Maurice Stabb | Executive Consultant
Why did you become an IPWEA Member?
I was introduced to the Local Government Engineers Association (one of the predecessors to IPWEA) when I started working for Keith Wood, who was the Association’s Secretary. I was immediately taken by the networking benefits of membership.
My later attendance at the Werribee Field Days highlighted the technical and professional development benefits of membership. This was reinforced when I attended the inaugural National LGEA Conference in 1981 in Adelaide, where I experienced the national networking of local government engineers.
The challenges that Victorian local government engineers met in the mid-1990s with the restructuring of the sector cemented the importance of IPWEA membership to me. My membership provided technical and personal support to me and fellow local government engineers. It provided a forum to receive and share issues and opportunities.
The Reformation of IPWEA Victoria in 2007 allowed me to actively participate in a strong annual program of conferences, seminars and workshops at a regional, State and National level, vital to my continuous professional development. I was able to actively participate in sector wide issues, have input to them and engage with other organisations like the MWOA and CCFV.
What are the benefits for your role/career?
The access to other public works engineers, locally, nationally and internationally was career changing. The knowledge sharing environment of IPWEA membership gave me access to innovations and better practice from other public works engineers that could be translated for use at my council. It introduced me to politicians, senior government managers and technical experts that greatly assisted my navigation of issues between government tiers. It also put me in front of people and organisations that helped in my career progression.
It provided access to annual awards from the Municipal Engineering Foundation Victoria to undertake research into current sector issues through attending the annual American Public Works Association’s National Congress. It also gave me access to participate in the biennial International Federation of Municipal Engineers Conference. Sharing information with international public works engineers influenced my career going forward.
What would you say to someone considering a membership?
IPWEA membership offers the opportunity to broaden the professional and personal horizons of public works engineers. It offers the opportunity to step outside the comfort zone of a single organisation and become actively involved in influencing sector-wide issues.
With the registration of engineers to be introduced in July 2021, it provides a genuinely collaboratively environment to undertake your legislated Continuous Professional Development. The more you put into your membership, the more you will get out, including personal and professional relationships that will last your career and beyond.