Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Jo O'Brien

Branch President

Qld Program Manager

Tonkin Consulting Pty Ltd

SEQ Branch Committee

Jo O'Brien (Branch President)

Qld Program Manager

Tonkin Consulting Pty Ltd

Larry Griffiths

Principal Engineer, Heavy Vehicle Operational Policy

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Sarah Hausler


McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Chris Mantell

Senior Civil Engineer


Ross Ullman

Project Director Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project

Sunshine Coast Council

Chris Borg

Senior Civil Engineer/Registered Certifier 

Barker Ryan Stewart

Thomas Wager

Principal Water and Wastewater Engineer

Redland City Council 

Christopher Michel

Technical Officer

Redland City Council 

SEQ Branch President's Report
December 2021

Thank you all very much for the warm welcome as the new SEQ Branch President. I was sworn in at the AGM in Cairns in October together with fellow SEQ Branch member, Sarah Hausler elected as an ‘at large’ Board member.

My first role as SEQ Branch President was to welcome branch members to the SEQ Branch Christmas function at our facilities in Eagle Farm. It was a wet night with heavy rains yet 50 members joined 24 delegates attending the Public Works Professionals Orientation Intensive and enjoyed a selfguided tour of the IPWEAQ collection of Aboriginal Art followed by drinks and canapes.

Our congratulations to SEQ Branch committee member, Ross Ullman who was declared Engineer of the Year at the awards night in Cairns in October! A wonderful welldeserved achievement for Ross’ contributions to the Sunshine Coast Council. Rhys McQueen, Transport Asset Management Engineer at City of Gold Coast, took home the award for Professional of the Year while the Department of Transport and Main Roads won the inaugural Employer of the Year (public sector).

And once again, SEQ councils secured a fair share of project awards on the night including Project of the Year for Brisbane City Council for the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade project. Congratulations to the team at Brisbane City which also won awards for:

Innovation - Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade (award sponsored by C.R Kennedy) 

Road Safety Infrastructure – SAMs for Schools (award sponsored by Delnorth Group) Community Road Safety - School Traffic Management Plans and Improvements (award sponsored by Delnorth Group) 

Projects over $20 million -Highly Commended for the Indooroopilly Riverwalk (award sponsored by Danley) 

Other SEQ councils and organisations on the winners list on the night included:

1. Moreton Bay Regional Council - Projects $5 - $10 million for the The Mill at Moreton Bay water park and play space 

2. Sunshine Coast Council & Interflow - Projects under $1 million for the Renewal of the Amarina Culvert, Mooloolaba 

3. City of Gold Coast - Coastal Engineering for the Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline Project 

5. Sunshine Coast Council – Highly Commended for the Maroochy Groyne Project (award sponsored by RCPA)

The City of Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline Project and the Sunshine Coast Council’s Maroochy Groyne Project were two of five finalists for Project of the Year.

It was an exceptional night celebrating our sector and we look forward to seeing more SEQ projects highlighted at the 2022 awards program which will be launched at the President’s Breakfast, Friday 4 February in Brisbane.

I was delighted to participate in the 2021 Great Debate successfully arguing, not that there could be any dispute, that technology will not make engineering redundant. My thanks to fellow Negative Team debaters, Justin Fischer and Jordan Maultboy. If you have a topic for a future debate, please contact our CEO Leigh Cunningham.

The Call for Papers is currently open for our joint branch conference with our colleagues in the south-west, 16-17 March in Toowoomba. Please submit an abstract before 10 December to share our SEQ innovations and learnings with our peers. 

On behalf of the SEQ Branch committee, please have a happy and safe Christmas. I hope to see you at the President’s Breakfast in Brisbane, 4 February, the first event in what is a very busy program for 2022. See you then!

Jo O'Brien
SEQ Branch President