11-13 September 2019

Melbourne Convention Centre, Level 1

Mark Pesce


Mark Pesce is a futurist, inventor, writer, entrepreneur, educator and podcaster. 

In 1994 Pesce co-invented VRML, a 3D interface to the Web. 

Pesce was a judge on the ABC’s hit series The New Inventors, celebrating Australia’s newest inventions, and writes an award-winning column for the global tech publication The Register. 

Pesce brings his skills as a futurist to diverse sectors of the economy, including financial institutions ranging from Westpac, World Bank, HSBC and SWIFT, and regularly facilitates and mentors hackathons on topics as diverse as fintech, blockchain, virtual reality, and education. 

Pesce hosts two podcasts: This Week in Startups Australia – exploring tech startups; and The Next Billion Seconds – winner of the Best Technical and Scientific Podcast of 2018 – connecting the work of today’s brightest thinkers with the world of tomorrow. 

Pesce has written six books, including The Playful World, which used toys such as Furby and LEGO Mindstorms to illuminate the interactive world of the 21st century. 

Pesce founded graduate programs at both the University of Southern California and the Australian Film, Radio and Television School, holding appointments as Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, and Honorary Adjunct at UTS.

Mr Mark Pesce appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.

Mark McManus


General President, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

In August 2016, Mark McManus was unanimously elected General President of the United Association (UA) at the UA’s 39th General Convention and on November 10, 2016, he assumed his new position. General President McManus represents over 350,000 union Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, Welders and HVAC Service Technicians across the United States and Canada. These members are engaged in the construction, service and maintenance of projects of every size and scope in North America.

Mark began his career with the UA in 1983 when he was initiated into Plumbers Local 24 in Newark, New Jersey. Early in his career, Mark served as Chairman of the Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers for the State of New Jersey, a position he held for 10 years. After working as a journeyman plumber, Mark was called to lead his local union and served at the highest level for over a decade before being tapped for higher office within the UA. Over the following years, Mark was elected to successively more responsible positions at the international level, culminating in his leadership as General President.

As General President Mark McManus is responsible for supervising the day-to-day affairs of the United Association and for decisions concerning internal union governance, as well as rendering decisions and adjusting disputes and other matters affecting the organization. Within the UA, he is the Chairman of the General Executive Board, the Strategic Planning Committee and is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees on multiple UA Pension Funds. Mark McManus supervises the development and implementation of all major policies and programs of the United Association including the industry leading UA Veterans in Piping®(VIP) Program. He is also the public face and voice of the UA on political and industry matters.

Mark and the UA are extremely active in all aspects of the political world—national, state and local—in a bipartisan manner. He has also challenged his fellow officers to work towards the betterment of UA members and the general public through various initiatives, from fire safety to green energy to water quality.

Mark McManus has had a distinguished career in support of our nation’s hard-working men and women and is unwavering in his commitment to a strong and mutually beneficial partnership between labor and management.


Vanessa Robinson


Vanessa Robinson is the Executive Director and Secretary of the Chase and Tyler Foundation

Vanessa Robinson established the Chase and Tyler Foundation in 2011 after her sons, Chase

8 and Tyler 6, died from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in 2010. An unserviced

gas heater spilled deadly carbon monoxide into their Victorian rental home, killing Chase and

Tyler and hospitalising Vanessa with acute carbon monoxide poisoning for near two months,

where she now suffers permeant disabilities.

The accident highlighted a lack of knowledge about gas and fuel-burning appliance safety and

carbon monoxide poisoning by not only the Australian community but also within government,

energy and related industries.

Vanessa founded the Chase and Tyler Foundation in 2011, which is dedicated to the

preventing death, injury and illness from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning through

awareness, education, support services, advocacy and research.

Her responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the Chase and Tyler Foundation,

as well as governance decisions relating to the organisation.

Since the initiation of the foundation, Vanessa has lobbied the government for safer gas

reforms and has also appeared in numerous consumer and professional training videos

relating to gas and fuel-burning appliance safety and media training for journalists. She also

spearheaded Australia’s carbon monoxide awareness week, which is a national event held

each May.

She is consistently sought after by media for commentary on issues pertaining to carbon

monoxide poisoning incidents across Australia and has been the subject in many print media,

talkback radio and television interviews.

Vanessa is extremely passionate about the plumbing and gas industry, specifically in helping

to promote compliance, safety, education and continuing professional development, which

ensures a safer Australian community.

Rob Gell


Rob is a coastal geomorphologist by training; Rob taught Environmental Science and Physical Geography at Melbourne State College and Melbourne University, then for thirty-one years presented television weather.

Rob has extensive experience in environmental communications and marketing, business strategy and sustainable development project design responding to the need for business to be informed about new issues and actively develop new development plans and programs to ensure an understanding of changing markets, the emerging green economy and the need for a positive and accountable contribution on behalf of shareholders and stakeholders alike and sustainability strategy development. Rob is a Director of ReThink Sustainability Pty Ltd and water tank supply company GreenCo Water Pty Ltd. He is also a published author and a photographer.

Rob is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Inaugural Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the council of the Royal Society of Victoria. He was a member of the Victorian Coastal Council for seventeen years and was Environment Ambassador to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Rob has been a local government councillor and was a councillor of the Australian Conservation Foundation through the 1990s. He was a director of Greening Australia for thirteen years, seven years as Victorian President and three years as national President concluding in 2011 and Chairman of the Mornington Peninsula and Westernport Biosphere (UNESCO) Reserve Foundation Ltd for ten years until 2014 and President of Wildlife Victoria.

He is also the Patron of the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria, Wildlife Victoria, and Life Education Victoria. He is a Life Ambassador for Australia Day.

On Australia Day 2014 Rob was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to conservation, to the protection of coastal and marine environments, and to the community.

Emelia Addo


Emelia is a Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Standards Australia responsible for the Oil and Gas and Water and Waste services sectors. Her role is designed to bring industry, government and academia together to identify opportunities for standardisation in Australia and globally.


As the hydrogen lead, it is Emelia’s role to ensure that Australia is participating in the development and adoption of standards to support this emerging industry. Within the plumbing sector, Emelia works closely with the Australian Building Codes Board, regulators and industry in the development of product standards and changes to the AS/NZS 3500 series Plumbing Code. She is also Standards Australia member on the Plumbing Codes Committee (PCC).


Emelia has extensive experience in facilitation, customer experience, continuous improvement and stakeholder engagement. She has a passion for building strong relationships and working collaboratively to achieve outcomes.

Dr Steve Cummings


Dr Steve Cummings is the Director Innovation at GWA Bathrooms and Kitchens. Since 1980 he has been involved with the research and development of innovative sustainable bathroom and kitchen products, with a long-standing commitment to water conservation and related advanced drainage research internationally. Following his development of the Viceroy Cistern, the first vitreous china two button dual flush cistern he was responsible for technologies that progressively reduced flush volumes leading the 4.5/3L Smartflush technology released in 2004. The 4.5/3L system is the current industry standard flush volume flush volume used across Australia, that is saving the nation of around 300GLs of water annually.

More recently he was responsible for Caroma Smart Command that is a unique Eco-System of IoT bathroom products that are monitored and controlled at varying levels via data connectivity to Caroma’s cloud-based services. This advanced capacity provides significant opportunities for reductions in commercial building water usage.

Steve was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2012 and is a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia. He is a member of the Australian Plumbing Code Committee, American Society of Mechanical Engineers ­- ASME A112 CSA technical committees and is chair of number of AS/NZS standard committees including WS/3 – Sanitary plumbing fixtures, WS/ 32 AS/NZS 6400 – Water efficient products – Rating and labelling. He is also chair of the Water efficiency labeling and standards advisory group – WELSAG and is the chair of ISO/PC 316 Water Efficient Products.

In 2001, he successfully completed a Doctor of Environmental Design in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Canberra, Australia. Steve is an expert in his field in the development of water efficient bathroom products and effective drainage systems and has by invitation advised overseas governments on water efficiency. He has produced several scientific refereed journal and conference papers in his field some of which have been presented and published internationally.

He is committed to producing innovative, creative solutions that will save water and improve the lives of all Australians, particularly those with disabilities. Steve collaborates in Australia and internationally with universities, industry experts, governments and standards representatives.

Paul Daley


Paul Daley ‘Captain Backflow’, UK

Paul Daley has over 20 years’ experience within the plumbing & gas industry.  He is a Registered Gas Installer, a registered Water Industry Approved Plumber, a registered WRAS Accredited Backflow Tester and a qualified Independent Water Regulations Inspector.

In 2002 Paul set up his own business which has continued to grow, with clients ranging from government organisations to healthcare, the food industry and petrochemical works. On a weekly basis Paul, can be found inspecting, testing and installing backflow devices as well as providing general plumbing service to his clients. 

In 2017 Paul created a plumbing superhero named “Captain Backflow”. Captain Backflow’s aim is to highlight good and bad working practices within the plumbing industry. Paul has used this character to positively engage with other plumbers and apprentices. Together they have raised standards and promoted water safety and competent working practices, particularly in relation to Backflow Prevention. 

When Paul isn`t Plumbing, you`ll find him on a Rugby field providing “Team Management & 1st Aid” for a local Under 13`s Rugby Team. Paul can be reached at or on Twitter @daleyplumbing

Pete DeMarco


Pete DeMarco is the Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Research for the IAPMO Group.  His responsibilities include oversight of IAPMO’s government relations department, water efficiency and green building initiatives, standards development activities, domestic and international plumbing programs, industry outreach programs and development of research projects relating to water efficiency.

Pete is the founder of the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC), an organization dedicated to conducting research pertaining to plumbing systems in consideration of the emerging trends towards lower water consuming plumbing fixtures and appliances.  He has acted as lead facilitator for the American National Standards Institute’s Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative.

Notably, Pete also co-chaired the Steering Committee for Water Efficient Products which helped to foster the development of the US EPA WaterSense®program.  He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and previously served on the Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee for the Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).


Allan Dumalay


Allan Dumalay is a civil engineer, a master plumber, and a “water and sanitation” enthusiast.  He is a Rotarian proudly bearing the classification “Master Plumber”.  As a WPC Individual member, he contributed an article on the July 2018 World Plumbing Council Newsletter Review entitled: “PHILIPPINES: Boracay, a Paradise or a Cesspool?”.

Allan is currently a Board of Director of the National Master Plumbers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (NAMPAP, Inc.). Founded in 1935, the organization’s forefathers have initiated the formulation of the National Plumbing Code of the Philippines and assisted in the passage of the law creating the “National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA)”.

With a compelling courage and outlook of continuing the forefathers’ works for development of the profession, organization, and the country, have supported viable resolutions with the aim and view of furthering the purposes of the organization. One great achievement of the NAMPAP, Inc. was being a Full Member of the World Plumbing Council that gives the organization multiple views of the importance of plumbing in the whole world, thus empowering plumbing professionals to progress.

Allan is full member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and e-member of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), He was able to share contemporary plumbing knowledge to NAMPAP, Inc. members acquiring Continuing Professional Development – requirements for professional license renewal through seminars and conferences as a technical speaker.

As a Rotary International – Local Club active Rotarian and member of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) and Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG), he intends to coordinate with plumbing professional associations and trade schools, emphasizing the required education, training, and skills of youths in preparing them for a plumbing career that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared as the most important front-line health workers around the globe. 

Being a retainer – technical consultant of various construction and developer companies, he contributed in plumbing systems planning and design of hotels and resorts projects, recently the Water Worlds (amusement facilities). He believes that good plumbing systems design, materials specification, installation and testing procedures, maintenance and fault or failure mitigation should and must adhere to the World Plumbing Council: Frameworks of Plumbing Industry Categories – Participation – Practices – Products – Protection: that is within the very boundaries of good plumbing for sustainable development to be attainable.

James Ellery


James Ellery is a Senior Engineer at Frazer-Nash Consultancy having over 10 years’ experience in research and development. Frazer-Nash is an engineering consultancy that undertakes a broad range of projects in energy, infrastructure, transportation and defence.


The UK government is actively looking at methods of decarbonising heat and commissioned Frazer-Nash to investigate the engineering challenges of developing domestic gas appliances (boilers, hobs, ovens and fires) that can operate on 100% hydrogen.  The study has looked at how domestic natural gas appliances operate and has considered the key components that would need to be re-designed for hydrogen, contrasting the changes required for safety, performance and aesthetic purposes.


Alexey Evtikhin  


Alexey Evtiukhin is a teacher of professional education in Moscow, Russia. He works as an Expert in Plumbing and Heating for WorldSkills Russia, as well as coordinating their overall Building and Construction skills sector. In this role, Alexey helps organize, develop and prepare Russian competitors for international skills competitions: not only in Plumbing, but in other building trades including Carpentry, Painting and Decorating, and Bricklaying.


In 2017 Alexey was a founding member of the HVAC Expert group, an association that currently connects over 120 professional Plumbers and 12 Plumbing Manufacturers across 21 regions of Russia. The group have also launched ‘Plumbing Star’ and ‘Heating Star’: two showcase events aimed at promoting careers in the skilled trades to young people at major regional trade shows including Batimat and Aqua-Therm.


This year, Alexey and his HVAC Expert colleagues have helped pioneer a new social, sustainability initiative through the Plumbing and Heating competition at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. Working in collaboration with IAPMO (WorldSkills Global Partner) and the Ministry of Building, Architecture and Housing Municipal Services of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Competitors and Experts – from over 30 different countries – involved in the WorldSkills Plumbing and Heating competition will assemble and transfer three new toilet rooms to a children’s home in Kazan: a project that will be a ‘world-first’ on the WorldSkills stage.


Robert Funston


Robert Funston started his career in horticulture, before moving into plumbing, running his own medium sized plumbing business for fifteen years, focusing on new homes and renovations, maintenance on larger commercial buildings and hot water service repairs. Robert then transitioned into maintenance of larger buildings and facilities management.

Robert Funston has been employed by Chisholm for the past 13 years as a Plumbing teacher, teaching Cert III and Cert IV plumbing, and for the last five years has been employed as Senior Educator in Plumbing. Robert has maintained strong industry links with local water Authorities particularly South East water and assisted in writing training resources and providing plumbing training to practicing plumbers in trade waste and drainage.

In recent years Robert studied as a Fellow of International Specialised Skills Institute studying Decentralised water and sanitary in urban areas poorer countries at UNESCO IHE, Institute or Water. in Delpht, Netherlands. Robert completed a report for this fellowship.’ Improving Plumbing training in Australia considering the Implication on Public Health.

Dr Carol Grossman


Carol Grossman is Acting Assistant Secretary of the National Water Policy Branch in the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and has held this role since late 2018. Prior to that she was Director of Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) program for 2 ½ years.

Under her guidance the WELS program has adopted a much stronger compliance stance and established systems to use its legislated powers consistently and transparently. They have improved communication tools for industry and strengthened relationships with industry groups, state and territory building and plumbing regulators, and the Australian Building Codes Board office. They have also led work towards an ISO international standard for water efficiency labelling, with 13 countries now participating in developing the ISO standard.

Before managing WELS, Dr Grossman worked in a number of Australian government departments on matters relating to water resources, land management and climate change. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and worked as a researcher at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and a lecturer at the Canberra Institute of Technology before joining the Australian Public Service in 2007.

David Harper 


David Harper is one of the leading experts in the field of Legionella, waterborne contamination prevention and emergency response. David provides the engineering expertise to a medical team which investigates via epidemiology methods. When the problem is identified, it is David’s job to “Engineer the problem out”.

David was part of the investigating teams of the PHE and the H.S.E. in the U.K. at the B.B.C., Stafford Hospital, Glasgow, London, Scotland, North and Southern Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Australia, on board ships, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, Cruise Liners, Submarines, gas and oil platforms, and has carried out investigations in many other countries throughout the world.

He is a qualified electrician and qualified in healthcare engineering and estate management, a fellow of the Water Management Society, a member of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and an honorary fellow of the Society of Public Health Engineers.

David has published many articles on Legionella and other waterborne disease. He is registered as an Expert Witness, has been awarded the IHEEM lifetime achievement award for work with waterborne diseases and a medal from the Portuguese government for service in the holiday industry concerning Legionella prevention.

David is known as the leading authority on Legionnaires’ disease, not only in the U.K. but also abroad and is called upon to help with investigations in various parts of the world. David has also been made a Freeman of the City of London and a Livery Man of The City London by The Worshipful Company of Plumbers.

Richard Hutchinson 


Richard likes to break and blow things up to engage Plumbing apprentices. He is a plumbing teacher at Chisholm institute of TAFE who believes better plumbing education plays a vital role in supplying sustainable water and sanitation on a global scale. This is through the use of evidence based education methods which concentrate on the “Science of Plumbing”. 

Given plumbers are the installers and maintainers of plumbing systems, Richard believes equipping apprentices with a solid understanding of the principles underlying plumbing systems is incredibly important.  In our rapidly evolving industry, a solid understanding of the physics behind plumbing systems allows plumbers to understand future technologies.  This enables plumbers to apply their knowledge to thrive in a modern workplace.

Richard has completed a Bachelor of Business at RMIT; ran a small plumbing business for 12 years, has been a TAFE teacher for 9 years, completed an International Specialist Skills Institute (ISSI) fellowship in 2016. This included studying at UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education Netherlands and publishing an industry paper ‘Closing the loop’: sustainable water supply and sanitation. The role of plumbing education in reaching this goal.

Prof. Lynne Jack 


Professor Lynne Jack is Director of Research at Heriot-Watt University’s Malaysia campus. Before moving to Malaysia in 2017, Lynne worked for 24 years at Heriot Watt’s Edinburgh campus, and was a key member of staff supporting the delivery of Building Services Engineering and Architectural Engineering programmes. Her research focuses on modelling the flow characteristics in vertical drainage stacks and in building roof drainage systems; as well as on predicting simultaneous design flow for water distribution networks in buildings. In 2015, Lynne was nominated to the role of Chair of the Scientific Committee of the CIB W62 Working Group; an international research organisation addressing Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings.


Lynne is also President of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers; and the Institution’s first female President. As part of her contribution to the Institution, she served on the CIBSE Scotland committee, was Chair of CIBSE’s Accreditation Panel from 2014 to 2017 and is currently vice-Chair of CIBSE’s Education, Training and Membership Committee. She is co-founder of both the Scottish region of SoPHE (Society of Public Health Engineers) and the CIBSE Inclusivity Panel.

Hans-Peter Kaufmann


Retired suissetec CEO Hans-Peter Kaufmann was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in 1954. After completing his Swiss schooling and training as a teacher, he spent much of the 1980s developing Canton Schaffhausen’s tourism organization. He then moved to Swissair, Switzerland’s national airline, where he served as Vice President International Affairs Europe & North Africa. After two further posts in the aviation sector – as a Member of the Executive Management of EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and as Chief Operating Officer of the KLM-Alps airline – he joined the Group Executive Management of Winterthur Insurance (now AXA). He was appointed CEO of suissetec, the 3500 member strong umbrella association of technical building contractors in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, in 2006. After his retirement in June this year, he has taken up several consulting positions in the fields of trade, industry and travel. In his leisure time Kaufmann travels extensively.

Dr Markus Lenger


Dr. Markus Lenger is CEO and Co-founder of CleanBlu Corporation, which is dedicated to inspiring an environmental revolution in wastewater management.

Markus holds a Doctorate in High Energy Physics and during his 30-year career in wastewater has developed, patented and marketed the CleanBlu FOG-DS, an at-source, in-situ FOG Disposal System.

More recently, Markus has designed and developed water reuse control and building management systems, integrating IoT software and custom PC boards, all while establishing a full in-house production and manufacturing facility in Orange County, CA.

Ryan Milne


Ryan Milne is the founder and a Principal Consultant of Ecosafe International which is a specialist consultancy focusing on the interface between water and health. Ryan has a Master’s degree in science and extensive local, as well as international, experience within the Water Risk Management sector spanning heath & aged care, mining, oil and gas, remote sites, government and commercial facilities. Ryan has a particular focus on the holistic, practical and effective management of on-site potable, recycled, waste and process water systems. Ryan is an accredited Lead Drinking Water Auditor.  Ryan has a passion for innovation and working smarter to achieve better water risk management outcomes.

Cara Reil


Cara Reil

Group General Manager, People and Performance


Cara joined GWA Group Limited in 2017 as the Group General Manager, People and Performance. In her role she leads the HR function across the group with a focus on building capability and culture.


Cara has 20 years of broad-based and specialist HR experience across various industries. She spent a large part of her HR career working outside of US, especially in Asia where she has lived in both Singapore and Australia.


Cara started her career with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in the US and spent eleven years managing regional and global HR functions in various businesses in the UTC Group. She then moved to RBS as the Regional Head of Organizational Effectiveness for Asia, was the Director of Talent and Leadership at AMP in Australia as well as the Vice President for Talent and Management Development for the Singtel Group based in Singapore.   Prior to joining GWA, Cara was the Group Director, Human Resources for SAI Global based in Sydney.

Justine Ross



 Justine Ross was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the agency in August 2018 for a period of five years. Prior to this, Ms Ross was Acting Group Manager of the WHS Policy Group in the Department of Jobs and Small Business, responsible for policy development and advice on Commonwealth WHS and workers’ compensation, maritime workers’ compensation and WHS matters, asbestos matters and workplace relations issues concerning the building industry (including on the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Building Code).  Ms Ross has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University and has completed a Master in OHS at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation at Turin University.  Ms Ross is admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in the ACT.  The position of Chief Executive Officer is a statutory appointment and is made following a merit based selection process.


Martin Sawyers



Martin Sawyers has been Chief Executive of the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, the independent regulator for those trades in New Zealand, since September 2015. Martin is a lawyer and spent 18 years in private practice before moving to the public sector in 2009. He has held extensive governance roles in both the public and private sectors. In recent years Martin has mainly worked in the area of regulation and is a strong advocate for a pragmatic and solutions focused approach to that discipline.

During his time with the Board Martin has led the introduction of mandatory Continuing Professional Development and a number of competency initiatives, including electronic examinations and oral competency assessments for those with literacy difficulties. He has also led a project targeting restricted work being performed by those unqualified to carry that work out. This has involved the use of mobile phone apps, targeted enforcement and a highly successful public awareness campaign that incorporates a diverse cultural audience.  

Prof. Armando Silva Afonso


Armando Silva Afonso holds a PhD in Civil Engineering (Hydraulic, Hydric Resources & Environment) from the Oporto University (Portugal) and he is a retired Full Professor at the University of Aveiro (Portugal), Department of Civil Engineering.

His specializations are building hydraulics and water efficiency in buildings, and he is founder and current President of the Board of ANQIP – Portuguese Association for Quality in Building Installations. He is also Founding Member of APRH – Portuguese Association of Water Resources and former regional President of this association.

He is Counsellor Member of the Portuguese Engineers’ Association (OEP), since 2008, Expert in Sanitary Engineering by the same Association, since 2002, and also President of the Board of Directors of the Centre Region of the OEP, since May 2016,

Expert of the European Commission (Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies) under the Working Group “Resource Efficient Buildings – study to Develop a common EU Framework of building environmental performance indicators”, since 2016, and also Expert of the European Commission (Directorate-General Environment), in the field of Water Efficiency in Buildings (2011). He was also invited Expert to the preparation of the “Blueprint for Safeguarding Europe’s Water” (European Commission) (2011/2012).

He is member of the IWA – International Water Association (Specialist Groups in Nutrient Removal and Recovery, Water Reuse, Rainwater Harvesting and Management and Efficient Urban Water Management), since 2014, member of Working Group W062 – Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings, from CIB – International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, since 2008, and member of Scientific Commissions of several International Symposium’s and Congress’s worldwide.

As Consulting Engineer, he as professional experience in several countries, like Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau; Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.

Invited Member of the Portuguese Safety Association, for the transposition of European standards for Portugal in the area of Fire Safety, with intervention in Subcommittees of fire-fighting equipment and manuals, fixed water-extinguishing systems, safety signs and fire safety terminology in buildings, since 2015.

He coordinates the Review Committee of the Portuguese General Regulation on water supply and drainage in buildings, since 2013. He is also invited member of the National Civil Protection Authority for the revision of the Portuguese Technical Notes and Regulations for dry and wet networks in buildings and automatic systems for fire-fighting by water in buildings.

Vikram Singh



Vikram Singh, Lead Advisor Low Carbon Transformation, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG)(AUS)Vikram is leading the decarbonisation strategy at the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) and delivering the largest power to gas project in Australia, where renewable hydrogen will be blended with natural gas and injected into the South Australian gas distribution network.Prior to AGIG, Vikram was a partner at Deloitte Australia and specialised in the energy and utilities sector advising leading energy companies and government agencies on M&A transactions, electricity and gas wholesale and retail markets, network reform, privatisation, renewables and decarbonisation. Prior to Deloitte, Vikram held senior management positions at Singapore Power and Powercor Australia.

Yvonne Singer


Yvonne is the Burn Program Coordinator at the Victorian Adult Burn Service in Melbourne, Australia. She has worked in burn care for over 20 years, also holding various positions with national and international organisations including the International Society of Burn Injuries (ISBI) and the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association (ANZBA).


Her interests include burn care and prevention, registry science, quality improvement, implementation science, patient safety and human factors. Yvonne is a 2007 Churchill Fellow, a 2003 Victorian Trauma Foundation Fellow and is currently completing a Masters of Public Health.


Yvonne holds an affiliate position with Monash University related to the Burn Registry of Australia & New Zealand (BRANZ), sits on the BRANZ Steering Committee and Chairs the HCF BRANZ Research Project team.


She can turn taps on, but has no idea about anything related to plumbing.

Lea Smith


Lea is a strategic thinker and leader in the South African Plumbing sector.  While very much a big picture thinker, he is pragmatic when it comes to the implementation of strategies in the industry.  He has worked with many industry stakeholders from national and international government agencies, colleagues, parastatals, local authorities to the all-important plumber on the ground, in making a difference to the South African plumbing sector.  While his formal education includes a degree in Construction Management and Plumbing qualification, his real-life learning and experience has come from his various business activities and undertakings (failures and successes). 

Instead of shouting from the side lines, Lea has given back to the industry by serving the Institute of Plumbing of South African (IOPSA) for the past 25 years as a volunteer.  The real start of the journey has been over the past 5 years, where Lea has assisted in  guiding the IOPSA team and the South African Plumbing sector onto a path that is bringing back the status of the Plumber to the South African community. 

Lea was instrumental in the establishment and formation of the official South African Professional Body for Plumbers.  With its objectives including the registration of the South African plumbing community, auditing and compliance of a plumbers work, to continuous professional development of plumbers, the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB), who work closely with IOPSA, strive to develop a proud and professional plumbing industry within South Africa.  Lea is currently Chairman of the PIRB and is instrumental in guiding a great national team on a day to day basis.       

While very humble in his approach, Lea is adamant that it is not the title that makes a person, but the person that makes a title. He has not only served as the President of the Master Builders Association on more than one occasion, but holds positions on various boards relating to the Built environment.  He is currently advising and guiding other trade organisations that wish to follow the successful model of the PIRB. 

When not giving back, Lea enjoys spending time with his family.  Married to Robyn for over 23 years, they have three children aged 18, 20 and 21.  While never sitting still, in his down time Lea’s enjoys thinking up and researching new ideas and concepts.  And between that he enjoys fight club…………….but as he says “You cannot talk about fight club!’

His favourite quote is, “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind”

Grant Stewart


Grant is the manager of international projects at IAPMO as well as being the past Chief Expert for Plumbing for WorldSkills International. Grant has held many roles within WorldSkills International and WorldSkills Australia since competing at WorldSkills competition in 1997.


Grant worked as an apprentice plumber in NSW when he was invited to work on a project in Zimbabwe, building classrooms, toilets and furniture in the late 90’s. This experience saw Grant develop a strong interest in water and sanitation projects and the sharing of practical plumbing skills in developing regions around the world.  Grant has worked with the World Plumbing Council, Healthabitat, RMIT and the WorldSkills foundation on many projects including Sanitation Studios in Nepal and the Community Plumbing Challenge in India, South Africa, Indonesia and the USA.


Grant has worked as a plumber and plumbing teacher for many years in various regions around the world and back home in Australia.



Jane Stokie FSDF


Commencing her career as an Apprentice Compositor in 1984, Jane Stokie moved into Graphic Design with an Advertising Agency in 1988. Following the birth of her two children she moved to Shepparton in 1993 where she took up the position of Production Manager at the local newspaper for 15 years.

With the vision to further herself, Jane completed an Associate Degree in Graphic Technology at RMIT University in 2005, giving her the confidence to accept the international role of Director of Skills Competitions for WorldSkills. Jane is responsible for Competition technical aspects, test projects, Skill Management Plans, Competition Rules updates, Expert and Technical Delegate professional development and Audits of WorldSkills Standards Specifications in consultation with industry. Ten years later she is still enjoying the challenges and diversity of such a job.

Jane’s involvement with WorldSkills spans more than 30 years, having competed in the Melbourne regional competition in the Graphic Design category in 1986, winning her way to represent Australia at the international competition in 1988. Since then she has been an active volunteer for the WorldSkills movement as a project designer and judge at national and international level including proudly wearing the cap of Chief Expert at the international event on two occasions.

Rosie Wheen


Rosie Wheen – Chief Executive, WaterAid Australia

Rosie is a passionate advocate for human rights, gender equality and universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. She has two decades of international development experience, having lived and worked in Indonesia for six years before joining WaterAid Australia at its inception in 2004. She was Director of International Programs prior to becoming Chief Executive in 2016. Rosie’s leadership manifesto focuses on being an authentic, servant leader who always pushes herself beyond her comfort zone; this is where Rosie believes she learns most and performs at her best.

Rosie serves on the Board of the THREE Foundation, ACFID and is a Founder and Committee Member of Not in My Workplace, a group of executive leaders working to address workplace harassment and abuse across all industries in Victoria. Rosie has recently discovered obstacle racing and electric bikes, which keep her sane and healthy. She is a shamelessly proud mother of two boys.

Phil Woolhouse


Phil started investigating piping failures in 2012 when he was initially focussed on a German-engineered polypropylene random copolymer (‘PP-R’) piping system that had been used successfully in Europe for more than 20 years but was showing signs of failure in Australian buildings.

His research has now expanded to all types of piping materials given the failures are no longer limited to PP-R and the time period from installation to failure is rapidly reducing. From data recordings of fluid dynamics collected from approximately 80 buildings over a six-year period, Phil has been able to identify many behaviours in and from the plumbing systems that have contributed to piping failures of all materials. The problems that lead to pipe failure are complex only because of the multiple factors that frequently occur in the system simultaneously. Sometimes, there has been as many as 10 issues working simultaneously in a system which has led its failure.

Phil is often engaged by major plumbing manufacturers to investigate the operational performance of a building system in relation to material or equipment failures. He is also sought out to act as an expert witness in material failure lawsuits, where he is supported by a team of polymer scientists and leading corrosion experts. The research and findings that Phil has made are now being recognised worldwide and he continues to encourage industry leaders to help educate and correct the current issues facing the plumbing industry.

Phil is a licenced plumber and an Associate of the Australian Hydraulic Service Consultant Association (AHSCA), the Institute of Plumbing Australia and a former Queensland TAFE lecturer and course developer for the Diploma of Hydraulic Services (2014).

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