Day 1 Official Program

9.00am Registration

9.25am Welcome to Country

9.30am Opening Comments

Welcome to Leadership Legacy 2035

with Jo Plummer, Chair of VicWater

9.40am Presentation

The Art of Story Telling

Dan Woods, Brand and Business Development Guru

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.

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10.25am Morning Tea


The Competitive Advantage in the Future of Work

Andrea Clarke, former Journalist and Author

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.

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11.45am Abstract

Strategic Foresight in the Water Sector

Ann Gooding & Heidi Ryan, Melbourne Water

At Melbourne Water we have been on a journey to establish a four stage
strategy lifecycle, from initiation to design/develop, implementation and
monitoring. Previous to this lifecycle we weren't seeing on the ground
changes to how we operate from our strategies, this was in part because we prioritised the design/develop stage of a strategy over the implementation and monitoring stages.

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

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12.05pm Presentation

Wessex Water

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12.15pm Lunch

1.00pm Presentation

Creating a Leadership Legacy

Cheryl Batagol, Environment Protection Agency (EPA)

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

Over the past ten years Cheryl has been the Chair of the EPA in Victoria and has lead through two periods of significant change and an independent review. She will look back on that journey and drawing conclusions on leadership and the need for leaving a legacy.

1.20pm Presentation

Medicating the environment: Behavioural and ecological impacts of pharmaceutical pollution on wildlife

Dr Bob Wong, Monash University

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 make their way into rivers, lakes, and even drinking water. Here, I will discuss research highlighting the behavioural responses of aquatic organisms to pharmaceutical contaminants, and the ecological and evolutionary impacts that these disturbances engender.

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1.40pm Presentation

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

Neil Plummer and Louise Wilson, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

In this session Neil and Louise will:

  • Describe the water, weather and climate risks and opportunities for Victoria based on the latest science;
  • Engage participants in expressing their views on the confidence in water, weather and climate risks;
  • Explore the short, medium and longer-term decisions that need to be considered with climate variability and change, and
  • Discuss what data, information, services and advice are available to support strategic and critical decisions.

The format will include short presentations integrated in an interactive workshop style

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2.40pm Afternoon Tea


Are You An Innovative Change Leader?
What research has revealed about how to lead for innovation

Gaia Grant, Internationally recognised Thought Leader

How is it possible to future-proof an organisation? How can leaders manage change and lead for innovation from any position? While most people assume that leading for innovation involves entrepreneurial risk taking, research into innovation leadership reveals some surprising insights. The people who lead innovation most successfully can come from any role, but they have to be ambidextrous – that is they are able to embrace the paradoxical flipside of the commonly accepted innovator profile. They know how to recognise both breakthrough + incremental innovation opportunities.

This session delves into the secrets of global innovation leaders that Gaia Grant has worked with to reveal how to develop paradoxical individual, team and organisation innovation strengths for maximising innovation opportunities at all levels. The presentation includes a fascinating validated profile tool developed through Gaia’s research to help identify innovation leadership potential, and relevant case studies and interactive exercises to demonstrate how it is possible to ensure innovation is most effectively fostered in the organisation. Takeaways include individual profiles with practical strategies for personal, team and organisation action.

Delegates are requested to complete a 5 minute online questionnaire in preparation for this session

3.55pm Closing Comments

Reflections on the program so far

with Peter Morison, CEO

4.00pm Day 1 Program Concludes

The Annual Conference Dinner

6.00pm Cocktails on the Terrace


Sponsor Address



Welcome to the Annual Conference Dinner

Jo Plummer, VicWater Chair


Our Current State of Affairs

Arron Wood and the Hon. Lisa Neville, Minister for Water



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

Miguel Wood, Co-Founder & CEO Euler's Bridge

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.

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WaterAid/ Josefina Maria Pereira


WaterAid Raffle Draw

Since it's inception in 2006, the annual VicWater WaterAid Raffle has raised over $220,000 to support some of the world's poorest communities in countries including Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Timor Leste to gain access to clean water, decent toilets and basic hygiene.

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Countdown to Leadership Legacy 2035


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