The following speakers are confirmed to speak at the ANCOLD Dam Operators Forum 2019:

Neil Smith

Dam Safety Manager – Civil Assets
Hydro Tasmania

Neil is currently the Dam Safety Manager at Hydro Tasmania Ltd. and has more than 25 years of experience predominately in the Australian Water Industry.  He has been involved in the investigation, design, construction, monitoring and surveillance of water retaining structures and conveyances for both potable water supplies and hydropower generation.  For the last 10 years, he has been an asset manager and a dam owner for large water businesses in Tasmania, namely TasWater and Hydro Tasmania Ltd.


Oliver Giudici

Engineer, Civil Assets
Hydro Tasmania

Oliver Giudici is a civil engineer with Hydro Tasmania’s Civil Assets team and has been involved in a range of investigation and maintenance projects over the last 7 years. Oliver enjoys contributing to the maintenance and risk-reduction activities of a large and diverse portfolio of critical civil infrastructure serving the energy and water industries.


Mark Pfennig

Asset Management Coordinator
River Murray Operations

Mark has worked in his current position as Asset Management Coordinator – River Murray Operations with SA Water for 2 years. As part of this role Mark has core tasks of setting up a complex interactive online register of all the infrastructure and related assets with an outcome aim of accurate hands-on management of all assets, automatic scheduling of preventative maintenance, accurate recording of productivity, meaningful replacement investigation scenarios and proper contribution to long term budget planning of replacement requirements. Prior to his current role, Mark had worked in various positions but has always been involved with the River Murray system. These roles have included Salinity Control Officer and Construction Maintenance Salinity. Mark has a strong interest in the conservation and the stainable use of the River Murray and the Murray Darling Basin as a whole.


Mike Tschanz

Operations Engineering Team Leader
Goldfields & Agricultural Region 
Water Corporation

Mike Tschanz is an experienced engineer with business degree qualification working for the Water Corporation for over 13 years from infrastructure planning to asset management, service delivery, project and program management. Dam management is a vital component in scheme operations of the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply comprising of 10 higher risk rated dams, over 9,500 kilometres distributions mains, 50 plus treatment plants and sewerage services. We are committed in providing continuous safe drinking water to our customers with minimal environmental impact. The current regional business challenges are driving efficiency by optimising scheme performance operations through reliability initiatives in reducing unplanned outages on supply mains, improving maintenance regimes on asset sub components like bolsters, access roads and vermin control on communications gear, technical specialists enhancing customer service experiences, ensuring asset delivery outcomes are meeting operator’s expectations with minimal rectification needs through early engagement measures and project verification reviews.

Dan Sedunary 

Coordinator Dams Recreation & Catechment Operations

Dan Sedunary is currently the Operations Coordinator Dams Recreation and Catchment at Seqwater in Queensland, looking after operations and maintenance across the Central region which includes Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams.  Dan recently relocated from Victoria where he worked in Civil Delivery at Melbourne Water.  Prior to this he had over 12 years working with VicForests, the state-owned enterprise delivering sustainable timber production across eastern Victoria.  Dan has experience across a range of operational and planning functions, and is passionate about supporting the safe and efficient delivery of key operational function.

Brandon Pearce

Graduate Engineer 

Brandon Pearce is an engineer within the WaterNSW Asset Engineering & Dam Safety team. Over the past 12 months Brandon has been the business project lead for the design, development and site implementation of WaterNSW’s new dam safety monitoring system DamGuard.


Simon Nolan

Maintenance Officer
Hume Dam

Simon Nolan is a WaterNSW Maintenance Officer at Hume Dam. Simon is responsible for the ongoing surveillance & operational activities at Hume Dam and along with the rest of his team played a large contributing role in on-site user acceptance testing & Hume implementation of DamGuard.


Kristy Bourke

Coordinator Dam Safety Systems 
Goulburn-Murray Water

Kristy has a Bachelor of Science with honours in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Coastal Management. She has 15 years’ experience working in the water industry, in roles including Water and Waste Water Coordinator and Specialist, Environmental Scientist, Operations Specialist and Technical Writer throughout Australia. During this time, she gained experience in process operation and optimisation of Water, Waste Water and Recycled Water Treatment Plants; the production and implementation of Recycled Water Management Plans; the development of procedures, policies and templates in line with AS/NZS 9001 Quality Management Systems, AS/NZS 14001 Environmental Management Systems and AS/NZS 4801 Safety Management Systems – a risk based approach to the operation of plant and equipment; and project management.

In her current role as Coordinator Dam Safety Systems, Kristy manages the review and update of the Dam Safety Management systems in GMW, including comprehensive Operations and Maintenance Manuals and other related Manuals and Plans for all Corporation’s dams and related structures.

Gareth Carpenter

Coordinator Hydrographic Services
River Murray Operations 

Gareth commenced working with the Survey Operations Coastal Protection Branch in 1985  and joined the Hydrographic Survey Team with River Murray Operations SA water in Berri in 1999.

He has over 30 years’ experience in hydrographic surveying. His role as Coordinator Hydrographic Services has him undertaking surveys in dams, rivers and coastal environments for both state and federal governments.  

During this time Gareth has seen the many changes in both the technology for hydrographic surveys and the systems to process the data.  His specialized training, experience and sole dedication to this field has resulted in him being highly knowledgeable, innovative and is constantly developing new methods and techniques for hydrographic surveying.

Ken Ruge

District Leader/Manager
SA Water

Ken Ruge has worked for SA Water for 19 years. Beginning his role in Networks, then into the Land Management and Reservoirs group for Asset Maintenance and Operations, Ken has now worked as the District Leader/Manager for the last 10 years. This entails the managing of 7 reservoirs from Happy Valley to Kangaroo Island (2 grated concrete gravity-arch dams; 1 concrete gravity dam with square crested spillway; 1 double curvature concrete arch with a central overflow spillway; a flood control dam and 3 clay core earth dams) in the southern zone of the Mt Lofty Ranges. SA Water supply and transfer water from the storage to the water filtration plants with Mount Bold supplied by water from the Murray when inflows haven’t been enough. The area of land which the reservoirs sit on is approximately 8,077 hectares combined with the land playing a significant role in having a multi-barrier approach to protect water quality from contamination, all done with a workforce of 8.

Dr Brooke Swaffer

Lead Scientist in Environment and Catchments
SA Water

As SA Water’s Lead Scientist in Environment and Catchments, Dr Brooke Swaffer works across a range of source water supply projects.  She has authored several high-ranking scientific papers, and her passion for providing scientifically underpinned evidence to help advance water services led to her being awarded the prestigious CSIRO Jane Gillooly Memorial award in 2012 for early career female scientists.

Brooke’s significant work to date includes investigations of groundwater recharge and discharge processes on South Australia’s water-scarce Eyre Peninsula and tracking the timing, quality and delivery of catchment runoff events through reservoirs, and associated pathogen fate and transport.



Shane Edwards

Senior Storage Officer with Goulburn Murray-Water at Goulburn Weir.

Goulburn Weir is situated on the Goulburn River, North Central Victoria.

20 years working in the Water Industry with Coliban water and GMW.

Currently live in Nagambie.

Family – Partner Janice, Four children Nick, Sam, Demi and Milly.

Likes – Following my children’s sports, AFL, weight training? Power lifting, modern dance, Nutrition and travel.



Craig Duncan

Operations Coordinator
Seqwater Qld.

Craig Duncan is an Operations Coordinator at Seqwater Queensland responsible for the Dam Recreation and Catchments of the Nerang River, North Stradbroke Island, Redlands and Tingalpa Creek.  Craig has over 30 years experience within the Water Industry, working across the Dams, irrigation, network pipeline infrastructure, treated and raw water supplies at Seqwater since 2008.  Prior to Seqwater Craig worked for SunWater and its State body predecessor’s in Queensland for 20 years across Far North QLD, Central QLD and the South Western QLD water projects. He has worked on major dams and irrigation schemes, managed the operations and maintenance tasks, flood operations on gated and ungated dams and weirs, major pump stations and fishways.



Ash Beamish

Senior Reservoir Officer 
GM Water  

Employed with Goulburn Murray water for the past 10 years as a Reservoir Officer for the Loddon system in Central Victoria working within a team of 6 for the maintenance and operations of 5 storages in the Loddon system

Qualified A Grade Electrical Mechanic and worked 20 years as an Electrical Contractor working on commercial and industrial sites installing data and automation in the early years within the local area

Working for Goulburn Murray Water in addition to the daily activities of the operation and maintenance of the storages I am actively involved in the large scale projects and storage upgrades assisting project managers and supervising contractors

Hetal Parmar

Asset Planner 
Water NSW 

Hetal has 15 years of experience in the field of dams engineering, safety investigations, and surveillance and auditing of the dams and river structures. Hetal has experience in asset management covering all phases of the life cycle of assets, risk management, and financial analysis, reporting and modelling. Hetal is currently an Asset Planner with WaterNSW’s Asset Planning team and manages a portfolio of over $3B asset base across NSW Rural and Greater Sydney valleys, which include 12 dams and over 180 river structures. 



Aaron Munks

Mechanical and Civil Supervisor for the Central Region

Growth is the underlying passion that drives my leadership acumen and entrepreneurial spirit every day. I am a firm believer that my role as a leader is to ensure that my team members have the skills, support and sparkle that they need to be the best in the industry.

I have an extensive foundation in maintenance across numerous engineering platforms. Beginning with an apprenticeship in Mechanical Fitting with Brisbane Water, I then progressed to completing fixed plant maintenance with numerous large mining and marine organisations. This varied experience has provided me with an excellent underpinning for my leadership abilities that began as a Pump Crew Supervisor with Xstrata and continued as a Mechanical Supervisor with the Pilbara Ports Authority. To complement this practical leadership experience, I have completed a Graduate Certificate in Maritime Management and am continuing my studies by undertaking a graduate certificate in organisational change.

My current role is as the Mechanical and Civil Supervisor for the Central Region with Seqwater. This role sees me responsible for a large multi-discipline trade-based team accountable for all maintenance and minor project works within the region. I am proud that the assets within my area of responsibility include the water treatment plants responsible for producing over 70% of South East Queensland’s water supply as well as the largest capacity dams and pipelines. My philosophies are to plan strategically yet always with an eye towards ensuring that the team’s culture is one that is both employee centric yet high performing. Within my current setting this process has worked well. By planning strategically, I have ensured that all of my stakeholder’s maintenance needs have been met whilst meeting equipment lifecycle predictions. And by not only never forgetting culture, but continually focusing on its improvement, I have created a confident and energised team that embraces change and thrives on autonomy. Water treatment for South East Queensland never stops, and the same goes for the maintenance that my teams perform under my leadership. If I wake up in the morning and water flows from my tap, and the taps of my customers, then I know that I have done my job.


Peter Hobson

Research Scientist
SA Water

Peter Hobson has worked as a Research Scientist at SA Water since 2001 where his efforts have concentrated on investigating the ecology and control of cyanobacteria and dealing with the problem metabolites that they produce. His work covers not only control of cyanobacteria in source waters but also emerging issues associated with their growth in wastewater and its impact on re-use.