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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. 

Prior to returning to Australia to take up her current position as CEO for IPWEAQ, Leigh was the Executive Director and General Counsel for the Association of Independent Authors and previously, Director Finance & Operations, Asia for Worldtrade Management Services (a business unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers). 

Leigh has 24 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, and as the Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

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
September 2020

I note that this time last year in my report for the September journal, I commented on the pace and intensity of 2019 with extreme weather events challenging us throughout those first nine months. At the time of writing, 82 fires blazed across Queensland. And now to 2020 … but I think enough has been said about this year.

However, we are focussing on the positives at IPWEAQ including the launch of the Street Design Manual which will deliver exceptional outcomes for our residential neighbourhoods. This is a seminal publication developed by experts across our industry for our industry. A huge thanks to everyone on the two Working Groups and the Steering Committee who contributed to many robust discussions over a four-year period. I recall those earlier discussions and the direction we thought the Street Design Manual would take and thanks to the experts who knew best, it evolved in the best possible way.

And with each launch of an IPWEAQ publication, it is timely to remember that panels of our people, expert in their area have contributed to many other seminal IPWEAQ publications. Contributors are listed in the front of each publication including the Lower Order Road Design Guidelines and the Queensland Urban Drainage Manual. And similarly, panels of experts contribute to the ongoing development of Standard Drawings and the ADAC scheme which continue to maintain their influence across our sector.

On another positive note, registrations are now open for #IPWEAQ20 to be held in Brisbane again this year. We have maximum space allocated at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre which provides for our COVID-19 plan. Obviously, there are changes to format as a result, but these have presented us with unique opportunities and a different way of viewing the event.

For example, on Day 2 of the conference, Wednesday 11 November is State of Origin Game II so this will be incorporated into the program with the excellence awards now on the first night, Tuesday 10 November. The awards night will also be somewhat different to previous years as we incorporate elements of the usual Welcome Function.

There are limits for the Tech Tours this year, so I encourage you to register early to secure a place on one of four tours including the Cross-River Rail and Queens Wharf development and an historic Brisbane walking tour.

After such a year as 2020, it is even more important for us to gather together for the annual IPWEAQ pilgrimage. There’s a lot to talk about, a lot of experiences and lessons to share, and a lot to celebrate with 76 incredible people and projects nominated for the 2020 excellence awards program. We also need to celebrate just making it through the year.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ) on 90 years overseeing the registration of Queensland engineers. For 90 years, Queensland has been ahead of the game appreciating the critical role that engineers play in keeping us safe, and still, we are the only state or territory with a comprehensive, mandatory registration scheme. Thank you to all our RPEQs for your many contributions to our sector.

I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference in just a few weeks! Don’t miss what will be a very unusual yet memorable, and somewhat historical event.

Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer