Angela Fry (Branch President, Excellence Awards & Branch Events)
Manager, Toowoomba & South West Region, GHD
Ashlee Adams (YIPWEAQ & Membership)
Principal Project Manager, Toowoomba Regional Council
Andrew Johnson (Professional Development & Key Contacts)
Works Manager, Somerset Regional Council
District Director (Darling Downs), TMR
As the new SWQ Branch President, I attended my first IPWEAQ board meeting in Townsville which followed on from the successful 2017 IPWEAQ state conference. I did wonder how we would fill an entire day discussing IPWEAQ matters and was relieved and very pleased to find the day extremely interesting and informative. I am excited by the great opportunities before us and the direction we’re heading.
My predecessor in the SWQ Branch, Stephen Hegedus did a great job over the past two years to establish and maintain our position and I’d like to thank Steve for his hard work and commitment to the role. Moving forward, I am pleased to be working with the small but efficient and dedicated committee of Dereck Sanderson, Andrew Johnson and Ashlee Adams.
The first priority for the committee is assisting with the SWQ Branch conference to be held in Goondiwindi, 15-16 March 2018. A specific Call for Papers has been issued which requests submissions for projects that haven’t gone so well. There are valuable learnings in these projects for all of us just as much as there are in the successful projects we tend to focus on. Presenting a paper at the conference is a great way to connect and network with colleagues in our sector. There are of course valuable CPD hours available for preparing and presenting a paper (up to 45 hours) along with nine other reasons to present an IPWEAQ branch or state conference. I encourage you to be brave and prepare an abstract for submission, which is also a great way to develop your skills at writing concisely with just 500 words to sum up your project. Otherwise, please encourage a colleague and especially our younger members!
I would also like to congratulate our SWQ member, Mike Holeszko for winning the 2017 Geoff Wilmoth Best Paper Award for his presentation at the state conference last month. Mike’s paper titled, ‘Southern Downs to B Double or not to B Double’ considered how a council can ensure an aged road network can meet current and future needs. Mike will now present his paper at the IPWEA NZ conference in Rotorua in June 2018 as part of our exchange program with our colleagues across the Tasman.
Another highlight at the state conference was the 2017 excellence award and the announcement of Mike Brady as our Engineer of the Year. I had the pleasure of working with Mike for a number of years at Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) and was personally thrilled to see Mike on stage collecting his award. But wait, there’s more!
Aaron Meehan, General Manager – Infrastructure, South Burnett Regional Council took out the Young Engineer of the Year award. And congratulations to Aaron on his new position!
Works Supervisor of the Year was Jeff Heit, also from TRC. While Jeff has extensive experience in construction and 33 years with TRC, with the requisite technical skills, it is his strong people skills that set him apart from his peers.
Of the five people awards at the 2017 excellence awards, the SWQ Branch took out four awards including the President’s Award presented to Frank Scheele, South Burnett Regional Council for his contribution to the updated Queensland Urban Drainage Manual.
Thank you to all of the above members for inspiring us. We look forward to hearing from you at the Goondiwindi conference in March.
Another new SWQ Branch member presented at the inaugural 2017 Futures Challenge at the conference. Denver Pollock representing USQ delivered a poster board and presentation to delegates on residual chlorine improvement in Woodhill water supply zone. For those of you who were unable to attend the conference, all four students who presented their theses on stage before the excellence awards were exceptional. You can check out their presentations in the Knowledge Centre ‘2017 State Conference Proceedings’ podcasts which is accessible to delegates or you can subscribe online for 12.5 CPD hours.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent our branch. Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have anything you’d like to chat about. I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor in Goondiwindi in March!
SWQ Branch President