WaterAble is a network of people with disability and their allies in the Australian water industry. On Tuesday, 28 November, the first graduates from WaterAble’s leadership program were recognised for completing the course.
The WaterAble leadership program sought to provide people with disability in the Australian water industry with leadership tools, frameworks, and approaches. Together, the goal is to boost their leadership impact. The program also links people with disabilities who are interested in leadership, encouraging networking and peer support. WaterAble and its leadership program support people with disability in the water industry to grow their careers.
The program’s facilitator is Llewellyn Prain, the founder of WaterAble and the Deputy Chair of Greater Western Water. After completing the Leadership Victoria Williamson Community Leadership Program in 2017, Llewellyn was voted a leader among her peers, becoming the 2017 valedictorian.
“I believe that people with disability make powerful and compelling leaders, capable of providing leadership anywhere, anytime,” said Prain. “I’m passionate about ensuring more people with disability develop their leadership potential in the water industry.”
What does the WaterAble leadership program do?
This program is specifically designed for people with disability in the Australian water industry to help build their leadership potential and support their personal and career growth.
The program explored different leadership frameworks and approaches. It also provided resources for further reading and exploration. The program is a safe place for people to explore who they are, what they want to achieve and how they want to go about it. It included practical elements to put the theory into practice.
The program ran over four months, from August to November 2023. It was made up of four two-hour sessions. The first and last sessions were held at VicWater in the Melbourne CBD. The middle two sessions were held online.
Participants and the ceremony
There were four participants in this inaugural leadership program. Dr K S Tan is a senior water resources engineer at Melbourne Water. He was joined by colleague Jelena Susa, a channel content advisor. The third participant was Sylvia Campbell, a process improvement leader at Greater Western Water. Paris McMullen, Operations and Process Engineer at Greater Western Water, was also a program participant but was unable to attend the graduation ceremony.
The ceremony started with a recorded video message from the Victorian Water Minister, The Hon Harriet Shing MLC. She spoke about the importance of WaterAble working to make the Victorian water industry more inclusive and creating an inviting culture for people with disability to thrive within the water sector.
After congratulating the graduates, Shing talked about the role of education in supporting people with disability.
“Education is the key to unlocking your potential, and it takes courage to grow and become who you really authentically are,” said Shing. “We know your work through this leadership programme will help you and help others to thrive in and across the sector. So my warmest congratulations and thank you for all that you do.”
Each graduate received a certificate acknowledging their completion of the program.
The next edition of the WaterAble leadership program will take place next year.
For more information, visit www.waterable.com.au
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