Conference News

Wessex Water global collaboration

EnTrade by Wessex Water


Wessex Water are excited to participate in VicWater’s Annual Conference for the first time. Serving 2.8 million customers across the south west of England, they see the Conference as a great opportunity to discuss innovations, technologies and service delivery models that may disrupt and transform the utilities sector. Wanting to learn from Victoria and share their own experiences, Wessex Water will present Open System Model and EnTrade – a new business creating catchment based markets for environmental services.

Don’t miss the Wessex Water keynote presentation at the VicWater Welcome Dinner, and mini presentation on Day 1 of the Official Conference Program this September.

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Energy Management 101


Australia’s urban water sector delivers drinking water, sewerage and recycled water services to cities and towns across the country. Meeting the growing energy demands for urban water services while containing costs and mitigating emissions is one of the most important strategic challenges for the sector.

Energy management – the deliberate and coordinated approach to the planning and management of energy and emissions within a business – is now recognised as a key business requirement.

Collectively, the Australian urban water sector spends close to half a billion dollars annually on energy, mainly electricity, so the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) developed this energy management training package for the Australian urban water sector. This training course is an introduction to the non-technical aspects of energy management with a focus on electricity, which is the primary form of energy sourced across the sector. The purpose in developing this course is to encourage the sector to build its capacity in energy management.

John Day will walk through North East Water‘s energy journey to show how the Energy 101 training manual can be applied on Day 2 of the VicWater Annual Conference this September.

Networked Leadership: A new paradigm for growth in the water scarcity age


Water scarcity in Australia is the defining crisis of the 21st century. To respond and prosper our governing institutions must contend with an array of dynamic pressures from population growth, declining infrastructure, and climate change. But are they equipped for a hyper-connected and complexity rising society?

Water systems were originally designed for complicated order, linear processes, and efficiency maximisation. The limitation of hierarchical organisational models is they cannot address large-scale levels of complexity. To provide for higher complexity hierarchical structures must give way to structures that are dominated by lateral interactions (social relationships outside the official hierarchy). For complex environments like urban water systems stronger networks and looser hierarchies are needed.

We advance themes of socio-hydrologic dynamics from complex adaptive systems, transformational digital platform ecosystems, and public value as a new paradigm for generating sustainable growth and prosperity. Network-based approaches are designed to be relationship driven, enable bottom-up self-organisation, and promote distributed leadership. We must foster the conditions for behaviour change based on shared consciousness and empowered execution. Adaptability, not efficiency is the central competency we seek to become in creating a new culture towards water that is open, responsive, and durable.

Networked leadership is the ambitious legacy we strive to bestow for future generations.

Miguel Wood delivers ‘Network Leadership: a new paradigm for growth in the water scarcity age’ as the keynote for the Annual Conference Dinner this September.

The Art of Story Telling


Stories have been an essential driver of change throughout human history, and now more than ever, businesses, workers and leaders have opportunities to stand out, spread messages and make change happen. Once you master the art of story telling you will unleash a very powerful tool and a crucial element behind some of the most successful marketing campaigns.

Discover the key to unlocking your brand’s potential as brand guru Dan Woods presents ‘The Art of Story Telling’ on Day 1 of the VicWater Annual Conference this September.

The Age of Robots


Australia’s large geographic scale and small population density has necessitated the wide-spread adoption of automated systems. Uses for autonomous vehicles of importance to Australia include agriculture and wildlife monitoring, mining, defence, firefighting, search and rescue, border patrol, environmental research and cargo delivery.

Join Dr Airlie Chapman to explore existing autonomous system implementations as well as future technologies such as autonomous vehicle swarming.

‘The Age of Robots’ will be presented on Day 2 of the VicWater Annual Conference this September.

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Creating a Leadership Legacy


Leaving a legacy in your organisation is firstly about setting out and communicating your vision internally and externally and then delivering on that vision. That legacy should flow onto all stakeholders.

Over the past ten years Cheryl Batagol has been the Chair of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in Victoria and has led the organisation through two periods of significant change and an independent review. Join Cheryl as she looks back on that journey, drawing conclusions on leadership and the need for leaving a legacy at 1pm on Day 1 of the VicWater Annual Conference program this September.


The Competitive Advantage in the Future of Work


Around the world, the nature of work and business is shifting significantly. Digital disruption, globalisation and the casualisation of work is re-defining the way we live and how we do business. Join Author of ‘Future Fit’ Andrea Clarke to understand what the future of work really means and which skills will help you stay relevant and competitive for yourself and the business you’re in.

‘The Competitive Advantage in the Future of Work’ will be presented at 10.45am on Day 1 of our official conference program this September.

Medicating the environment


Chemical pollution disrupts the balance of ecosystems, threatening the health of humans and wildlife everywhere. As one area of emerging concern, vast quantities of drugs taken by humans and animals are starting to make their way into rivers, lakes, and even drinking water.

Dr Bob Wong will discuss current research highlighting the behavioural responses of aquatic organisms to pharmaceutical contaminants, and the ecological and evolutionary impacts that these disturbances engender.

Medicating the environment: Behavioural and ecological impacts of pharmaceutical pollution on wildlife” on Day 1 of the official VicWater Annual Conference program this September.


Melbourne Water reveal four stage strategy lifecycle


Melbourne Water have been on a journey to establish a four stage strategy lifecycle, from initiation to design and development, implementation and monitoring.

To support this new approach they developed a strategy methodology which includes guidelines, case studies, governance arrangements, decision gates and reporting processes. They are also developing a process to translate trends from the operating environment and customer insights into improving services with more frequency than the current strategies allow for.

Find out more as Ann Gooding and Heidi Ryan present ‘Strategic Foresight in the Water Sector’ on Day 1 of the official VicWater Annual Conference program this September.

Water, Weather and Climate: Supporting Water Managers’ Strategic and Critical Decisions

Climate Workshop


Join Neil Plummer and Louise Wilson from Bureau of Meteorology for a Workshop on Water, Weather and Climate: Supporting Water Managers’ Strategic and Critical Decisions at the VicWater Annual Conference this September.

The session will describe the risks and opportunities for Victoria based on the latest science and explore the short, medium and longer-term decisions that need to be considered with climate variability and change. Water, Weather and Climate: Supporting Water Managers’ Strategic and Critical Decisions is part of our official Day 1 Program.

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