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Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

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 ReportJune 2020

I’m delighted to announce another milestone in the Institute’s history - we have officially moved to new premises in Eagle Farm.

After eight years at Albion occupying 254sqm, we are enjoying every part of our 1,355sqm which means no more scheduling of people with workstations to accommodate all our people in confined spaces.


(Training Room 1) named after Derek Stringfellow, President 1982-1984


(Boardroom) named after Ray Moore, President 1974-1976

At Eagle Farm, we have two boardrooms, three training rooms and two meeting rooms. These have been named after our first seven presidents: Abbiss, Moore, Reilly, Haussmann, Kilmister, Stringfellow and Holmes. We are looking forward to welcoming Ray, Gil and Derek to inspect the rooms that will bear their names for the next 10 years at least.

We are also very pleased to launch our new brand, Public Works Professionals which anticipates the collaboration between ourselves and other peak bodies in our sector including AAPA, CPEE, LGFP and TMAA which will utilise our new facilities for courses, meetings and events. We also invite our Partners to host their next product launch in our function room (Stringfellow, Holmes and Haussman combined).

For our members, we offer workstations and booths for you to catch up on work while you are visiting us. And for those travelling, we offer shower and locker facilities. There is a lounge area and the Engine Room where catering will be provided for our courses.

We are just 12 minutes from the airport and have 20 allocated carparks with endless street parking. We look forward to welcoming you to Eagle Farm!

I am also very pleased to announce the launch of the ADAC validation tool. This has been some time in development and offers users a number of benefits including:

  • enables consistency in the submission process for contractors and suppliers.
  • allows more accurate and efficient processing of that data for asset owners (councils/ utilities)
  • saves resources with a timely transfer of As-Con data into GIS and asset management databases.

You would have also noticed the new design of Engineering for Public Works for issue #18. Thanks to our graphic designer, Sue Waterson at Max Gecko who developed our corporate design which has the trusses of the Story Bridge as its foundation.

While COVID-19 played havoc with our plans for this year including the cancellation of all our branch conferences and our professional development program, we were in a very strong, healthy financial position after several years of consolidating cash reserves which enabled us to withstand this crisis.

And from this, our new chapter begins with our amazing new premises, a growing team of dedicated professionals and great optimism for what is ahead of us. Our sector is resilient. We are resilient. It will take much more than a global pandemic to break us.

Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer