This week we celebrate National Reconciliation Week, reflecting on the theme ‘Be Brave. Make Change’ and the call for all of us to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation. The new Prime Minister’s upfront commitment on election night to embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a welcome step in this direction.
The Victorian water industry is already actively making change and progress towards reconcilitation, in line with the broad policy direction outlined in Water for Victoria and enhanced through the state government’s commitment to Treaty and the Yoorrook Justice Commission. Recent water allocations to Traditional Owners in southwest Victoria, Gippsland and as part of the Connections Project are highlights, but we know there is more work to do as we build respectful relationships with Traditional Owners and recognise their rights and role in water management.
Understanding Traditional Owner perspectives on sovereignty and water rights is one of the modules included in the new VicWater Director Development Program, which we recently launched in partnership with Monash Sustainable Development Institute and DELWP. We’re excited to introduce this practical and interactive program for non-executive directors on water corporation and CMA boards to deepen their understanding of the water and catchments sector, and explore ways of thinking that support collaborative and future-focused decision making.
We’re also excited this month to be finally running our twice-postponed Annual Conference on 8-9 June. If you’d like to join us, virtual tickets are still available but all in person tickets have now sold out (we are running a waitlist in case of late cancellations). It promises to be a great event and I look forward to seeing many of our members there.
VicWater Interim CEO