We are delighted to continue supporting the Australian Water Associations Tasmanian Water Awards, and congratulate Akira Weller-Wong for being awarded Young Water Professional of the Year Award. Akira is an enthusiastic and committed scientist in estuarine management. His passion for the environment is reflected in his roles in restoring native woodlands in the Tasmanian Midlands, as a Stormwater Officer and now Estuary Scientist working to reduce pollutant loads in the Derwent estuary by providing science to guide management.
We would alike to also acknowledge our Chair, Tim Gardner, who received Water Professional of the Year. Tim is an active AWA member and was Tasmanian Branch president for six years. Tim takes great pride in actively engaging across industry, government and community to build networks that support diversity, collaboration and participation.
"It is a great privilege to be part of the Australian Water Association, that is so engaged in driving improved economic, social and environmental outcomes through improved water resource management. It's a pleasure to work with such a diverse membership who share a common passion for water and to be part of something that is so fundamental to life, and to be part of a national network of committed professionals who are so willing to support their peers and share their learnings. It really does feel significant to be working on creating a water sustainable future when you live on the driest continent on Earth.
I am particularly excited about the once in a generation investment in community water infrastructure by Taswater, improving health, environmental and economic outcomes for Tasmania. The range of exciting energy projects – pumped hydro, hydrogen, e-fuel – that leverage our abundance of water to contribute to the global transition to a clean energy future is of keen interest, as is investment in irrigation infrastructure that is increasing farm production and helping to provide fresh food to the world. Any project or initiative in our catchments that increase water quality monitoring and enable data transparency so that the community can get a clearer picture of our catchment and waterway health has my attention!"