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Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer

Leigh Cunningham is a lawyer with a career as a senior executive for a number of public companies in Australia and global companies headquartered in Singapore where she lived for 12 years. 

Leigh has 27 years’ experience in membership organisations including as the CEO for the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators, Australia and concurrently as the Secretary-General for the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. In 1999, she took on the role of Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Project Management. After leaving Australia for Singapore, she was the Director, Finance & Operations for an Asia-wide business unit of PwC. And subsequently, the Executive Director and General Counsel for the Association of Independent Authors and a Grants Assessor for the National Arts Council of Singapore.

Leigh has three master’s degrees in law, commerce and an MBA where she graduated ‘Top Student’. She is also the author of four multi award-winning books.

CEO's Report
March 2021

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be into Q4 and it seems that again this year, time will not be waiting for us.

January saw the launch of the inaugural Every Community Needs and Engineer calendar which highlights the types of projects public works engineers deliver for Queensland communities. So far this year, we’ve celebrated coastal projects (January), airport projects (February) and parklands and open spaces (March). Many of the projects featured in the calendar have won IPWEAQ excellence awards or were nominated. Given how quickly this year is passing, it is not too early for you to nominate a project to feature in the 2022 calendar, ideally, a type of engineering not represented in the inaugural calendar. It doesn’t need to be infrastructure; it can be a service, however it needs to be able to be represented by a single image. If you haven’t already, please download the calendar and post each month on the walls of your council or organisation for everyone to appreciate what public works engineers do for us. Hard copies also available. Our monthly campaigns to date promoting the featured types of projects are published in the 2021 March issue of Engineering for Public Works.

Also launched this year are 16 career cards featuring the various roles available in the sector to inspire high school students and graduates and mid-career change professionals. The cards are available for high school career days which can be used with the accompanying Activities Pack which includes ideas for engaging with students in an interactive and meaningful way. If you would like to present a set of career cards to your local high school(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us. Additionally, if you are available to present to your local high school(s), please also contact us.

The 2021 Excellence Awards were launched by last year’s Project of the Year winners, Sunshine Coast Council at the 2021 President’s Breakfast. There are 13 project categories this year including two new Road Safety categories: Community Road Safety and Road Safety Infrastructure. We have also introduced a new category for Projects over $20 million given the amount of infrastructure spend likely in our sector over the coming years.

In addition to our five people awards, we have introduced two Employer Awards: Employer of the Year (Private Sector) and Employer of the Year (Public Sector). We are pleased to recognise organisations and employers that have developed leading workplaces which maximise the full potential of their workforce. We expect these awards will be hotly contested with a number of stand-out councils and consultancies offering exceptional programs to support the ongoing development of their professionals at all stages of their careers.

And the latest launch for the first two months of the year – the new Track My CPD portal. Upload your CPD hours in any of the categories whether it is attendance at a course or conference, preparing and presenting a paper for a conference, reading Engineering for Public Works or viewing conference papers in the Knowledge Centre. An hourmeter shows your progress towards 150 CPD hours and a chart tracks the types of hours recorded. If you have signed up for IPWEAQ’s CPD Scheme, we will auto-audit your progress to ensure you will comply with the CPD hour requirements.

Ahead in the next quarter, we have branch conferences in Chinchilla, Maryborough and Townsville, an Asset Management Symposium in Brisbane and a Rural Roads Forum in Dalby – plenty of opportunities for you to connect with like-minded professionals to advance the knowledge and expertise of our sector.

I look forward to seeing you at any of the above forthcoming events or at our new facilities in Eagle Farm!

Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer