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On May th, EWB Sydney Regional President and International Volunteer Alumni, Gabrielle McGill, won Young Water Professional of the Year at the National Water Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by the Australian Water Association (AWA), acknowledges significant achievements and contributions made by water professionals and organisations across Australia.

“The awards are the highest accolade the Association can bestow,” says AWA Chief Executive Jonathan McKeown of the annual gala. The Young Water Professional of the Year award honours a young professional who has shown outstanding career achievements to date and has the potential to play an influential role in the water industry.

Gabrielle works as works in Sydney as a Water Process Engineer at GHD Australia. On top of her professional accomplishments, she was selected based on her commitment toward improving hygiene and sanitation in less privileged communities around the world. 

Over and Gabrielle worked in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap region as an EWB International Field Volunteer. In her role as a Sanitation and Technical Advisor, she collaborated with EWB’s partner organisation, Live and Learn, and floating and flood affected communities such as Phat Sanday, to investigate sanitation treatment solutions such as floating biodigesters. Gabrielle returned from her time abroad inspired to challenge the engineering sector to think more broadly about sustainability, international development, and its role in poverty alleviation.

“It would be great if every engineer engaged with the idea of humanitarian engineering,” says Gabrielle of her human-centred approach to engineering, “as it can change your fundamental perception of what you are trying to do as an engineer if you think about the people who will be affected by the work you do. It’s not just about building a bridge; you are trying to get people from one side of the river to the other, and even that level of understanding can affect your approach.”

A complete list of the National Water Award winners can be found here.

Gabrielle McGill receiving her Young Water Engineer of the Year Award at the Australian Water Association awards night in May.