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Mapping my Water Future: Steps designed by Young Professionals

Young professionals are the future of any sector, and the water sector in Queensland is no different. Offering ways for young professionals, typically within the first 15 or so years of their career, to network with each other and with more experienced professionals is an excellent way to offer career navigation assistance, build contacts and create opportunities for professional development and growth. It is also fundamental to continued operation and to recruiting and developing the talent that will drive future innovations and change across the sector.

With this in mind, Flood CoP and the QWMN teamed up to run a pre-Christmas networking and career planning event for young professionals from across the sector – covering education, research, consulting, government and utilities. We partnered with key water sector associations including EIANZ, IAHS, PEWA, AWA and RBMS to create a genuinely whole of sector event which was held at City Winery on the 10th of December.

Around 40 young professionals and senior ‘mentors’ from consulting, government, utilities and research came together for a whole of afternoon event designed and facilitated by Piet Filet, Venetia Brown (QUT) and Brian McIntosh with support from Angeline (photography) and Kerryn (event management).

Participants first of all heard from the founder of City Winery, Kris Cush, who gave everyone insight into some of personal characteristics and approach that have helped her, and her partner Dave, create a flourishing business even in these difficult times.

Then a series of structured activities saw participants first of all reflect on themselves before thinking then more broadly about the challenges faced by young professionals in the Queensland water sector and how young professionals might be supported to overcome those challenges. Finally, the young professionals reflected on the water sector issue that they most want to contribute to resolving in some way and identifying some concrete steps to take action to move their career in the direction of doing so over the next 12-18 months. Mentors were allocated one per table to help the young professionals think and work through the activities, providing advice and ideas, or to act as a sounding board as required.

Thank you to all the participants, we hope you enjoyed yourselves and to our mentors Abel Immaraj (Aurecon), Lucy Reading (QUT), Sandra Hall (AWA/UQ), Graeme Milligan (EIANZ), Anne Simi (BCC), Matt Curtis (RBMS) and Brendan Moon (QRA). And thank you to City Wineries for the excellent facilities, wine and food.

Looking forward to a future event where we can again bring young professionals from across the water sector in Queensland together to network and learn.

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