Connect 2021: Highlights Not To Be Missed

It’s the final call before ticket purchases close at 5pm, Friday 14 May and we are excited to see Connect 2021 shaping up as a fantastic conference.

Hosted by VicWater, the peak body for the Victorian water industry, the structure of the conference represents the four pillars of work that VicWater operates within: Finance & Risk, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership & Innovation, and Environment & Policy. The four pillars were used to structure the conference to ensure that Connect delivers relevant and useful content for all its delegates. These four pillars VicWater works to are informed by their members – the 19 water corporations across the state.

Fee Boucher, Member Experience Manager, says: “To be able to build a conference from the ground up, based on exactly what our members told us they want to see, is very exciting. Our members also told us that they wanted a hybrid event, so it’s very exciting to deliver an event where you can attend in person or online – not just logging into a webinar, but enjoy an authentic conference experience by actually being an active part of discussions, asking questions and contributing in real time, from wherever you are in the world.”

Connect 2021 will see a range of global speakers who will present both in person and online. Our keynote speaker for the day, Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, is responsible for a raft of reforms within the Scottish water sector that revolutionised the local water industry. The Victorian water sector is facing similar challenges and Alan will generously share his expertise, lived experience of a water sector on the cusp of change and the lessons learned in navigating a path to a more sustainable water future. His presentation will speak to the very specific challenges and issues that the Victorian water sector faces.

The Finance & Risk stream will inspire rigorous discussion with its presentations on zero carbon, water affordability, cyber security and governance. Highlights include the Zero Carbon session with Michael Wheelahan, Jon Anstey, Bruce Mountain, and the Victorian Economic Update with Emma Lawson. The Finance & Risk stream is presented by Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV).

The Diversity & Inclusion stream will also prove to be an interesting and thought-provoking session. Delegates will enjoy discussing ways we can embrace our First Nations people, and WaterAble will present and host a discussion on disability inclusion in the water sector. We’ll also talk about how to enable cultural and linguistic diversity through the lens of workforce, customer and community, and ways that the water sector are focusing on gender diversity and inclusion, with a powerful case study from within the sector.

A real highlight from the Diversity & Inclusion stream will be IDAHOBIT, presented by Aurecon. The session will feature Mama Alto as the host and entertainment, and will include a panel discussion around creating rainbow change in the water sector.

In the evening, VicWater will host all delegates at Connect After Dark, an exclusive cocktail party for Thursday’s delegates. After so long apart, Connect After Dark will be an opportunity to meet and catch up with your colleagues from across the water sector in person.

Day 2 will see the Leadership & Innovation stream brought to us by GHD, and will include a short presentation from Lindsay Brown, Water Market Leader for Victoria. We’ll also talk about scalable innovation, working safely and working in new ways, and the psychology of risk. Highlights include presentations from Matt Lovegrove, People Advisory lead and Partner at EY, Dr Nick Flemming, Managing Director at Innergise and Dr Gavriel Schneider business leader and academic specialising in human-based risk management and the psychology of risk.

Finally, the Policy & Environment stream will touch on the VicWater Policy Platform, servicing our changing communities, how to finance catchment-based solutions, developers and sustainable water management and a highlight of the stream will see Aboriginal elder Rodney Carter, and Rueben Berg present on cultural values in waterways.

We can’t wait to connect with all our delegates and look forward to seeing you at the beautiful Langham in Melbourne for Connect 2021.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, time is running out.
Ticket purchases close on Friday 14 May at 5pm.