2017 Joint IECA National Conference and Stormwater Queensland Conference
11 - 12 October 2017 • Pullman Brisbane King George Square, Queensland

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Keynote Speakers

Dr David Eldridge

David Eldridge is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with the Office of Environment and Heritage, and holds a position as Professor at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia. He has over 35 years of experience in rangeland monitoring and assessment, soil conservation in developing countries, grazing management, desertification and ecology of desert systems. He has published over 170 papers in international journals and is an editor of the Journal of Arid Environments and Restoration Ecology. Over the past 10 years David’s research has focused on the effects of grazing on ecological processes, shrub encroachment, and the ecology and management of biological soil crusts. Today he will give a brief overview of the use of indicators for assessing soil health.


Emily De La Pena

Emily De La Pena is the founder of Coding Kids, which is developing the next generation of coders, creators, innovators and change makers. We are striving for: All Australian children coding by 2020! We run after-school coding clubs, school holiday code camps and professional development workshops for educators. Children build their own computer games, animation movies and digital solutions. Through fun and play children discover computational thinking, design thinking and entrepreneurship.

Keynote Presentation:

A non-traditional career path, taking the leap from engineering to teaching to entrepreneurship

In less than two years Emily has built a fast growing for-profit education company with coding and entrepreneurship programs for children delivered in over 40 schools, libraries and community centres around Queensland. Coding Kids is striving for all Australian children coding by 2020 by delivering professional development programs to teachers, librarians and educators making the Coding Kids program even more accessible. With a team of over 30 staff, Coding Kids is accelerating growth nation wide.


Amalie Wright

Director, Landscapology

Amalie is an enthusiastic and curious designer, committed to achieving positive change through good design. An award-winning landscape architect, urban designer and architect, she brings a broad perspective to private and public realm projects, working across many project types and scales over the past 20 years.

After winning a travel bursary awarded by mecu and Queensland’s Centre for Subtropical Design, Amalie travelled to Colombia and the United States to study the changing role of city parks. She was subsequently commissioned by CSIRO Publishing to develop her findings into a book, and Future Park: imagining tomorrow's urban parks was released in 2013.

Amalie is the Director of Landscapology, a Brisbane-based design consultancy. In addition to her practice she tutors in landscape and architecture at the Queensland University of Technology, and participates as a registration mentor and interview panellist. She is a past Board member, and current Queensland President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

If this all sounds far too dull, then rest assured that in her spare time Amalie is also dead keen on good food, films and wine, reading, gardening, bashing away at the piano with more energy than skill, and travel.

Keynote Presentation:

300 Snags and A Week in a Tent: Listening and Learning the Way to a Better Creek Naturalisation Project

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." Jane Jacobs

Small Creek, in Ipswich, was once a meandering, chain-of-ponds stream that flowed into Deebing Creek. Early after European colonisation of the area, the waterway was cleared and grazing introduced, instigating a period of ongoing decline. Development crept closer, ultimately leading to the creek being replaced in the early eighties with a straightened concrete drain.

Ipswich City Council is now undertaking a significant project to reinstate Small Creek as a natural waterway, using funding from developer contributions under its water quality offsets scheme.

Project partners Landscapology and Bligh Tanner approached this project with an idea: what if there was a design process that was truly collaborative and maximised the opportunities for community to co-design the future for Small Creek?

The resulting process - Design Your Creek Week - was a hands-on workshop where we immersed ourselves in the site for five days, working with Council and the community, to co-design Small Creek.

It was rapid, robust and efficient. It was transparent, with both Council and the community getting to see, and be involved in all our inner workings and processes. Finally, it was better for our resulting scheme, as the co-design environment gave us access to far more information and enabled more responsive concepts than would have happened if we'd created ideas on our own.

By conference time the first stage of the project will be under construction, so come along and share in everyone's Big Plans for Small Creek.


Andrew King

Engineer, Author & Speaker on our Sustainable Future

Andrew King is a recognised engineer and accomplished author of children's books. He is also a passionate speaker about the role Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths have to play in our sustainable future and the importance of STEM education.

Andrew has worked as an engineer in industry, government and consulting roles for 30 years. His experience includes health, safety and environment management, project and risk management, environmental and chemical engineering specialist roles, postgraduate research and engineering education. Andrew King is an active member of Engineers Australia and the author of the Engibear children's picture books.

Andrew King regularly visits schools to talk to students about Engibear and engineering and has recently completed a Graduate Diploma of Education. He considers himself to be very lucky because Benjamin Johnston, a Sydney based Architect, liked the Engibear concept and agreed to illustrate the first Engibear book Engibear's Dream. Things seemed to work out well and Engibear's Dream - it was awarded the President's Prize at the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards 2012. Since then Andrew and Ben have published Engibear's Bridge and their third book Engibear's Trains.

Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, playing bass guitar, walking and trying to play golf.

Keynote Presentation:

The Engibears Project - Contributing to the E in STEM Education

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) will be a key driver of economic growth and will help us solve global issues such as adapting to and mitigating climate impacts. However, participation rates in STEM subjects at schools are falling and there is recognition that we need to improve student interest in them.

Children are inherently interested in the things engineers do, yet there is an underrepresentation of engineers in children’s books, media and educational material. An opportunity to better introduce young children to engineering exists and Engibears are here to help.

Cath Thrupp

Cathy Thrupp originally hailed from western Queensland, prior to working in water management across Queensland and the Murray-Darling Basin over the last 15 years, and finally settling in her current location of south-east Queensland.  She studied science at UQ and natural resource management at UNE, and later studied leadership and change management at AGSM and the University of Life.

Passionate about Water, Cath has grown-up living beside rivers in western Queensland, living by the ocean in Mackay and Brisbane, and working on (or in) water for her entire career.  Even her holidays seem to take her to the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world!! Cath’s career has spanned from managing the environmental aspects of dam operations in central Queensland, to wetland and fish management in the Murray-Darling Basin, to environmental flow monitoring in north and central Queensland, to urban water management in Brisbane, and finally to leadership and staff engagement across the industry.  Most recently, Cath’s career has focused on thought leadership, innovation and transformational leadership.

Grateful for the incredibly passionate and hard-working professionals that she has had the good fortune to work with and the amazing locations in which she has worked, Cath now strives to make a bigger difference in leadership and water management globally.  She is a strong believer that individuals can make a big difference in the world and more importantly, that as a team of committed people we can change the direction of water management in the world! In her spare time, Cath can be found boating, paddling, walking, or drinking coffee beside some of the amazing waterways in SEQ.

Keynote Presentation:

Leading our Industry into the Future

What is the future of our industry and what does that mean for us?  As John F. Kennedy once said, “Those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future!

We are all aware of the increasing pace of life and the rapid changes in our world.  The question is: what are we doing about this pace of change?  Are we on the receiving end, being impacted by changing needs in our marketplace; or are we leading the change, constantly looking to the future to pre-empt emerging industry and global needs?


Conference Secretariat


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