A Victorian water authority has been acknowledged at the prestigious 2019 International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Awards, which recognise outstanding organisations and projects at the forefront of public participation and community engagement.

The IAP2 Awards singled out Melbourne Water for three projects. Melbourne Water’s Managing Director, Michael Wandmaker, said it was a wonderful achievement.

“The health of Melbourne, its waterways and environment is central to what we do at Melbourne Water. Wherever we can we involve and listen to the community, working in collaboration with them to maintain, improve and protect our beautiful city and its waterways,” Mr Wandmaker said.

The organisation was highly commended in the Disaster and Emergency Services category for its Stony Creek Recovery and Rehabilitation project. Since the devastating 2018 Footscray factory chemical fire, Melbourne Water has worked with the local community to develop a plan to support the long-term rehabilitation of the creek and its surrounds, making sure it aligns with community values, aspirations and expectations.

In the award’s Planning category, Melbourne Water was highly commended for its co-design approach to refreshing its Healthy Waterways Strategy. The strategy provides direction towards a regional vision for the health of rivers, estuaries and wetlands in the Port Phillip and Westernport region with community consultation at the heart of its focus.

Finally, Melbourne Water’s Enhancing Dandenong Creek project received a certificate of achievement for its contribution to the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

“This acknowledgement affirms the commitment we’re making to engagement and the collective efforts of our staff to put the community at the heart of our decision-making processes,” Mr Wandmaker said.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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