A vision for water leadership
Five years ago, four Australian universities and two water organisations had a vision - to combine their strengths to help export Australian water expertise to the world.
To achieve this they created the International WaterCentre (IWC), with Queensland Government support.
“Our vision for creating IWC was twofold,” said Professor Paul Greenfield, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Queensland, IWC Chair and member of the founding team.
“Firstly it was to provide a means by which we could teach the management of water from a holistic viewpoint and in an innovative way. And secondly, it was to provide a means to deliver various aspects of Australian expertise in water management to the parts of the world that might be able to use it.”
IWC celebrated its five year anniversary at Customs House on 4th November. Eighty people attended the event to pay tribute to the achievements that this joint venture has made in creating water leaders for the future and sharing Australia's water expertise with the world.
Among its other achievements, IWC has become a portal for Australian water expertise to the Asia Pacific region for organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, the Asia Pacific Water Forum, and the Ministry of Water Resources China.
“IWC acts as a catalyst and a broker for bringing together ideas and making sure that people don’t lose the thread,” said Mr Chris Davies, National Water Commissioner.
The IWC’s Master of Integrated Water Management has doubled student numbers every year since its inception in 2008. Students have come to Australia from 32 different countries to study this program.
“I don’t know whether it’s unique,” Professor Greenfield said, “but it is certainly very different to bring skills and expertise from four major universities together, and deliver it to Masters students so they have access to some of the best that Australia has to offer.”
IWC is also well recognised in Australia for its education and training, applied research and expert services by AusAID, the Queensland Government, WaterAid, and the Queensland Water Commission.
“It is the collaboration, the energy, the vision and the passion of IWC staff and partners that has allowed us to develop the leadership that I think we need for this industry going into the future,” said Mr Mark Pascoe, CEO of the IWC.