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Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

2021 Great Debate!

Meet the Team

Join us at the 2021 Annual Conference for the legendary IPWEAQ Great Debate! The topic this year is 'technology will make engineering redundant'.

The debate is intended to be entertaining and lighthearted while also offering an opportunity for debaters to address key, topical or divisive issues, and score a few points for their team. Political correctness should be observed at all times.

Delegates vote for the winning argument using the conference app.

Team for the Affirmative: 

Stephen Bolden, Coordinator Design & Survey Services | Capital Projects Delivery | Design & Survey Services Unit Infrastructure Services | Cairns Regional Council

Janice Wilson, Director, Double Black Diamond Solutions

Cameron Ives, Professional Engineer, GenEng Solutions Pty Ltd

Team for the Negative:

Jordan Maultby, Water Resources Team Lead, AECOM

Jo O'Brien, Qld Program Manager, Tonkin Consulting Pty Ltd

Justin Fischer, Manager Asset Engineering, Cassowary Coast Regional Council


2020 Great Debate

"Engineers are introverts and are disconnected from the world around them"

Winners: Negative Team

Team for the Affirmative:

Josh Flanders, Project Engineer, St George Project Services

Moira Zeilinga, Director, Clear Idea

Dr Rob Fearon, Director, Innovation Partnerships, qldwater

Team for the Negative:

Seren McKenzie, Director Infrastructure Services, Southern Downs Regional Council 

Trevor Dean, Executive Manager Engineering & Technical Services, Fraser Coast Council

Maddy Stahlhut, Graduate Engineer, GHD

2019 Great Debate

"Rural (public works) engineers are more adaptable than their city counterparts"

Winners: Affirmative Team

Team for the Affirmative:

Glenda Kirk, Director Infrastructure Services, Mareeba Shire Council

Andrew Johnson, Director Operations, Somerset Regional Council

Ben Ash, Civil Engineer and IPWEAQ Ambassador, George Bourne & Associates Consulting Engineers

Team for the Negative:

Joe Bannan, Manager Asset Management, Brisbane City Council

Paul Wilson, Principal Engineer Project Development, Logan City Council

Jessica Kahl, Civil Engineer and IPWEAQ Ambassador, Aurecon  

2018 Great Debate

"Tradition has no place in a modern workplace"
Winners: Negative Team

Team for the Affirmative:

Ged Brennan, Managing Director, GenEng Solutions

Jimmy ScottGeneral Manager, Operations, QRA

Cate Fennell, Cadet Engineer, Parkes Shire Council

Team for the Negative:

Matthew Brennan, Civil Engineer, 

George Bourne & Associates Consulting Engineers

Kym Murphy, Regional Director | Downs South West Region, Program Delivery And Operations Branch | Infrastructure Management and Delivery Division | TMR

Mark Lamont, Director, Information & Resources, IPWEAQ

2017 Great Debate

"Smart cities are not that smart"

Winners: Negative Team

Team for the Affirmative
Bruce Gardiner, General Manager Infrastructure Services, Cairns Regional Council
Sandra Burke, District Director (FNQ), Program Delivery & Operations
Department of Transport and Main Roads
Ren Niemann, Partner, McCullough Robertson

Team for the Negative: 
Jenny Hill, Mayor, City of Townsville
Andrew Ryan, Principal, Sabre Management Solutions
Alton TwineDirector City Infrastructure
City of Gold Coast

2016 Great Debate

"Women make better engineers than men"

Winners: Affirmative Team

Team for the Affirmative: 
Angela Fry, Principal Project Manager, GHD
Stephen Hegedus, Senior Asset Manager, Shepherd Services
Gavin Blakey, Principal Engineer, Strategic Asset Management | Asset Management Branch, Brisbane City Council

Team for the Negative
Julie Mitchell, Chief Engineer, TMR 
Dawson Wilkie, IPWEAQ Past President, Director all.PM
Gerhard Joubert, General Manager Infrastructure & Utilities, Central Highlands Regional Council

History of The Great Debate

The IPWEAQ Great Debate was launched at the 2016 Annual Conference in Brisbane with the topic, ‘women make better engineers than men’. This inaugural debate was highly successful and has become a key part of the annual conference, bringing the event to a close on the third day.

The Negative team has won three times and the Affirmative team, twice. Will the Affirmative team - technology will make engineering redundant - win in 2021?

If you have suggestions for topics or would like to volunteer to join a debating team, please contact the CEO, Leigh Cunningham.

Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer

Please contact
Leigh Cunningham for all inquiries.