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Meet the Team – the QWMN Capability, Collaboration and Capacity Program

The QWMN is comprised of the Secretariat; the Capability, Collaboration and Capacity Program (3CP) Co-ordination Team; the 3CP Consortium Members; Research, Development and Innovation Project Teams, and; the broader set of Network participants who take part in and support activities. Earlier this year we profiled the QWMN Secretariat. This time we are going to meet the Capability, Collaboration and Capacity Program (3CP) Co-ordination Team.

The QWMN Capability, Collaboration and Capacity Program (3CP) is the part of the Network which designs and delivers activities to:

  • Enhance the capabilities of individual water modelling and use professionals, and their employing organisations;
  • Strengthen the strategic capacity of the knowledge production systems that are responsible for developing and using water models, and;
  • Build capacity for modelling that is optimally designed to inform water related decision-making within Queensland

In physical terms the 3CP is co-ordinated by a central team based out of the International WaterCentre at Griffith University. The work of the 3CP is delivered by that team and a wider Consortium comprised of 3 leading Universities, a federal research agency and 9 private sector participants all based in or operating in Queensland including Griffith University (the International WaterCentre or IWC and Australian Rivers Institute or ARI), University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, AIMS, Aurecon, Alluvium Consulting, Water Technology, BMT, Deltares, eWater, E2DesignLab, KPMG and Thoughts Drawn Out.

In this article we will follow up the ‘Meet the Secretariat‘ article from February 2021 by providing you with a bit of insight into the co-ordinating team behind the QWMN 3CP – Piet Filet, Sarah Cochrane and Brian McIntosh. Like the Secretariat article, this article is a deliberately a mix of professional and personal as we try to open up to the people behind the QWMN.



Piet Filet has joined the IWC team at Griffith University as a “professional matchmaker”.  He likes to bring diverse sets of water and other professionals together and see if after building an understanding and trust in each other what other creative and collaborative sense making they can undertake with wicked water challenges.

Throughout Piet’s varied career listening, sharing and collaborating has been a constant feature.  In his early career as a grassland scientist he spent many a long day listening and talking with cattle producers on sustainable land management practices, whilst in local government at Toowoomba and Brisbane he had to figure out when was the best moment to advise a Councillor when something was a good or bad idea. For a few years at WWF Piet’ s role  was brokering ways with rural industry leaders on how reef water quality protection could align with smart long term ag business practice.  Then along the way flooding became a focus post the 2011 Qld floods and with a link to his Dutch heritage – he started working with local and international practitioners on sharing smart flood management learnings.  Out of that was spawned the Flood Community of Practice in 2014 – and CoP activity is now his passion.

Away from work – Piet continues to play with water at any beach, with any dog or in the surf.  Often he explores local catchments on his bike, navigates through the bush while orienteering or contemplates very little when snoozing in his yoga class!!  Music is also a big passion for Piet – being a long term Woodford Folk Festival junkie, or at local live music gigs or at his weekly community choir.  All along mixing with people and being creative is a constant for Piet.



Sarah’s colourful history is grounded in a Bachelor of Applied Science (Geoscience) before it morphed into hydrogeology and later found flow in environmental planning within the water sector. She joined the QWMN team in April 2021 after a few years hiatus from the industry to pursue her other loves yoga teaching and rewilding experiences. Through these practices, Sarah has supported individuals from all walks of life to navigate personal boundaries and develop a sense of belonging and wellbeing through presence, observation, and awareness of themselves in relation to all others. This experience along with her diverse career as an environmental coordinator in consulting, mining, construction, and water sectors has provided Sarah with a unique set of interpersonal skills that crosscut sector boundaries and support evolution through listening, collaborating, and connecting the dots.

Over 10 years working as an enviro, Sarah gained a diversity of skills, found resonance in strategic thinking, and coordinated complex programmes such as remote groundwater exploration programmes as part of a major expansions at Olympic Dam, multiple and simultaneous project environmental approvals, and a business-wide environmental strategy. But it is her love of our shared home and the lifeforce pumping through the catchments, which shines brightest through Sarah’s work as she leans toward a reality where we are connected to community, our planet and ourselves.

In her spare time, Sarah is studying a graduate diploma in counselling, practices Ka Huna bodywork, loves to dance, sing, discover new places, swim in freezing cold waterholes, and make friends with the wilder side of life.



Brian is a water sector capacity builder – interested in developing the capabilities and capacities of individuals, organisations and organisational networks to be able to better respond and adapt to the drivers of the 21st century – climate change, population growth and urbanisation. As such he seeks to practice systemically, across scales, functions, space and professional networks to strengthen and build our collective abilities to act. He has been with the International WaterCentre since 2010 following previous University and research appointments in Scotland, Sweden and England and a broader project history involving work in 22 different countries.

Originally a landscape scale ecologist with a PhD in encapsulating expert ecological knowledge for use in designing and assessing Mediterranean landscape conservation and management plans, Brian has worked as a researcher in integrated regional planning; water utility strategy and planning (particularly biosolids and nutrient recovery/energy generation, but also water demand); water utility innovation management; environmental decision and information support tool design, adoption and use, and; environmental conflict management. His research has always been strongly applied, recognising the need for translation and integration across disciplines and scales, and integration across the research – practice boundary.

He appreciates that he only appreciates a fraction of the world and loves facilitating processes of research and enquiry based learning as mechanisms to bring together and integrate diverse other perspectives to better inform how we diagnose problems and decide how to act.

Currently he is the 3CP Program Manager for the QWMN and before that was the External Engagement Program Manager for the QWMN.

Outside of work Brian loves strenuous and adventurous outdoor pursuits. A keen trail, mountain and road runner, road cyclist, and paddler (sea and river) he spends time either doing these activities or volunteering as a Venture Scout Leader. As a Venture Leader he works with teenage youth to build competence, a love for adventure, an appreciation for working with others and of the beautiful natural ecosystems and environments that we are a part of. He also quite likes a glass of nice wine or craft beer or two. And a book.

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