Award recipients

TasWater has recognised the hard work and effort of two of its highest achievers with its annual Operator of the Year and Young Operator of the Year awards.  

TasWater Organisational Planning and Performance Manager, Yvette Gilbert, said the awards recognise excellent performance, demonstrated initiative and commitment to safety in the workplace. 

“The winners are not only recognised as being high performers within the state, but they will also join other chosen recipients from across the country on Water Industry Operators Australia’s (WIOA) annual delegation to New Zealand,” Ms Gilbert said.  

“This trip is both a study tour of various water and wastewater treatment plants and the opportunity to participate in the Water Industry Operations Group of New Zealand Conference.” 

Alexandra (Alex) Smith has been recognised as Operator of the Year and has been with TasWater for more than three years and is currently employed as a Water Services Operator. She commenced as a Trainee Water Services Operator and has completed her Certificate III in Water Industry Operations qualification. Ms Smith is the first female winner of this award.

Ms Smith was nominated by TasWater’s Area Manager South (Urban Networks), Justin Cordwell. 

Mr Cordwell said Ms Smith had not worked in the industry before and jumped at the opportunity to work outdoors and learn new skills. 

“Over the past 12 months, Alex has really excelled with her confidence, decision making and assisting in day-to-day operations within her network team,” Mr Cordwell said. 

“More recently Alex has stepped into a leading hand role while another employee has been on secondment, and this has shown that she is more than capable to exceed what is expected of her within the business. 

“A recent customer compliment noted the work crew that attended their property and fixed a leak was very professional, that it was good to see the young lady who attended giving instructions, and being confident in her job, he also said the job was well run and safe to the public.”

Ms Smith was born in Sydney, moved to Western Australia at age two, and grew up in the Perth region. She has been living in Tasmania with her partner for four years. 

Cameron Stebbeings, also known as “Hirdy”, has been recognised as Young Operator of the Year, has been with TasWater for one year, and is currently employed as a Water Services Operator in the north. TasWater said Mr Stebbeings is regarded by his colleagues as demonstrating the perfect mix of a vibrant personality and dignified professionalism.

Mr Stebbeings was nominated by TasWater’s Area Manager Greater Launceston, Dean Edsall, who said he is always the first one in the door and the last one to leave.

“Often you’ll find him of an afternoon looking for additional work from his Coordinator, restocking trucks with other Operators or removing the rubbish bin liners from the crib room,” Mr Edsall said. 

“Cameron has been in the industry for almost 12 months and you would never know. He displays every quality you look for in a young operator – including enthusiasm, professionalism & commitment. 

“He naturally carries the ability to lift morale within the team environment and encapsulates the essence of what positive culture is within the workplace.”

Mr Stebbeings was born in Launceston and grew up in the area where he still lives with his partner. 

Before he started working at TasWater, Mr Stebbeings worked in the building industry for 12 years after completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter in residential building before moving into commercial building for seven years.

Featured image: Cameron Stebbeings, TasWater General Manager of Service Delivery David Hughes-Owen, and Alexandra Smith. Image credit: TasWater.

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