He is credited with elevating the profile of groundwater management here and abroad.