CEO's column: Ozwater shows there is a thirst for industry knowledge

By intouch posted 16 May 2017 02:44


3,000 delegates, 21 countries attending, nine streams, three days, 243 exhibitors – that is Ozwater '17 by the numbers, the Australian Water Association’s conference being held in Sydney this week with the theme of Embracing Innovation and Disruption for a Smart Future.

It’s heartening to see so many delegates and exhibitors within the water industry from around Australia and the world value what this annual conference offers. It also is a challenge to the public works infrastructure sector's commitment to advancing their knowledge when IPWEA presents its biennial International Public Works Conference in August.

Two years ago in Rotorua, NZ, we had a record 800-plus delegates. My challenge to the public works industry is to continue this groundswell of support Ozwater has experienced, and help us make Perth 2017 the best and biggest IPWEA conference yet.

Conferences provide far more than interesting technical papers. Good conferences stimulate your thinking for the future. The ‘how’ you do things is even more critical than the ‘what to do’. What sort of people do have in your team?  We think in traditional terms of skills sets, but what if you challenge that paradigm? These are just some of the creative ideas that come from attending such conferences. 

It is intriguing that the water sector is refocusing its attention on customer service, social diversity and integration and city planning. This is a forward-thinking paradigm shift away from pipes, plumbing and pumps. When an industry has matured sufficiently that it can plan its own disruption and recast its business to make the customer the centre of every decision, it invokes visions of leadership and future planning for an industry in transition. 

The International Public Works Conference, to be held in Perth this August, has something for everyone. It really is four conferences in one. So, if you can only attend one conference for the rest of this year, support the one that delivers you the biggest and the best that the industry can present. #IPWEA2017




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