Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Seren McKenzie


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).

President's Report
December 2018

2018 has been an incredible year for us. We continue to go from strength to strength with a vastly improved financial position (profit $128,000 this past financial year) and continued growth in membership (20%) and almost 50% growth in YIPWEAQ members. This latter statistic is obviously critical as we need a steady stream of confident, capable young professionals to continue to build on those foundations that were laid for our Institute in Rockhampton back in 1970.

And it is with this eye on the future and how we will remain a relevant and thriving community that we now turn our attention away from the structures we work with on a day to day basis, to the corporate structure that will support IPWEAQ for years to come.

That new structure is proposed is a Company Limited by Guarantee with a constitution consistent with that structure. We will ask you, our members, to review the proposed new constitution and let us know of any issues you would like addressed. We have allowed seven months for consultation with you and invite you to either complete the form on the website if you have a query or contact our CEO, Leigh Cunningham directly.

The Board has devoted a considerable amount of time reviewing every clause in this constitution and we’re confident that it is concise, will be easy to administer, and offers us the flexibility to change direction when circumstances dictate. We all know the impact that change has on us today and how relentlessly it forces us to find new ways of thinking and doing. For more information please refer to the constitution report on page 14.

We will convene a General Meeting of members in Rockhampton – back where it all began – on Friday 10 May 2019 to move us into this new chapter of the Institute’s history.

Another major project continuing to make progress is the proposed new Street Design & Planning Manual (SPDM). This new publication has been well received by stakeholders across industry with representation on the Steering Committee reflective of how much need there for such a publication. We’re also delighted to be collaborating with the state government – the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning – on sections of the Manual. An MOU is in progress.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Trevor Parminter, SPDM Project Manager since April who now retires owing to health issues. Thank you, Trevor, for your drive and enthusiasm for the project.

And we are delighted to announce that Premise Engineering have kindly volunteered the services of one of their senior project managers, Elizabeth King to take on this role. Liz comes to us with a strong background in land development, civil engineering, communication, negotiation and local government, all of which will be of great value to the project. Prior to joining Premise, Liz was the Principal Development Engineer at Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Finally, thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2018 IPWEAQ Annual Conference on the Gold Coast. It was a huge success with 485 conference participants who, together, created a great atmosphere and sense of community. The Excellence Awards gala dinner and ceremony showcased what we can achieve for Queensland communities.

The people awards are also critical to our sector to acknowledge individual contributions. I don’t wish to single out any of our five winners for special attention however it is important to reiterate why we continue with an award for Woman in Engineering. While a woman can be nominated and win the Engineer of the Year award, the particularly low numbers of female engineers in our sector means we do need to continue with this award for a few years yet. Only 15% of engineering graduates are women and by the time women in the industry are in their 40s, this is reduced to 2%. With such a low number of women in the industry, it is critical that we celebrate our successful women.

I feel very proud and privileged to have been your president for the past year. Thank you for your support and thank you for continuing to make IPWEAQ something special for all of us.

Enjoy Christmas and the New Year and I look forward to seeing many of you – in person and online – at the 2019 President’s Breakfast in February.

Seren McKenzie