The PASS Award originated in 2009, when David Barry and Jill Busch travelled around with their team to clean and inspect water storage tanks. All around the country, they would engage with operators and clients in discussing their innovative ideas and ‘simple fixes’ on site, but most were too shy for public presentations. To capture these ideas, David and Jill created a simple and accessible entry form requiring a description, implementation method, potential improvements, and before-and-after images. This allowed for the sharing of these important ideas without the need of hours of resources to develop a technical paper or run a trial!

Their creative team developed a logo, modifying the original slogan “Problem Identified, Solution Supplied” to the more professional “Problem Accepted, Solution Supplied” much to David’s disappointment. The initiative was generously handed over to WIOA, with the AquaSafeSkills team sponsoring the annual award. WIOA has published a booklet of entries each year, and the PASS Award has thrived for over 12 years. Each years overall winner has enjoyed joining the following year’s WIOA New Zealand Study Tour as part of their prize.

WIOA would like to thank David Barry, Jill Busch and the team at AquaSafeSkills for their sponsorship and ongoing support of this award. Nominations are currently open for 2024, and close on the 1st July. To check out the latest 2023 PASS Booklet, click here. 

There’s an idea to compile a booklet of all winning ideas to preserve them in the future and despite today’s cultural shifts, the original slogan, “Problem Identified, Solution Supplied,” remains a WIOA favourite…

Don’t forget to check out our open awards for 2024! Nominations are now open for the 2024 Victorian Operator of the Year Award sponsored by VicWater, along with the 2024 Victorian Young Operator of the Year Award sponsored by the Institute of Water Administration, Victoria. Applications close on 9th February 2024. We encourage as many organisations as possible to nominate your operational staff for consideration for these prestigious awards. Application forms are available on the WIOA website here.

Applications to participate in the 2024 NODP are now open, with a closing date of 21 February 2024. The first session for the new group is scheduled for April 2024. WIOA is keen to help encourage and promote diversity and inclusion across all operational areas and would welcome more female applications for this program. Click here for more information!

Last Chance to Enter – Applications for the Problem Accepted, Solution Supplied (PASS) Award close 16th February 2023. This award gives operational staff the chance to share their innovations and fixes to problems so that others in the water industry can benefit. The winner receives the opportunity to participate in the WIOA tour to New Zealand in May 2024 courtesy of sponsor Aqua Safe Skills. Application details and the entry form can be found here.

In line with our strategic plan and in response to Member feedback, WIOA is making some changes to our publications in 2024. We are:

  • Moving to electronic copies to provide greater accessibility and reduce paper and postage waste. If you’re a die-hard hard copy fan, don’t fret! Opt-in to continue receiving hard copies here (free of charge!)
  • Changing our Operator magazine frequency from quarterly to triannually and provide a more comprehensive look into individual and corporate member news, general interest stories, water industry news and WIOA events updates
  • Moving our WaterWorks publication to an annual edition that focuses on technical case studies, operations challenges and solutions and articles of interest.
  • Revitalising the design and sections in our publications, including introducing a Have Your Say section to incorporate more Operator Opinions!
  • Utilising reading analytics and hyperlinks to provide greater transparency and opportunity for our advertisers, sponsors and corporate members.

As such, our latest Operator is in progress while these changes are underway, and our 2024 media kits for advertisers are coming soon. We thank you for your patience as we make this transition in 2024!

This January, we have launched our NEW Membership Management System to enable better management of our members, including payments of invoices and membership renewals, to sharing easily accessed resources and documents and enable easy event registration for interest days and tours. If you are a Corporate, Utility Corporate, Associate or Individual WIOA member, you can now head to our WIOA system either on the web or by downloading the handy app (search for WIOA in your app store)! This system allows you to self-manage and update your details.

Your first visit will require you to login and reset your password, as you will already have a username set up as per your membership details. Once you reset your password, please jump in and take a look around the site.

Your membership renewal invoice has been automatically generated, creating an easier system for payment and management of your members.

For Utility Corporate Members, your main contact will have the invoice on their portal dashboard however if you wish to change the main contact or the amount of UCM members subscribed, please reach out to us.

If you have any issues, questions or concerns with your renewal invoice or the member portal, please reach out at and we will endeavor to get back to you as soon as possible!

Visit the Membership Portal:

Would you like to help develop the first WIOA National Water Main Tapping Competition?

We’re excited to develop a national competition that brings water main operators together, to continue an industry tradition. And we’re looking for representatives from each state/territory to join the Advisory Group that will make it happen.

Our inaugural Advisory Group Chair, Ben Pennell from City of Gold Coast, said the group would develop rules for the competition, which will replace smaller state-based events. It will be sponsored by Reece Civil and Viadux. The winner will receive a trophy and $1,000 to donate to charity.

“We have previously run this in Queensland, where the winners for the past three competitions have been Trent Roberts and Spencer Stacey,” Ben said.

“Their best time was an impressive 1 minute and 47 seconds. They have hung up their tools and the title will be up for grabs at a national level!”

Please get in touch if you’re interested in joining the Advisory Group. It should involve about 1.5 hours/month for 6 months.

Email to express your interest

The WIOA Queensland Advisory Committee invites all members to attend the annual Qld McBerns Charity Bowls Day on Friday 1 September 2023, to be held at the Yandina Bowls Club.

Previous events have proved to be a great day and well-received by all in attendance and we are hoping to make the 2023 day a greater success.

WIOA members and their guests are invited to enjoy this networking opportunity and a relaxed game of bowls.  We are aiming to raise over $1,000 at this event and all money raised will be distributed to charities in the Qld Region.

To Register visit: