International Public Works Conference, Melb. 6 – 10 September

Client: Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia
PCO: All Occasions Management
Venue: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

This was a terrific conference! About 800 delegates from all over Australia as well as from various parts of the world gathered under the theme of “Global challenges, local solutions; Delivering for the next generation”

There were some outstanding speakers including Christine Nixon, the former Victorian Police Commissioner now chairing the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction Authority; Dwayne Kalynchuk from Victoria, Canada and my good mate Robyn Moore. Robyn is one of the few genuinely authentic motivational speakers on the circuit today.

Dr. Tony Press (whom I had known 20 years ago when we both worked in Darwin) is CEO of the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystem CRC and in my opinion, put the climate change debate  to bed. His science was awesome and only the most die hard skeptic could argue that it ‘aint happening.

The interesting thing about this conference was the number of presentations from all over the world that looked at the initiatives public works engineers are now putting in place to cope with adverse weather events. As these events  – many due to climate change – increase in number and severity, it will be engineers who help us adapt and cope with the consequences.

Engineers are by nature a very quiet bunch! They are given a problem, find and implement a solution and then move on to the next challenge. I think they should be putting up big flags on these with the words “Engineers sorted this one” on them.

This was a joint conference between IPWEA and IFME or the International Federation of Municipal Engineers. They go their separate ways from here with IPWEA’s next national conference being held in Canberra in 2011 and IFME heading to Helsinki in 2012.

Well done to Chris Champion, Ross Moody, Claude Cullino and everyone else involved in what was a very successful conference.

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