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City West Water

City West Water supports the West’s young female scientists of the future

Budding young female scientists have put their hi-vis vests, safety glasses and hard hats on to tour Altona Treatment Plant, in a bid to showcase future employment opportunities available to public school students in Melbourne’s West.

The tour which took place on Tuesday 7 May, was part of a two-day conference hosted in partnership by Toyota and Ecolinc - an education centre in Bacchus Marsh that provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based education to students across Victoria.

Ecolinc’s Jo Tate said, “in planning the program, we felt it was essential to include an industry visit that highlights the diversity of STEM career pathways available to the students in Melbourne’s West.”

Ecolinc team member Nichol Mason, said that around 20 students from Taylors Lakes Secondary College and Werribee Secondary College felt “especially inspired” by meeting City West Water’s General Manager, Strategy and Performance, Amanda Smith.

Ms Smith is one of seven general managers at City West Water – five of whom are women.

“With so many professions in the utilities sector being traditionally dominated by men, City West Water has turned that status quo on its head”, Ms Smith said.

“I’m really proud to be part of a leadership team that has well exceeded its original target of 45 per cent women for gender leadership diversity.”

The students heard from Ms Smith about the need to attract greater diversity in STEM careers.

“This will enable them to tackle some of the great challenges of our time such as climate change, population growth and environmental degradation, not to mention the varied and interesting work that comes from choosing a career in STEM.”

The group then toured Altona Treatment Plant to see STEM in action.

Students learned how, from its first origins in the late 1960s, Altona Treatment Plant has developed into a sophisticated recycling water treatment plant.

“Rather than releasing millions of litres of treated wastewater into Port Phillip Bay, most of that water is now captured, treated and then used in manufacturing processes and the irrigation of recreational spaces for the community,” Ms Smith said.

Altona Treatment Plant services over 20,000 residential and business properties in the Altona, Altona Meadows, Laverton and Point Cook areas, and treats close to 14 million litres of sewage a day.   

The first day of the conference which was held at Toyota’s Head Office in Altona, kicked off with a live link to the Johnson Space Centre, NASA, USA.

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Media enquiries:

·       City West Water – Lina Mesiti, 9313 8502 or lina.mesiti@citywestwater.com.au              Ecolinc – Joanne Tate, 5367 0171 or tate.joanne.e@edumail.vic.gov.au