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Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

 


Leigh Cunningham

    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
December 2018

Wow - what a year. We could not have crammed another moment into it and with 485 delegates at the IPWEAQ Annual Conference on the Gold Coast, we believe we can now lay claim to delivering Australia’s premier public works event.


Over the past year, more than 2,000 delegates have attended an IPWEAQ course, conference or symposium and already, courses scheduled for December have been fully booked. Our Professional Development program has expanded in every possible way thanks to the expertise and tireless efforts of Craig Moss, our Director Professional Development. When I say that Craig works tirelessly for us, it doesn’t begin to explain the extent of Craig’s contribution. Craig has completely overhauled our professional development program which now responds to specific areas of need as an organisation focussed on its industry and stakeholders should. We have rolled out six new programs this year with five more in development.

Since the departure of Ross Guppy, Craig has also taken on technical products overseeing Standard Drawings and the further progression of ADAC, a high priority for us in 2019. The interest in ADAC is coming to us from everywhere and it is constant. The potential of ADAC is enormous but we’ve been slow to take advantage of it. We expect to change this over the course of the next year.


We’ve also delivered our most profitable financial year in over 10 years with a net profit of $128,000 (the best result in the IPWEA Group) and we look set for more growth in 2018-2019 with more initiatives to roll out.


Those initiatives include the new native title and cultural heritage portals designed to help councils, utilities, mining companies and agricultural land owners navigate the complexity of native title and cultural heritage compliance. I am astounded by the work Mark Lamont has undertaken developing the process flows for these tools and working with developers to convert this into a user-friendly app. This is a very complex area of law which Mark has become accomplished in, in a record period of time. Subscriptions for the first ½ year access to the new portals will open in January with early-bird discounts and further discounts available for our 37 PWTS councils.


By now you would have seen a number of our new IPWEAQ videos thanks to our Director, Marketing & Communications, Belinda Smith. We all receive a vast amount of information we need to read every day so it is refreshing to have some information delivered in a concise and entertaining video. Additionally, this year, we have video recordings of all our presentations delivered at #IPWEAQ19.


We are already in planning mode for 2019 which kicks off early with the President’s Breakfast, Friday 8 February.

The Breakfast is an opportunity for us to thank those who have supported us throughout the year – our Partners and sponsors and of course, our members. This is a members-only event but we appreciate that it would be difficult for most members to travel to Brisbane for a couple of hours so we would like to bring the Breakfast to you. We have satellite breakfasts planned for Goondiwindi, Townsville and the Gold Coast with a few other destinations in progress. Please let us know if you are able to host a breakfast to network with your peers in person and across the airwaves. 


You will also have noticed changes to our journal under Belinda's influence. This publication is critical to the Institute and to our sector - it documents our history and the issues our industry addresses at various stages. We hope you enjoy it and find value in its content.


We are already in planning mode for 2019 which kicks off early with the President’s Breakfast, Friday 8 February. The Breakfast is an opportunity for us to thank those who have supported us throughout the year – our Partners and sponsors and of course, our members. This is a members-only event but we appreciate that it would be difficult for most members to travel to Brisbane for a couple of hours so we would like to bring the Breakfast to you. We have satellite breakfasts planned for Goondiwindi, Townsville and the Gold Coast with a few other destinations in progress. Please let us know if you are able to host a breakfast to network with your peers in person and across the airwaves.


As mentioned in my previous Report and in this issue’s President’s Report, we have drafted a new constitution to support a proposed new structure as a Company Limited by Guarantee – as an organisation, we are progressing to the next level. Please take the time to read the new constitution and to ask any questions you may have. It is important that all your concerns are well considered and addressed. We’ll then invite you to join us for a General Meeting in Rockhampton (in person or by proxy) on Friday 10 May 2019 to adopt the new constitution and structure.


If we thought 2018 was a whirlwind year, our plans for 2019 will quickly overshadow it. At least we have formidable teams prepared for making the most of every opportunity. And Dave Cameron, our CEO for qldwater will be particularly renewed after a six week holiday to England and Germany.


A special thank you to all members of our staff – in engineering and in water – for their invaluable contributions to our industry over the past year. We’ll enjoy a well-earned rest over Christmas and be back better and stronger for 2019.


Thank you all for being a part of our community. It is a privilege to be working for you.

Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer