Yarra Valley Water will have five speakers at this year’s OzWater Conference presenting on a range of diverse topics.

OzWater is Australia’s international water conference and trade exhibition, and is run annually by the Australian Water Association.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said that OzWater is a great opportunity for the organisation to share knowledge and successes, and to collaborate with similar companies to tackle common challenges.

“The water industry is facing the biggest challenge since the millennium drought as climate change places pressure on water security and our populations continue to grow,” Mr McCafferty said.

“We look forward to sharing our achievements as well as learning about new methods of innovation and translating these into improvements for our customers and the local environment.”

Yarra Valley Water is presenting on a range of topics at OzWater 2019, spanning technical, customer and employee initiatives.

Chief among them will be a presentation by Senior Project Manager, Brendan Moore, that investigates the positive impact that staff-driven diversity groups can have on the representation of LGBTIQ staff in an organisation.

Using Yarra Valley Water as a case study, the presentation will explore why developing and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies can have a positive and meaningful impact on workplace culture and productivity.

Mr McCafferty said that developing an inclusive workplace culture is a key driver at Yarra Valley Water.

“Creating a positive work environment is extremely important to us, that is why we put a great deal of emphasis on having a diversity and inclusion strategy that is staff-led and enables employees to feel included and engaged,” he said.

Another presentation by Customer Experience Design Team Manager, Nitzan Cohen, will focus on Yarra Valley Water’s application of human-centred design to better understand customer behaviour surrounding bill payments.

The project also focused on redesigning organisational processes to produce better outcomes for customers and the business.

The presentation will explore how the project sought to positively influence customer behaviour, reduce the organisational impact from escalating debts and collection processes and improve the overall bill payment experience for customers.

Community Inclusion Divisional Manager, Grace Rose-Miller, will discuss Yarra Valley Water’s sustainability journey; Strategic Asset Manager, Astrid Hartono, will present on a human-centred approach to the management of assets; and Recycled Water Planning Engineer, Ryan Leon, will discuss a risk-based approach to prioritising service reservoir inspection and maintenance.

In addition, Leon Holewa from Yarra Valley Water’s asset management team will provide a poster presentation called “better asset management – a breath of fresh air.”

OzWater 2019 will take place in Melbourne from May 7 to 9. For more information, visit 

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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