Meet IWN’s new Assistant Program Director

Elisa Bourke has joined the team at Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) as Assistant Program Director. She brings a wealth of experience in leadership and knowledge management, and she is passionate about equality and accessibility. Here’s a quick Q&A to help you get to know her.

Let's start with the personal. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Elisa (pronounced "Lisa” with an "E” in front). I was born in Princess Hill, I grew up in East Keilor and moved a few times as a young adult, but I have lived on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People my whole life. For the past 18 years, I have lived in Sunbury – the gateway to the Macedon Ranges, the home of the Ashes (for any cricket fans) and the location of Victoria’s oldest homestead (for the history buffs). Here, we have raised our three wonderfully beautiful children, who are certainly my biggest personal achievement.

Outside work, I love cooking, entertaining (pre lockdown), walking and tending to my ever-growing menagerie of animals and indoor plants. Current tally: three cats, two dogs, four fish and somewhere in the vicinity of 100+ plants! Is green, is good.

What's your professional background?

I have worked in the water industry for almost 13 years, starting at Western Water back in 2009 and then at Melbourne Water for the past eight years where, most recently, I have been Systems Integration Manager. Prior to the water industry, I worked in FMCG (food and beverage) industries building extensive management experience, specialising in governance, policy, risk, compliance, business re-engineering, project management and management systems certification (Quality, HACCP, Safety, Environment).

In addition to my professional roles, I have been actively involved in diversity and inclusion working groups, including being the Co-chair of Melbourne Water’s LGBTIQ+ and allies working inclusion group (Refract) and a member of the Pride in Water Network. I am extremely passionate about human rights, and equality and accessibility for everyone. I bring this to all that I do, in my home and work life.

What attracted you to the IWN role?

I love the idea of working in a collaborative environment.  As Steve Jobs said: “That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.”

IWN promotes, supports and drives a collaborative network of forward thinking and consultative people and practices, which aligns with my values and work preferences. My passion for positive stakeholder engagement and customer focus – together with an opportunity to learn more about the water industry, the innovative technologies and improvement processes that can be harnessed to collectively improve our business of water – is what attracted me to this role.

What do you want to achieve with IWN?

For the industry: I want to provide the best customer-focused support and effective delivery of successful programs, supplying wholesale improvements across the entire water industry. I wonder if there’s a vision to expand beyond Victoria?

For me personally: I want to learn as much as I can from everyone in the IWN family – the member water corporations, DEWLP and VicWater - to become a valued part of the collective team.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Usually the cats! Yep, feeding time in the Bourke household is a busy one. Seriously though, what gets me out of bed is hoping to make the world a better place than it was yesterday. I love helping people, striving for equality and inclusion, supporting and listening, simplifying processes, and improving work practices to deliver an exceptional customer experience.