This Committee provides expert advice on recreational water quality.
The Recreational Water Quality Advisory Committee provides expert advice to NHMRC on public health issues related to recreational water quality.
The primary role of this Committee is to review and update the Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water.
Committee members provide expertise in the fields of water quality risk assessment and management, microbiology, toxicology, aquatic ecotoxicology, environmental and public health microbiology in wastewater treatment, environmental science, epidemiology and river health.
Terms of reference
The NHMRC Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water (the Guidelines) provide a nationally consistent best practice approach for managing recreational water quality. The Guidelines were released in 2006 and last amended in 2008. The Guidelines will be revised with oversight provided by the Recreational Water Quality Advisory Committee.
Recreational water quality is an important issue requiring a specialist committee to provide technical advice and expertise to NHMRC.
The Committee will:
- Develop a risk management framework for recreational water for inclusion in the Guidelines
- Oversee and provide expert advice on the evidence evaluation (reviews) to inform the updating of the Guidelines
- Provide rapid scientific and technical advice to the CEO of the NHMRC on current and emerging health issues relating to recreational water quality in Australia, as required.
In consultation with NHMRC, the Committee may source expertise from outside the Committee to conduct its activities, if required.
The Committee will report to Council of NHMRC. Initial appointments to the Committee commenced on 27 September 2018 and will conclude on 31 December 2024.
Member information and Disclosure of Interests
NHMRC asked each Committee Member to document their interests as part of the process of the establishment of any NHMRC committee. This process was guided by NHMRC's Policy on the Disclosure of Interests Requirements for Prospective and Appointed NHMRC Committee Members. This policy in turn reflects the disclosure of interest requirements in section 42A of the NHMRC Act and subsection 29(2) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).
Members were specifically asked to identify, to the best of their ability, interests relating to recreational water quality including:
- relevant financial activities
- relevant professional or organisational experience
- other relationships or activities.
A summary of each members' declared interests is provided below. Throughout the project members are required to inform NHMRC of any changes to their interests, and management strategies are put in place as needed.
Water Research Centre, University of New South Wales and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Expertise in trace chemical contaminants in water, risk assessment, risk management and environmental engineering.
- As an academic employee of the University of New South Wales, regularly apply for research funding grants from government and non-government agencies. These include, but are not limited to The Australian Research Council (ARC) and Water Research Australia (WRA). Applications to NHMRC funding schemes are much less frequent, but not excluded.
- Honorary (unpaid) role as an adviser to the Parramatta River Catchment Group, specifically in regard to the Group's Our Living River Campaign. The objective of this campaign is to facilitate the reopening of sites on the Parramatta River, which could be safely reopened for recreational swimming.
- Employee of the University of New South Wales (UNSW). UNSW has a strong interest and considerable activity in water quality research. In this role, I work closely with many Australian and international water industry participants including water utilities, health regulators, environment regulators and private consultants.
- Provided expert opinion to Water Research Australia on PFAS chemicals. This includes contribution to a current water industry fact-sheet on these chemicals and their relevance to the water industry. I have, in the past, made comments to the media regarding the safety and risks associated with PFAS in drinking water.
- As an Academic at the University of New South Wales, regularly participate in national and international academic and industry conferences. In some cases, I attend these as an invited speaker, occasionally with costs such as conference registration, travel and/or accommodation provided by the conference organisers.
- As an academic researcher at the University of New South Wales, regularly publish academic research papers in academic research journals. In some cases, these papers address the contents or trends of Australian water quality guidelines.
- As an Academic at the University of New South Wales, regularly teach undergraduate and postgraduate classes which cover topics closely related to the activities of the Water Quality Advisory Committee and the Recreational Water Quality Advisory Committee. These include details and interpretation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and Recreational Water Quality Guidelines.
- Member of the NSW Independent Metropolitan Water Advisory Panel (IMWAP). This is a panel of about 6 people who will provide advice on future water planning for the Sydney (Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra) and Lower Hunter (Newcastle) regions. The appointment is for 2 years (to 31 March 2023). The appointment is made by the NSW Minister for Water (The Hon Melinda Pavey MP). The Panel will report to the NSW Government Water Sector Leadership Group and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).
- Occasionally undertake work for members of the Australian Water Industry as a consultant. Both through the University of New South Wales and as a private consultant. Private consultancy work is related to water quality assessment.
- Member of the National Water Grid Advisory Body. The Advisory Body provides independent expert advice to the Australian Government via the Deputy Prime Minister on specific water infrastructure policy, projects and investment priorities. While it does not have a decision-making role, the Advisory Body’s advice will inform the Australian Government’s decisions and policy and in turn help deliver the National Water Grid.
- Committee/Advisory member of: WHO – Water Quality and Technical Advisory Group 2015 – present; Water Quality Research Australia – Project Quality Review Team 2012 – present; U.S. WateReuse – Technical Advisory Committee 2015 – 2017; Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Independent Expert Panel – Water Quality and Monitoring Programme 2016 – present.
- Past Committee/Advisory member of: U.S. WateReuse Foundation – Project Advisory Committee 2010 – 2014; Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence – Project Advisory Committee 2011 – 2014; CSIRO and NSW Environmental Trust – Project Advisory Committee 2010 – 2013; South East Queensland Urban Water Security Research Alliance – Project Advisory Committee – Purified Recycled Water Project 2008 – 2012.
- Lecture at the University of New South Wales on water and wastewater quality and analysis.
- Journal Editorships: Associate Editor – Environmental Science – Water Research and Technology; Journal of Water Supply – Research Technology.
- Published numerous journal articles, reports and book chapters; also presentations at international and national conferences, seminars and workshops.
- Recipient of research grants from government and non-government agencies – including Australian Research Council and Water Research Australia.
- Member of: Australian Water Association; International Water Association; Engineers Australia.
van den Akker
Research wastewater scientist at SA Water. Adjunct Lecturer in the School of the Environment at Flinders University and Adjunct Research Fellow at University of South Australia. Expertise in environmental and public health microbiology relating to wastewater treatment and reuse.
- Lead Scientist, Wastewater Research SA Water. SA Water or its activities could reasonably be perceived to be an influence due to a competing interest either for or against the issues being considered by the committee.
- SA Water utilises ocean outfalls to discharge treated effluent into recreational waters and have guidelines/requirements on how to manage access to recreational waters during events associated with spills/overflow.
- Publication of numerous journal articles and book chapters as well as presentations at international and national conferences and seminars.
- Adjunct positions at Flinders University and University of South Australia.
- Conduct consultancy for and provides technical advice to Australian Water utilities.
- Working for the University of South Australia (until December 2020) on research related to recreational waters, antibiotic resistance, and risk assessment of water reuse schemes.
- Involved in a University of South Australia metagenomics project. The work involves helping with sequencing of sources of faecal pollution and looking at antimicrobial resistance in recreational water.
- Dr van den Akker had a previous professional working relationship with Dr Mike Burch, the cyanobacteria and algae reviewer, at SA Water
Manager at Beachwatch Programs, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, New South Wales. Expertise in marine science and recreational water quality.
- Manager of Beachwatch Programs, implementing state-wide recreational water quality monitoring programs for swimming sites along the NSW coast, under the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in accordance with the NHMRC (2008) Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Waters. This includes working with local government to implement recreational water quality monitoring programs under the Beachwatch Partnership Program and producing annual NSW State of the Beaches reports which provide a long term assessment of how suitable coastal swimming sites are for recreation.
- Published Protocol for assessment and management of microbial risks in recreational waters for implementing chapter five of the NHMRC (2008) Guidelines for managing risks in recreational waters.
- Provides advice on recreational water quality to cross agency working groups, local government and the community.
Senior Research Fellow with the UNSW South West Sydney Clinical School and Ingham Institute of Medical Research. Senior Research Fellow, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney. Affiliate with the Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR). Expertise in environmental epidemiology, and air pollution epidemiology.
- Conducted consultancy for Sydney Water Corporation (SWC) Sewer Workers Health Study which consisted of field work, a literature review and biological and chemical risk assessment of the health risks posed to Sydney Water (SWC) sewage workers. Many of the recommendations were implemented by SWC.
- Former member of the Australian Water Association.
- Former Manager, Water Unit, NSW Health Ministry
- Former member of various interdepartmental committees specific to water issues eg.
- NHMRC Committee for the Rolling Revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
- NHMRC Committee for development of the Recycled Water Quality Guidelines
- Strategic Liaison Group/ Joint Operational Groups with SWC and SCA
- Beachwatch Advisory Committee
- NSW Drought Committee
- Rural Water Supply Advisory Committee.
- Publication of papers in peer reviewed journals, submissions to government, and reports. Presentations at local and international conferences, seminars and workshops.
Independent consultant and Director of Water Futures. Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales. Expertise in water quality, risk management, data analysis, interpretation and modelling, auditing.
- Current funded projects for: European Commission and Global Water Research Coalition: 2021 - present; World Health Organisation: 2003 - present; Water Research Australia: 2012 - present; University of Newcastle: 2021 – present; University of Bristol, Kathmandu University and Haramaya University (funded by UK Aid): 2020-present; University of Adelaide, (for Seqwater): 2019 – present; New Zealand Ministry of Health and Department of Internal Affairs: 2019 – present; Hong Kong Water Supplies Department: 2017 – present; NT Government (Power Water with Department of Local Government, Housing and Community and Department of Health): 2018 – present; NSW Health: 2019 – present; VicWater, EPA and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: 2019 – present; University of Queensland: 2009 – present.
- Current unfunded projects/activities or partially funded but largely unfunded project for: World Health Organisation; Asian Development Bank; Water Research Australia; National Health and Medical Research Council: Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water, Water Quality Advisory Committee; COVID-19 technical support for multiple agencies in Australia and internationally on an as needs basis relating to general microbiology and WASH aspects. This to date has been in the US, UK, China, HK, Australia, Vietnam, Lao, Fiji, Thailand, Cambodia and NZ.
- Additional minor funded activities past and present include peer reviews, training, workshop facilitation, regulatory audits of water suppliers for health departments, contributions to research projects and specific technical assessments and validation, with the work mostly related to microbial pathogens.
- Publications include numerous journals and technical reports and presented at international and national conferences, seminars, webinars and workshops. Focus is on providing practical guidance founded in objective, best available evidence. These can be found in Research Gate and PubMed.
- Regularly co-author publications, such as scientific papers, technical reports or guidelines, for the water industry, health departments and development agencies, such as development banks and WHO. I sometimes receive partial payment from the agencies towards my contribution for the preparation of the documents and the review, presentation and training associated with those documents. The work relates to aspects of water quality management.
- Occasionally provide expert witness statements in court. On approximately half-a-dozen occasions this has related to the interpretation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines or Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Waters where I have been called by water utilities or health authorities in NSW and Victoria to advise the court on their correct interpretation in matters relating to water quality protection. This included the New Zealand Government Havelock North Inquiry at where I spent two weeks in the Inquiry hearings as an Expert Witness.
- As a consultant, regularly participate in national and international academic and industry conferences. In some cases as an invited speaker, occasionally with costs such as conference registration, travel and/or accommodation provided by the conference organisers. The invitations relate to aspects of water quality management. Current presentations are: - Water Research Australia: Drinking water catchment source assessment tool training program scheduled for Brisbane in 2021; University of Queensland: Drinking Water Quality Management training programs scheduled twice per year.
- Member of various groups that are involved in water quality management. This includes the Seqwater Water Security Program - Independent Review Panel as a water quality expert, the NSW Health Cryptosporidium and Giardia Expert Panel as a water microbiologist. Member of the Australian Water Association (including the Rural, Regional and Remote and the International Water Association specialist networks), the International Water Association, International Water Resources Association and Water Research Australia.
- Occasionally undertake work for members of the Australian Water Industry as a consultant. This includes Health Departments, Water Agencies and Water Utilities. Almost all of the work is for state government departments or stated-owned corporations as a private consultant. Private consultancy work is related to water quality risk assessment and management and other aspects of water quality science. Much of this work is information and involves answering ad hoc telephone calls or emails, particularly during water contamination incidents. Such work is largely unpaid and undertaken on a voluntary basis. Sometimes the work involves contractual engagements for project work such as peer review, risk assessments, management plan developments or training. Current projects are: Water Research Australia: Risks to drinking water from recreational water activity as well as the ColoSSoS SARS-CoV-2 sewage surveillance program; Hong Kong Government: assessment of risks from using seawater for potable uses. NSW Health: support for councils to implement the ADWG Framework. Power Water (Northern Territory): Catchment source water assessments to identify pollution sources. Vic DH: Drinking water supply risk management plan regulatory audits for water utilities (funded by the utility but undertaken for DHHS). Queensland Health: Advising Qld councils on implementing Health-based Targets; Vic EPA: QMRA relating to recreational water guidelines. IPART: Drinking water supply risk management plan regulatory audits for water utilities (funded by the utility or IPART but undertaken for IPART). WHO: Western Pacific Regional Office Water Safety Plan Training of Trainers Program for AusAID (DFAT) and UK AID.
- Periodically take part in training and lecture work for universities and agencies relating to water and health. I usually get paid something towards that work. This includes Australian and international institutions. The training relates to aspects of water quality management. Current projects are: - University of Queensland: IWES training courses (Feb and July each year) in drinking water and recycled water quality management; Various water utilities engaged via universities or directly: training in developing drinking water safety plans; Assisting RMIT and SCU update and offer the Exemplar Global DWQMS and RWQMS exam. Specialist support for COVID has been provided at no charge for WSAA, AWA, WIOA, Qld Water Directorate, NSW Water Directorate, WaterRA and GWRC. This has included workplace/occupational health and safety webinars and Q&A sessions, factsheets and guidance and fielding calls ad hoc from workplace/occupational health and safety professionals in the sector. In addition extensive funded and unfunded activity is ongoing in relation to sewage surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 across the global WASH sector.
General Manager Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Victoria. Expertise in environmental consultancy program coordination, weed management, carbon and emissions in agriculture and river health.
- Current General Manager Community and Catchment Services at Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.
- Statutory responsibilities of this role include management of the Barwon River through Geelong (including recreational water quality monitoring) and rural drainage schemes, education and information provision and implementation of the Corangamite Waterways Strategy.
- Previously managed the development of the Parramatta River Masterplan, which included commissioning a strategic analysis of water quality monitoring in the Parramatta River catchment and development of a framework for river swimming site activation. This work worked within existing NHMRC Guidelines but also proposed potential new directions that would provide more tailored monitoring and management solutions for the Parramatta River.
Affiliate Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Member of the World Health Organisation Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality Chemicals Committee. Expertise in clinical biochemistry, histopathology, in vivo and in vitro toxicology, and genotoxicity, particularly in cyanobacterial toxins.
- Received travel and accommodation support from WHO and Singapore Utilities Board to attend meetings in relation to my membership of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality Chemicals Committee 2016-2018.
- Provided expert advice to WHO Drinking Water Quality Chemicals Committee in relation to my expertise in cyanobacteria and their toxins.
- Drafted the WHO Background Documents in support of Guideline Values for four cyanobacterial toxins in drinking water and recreational water.
- Co-authored 4 chapters in the WHO publication Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water.
- Dr Humpage had a previous professional working relationship with Dr Mike Burch, the cyanobacteria and algae reviewer, at SA Water.
Director, Water Unit, Prevention Division, Department of Health, Queensland. Expertise in regulation and environmental science.
- Permanent employee of the Queensland Department of Health, as Director of the Water Unit, within the Health Protection Branch. In this role I have some regulatory responsibilities under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld).
- Appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Queensland. This appointment involves the development of applications for research funding under the Alliance.
- Member of the enHealth Water Quality Expert Reference Panel, as the Queensland jurisdictional representative. This is an advisory role, with no regulatory or funding responsibilities.
- Designated representative of Queensland Health as a General Member of Water Research Australia.
- With respect to the engagement of CSIRO to draft the narrative review for free-living organisms, I declare that I am managing a project with University of Queensland, which is sub-contracting analytical services to CSIRO Brisbane. Queensland Department of Health has no direct contractual arrangement with CSIRO.
- Owns a small parcel of shares in Telstra and IAG.
Regional manager at 54 Reasons and Freelance Consultant. Expertise in public health and environmental health, including traditional knowledge in climate change and natural resource (including water) management, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin region.
- Current role as a freelance consultant: working with several organisations in relation to Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Indigenous languages, Climate Change, Indigenous Health.
- Presented lectures on: Ethnoecological Identities, Indigenous language decolonisation, Indigenous Environmental Health (Human framework), water management.
- As Director of research development (international), Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (2007-2015): Responsible for facilitating and conducting community consultations; developing cultural environmental priorities of the Yorta Yorta; developing relationships between NSW/VIC and Commonwealth Governments and Yorta Yorta community regarding water and land management; establishing external relationships for benefit of community in association to MDBA Living Murray Initiative; developing research projects about Climate Change, Aquatic Biodiversity, Ecological; developing relationships internationally with research organisations such as Brown University (USA), University of Hawaii (USA), ETH Zurich (Swiss), World Bank, Museum of Natural History (USA); facilitation of international workshop (funded by Museum of Natural History -USA) for Climate Change and Food Security, South West Bay, Vanuatu.
- As Managing Director, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (2001-2007): Responsible for management of Yorta Yorta sovereign rights to land and water; managing governance structure and reporting; Cultural Heritage activities, Cooperative Management Agreement YYNAC & State of Victoria; high level negotiations with State and Federal Governments; partnership development; representative on NGO, State and Federal government committees.
- Various publications on topics including: the role and challenges of traditional knowledge in climate change and natural resource (including water) management; cultural water and its relationship with environmental water management; improving stakeholder consultation to empower and advance the interests of the Yorta Yorta people in the Murray-Darling Basin region; how traditional knowledge can be used to strengthen participation and influence in complex national and regional management processes.
Senior Health Risk Advisor - Microbial at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA). Adjunct Associate Professor, RMIT University. Expertise in microbial risk assessment (including quantitative microbial risk assessment) and risk management.
- Senior Health Risk Advisor with EPA Victoria, involved in the development of environmental policies and guidelines. Provides advices for microbial pollution events, future developments and may assist the Court as an Expert Witness. Involved in research projects related to recreational waters in partnership with universities.
- Member of the Working Group for the development of the Victorian antimicrobial resistance strategy and the Chairman of the Environment & Waste Technical Advisory Group.
- Senior Health Risk Advisor – Microbial at EPA Victoria. Contributes to the development of future environmental public health policies and guidelines such as: SEPP Waters of Victoria, Guidelines for managing human health risks in recreational waters, Guidelines for assessing human health risks for wastewater discharge into waterways, Guidelines for composting facilities, Waste to land regulations.
- Provides advice in relation to emergency and pollution events, development proposals and prosecution (expert witness statements for VCAT or Supreme Court).
- Member of the Project Steering Committee for the RMIT-ECP-SEW/MW joint project "Managing Microorganisms in Victoria's recycled water assets" and partnered with various research organisations in projects related to public health and waters: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for recreational users of Port Phillip Bay, Source Tracking in Port Phillip Bay, Significance of the environment as a reservoir for Antimicrobial Resistance (proposal submitted), A national approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance in the water cycle (proposal submitted for ARC funding), Modelling Risks to Recreational Users of Port Phillip Bay (proposal submitted), Development of a rapid, low-cost, portable detection method for E. coli and enterococci (proposal submitted).
- Appointed as Adjunct Associate Professor at RMIT.
Independent Consultant Western Australia. Expertise in water quality and human health.
- Involved in the administration of recreational water matters in the WA Department of Health until 2015.
- Previously worked on quantitative modelling of free-living organisms in recreational water. The review and guidelines update may propose something that conflicts this previous work.
- Various publications on topics including methods for Faecal Indicator Bacteria enumeration and thermophilic Naegleria.
Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Griffith University. Director, Water & Health Pty Ltd. Editor, Journal of Water and Health. Expertise in quantitative microbial risk assessment and risk assessment software development.
- Appointed as a non-executive director for Sydney Water in 2022.
- Consultant in application of QMRA for vulnerability mapping of Cryptosporidium risks associated with NSW drinking water supplies for NSW Health.
- Member of the independent peer review panel (human health) for Sydney Water looking at public health components of the wet weather overflow program.
- Ongoing advice and research assistance related to pathogens associated with in-premise plumbing for Viega GmbH & Co. KG Plumbing and Heating Systems Attendorn, Germany.
- Advisor for WHO Water Sanitation Hygiene and Health on risk assessment and microbial aspects in water. Past participant in the WHO Guidelines Development Group for Sanitation Guidelines Participant in the Microbial Aspects Advisory of the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality Member of the JEMRA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbial Risk Assessment) roster of experts.
- Teaching and course presentation for IWES industry training courses.
- Affiliated with Griffith University - Associate Professor at School of Medicine.
- Peer Review of QMRA undertaken for recreational water quality at Hunter Beaches for Hunter Water looking at health risk assessment of sewage discharges.
- Member of the Independent Metropolitan Water Advisory Panel for NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment.
- Consultant to: Viega Plumbing on opportunistic pathogens; the City of Edmonton, Canada – on recreational water; expert testimony for AGL Macquarie on opportunistic pathogens.
- Current projects for: Global Water Pathogens Project; Public Health Agency of Sweden 2012 – present; Sydney Water Corporation 2012 – present; NSW Health 2012 – present; WHO 2009 – present.
- Past projects for: Government of Alberta, Canada 2013 – 2014; INTARES EU 2011 – 2014; Water Research Australia 2011 – 2013; Swedish Water and Wastewater Association – Stockholm Water Ltd 2011.
- Publications in numerous journals and reports; also presentations at international and national conferences, seminars and workshops.
- Microbial Risk Assessment for Comparison of Sewer Overflow Management Options: Consulting work for Queensland Urban Utilities applying QMRA to assess overflow impacts on recreational sites.
Senior Scientist, Water Unit, Health Protection Branch, Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria. Expertise in regulation, microbiology and biotechnology.
- Currently work as Senior Scientist, Water Unit at the Department of Health and Human Services – Victoria.
- Member of EPA State Environment Protection Policy Recreational Water Technical Reference Group, Victorian Pool operator handbook steering committee, Aquatic facility regulators working group.
- Published numerous journal articles from 2005-2013 when researching bacterial toxins and pathogenesis at Monash University (2003-2008).
- Developed a range of documents including guidelines, fact sheets and educational materials for the department relating to private drinking water supplies, flood waters, recreational water and harmful algae.
- Presented at a range of national and international conferences, workshops and seminars.
- Partner works at Yarra Valley Water in asset planning and maintenance.
- Project Lead, Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater.
- Published journal articles, and developed guidelines, factsheets and guidance material for DHHS.
Professor and Discipline Lead in Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Griffith University. Researcher with the Hopkins Centre and the Cities Research Institute. Expertise in environmental epidemiology, quantitative microbial risk assessment and risk management.
- Board member of the Health-related Water Microbiology (HRWM) Special Interest Group, of the International Water Association (IWA). The work of this group included the scientific review of abstracts submitted to the 2019 IWA Symposium of the Healthrelated Water Microbiology Special Interest Group – some of which is related to recreational water quality.
- Chair of the Public Health Scientific Expert Panel for Healthy Land and Water and have been involved in the development of related guidelines, standards, education materials or fact sheets, writing of publications, delivering speeches, or engagement in public debate on advice regarding Recreational Water Safety.
- Have applied for and received funding for research projects related to recreational water management.
- Have responded to requests and received funding for consultancies that could be perceived to have a bearing on recreational water management.
- Appointed to the Commonwealth Games Water Working Group and was responsible for providing advice regarding water-related risk registers for use during the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
- Published peer-reviewed material that relate to recreational water management.
- Theme leader for Urban Water and Waste Management within the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University.
- Griffith University’s representative for Water Research Australia.
Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water, Lucas Heights. Expertise in microbiology, environmental contamination and risk assessments.
- Involved in the development of toxicant guidelines for aquatic ecosystem protection for the Australian government, and am a member of several government and metals industry advisory committees, both nationally and internationally. This previously included chairing the SEPP waters and groundwaters of Victoria science advisory panel, which concluded in Dec 2016.
- Chair the Management Committee for the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science, a joint UQ and Qld Health centre. Member of the Independent Expert Committee on CSG and Large Coal Mining Development and a member of the Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee (both for DAWE).
- Member of the Reef Water Quality Independent Science Panel (ISP) and the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership ISP.
- Member of the global metals associations Ecotoxicity Advisory Panel.
- My group in CSIRO currently receives funding from the international nickel association (NiPERA) and the International Zinc Association, not for profit associations, to develop Ni and Zn bioavailability-based water quality guidelines for aquatic ecosystem environmental protection. This does not overlap with guidelines for recreational water quality or human health.
- Currently supervise PhD and Honours students through UTS and Latrobe University on topics unrelated to recreational water quality.
- Joint holder in shares in BHP Billiton, South32, Wesfarmers and CSL.
- Currently works in the same research program and business unit at CSIRO Land and Water as contracted free-living organisms reviewers.
Lead Water Quality (Public Health) at Seqwater, Queensland. Expertise in water quality and public health.
- Development of Seqwater's Cyanotoxin Based Recreational Water Quality Management Response including the Publication of 1 Peer Review Paper, 2 Conference Presentations, Development of Cyanotoxin guidelines for recreation and fact sheets for Seqwater’s recreational users including educational material and/or fact sheets. Current role (paid employment as Technical Coordinator - Catchment Water Quality) at Seqwater includes development and overseeing Seqwater's Recreational Water Quality Management Plan, which has seen us develop and implement a cyanotoxin based recreational water quality management plan to better characterise the public health risk and move away from proxi indicators for risk (Cell counts and Biovolume Measures), which due to the nature of local conditions were not adequately representing the public health risks.
- Employment with a Bulk Drinking Water Supply Authority which permits a range of primary and secondary recreational opportunities and follows the NHMRC’s Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Waters. Seqwater utilise the NHMRC’s Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Waters as the backbone for our Recreational Water Quality Management Plan and any changes to the Guidelines would then be updated and reflected in our management plans. Changes in suggested monitoring activities, parameters or frequency of monitoring could have additional or reduced financial cost on Seqwater’s sampling and monitoring program.
- Involvement with three committees run by Healthy Land and Water (Scientific Expert Panel, Monitoring and Evaluation Steering Committee and Healthy Waterplay Committee). The Scientific Expert Panel, Monitoring and Evaluation Steering Committee focussed on water quality monitoring, recreation, public health, management and science in South East Queensland. I am an invited member of the Scientific Expert Panel and Ex Chairperson of the Monitoring and Evaluation Steering Committee for which I receive no additional monetary remuneration apart from standard pay from Seqwater for my substantive role as Technical Coordinator – Catchment Water Quality. In these committees we represent the local councils, utilities and regulators discussing common recreational management activities and current research and development.
- Water Industry PhD Supervisor of a Griffith University PhD Student who is "Evaluating the application microbial source tracking with quantitative microbial risk assessment to characterise health risks in recreational waters." Seqwater sponsors and funds several small research projects investigating microbial and chemical risks associated with different recreational activities on its drinking water storages to ensure risks to recreational users associated with recreating in open multi use catchments are appropriately managed.
- Individual Member of the Australian (AWA) and International Water Associations (IWA) and institutional member (through Seqwater) of Water Research Australia. Has been involved in and attended several conferences run in Australia by the Australian and International Water Association and been on Water Research Australia Industry research programs and PAC’s.
- Publications in several journals and reports; also presentations at international and national conferences, seminars and workshops. I have published 9 peer review papers (5 as lead author), written several reports and presented multiple conference talks on a range of optical physics, biology, cyanobacteria, water monitoring and coral reef topics.
- Recipient of research grants from government and non-government agencies, as well as named industry partners on several current Australian Research Council Linkage Grant Applications (none currently funded). During my PhD Studies I received grant funding from multiple organisations including: The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, The United States of America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organisation, Australian Coral Reef Society, The Australian Israeli Scientific Exchange Foundation, PADI Aware foundation and Australian Geographic. In my water utility role I am listed on several Australian Research Council Industry Linkage Grants.
- Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Civil Engineering (The University of Queensland) and Cities Research Institute (Griffith University). I hold two honorary positions where I supervise post graduate students and guest lecture when required on topics revolving around water management, monitoring and water utility operations.
- Due to the inclusion of CSIRO staff in the undertaking of expert reviews, I need to declare that in my role at Seqwater we have several active programs with CSIRO researcher in the microbial spaces, principally Dr Warish Armed and Dr Simon Toze.