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External Advisory Panel

An External Advisory Panel (EAP) consisting of key industry representatives from Australian NGOs, utilities and Government Agencies acts as a feedback body, to ensure the continual improvement of the IWC postgraduate programs.

The EAP meets once a year to provide advice on the strategic direction of IWC programs and ensure competitiveness and relevance to wider global water sector issues.

Member organisation


Interest type


Nancy Esler, Deputy Director Strategic Water Initiatives
Government 2012-15
NWC Matt Kendall, General Manager, Sustainable Water Management Group  Government 2012-15
Andrew Speers, National Manager Policy  Professional Body  2012-15
WaterAid Peter Dwan, Head of International Programs  NGO  2012-15
The Nature Conservancy Michael Looker, Director, TNC Australia
 NGO  2012-15
CH2MHILL Jay Witherspoon, Global Water Sustainability Director  Consultancy  2012-15
EPCAD (landscape architecture and urban planning)
Howard Mitchell, Director  Consultancy  2012-15
Water Corporation
Paul Ferguson, General Manager, Planning and Capability Group
 Utility  2012-15
NSW Office of Water Bradley Moggridge, Program Manager, Aboriginal Water Initiative
Indigenous Australian



Nancy Esler

Strategic policy and projects director

Nancy EslerMs Esler has 25 years experience in the environment and resource management field. She is committed to achieving practical and effective sustainability outcomes through evidence-based and collaborative partnerships and adaptive management.

Ms Esler has worked in a range of strategic and specialist policy leadership roles within environmental and resource management agencies in New South Wales and Queensland. Also served as a senior adviser to a State Government Minister, and CEO and independent Board.

Key experience and interests include:

  • Environment and natural resource management
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability, and the water, energy, food and carbon nexus
  • International knowledge and trade collaborations
  • Stakeholder analysis and engagement
  • Regulatory compliance

After obtaining an interdisciplinary applied science Masters in Natural Resources Management in Canada, Ms Esler began her professional career as an energy analyst within the Manitoba Department of Energy and Mines. Immigrating to Australia in 1988, she initially worked as an environmental impact assessment consultant with multinational environmental and engineering firm Dames and Moore, and subsequently in a wide range of senior environment, natural resource and strategic policy and program roles in state government.


  • Strategic, and environmental and natural resource planning and management
  • Policy research, analysis and advice
  • Strategic planning and group facilitation
  • Participation in multiparty policy or governance boards and committees
  • Writing or editing for publication and public presentations

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Matt Kendall

General Manager, Planning and Evaluation, National Water Commission

Matt KendallMatt Kendall is the General Manager, Planning and Evaluation, with the National Water Commission, based in Canberra. In this role, he leads the Commission’s water planning and evaluation activities and has oversight of the Commission’s statutory roles to independently audit the effectiveness of Murray-Darling Basin Plan implementation and undertake triennial assessments of water reform progress in Australia under the National Water Initiative. 

Matt has 20 years experience in water and natural resources management across both the public and private sector, and has Masters Degrees in Engineering Science (Water Resources and Environmental – Monash University) and Business and Public Administration (Deakin University, ANZSOG / Australian National University).

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Andrew Speers

National Manager, Policy and Programs, Australian Water Association

Andrew SpeersMr Speers is responsible for policy development and advocacy on behalf of the Association and its members and the delivery of key industry funded programs. He has 25 years’ experience in the water and environment fields.

Previously, Andrew was Director, Member Services and Programmes with the International Water Association (IWA) based in London.  In this role, he was responsible negotiating the Bonn Charter for Safe Drinking Water and the developing IWA’s sustainability framework.

Before joining IWA, Andrew was Director, Urban Water with CSIRO.  The Urban Water Program sought means by which water, wastewater and stormwater services could be made more sustainable and provided research services to industry and government in Australia and internationally.

Andrew has also been engaged as Manager, Environment with Sydney Water and as a Senior Policy Advisor to the NSW Minister for the Environment, during which time he project managed a series of significant environmental law reforms.

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Peter Dwan

Head of International Programs, WaterAid Australia

Peter DwanI am an Australian based WASH specialist with over 27 years’ experience within a range of organisations involved in overseas development. Consisting of 23 years of Australia based management and 4 years overseas experience in Laos, Mozambique, Sudan, and Ethiopia. As a result I have developed extensive skills in international assistance program development and delivery.

For the past 8 years I have been the Head of International Programs at WaterAid Australia, the leading Australian NGO in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. As such I have up to date knowledge of ‘best practice’ WASH methodologies, especially in the rural WASH sector in developing countries.

I have developed strong linkages with a wide range of international WASH experts from a range of world leading WASH institutions, including UNICEF, WSP, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, IRC in the Netherlands, and WEDC at Loughborough University. I have also been co-Chair of the Australian WASH Reference Group since its inception in 2005, a coalition of over 25 NGOs and academic institutions dedicated to increased prioritisation of WASH and better WASH practices.

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Michael Looker

Director, Australia Division, The Nature Conservancy

Michael LookerMichael is a trained botanist and one of Australia’s conservation leaders. Appointed Australia Program Director in 2005, he was the first Australian to join TNC. Michael has already led the Australia Program to achieve remarkable results including the protection of 3.6 million hectares through 28 land acquisitions, and the establishment of a Corporate Conservation Council to forge a closer alliance between business and conservation. He has also developed close working relationships with Indigenous communities and organisations supporting their aspirations in looking after their country. The acquisition of Fish River Station (180,000 hectares) in the Northern Territory as part of this program marked the first time that a conservation NGO in Australia has been involved in purchasing land that will be handed back to its Indigenous Traditional owners and managed for conservation.

Prior to his role with TNC, Michael served as the Director of Trust for Nature where he spearheaded the organisation’s transition to a landscape-scale conservation approach and helped expand the role of major gift fundraising within Australia’s environmental sector. Under Michael’s leadership, the Trust acquired Ned’s Corner Station—the largest private conservation purchase in Victoria. He was previously a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Melbourne, as well as Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. 

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Jay Witherspoon

Vice President, Global Water Sustainability Director and International Technology Manager for CH2M HILL

Jay WitherspoonMr Witherspoon is a Senior Fellow Technologist (the highest technology rating offered by CH2M HILL), and has over 32 years of extensive experience in sustainability framework management systems, risk mitigation, and key performance indicator (KPIs) development, sustainable plant design and optimisation, renewable energy sources, air quality and greenhouse gases evaluations, measurements, and reductions, composting, waste management, water and wastewater regulatory compliance issues, biosolids management, and odour control approaches.

Mr. Witherspoon recently led triple bottom line technology innovations and integrated approaches and analysis for three 100 percent renewable-powered cities, Masdar City, Capital District City, and KA-CARE City, with very stringent sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that now are in alignment with their economic feasibility needs, whilst providing technology and sustainability innovations. 

Active in the profession, Mr. Witherspoon serves in leadership positions for several national and international industry, research, and public groups, delivers keynote speeches at international conferences, represented clients and professional associations at North American and international conferences, in industry working groups, and through public information sharing outreach activities, mentors sustainability, odour and air quality professionals around the world, and led several WEF and IWA committees and community of practices. 

Jay was recently named both an International Water Association (IWA) Fellow and Water Environment Federation (WEF) Fellow Technologist. 
Mr. Witherspoon has developed industry leading tools and models for sustainability, odour, air toxics, hazardous air pollutants, green house gases, and carbon emissions measurement, assessment, modeling, and controls.  He worked with industry and public clients on carbon emissions reduction strategies and sustainability programs to meet climate change concerns for both operating and embedded carbon footprints for California’s GHG regulations and several international eco-cities (Masdar City in United Arabs Emirates (UAE), KA CARE City in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Capital District (UAE)). 

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Howard Mitchell

Director, EPCAD (MIEnvSc CMLI. AILA DipLA)

Howard MitchellHoward, known as Mitch, is an urban designer, environmental planner and landscape architect. Mitch qualified in Britain and has extensive experience spanning over thirty years, creating new communities and integrating water management.

Mitch was one of the urban design team members responsible for the development of Europe's largest new city Milton Keynes where one of his responsibilities was to integrate district drainage management systems through a network of parks amounting to 4000 hectares. He has since been the masterplan team leader of several new towns and settlements in Australia and England. He was a director of one of Europe’s largest environmental planning and design companies, RPS where he was involved in a number of large and controversial developments in including major development initiatives, extractive industry and infrastructure projects.

Mitch was design team director responsible for the acclaimed and awarded Jubilee River (the Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation Scheme, MWEFAS). He was responsible for the design and environmental management of Caldecotte Lake, a 45 hectare district detention and flood management basin on the River Ouse in the UK.

His recent work includes the masterplanning of Perth’s Technology Precinct, environmental planning and landscape design for the prestigious Bunker Bay resort, masterplan for Curtin University, foreshore and coastal management plans, various major infrastructure projects and new communities in Western Australia.

As well as holding senior executive positions in consulting, he also has worked as a site development manager for a multinational company with an extensive property portfolio in the UK and America. The combination of his skills and broad experience provides clients with a planning and design approach encompassing an understanding of many, often conflicting issues. His work has taken him to Australia, America, China, South East Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He has retained a commitment to education and continued professional development, lecturing and running professional workshops and seminars on new settlement/urban design, environmental planning, environmental legislation and landscape architecture.

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Paul Ferguson

General Manager Planning and Capability, Water Corporation

Paul Ferguson

Mr Ferguson is a civil engineer who has worked in the water industry for more than 40 years and has extensive operational, construction and strategic planning experience in both regional Western Australia and metropolitan Perth. 

His career with the Water Corporation has seen him hold a leadership role in the water industry restructure in Western Australia of 1995, direct the implementation of SAP within the Corporation and manage other major restructuring and business improvement projects. 

Mr Ferguson’s current role includes responsibility for the Water Corporation’s approximate $1 billion capital program, infrastructure planning, asset management, water industry policy and water efficiency.

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Bradley Moggridge

Program Manager Aboriginal Water Initiative, NSW Office of Water

Bradley MoggridgeMr Bradley Moggridge is a proud descendant of the Kamilaroi Nation (North-West NSW) and is currently employed by NSW Office of Water as the Program Manager Aboriginal Water Initiative. Previously he was with CSIRO for the 3.5 years as the Indigenous Water Research Specialist. Brad has qualifications in Environmental Science (BSc) from ACU and Hydrogeology and Groundwater Management (MSc) from UTS.

Brad is a member of the Dept SEWPaC’s Indigenous Water Advisory Committee (IWAC) and previously was appointed as a Councillor to the First Peoples' Water Engagement Council administered by the National Water Commission which finished on 30 June 2012, and is also a member of the Joint Steering Committee reviewing the National Water Quality Management Strategy Documents 4 and 7 (ANZECC Guidelines) as the Australian Indigenous representative. He is also a judge for both the Australian RiverPrize and the River Management Youth Achievers Award.

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