Inaugural Water Leadership Network meets in Sydney

Inaugural Water Leadership Network meets in Sydney

An inaugural “Water Leadership Network” event was held on 4th March in Sydney, attracting over 100 participants from science, engineering, consultancy, asset management, policy development, human resources and communications.

Inaugural Water Leadership Network meets in Sydney

Amanda Carroll (L), Dr Andre Taylor, Mr Mark Pascoe and Dr Alicia Loveless

A large proportion of attendees have no formal association with other water industry networks or groups, indicating that there is currently a need and an interest in leadership development for the water industry.

The purpose of the event was to provide a space for water professionals from all areas of the industry to meet, develop leadership abilities, establish relationships, interact with mentors and role models, build a community and work together to anticipate tomorrow’s water challenges while addressing the challenges of today.

The half-day Water Leadership Network event commenced with a presentation by Kevin Young, Managing Director of Sydney Water. Kevin personified some of the principal leadership skills that drive change: the importance of networking, building relationships, taking opportunities when presented, and living a life of continuous learning. Kevin also emphasised the importance of teams and people when trying to achieve spectacular things, and encouraged the audience to seek to be the best they can be, to take opportunities when they arise, make mistakes and learn.

An interactive educational session followed. Dr. Andre Taylor, Leadership Specialist at IWC, led participants through key knowledge areas and the strategies of strategic and social networking, an important leadership ability for driving change. Strong networks are a fundamental ingredient for exerting influence and driving change across a complex and rapidly changing environment. The audience then participated in a peer-to-peer ‘speed networking’ activity, which demonstrated the value of peer-to-peer support and mentoring for solving problems.

Water Leadership Network 1The final activity of the day involved an interactive brainstorming workshop, in which participants formed groups and stormed ideas on their own leadership needs in the water industry.

The next exciting steps are underway. The next educational and social events of 2015 are being planned and the Water Leadership Network team is growing. We are seeking corporate or associate partners/sponsors for future events.

IWC’s Water Leadership Program

IWC’s Water Leadership Program helps emerging leaders to develop the abilities they need to exert influence, drive change and advance challenging integrated water management projects — abilities associated with the most effective integrated water management leaders.

Water Leadership Network

The Water Leadership Network was formed by Amanda Carroll and Alicia Loveless, two past participants of the IWC Leadership Program in 2014. Amanda and Alicia seek to drive momentum for leadership and collaboration at all levels and across all areas of the water industry in Sydney and NSW. The Network demonstrates its core values of inclusiveness, authenticity and connection, and invites people to join us to collaborate and drive change toward sustainable integrated water management in an increasingly complex environment.

They gratefully acknowledge Sydney Water and Stormwater NSW. Sydney Water provided exemplary facilities, technical support and refreshments for the first event. Stormwater NSW provided financial partnership that made it possible to deliver a world-class education component at this event. We also gratefully acknowledge Phillip Birtles, a valued industry mentor and role model, for taking the time to share his skills and abilities and MC the event, and the  invaluable assistance of Marlene Van Der Sterren, Nerida Taylor, Russell Cadman and Jason Tae Hyung Kim.

More information

For more information about the Water Leadership Network, contact

Photos courtesy of Water Leadership Network

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