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The Politics of Everything

Oct 27, 2021

Water management and the policies behind it is something we all need to get our heads around, whether you live in a big city, small town, a coastal region or a remote community. I am deeply passionate about the water sector having worked closely within the NSW state government during the recent drought of 2018-2020, leading communications in areas such as community engagement and stakeholder management, which set off my thinking about how we approach water policy in the 21st century. A basic human right, access to clean, safe water for drinking and daily use, remains not something many people worldwide lack. Recent droughts in Australia seem to be intensifying as the impacts of climate change make extreme weather events more common.

Today’s guest is the CEO of the Australian Water Association, Corinne Cheeseman discussing The Politics of Water Management. The AWA is Australia's largest water network of professionals and practitioners who manage our most precious resource - water. It offers a platform where members - companies and individuals -share, connect and inspire to drive and inspire a sustainable water future.

Corinne has spent most of her career working in water, including many years at Australia’s largest water utility Sydney Water in roles ranging from environmental management to water quality to community education, and in recent years she led data and analytics teams to build new capabilities, solve problems and create value through data. She has helped develop data strategies and capabilities in large organizations including the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as well as Not for Profits such as Amnesty International Australia and The Smith Family.

From a young age, Corinne has been curious about health and the environment, and she particularly loved science at school which led to her first degree in Biology and after a few years working in a water laboratory, she completed her Masters in Environmental Management. It was however her passion for working with people who shared a strong sense of purpose that has been a constant thread throughout her career.

We discuss:


  1. What are the biggest issues facing water policy at this time and what would you like to see happen while you are CEO to improve this?
  2. What attention does climate change get in the water management debate and how can that be better managed?
  1. How can water access become more equitable and is it up to wealthier countries to help other nations get that basic human right of clean water access happening faster?
  1. What about regional communities who by and large have become accustomed to seasonal changes such as droughts, floods, and bushfires impacting their livelihoods and communities’ access to water. How can they be better catered for?
  2. Take away: What is your final takeaway message on The Politics of Water Management?



To connect with Corinne and the AWA:

LinkedIn: (14) Corinne Cheeseman | LinkedIn

Website: Australian Water Association | AWA | Australia’s Leading Water Authority