Recently at the Stormwater Queensland Awards for Excellence evening, Katie Fletcher announced that she would be stepping aside as the President of Stormwater Queensland, effective 1st November 2022. Mark R. Gibson, the current Vice President, was announced as the new President. In accepting the position, Mark thanked Katie for the hard work and leadership she showed over her term. Katie has left an excellent legacy and helped improve Stormwater Queensland, despite the challenges experienced through the pandemic.
I am humbled to be elected as the new President of Stormwater Queensland. I thank you for having faith in me and I promise to serve you and the industry to the best of my ability and time.
I’m grateful for the work of the outgoing committee members and welcome the new committee members.
The stormwater industry is a broad organisation, with potential membership interested in flooding and drainage issues, stormwater quality and pollutant removal, stormwater harvesting and reuse of stormwater, erosion and sediment control measures, maintaining aquatic ecosystems, including macro and micro flora and fauna, preserving and creating more connectivity and fish passage links and many more. As well as diverse interests, our members are drawn from the 77 local governments across Queensland, state and federal government bodies and organisations, private companies such as consulting, design and construction specialities, planners, local and state academia as well as manufacturers and advocates. To add further diversity, our members have different qualifications including engineers, scientists, geomorphologists, anthropologists, technical officers, planners, policy makers and the list goes on. Our members have differing genders, cultures, beliefs and languages which can enrich our organisation and lead to achievement of significant improvements in the community and state where we live. I want our members to know that they are important and valued and we need them.
I want to see Stormwater Queensland take a leading role in stormwater technology, best practice solutions and mentoring and experience. COVID-19 lockdowns have emphasised the need to gather, connect and be together as humans. We need each other and each person brings valuable insight and experience as we strive to achieve goals in a united way. There is synergy in being united, where the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
My commitment is to strive for unity in Stormwater Queensland, to increase tolerance and sharing, respect and involvement. I would like to see us bring more members together from all areas. I plan to work hard to lead these efforts and strive to increase representatives of gender, different backgrounds and expertise on the committee. I am passionate in creating opportunities for younger members to lead out and will strive to bring them through into leadership roles in Stormwater Queensland.
We need more members outside of south east Queensland. I think an annual ideas forum with representatives from across Queensland would be a powerful way of keeping abreast significant issues. Sometimes we can be too urban focussed or city-centric. It would be good to have input from further afield.
We should look to partner with similar organisations to bring added benefits for our members, for instance in the past we have joined with the Erosion and Sediment Control peak body. We have much in common with Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) and Healthy Land and Water. Sharing resources will assist in providing better learning opportunities for our members.
Stormwater Queensland needs to be a marketplace of shared ideas, a safe place to find mentoring and acceptance and a place known for diversity and shared beliefs.
I’m excited to work with the committee to serve you, 2023 looks to be a very promising and exciting year.
Mark R. Gibson