20 - 21 May 2021


Program overview

The Connect program will include a keynote presentation from Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer, Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS). WICS is responsible for economic regulation of the water and sewerage industry including price setting, performance monitoring and competition. In April 2008 Scotland became the first country in the world to open up water and sewerage services to competition for all non-household customers, allowing all non-household customers (public sector, non-profit and business organisations) to choose who provides their services. 

Joining the lineup is a host of thought leaders and specialist speakers presenting our industry with the latest and best ideas. Sessions will include a mix of interactive workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. As a bonus, onsite guests will enjoy an exclusive cocktail event (Connect After Dark) to forge new connections Thursday evening. 

With the ability to join online from anywhere in the world and capacity for up to 300 attendees in person (subject to COVID-safe requirements) we anticipate this to be our biggest conference ever. 

Our program streams are based on the four areas of focus for VicWater

Leadership & Innovation | Policy & Environment | Finance & Risk | Diversity & Inclusion

Day 1 - Thursday 20 May 2021

8.30am Check-in opens (in-person attendees)

Plenary and Keynote

9.00am - 10.30am Thursday

Our program will commence at 9am with a welcome and introduction from VicWater CEO Peter Morison, Gabrielle Bell, Naomi Cleary and David Schultz followed by our keynote speaker, Alan Sutherland, streaming live from Scotland.

After a morning tea break we will commence with our first two streaming sessions, Finance & Risk and Diversity & Inclusion.

Finance & Risk

presented by TCV

11.00am - 5.00pm Thursday

Session 1: How can finance fully embrace its enabling role for our organisations?

Session 2: Zero Carbon: What does this mean?

Lunch 12.30pm - 1.30pm

Session 3: TCV Victorian economic update

Session 4: Measuring affordability

Afternoon Tea 3.00pm - 3.30pm 

Session 5: Detecting and responding to cyber security incidents

Session 6: Providing affordable water in a complex governance environment

Diversity & Inclusion

11.00am - 5.00pm Thursday

Session 1: Embracing our First Nations Peoples

Session 2: WaterAble

Lunch 12.30pm - 1.00pm 

Session 3: Enabling Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) inclusion in the Water sector through the lens of workforce, customer and community

Session 4: Insights program: Bridging the gap

Afternoon Tea 3.00pm - 3.30pm 

Session 5 and 6: IDAHOBIT - Creating rainbow change in the water industry presented by Aurecon

Connect After Dark

5.00pm - 7.30pm Thursday

Delegates joining us in person on Day 1 of VicWater Connect this year are invited to enjoy an exclusive After Dark event Thursday evening to forge new connections. Catch up face-to-face with peers, grab a drink and relax as our waiters tempt you with a variety of hot and cold finger food. 

Connect After Dark is exclusive to in-person ticket holders with a Thursday or Full conference (2 day) pass and follows Victorian Covid-safe event requirements. 

Day 2 - Friday 21 May 2021

8.45am Check-in opens (in-person attendees)

Leadership & Innovation

presented by GHD

9.00am - 3.00pm Friday

Session 1: Surprising secrets of scalable innovation in the water sector 

Session 2: A sector perspective from WorkSafe Victoria 

Morning Tea 10.35am - 11.00am 

Session 3 and 4 New ways of working

Lunch 12.30pm - 1.30pm 

Session 5: Heat Stress Management – Myths and Misconceptions 

Session 6: Presilience, resilience and the psychology of risk

Afternoon Tea 3.00pm - 3.30pm

Environment & Policy

9.00am - 3.00pm Friday

Session 1 and 2: An introduction to the Policy Platform / servicing our changing communities

Morning Tea 10.35am - 11.00am

Session 3: Cultural values in waterways

Session 4: Financing catchment based solutions

Lunch 12.30pm - 1.30pm

Session 5: The role of developers in sustainable water management

Session 6: Murray Darling Basin - what have we learnt?

Afternoon Tea 3.00pm - 3.30pm

3.00pm Afternoon tea and closing comments (in-person attendees)

3.30pm Event ends

Connect in-person or Online


Program Partners 2021