In 1905 an Association was formed under the shadow of the Shires Act which transferred works of a local government nature from the Roads and Bridges Section on the Public Works Department to Councils. The section ceased to exist as from the 1st January, 1907 and many engineers in the section became Council Engineers.  

The Association in 1905 included engineers from authorities which carried out and controlled amenities for the public and included the engineer to the City of Sydney, the Chief Engineer, Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board and the Engineer in Chief, Public Works Department. Membership increased as appointments were made to Councils and in this period, George A Taylor, was a dynamic person and a visionary. He had set a goal that Australia should have an Association covering professional engineers in Australasia. He used his position as Secretary to bring this about. The first major change came in 1909, when the inaugural engineering exhibition was held in Exhibition Park (near Central Railway).  

A meeting of members and other Engineers including representatives from New Zealand decided to widen the membership and adopt a new name. "The Institute of Local Government Engineers of Australasia" was formed and its membership included engineers from all States and New Zealand. As this association came to represent all professional engineers in Australasia, its name again changed to "The Institution of Engineers Australia" in 1919 and the Institute became a branch within the new Institution.  

In 1920, the name changed to the "The Association of Local Government Engineers of New South Wales" and it was registered as a trade union. In 1990, it was decided to separate the professional and industrial areas of the association and the Institute of Municipal Engineering Australia was formed. The IMEA began the process of becoming a truly national organisation with the NSW Division asthe largest group. The IMEA was recognised as the leading local government organisation representing the technical professions providing a full range of services to its members and to the local government industry. 

In 1999 the IMEA resolved to further expand its membership and range of services and to reflect this change became the "Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia". The change of name reflects the new direction the organisation is taking as a response to ongoing changes in local government engineering practice.

Increasingly, engineers are working as part of multi-disciplinary teams, rather than working within traditional departments. Public works and services for all levels of government are being provided by consultants, contractors, suppliers of goods, services and machinery as well as those directly employed by government.

After almost a century of development, the new look IPWEA continues to foster the achievements of its members for the benefit of communities throughout Australia.  

National President


Vice President

E J (Ted) Hooper (NSW)

1977 - 1980


Chris Watson

1993 - 1997

J R MacKenzie (VIC)

1981 - 1982


Peter Taylor

1997 - 1999

Arthur R Runge (VIC)

1982 - 1984


Ross Moody

1999 - 2001

Derek C Stringfellow (QLD)

1984 - 1986


Warren Roberts

2001 - 2003

Terry G Gibson (NSW)

1986 - 1989


David Abbott

2003 - 2005

Gavin Watters (WA)

1989 - 1991


Dave Harris

2005 - 2007

D G (Jack) Riddiford (TAS)

1991 - 1993


John Truman

2007 - 2009

Ian C Robins (VIC)

1993 - 1995


Paul di Iulio

2009 - 2011

Peter Way (QLD)

1995 - 1997


Michael Kahler 

2011 - 2014

Chris Watson (NSW)

1997 - 1999


Ross Goyne

2014 - 2015

Peter Taylor (QLD)

1999 - 2001


Mat Greskie

2015 - Present

Ross Moody (WA)

2001 - 2003




Warren Roberts (VIC)

2003 - 2005




David Abbott (NSW)

2005 - 2007




Dave Harris (WA)

2007 - 2009




John Truman (NSW)

2009 - 2011




Paul Di Iulio (SA)

2011 - 2014




Michael Kahler (QLD)
2014 - 2015      

Ross Goyne (VIC) 2015 - Present      

Secretary / Treasurer

(Treasurer only from 2002-09)


Chief Executive Officer

(Executive Director until August 1999)

P S Parkinson

1977 - 1979


Keith H Wood      

1977 - 1995

K H Mitchell

1979 - 1980


Don H Sheffield

1995 – 2000

W J Tedmanson

1980 - 1982


Chris Champion

2000 - 2015

D G (Jack) Riddiford

1982 - 1991


Robert Fuller

2015 - Present

Phil T Hennessey 

1991 - 1993




Jack Garside

1993 - 1995




Ian Campbell

1995 - 1997




D G (Jack) Riddiford

1997 - 2002 




Steve Carmichael

2002 - 2003




John Hawkes

2003 - 2005




Claude Cullino

2005 - 2009