LET'S TALK RESILIENCE! is the theme of the third Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge, the winners of which were announced at the Floodplain Management Association National Conference on Thursday 21st of May in Brisbane.
Within the context of the knowledge exchange partnership on floods and droughts between Australia and the Netherlands – initiated after the Queensland floods in 2011 - ambitious students and young professionals from across Australia were challenged to contribute their own ideas for a more climate-resilient Australia.
After several selection rounds, the four best teams were invited to present their ideas at the FMA National Conference in front of four hundreds flood management experts and a jury, chaired by Dutch Consul-General, Mr. Willem Cosijn.
Ultimately, it was the teams consisting of Tom Perfrement and Tracey Lloyd, students at the University of New South Wales and Raymond Laine and Ashlee Clarke, graduates from the University of Wollongong, who came out on top. Tom and Tracey won win their idea for a composite resilience index as a way to make resilience more measurable and provide government better direction for action. Raymond and Ashlee presented on an online tool called CoastalEngage, aimed at involving local communities with important trade-offs and decisions relating to coastal development.
The winning teams will be doing a unique traineeship over the coming 6 months, including a 3-week program in the Netherlands and participation in the International Water Week in Amsterdam in November 2015. The prize was presented to them by Mr. Lloyd Taylor, Executive Director at the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
Says Tracey Lloyd, from one of the winning teams: “It was a great opportunity for us to join this competition. We are passionate about helping Australia to strengthen its resilience in the face of climate change and are really looking forward to working with experts from Australia and the Netherlands to further develop our ideas.”
The Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge is supported by a broad group of organisations, including Van Oord, Royal HaskoningDHV, Deltares, HydroLogic, International WaterCentre, Fugro, DutchDam, UNESCO-IHE, Witteveen+Bos, Netherlands Water Partnership, Dutch Embassy & Consulate-General, Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
All the event's pictures can be found at www.facebook.com/hollandwaterchallenge