Zunz Lecture 2020 | Water for a hot, thirsty city

Start Date:05/11/2020

Start Time:5:30 PM AEDT

Duration:90 minutes


Water is essential for life in our cities, towns and our entire ecosystem. But – like all elements within a system – too much or too little can cause imbalance, stress or shock.

With greater climate variability as well as growing population and built environment demand on Sydney’s water supply, we can expect greater fluctuation in water availability – from prolonged drought to flooding.

This year, we’ve seen Sydney's dams both depleted then nearing capacity, while regional towns faced day-zero – the crippling day when water runs dry. And it’s only getting hotter and drier, especially for the city’s West.

So, are we prepared? Are we being proactive enough about water resilience? What role does regulation play in water conservation?  Who is responsible for planning, setting targets and reporting outcomes? Can we improve our efficiency and our environment? How do we better engage community?

Join us as we share insights into the role of water in a growing city and for the maintenance of biodiversity and life, discuss how we might move towards more efficient urban water use and explore how we can be prepared to cope with unprecedented events.

If you're already registered for the Zunz Lecture 2020 | Water for a hot, thirsty city webcast, click below:



Roch Cheroux

Managing Director

Sydney Water

Roch is a key influencer in the water industry, with experience shaping and leading public and private corporations across Asia-Pacific region and Europe. Roch commenced with Sydney Water as the Managing Director on 2 September 2019. In Roch’s past role as Chief Executive of SA Water, he led the transformation of South Australia’s largest water utility to embed technology, culture and systems changes to deliver improved experience for the corporation’s 1.6 million customers. Before joining SA Water, Roch was Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ for the South East Asia region and SUEZ-Degrémont Australia and New Zealand, Managing Director of United Utilities Asia and Pacific (TRILITY), and Chief Executive and Chairman of Tallinn Water in Estonia. Roch is active across the industry and is currently director of the Water Services Association of Australia. A dual French and Australian citizen, Roch holds formal qualifications in Engineering and Business Management, and seeks to champion innovation and workplace diversity in the organisations he leads.

Danny Latham

Partner, Infrastructure Investments

First Sentier Investors

Danny is a Partner in First Sentier Investors Unlisted Infrastructure Investments team. He joined in London in November 2007 and relocated back to Sydney in 2011. He is a Co-Portfolio Manager of the A$4.5 billion Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund and a member of the Infrastructure Executive Committee and the Investment Committee for various infrastructure funds. Danny has been at the forefront of the infrastructure funds management industry for more than 25 years. He led the team that acquired Water Utilities Australia in 2016, and through his position as Chairman of the Board, has overseen the acquisition of Kooragang Water and Aquanet. He was a member of the deal team that led the acquisition of over 20 infrastructure assets, including Melbourne Airport, United Energy and Northern Gas Networks. Danny has held over 10 directorships with companies including Spark Infrastructure, Melbourne Airport and Northern Gas Networks and various other companies in the transport and utility sectors. Prior to joining, Danny was director of RREEF Infrastructure based in London and a founding member of AMP Capital’s infrastructure team in 1994. Danny has a Masters of Applied Finance and a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University, Sydney.

Joanne Chong

Research Director of the Sustainable Pathways program

CSIRO Land & Water

Jo is the recently appointed Research Director of the Sustainability Pathways Program at CSIRO Land & Water, where she leads a team of 85 scientists and researchers from a range of social, economic and biophysical disciplinary backgrounds who work in partnerships for sustainable development. Prior to this Jo was a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, and has also held positions at the Productivity Commission, IPART, and IUCN the World Conservation Union.

Marcia Ella-Duncan

Consultant in organisational and community growth

Former Chair of La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council

Marcia Ella-Duncan is an Aboriginal woman from La Perouse, Sydney, with traditional connection to the Walbunga people on the NSW Far South Coast, and kinship connection to the Bidigal, the traditional owners of the Botany Bay area. Marcia has over 35 years’ experience in Aboriginal Affairs with numerous portfolios including recruitment, criminal justice, family and child wellbeing, land management, housing and community development. She has held senior positions in State Government and ASTIC and participated in various high level review committees such as NSW Child Sexual Assault Taskforce (Chairperson) in 2006 and the Northern Territory Emergency Review Board in 2008. Marcia was the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in netball and was inducted into the NSW (2016) and Australian (2015) Netball Halls of Fame. She was formerly Chair of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, a voluntary, elected position that she held for 8 years. She was elected as a Director on the Netball Australia Board in April 2017. Marcia recently established her own consulting business to continue her passion of empowering and motivating personal, organisational and community growth through increased understanding and capacity building. Marcia is an experienced and respected facilitator and Indigenous engagement specialist.

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