More than 4700 water professionals from Australia and around the world gathered in Melbourne for Ozwater’19 recently, to hear from experts and share their own ideas around a central theme: transforming our world.
It was an incredibly diverse line up, with eight streams covering everything from machine learning to microplastics and microbial and risk management.
But although the 380 presenters spoke on such a vast array of topics, the technical presentations, case studies, workshops and panels all led back to how water professionals can use their knowledge and skills to make a difference.
As Chair of the Ozwater’19 organising committee John Thwaites put it in his closing remarks: “It’s not enough to just talk about it, you have to do it.
“If we’re going to achieve change, either in our work or home, we need motivation and we need to know how to do it.”
This motivation was everywhere at Ozwater’19. From Jeff Sachs’ opening keynote address, in which he said Australia could and should be a leader in sustainable development, to Macinley Butson, who at just 18 is already transforming the world.
“Through all the sessions, workshops and incredible papers that have been delivered by so many, we’ve heard a lot about what we can do,” Thwaites said.
For Australian Water Association Chief Executive Jonathan McKeown, Ozwater’19 presented an opportunity for professionals to come together and think outside the box.
“At Ozwater, we bring so many areas of the sector together to share ideas,” he said.
“It gives people an opportunity to think about how they can make a difference to the world we live in, and transforming our world through water expertise is something that has powerfully connected each individual that has attended the conference this week.
“It is also about re-energising the Sustainable Development Goals that are so important … They are a platform to provide solutions that each and every one of us are capable of contributing to.”
Don’t miss Ozwater’20, which will be held in Adelaide