Seren McKenzie is the first female President of IPWEAQ in its 47 year history. She is currently the Manager,
Infrastructure Planning and Design at Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Seren’s
focus is on improving her department’s efficiencies including the development
of strategies, policies and procedures that result in higher levels of customer
service. She ensures all members of her team are offered the opportunity to
achieve their best.
Seren’s diverse experience in infrastructure services includes managing pre-construction services of design, survey, and associated roads and drainage technical services, as well as waste services, water and sewerage operations and soils testing. She is also experienced in operational works, asset management and strategy development.
Seren has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), a Masters in Engineering Technology (Environmental) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental). She is a qualified Registered Professional Engineer (RPEQ) and a Fellow of IPWEAQ. Seren was awarded the IPWEAQ Woman in Engineering (2012).
This is my last report as President and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support over the past two years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the role and on the IPWEAQ Board, and look forward to continuing to contribute over the coming years.
I first joined the IPWEAQ Board in 2010 as the SWQ Branch President. Unfortunately not long after, Queensland was hit with catastrophic flooding. In the south-west, we saw major flooding, deaths and evacuations in Toowoomba, Grantham and throughout the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley. Nine years later, it is a similar yet different story with many areas across the state afflicted by severe drought. In the Southern Downs where I am the Director Infrastructure Services, we will soon be carting water to Stanthorpe from Warwick with no sign of any meaningful rain. If only we could have a portion of the rains that hit the region in 2010-2011. At the time of writing this report, I am attending another LDMG meeting with numerous bushfires raging in the Stanthorpe area.
In the 2010 Annual Report, my first as the SWQ Branch President, I mentioned that it was during these extreme events that we see evidence of the close-knit community we are all a part of, and how engineers from across councils and the private sector work together to resolve issues. And so I am proud that this year saw the launch of Engineers for Disaster Relief – a program for our retired members (and anyone else) who can volunteer to help out colleagues in the event of a natural disaster. Thank you to those who have already volunteered, and I encourage others to register with our CEO so that we are ready for the next disaster to hit our state.
Also in my first year on the IPWEAQ Board, we launched Complete Streets and I'm pleased to confirm the new iteration of Complete Streets – the Street Planning & Design Manual (name still to be finalised) will be launched at the Annual Conference next month by the Hon Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, Planning, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning. This new publication has been several years under development and has received overwhelming support from all stakeholders across the spectrum of those involved in planning and development.
The Annual Conference (formerly ‘state conference’) was held in Bardon in 2010 with 137 delegates. Next month, we are expecting 500 delegates at the 2019 IPWEAQ Annual Conference in Brisbane. If you have not registered as yet, please be sure to do so to avoid missing out on this highly anticipated event which is a reflection of the strength of our growing community.
In 2010, I was the recipient of an International Study Tour sponsored by the IPWEA Queensland Foundation and travelled to the USA and UK with Graham Cook of Western Downs Regional Council. While there is no longer a formalised study tour, we invite members to apply for a scholarship to attend an international tour or conference of your choosing. Please contact our CEO, Leigh Cunningham for details.
My final task as your President will be to see through the adoption of a new constitution and company structure that will future-proof the Institute and provide a solid platform for the next generation to mould and adapt the organisation to respond to a constantly changing environment. Importantly, we have worked through these changes with IPWEA to ensure the commitment between the two organisations remains strong and is documented in a binding agreement. Please continue to send in your Proxy Forms and please be sure to support these important reforms.
Thank you once again for the privilege of being your President. And thank you to my fellow Board members and to all our staff.