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Optimism in the Australian Water Industry

David Middleton, Chair,Greater Western Water

"Optimism, that glass half full, not half empty view of the world is what fuels determination and courage in the face of hard times. The belief that things can and will be better is what drives me to keep pursuing my dreams."

Peter Morison, CEO, Vicwater

"What makes me optimistic?  We have and we will continue to supply world-class water services in droughts, fires, floods, and public health crises."

Dona Tantirimudalige, MD, Westernport Water

"Conscious, deliberate optimism, particularly in the face of what might feel like overwhelming adversity, is crucial to success."

Lucia Cade, Chair, South East Water

"opportunity and optimism create the environment for achievement which builds into a virtuous cycle of success"

Joanne Butterworth-Gray GAICD, Chairperson, Southern Rural Water

"Optimism is the exquisite taste of the first white peach of the season; it is the trust with which your grandson takes your hand; the acceptance of your destiny and your place in a world that is much bigger than you; and mostly, optimism is living and being the person you are meant to be."

Joanne Plummer, Chair, Vicwater

"If not me or you, then who? And if not now or then, when? Good intentions are never enough."

Water Industry's Hour of Optimism 2021

The Optimism of Young Water Leaders 2021

Dr Jeremy Johnson

“Optimism is an essential ingredient of effective leadership.  Its infectiousness inspires commitment to the cause. It makes people feel good about participating in the mission at hand and embracing the challenges..."

Brian Barclay

"I always see a glass of water as half full, not half empty. The reason for that is, I think while there are good people around wanting to do good things, there's always a case for better"

Liza McDonald

"Optimism is liberating and, although looks to the future, generates hope and positivity in the here and now. It creates a sense of belonging, acceptance and the will to push through challenges."

Ann Lansberry

"The power of community makes me optimistic. The way that individuals come together and achieve more as a collective than they could ever do on their own"

Chris Norman

"The need for optimism has never been more important in dealing with the whole set of daily and long-term complex problems. Our resilience journey has been strengthened by an understanding of the critical need for optimism..."

Warren Lloyd, Lower Murray Water

"it is the quest to improve and the optimism of a better year ahead that is the driving force that sustains.”

Briony C Rogers 

"It feels like a tipping point for water in Australia - the industry is not asking why transition, but how, and how can we do it fast? Inspiring leaders with vision and stamina are everywhere!"


Janet Dore 

"optimistic leadership better be founded on facts and supported with tools for the job or the B.S. meter will sound the alarm. No room for complacency either way but it’s exhilarating when it works.”

Mark Bailey, Manager Water Resource at Goulburn-Murray Water

"I feel optimistic because of mankind's continual desire to learn and challenge. It happens throughout our societies. Investigators want to know why, how and if it can be done better. Scientists and engineers are tremendous examples of this thirst"

Nicola Hepenstall, Board Member, South Gippsland water

"What makes me optimistic? I know that I can change people’s lives by doing small acts of kindness. It’s often the little things that matter the most and I can do that each and every day!"

Read "Kindness and Optimism"


Warwick Bishop, Director, Water Technology P/L

"Water poses many challenges, such as our need to manage the resource and adapt to climate change. It is a landscape of constant innovation and improvement in practices, leading us towards a more sustainable community and environment. The breadth and depth of talented and passionate individuals in the water industry reinforce my optimism that we can both envision and realise a better future."

April Jenkins, Board & Governance Executive Officer, South East Water

"Optimistic leadership means first and foremost being able to still our noisy mind. This allows us to respond in a considered way, creating an environment where issues can be discussed in a frank and respectful way where people feel they are adding value and being valued."

Brendan Moore,  Manager Recycled Water Planning and Compliance at Yarra Valley Water and Co-Founder of Pride in Water.

"My optimism is fuelled by the potential, the wonder, and the possibilities that I encounter in people and situations every day. For me, optimism is synonymous with hope and excitement."

“Optimism is the excitement for what tomorrow will bring, it’s the happiness we get from the relationships we build and it is the light that guides us through our darkest times.”

More: The Water Industry's Young Leaders in an Hour of Optimism

Christopher Lee Strategic Policy Facilitator, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

    "Optimism is essential as we must have faith that we will prevail in the end, and as uncertain as life is, there will always be moments when opportunities pass by your door.

    "However, as with the Stockdale Paradox, we must also confront whatever brutal reality may face us.

    "Surely, as COVID-19 will eventually pass, we must remain optimistic.

    "And really, would spring be so sweet if there was no winter?

    Let's be optimists and make the most of what life throws at us and enjoy the simple things and successes as they come!"

    Amanda Hazell, President of the Victorian Branch Committee of the Australian Water Association and Melbourne Water's Portfolio Reporting and Analytics Manager.

    "What makes me optimistic? Knowing that there are people who get up every morning and think, 'Today, I have a chance to positively impact my friends, family, community, the world', and they do. And they do it on repeat, every day, no matter how big or small that positive impact is."

    Donald Hughan, Chair of WaterAble and Business Support Officer at Goulburn-Murray Water

    "Optimism gives me great excitement and pride within my daily life. Life presents us all with opportunities and choices each and every day, and knowing that through those opportunities and choices I make, can have an everlasting impact on those people I engage with daily and in society generally."


    Georgina Catto-Smith, Water Engineer with Jacobs and the Australian Water Association's Victorian Young Water Professionals Chair 2021/22

    "Optimism for me is not letting the things we're missing get in the way of the opportunities we have."

    More in The Water Industry's Young Leaders in an Hour of Optimism

    Shekar VaradaHead Of Technology, Customer and Retail at Yarra Valley Water!

    "What makes me optimistic? Going to bed each night with satisfaction and with an action plan for the next day for another small incremental self-improvement."

    Linda Kelly, Regulatory and Policy Lead at TasWater.  Linda is a member of The Centre for Optimism community and also our LinkedIn Australian Leadership and Optimism Group

    "What makes me optimistic? I have always been a dam half full kinda gal, but not too pollyanna-ish. It's the core belief that staying in the positive frame of mind that things will eventually improve, rather than a negative loop."


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