Cameron Munro (Australia)
Federal Department of the Environment, Australia
Master of Integrated Water Management
With a background in environmental science and forestry, Cameron worked in a number of environmental science and policy roles in governmental, non-governmental and international organisations across Europe.
Upon his return to Australia in 2009 Cameron took up a position with the Australian Government, working in a policy role providing advice to the Government on matters related to the national water reform agenda, and water resource issues in the country. Most recently, he has sought to apply the skills and experience he gained in water management and policy in Australia to an international development context in China working for an international organisation in this field.
I am currently back working for the Australian Government in the Department of the Environment where I work in a water policy role. This role includes providing national oversight on water resource planning in the states and territories, providing policy advice on water resource development proposals, and implementing initiatives under the next stage of the Council of Australian Government’s water reform agenda.
Why did you choose this professional path?
I started my career in integrated water management by chance rather than by design. While my background in environmental science and forestry exposed me to many of the issues influencing sustainable water management, it was only when I commenced working for the Australian Government that I really decided that this was the field in which I wanted to work.
The commencement of my involvement with water management coincided with the peak of the millennium drought in south-eastern Australia, a period of time that was typified by an unprecedented level of social and political interest in water management issues. During this time, I gained an invaluable appreciation of the complexities of balancing multiple stakeholder interests in the management of water resources, and the challenges in navigating the multifaceted political, social, economic and environmental pressures that influence policy development in this field.
While working in a water policy and management role in China, I gained an insight into the significant challenges facing the management of water resources in this country, and the vital role that sustainable water management has in helping to meet international development goals. I saw first-hand the impacts which poor environmental management has on water resources, and the detrimental results this produced on ecosystems and human communities. This experience enhanced my desire to pursue a professional career in water management and to gain the skills I need to make a difference in this field.
What attracted you the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management?
I believe that an ever-growing human population is leading to increasing competition for dwindling natural resources that will become increasingly vulnerable under a changing climate. The more I learn about water management issues, the more I have become aware of the fact that water security, energy security and food security are inextricably linked and that actions in one area, more often than not have impacts on one or both of the others.
In order to effectively manage water resources, there is a need to take a holistic and integrated approach that gives sufficient consideration of the environmental, political, social, cultural and economic impacts of decisions. I was attracted to the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management because of the transdisciplinary approach taken in the coursework, as well as the opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field. I am also excited about working with people from across the world who have an interest in sustainable water management.
How do you hope the program will help your career?
I am interested in taking the next step in my career in water management and I believe that the MIWM will enhance my knowledge base, develop my skill set and assist in building professional connections that will enable me to become a future leader in the water management field.
How do you hope to contribute to the development of Australia's water management needs in the future?
While I believe I have gained valuable insight and practical experience in water management from my career to date, I am interested in further enhancing my knowledge base through academic studies that are tailored for a career in water management. I look not only to apply these skills in Australia, but hopefully in an international development context in the future.