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IWC Water Leadership Program - training emerging leaders

Penny Mueller of the Moonee Valley Council, Victoria, was one of twenty-one emerging water leaders from across Australia who converged in Brisbane this month for a week-long, intense face-to-face training session.
IWC Water Leadership Program - training emerging leaders

IWC CEO Mark Pascoe discusses with Penny Mueller of Moonee Valley Council about water leadership during IWC Water Leadership Program training.

The session, which ran from 13-17 February, is part of the International WaterCentre (IWC) Water Leadership Program. The Water Leadership Program is a nine-month feedback-intensive leadership development program which runs each year from 1 December to 31 August.

As a Senior Sustainability Officer at Moonee Valley City Council, Ms Mueller said she was attracted to the program due to its water focus and leadership training. “I hadn’t come across anything like this that was tailored for emerging water leaders…usually they tend to be management focused,” she said. “I want to improve my leadership skills and see that result in improved project delivery.”

Ms Mueller is participating in the program after receiving a Melbourne Water Scholarship. The Water Leadership Program training focused on improving the ability of water practitioners from consulting firms, water agencies and government agencies to exert influence, drive change and advance challenging integrated water management projects.

IWC Leadership Specialist and Program Coordinator Dr André Taylor said a critical component of the program is the face-to-face training, which involves high-profile guest speakers from the water industry. This year, former Melbourne Water Managing Director Rob Skinner and Brisbane City Council CEO Jude Munro presented and interacted with program participants.

“The training sessions are important for three reasons: first, they help the participants build specific leadership capabilities that are associated with effective water leadership; second, they provide an opportunity for participants to build individual leadership development plans; and third, they involve interaction between a diverse group of enthusiastic participants, leadership specialists and water industry leaders, including some of the most respected executive leaders in our industry,” Dr Taylor said.

The program includes the following elements:

  • mentoring and coaching activities involving three highly experienced executives from the water industry (Ms Jude Munro, Mr Rob Skinner, Professor John Langford, Mr Mark Pascoe)
  • a sound research and theoretical basis, including conceptual models of effective water leaders, leadership processes and leadership development
  • the use of ‘360-degree feedback tools’ to help identify key leadership strengths and weaknesses of participants, and build their self-awareness
  • one-to-one coaching
  • the use of individual leadership development plans, and challenging cross-boundary projects so that participants can practise new leadership behaviours and tactics
  • peer review of the program’s design, content and evaluation by senior industry practitioners and leading academics to ensure the program meets the needs of the water sector.

The IWC Water Leadership Program is customised for water industry professionals at the project to middle management level (i.e. non-executives). The program is based on sound research within the water industry and is delivered in partnership with experienced leadership specialists and industry practitioners.

To discuss the program, contact Dr André Taylor, Leadership Specialist, Or find out more here about the Water Leadership Program.


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