Chair announcement: Goyder Institute leadership update

Dr Kane Aldridge recently informed the Institute Chair and Board that he will be leaving the Institute in early 2023, with a transition to Watertrust Australia occurring between November to January to ensure an effective handover over of the Institute Director role. Watertrust Australia is a newly formed independent organisation, with a mission to improve the way decisions are made about Australia’s inland waters and catchments.

Prof Barry Hart, Independent Chair of the Goyder Institute, and the Institute Board have acknowledged Kane’s impact on the Goyder Institute partnership with Barry saying, “While the Board were saddened to hear of Kane’s departure, we are completely supportive of his next opportunity that will allow him to build on his efforts at the Institute in supporting evidence-based decision-making. Kane has shown outstanding leadership in establishing a bright future for the Institute and continuing to build it as unique and leading water research collaboration in Australia”.

Kane reflected on his time at the Institute, saying that “My decision was made with a great deal of excitement and sadness. It has been an absolute privilege to have been given the opportunity to lead the Institute for the past 5 plus years. Although I continue to thoroughly enjoy the role, the time is now right for me personally to have another new challenge, but also for the Institute to have someone else to ‘take the reins’ with fresh eyes and shape its future, building on its success to date”.

To ensure a smooth transition, the Board has approved Dr Alec Rolston as Interim Director following Kane’s departure. Alec and Kane will work closely during the November to January transition period to ensure an effective handover of the role, during which time Alec will serve as Deputy Director of the Institute. Alec is very well placed for the role, having recently overseen the successful delivery of the Goyder Institute’s Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin research program. Before joining the Institute in January 2021, Alec was Research Lead for An Fóram Uisce|The Water Forum, Ireland’s only statutory stakeholder body charged with providing national-level guidance on river basin management planning and water and wastewater services delivery. In his role as Research Lead, Alec had responsibility for ensuring that that guidance from the Forum to the national Minister was supported by the best available science and knowledge.

“The Board were unanimous in their support for Alec as Interim Director of the Goyder Institute, having previously acted in the role for three months in 2021 and having observed his abilities in successfully delivering the large and pioneering Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin research program” said Barry. He added “this will provide an excellent opportunity for the Institute to make the most of Alec’s skills in bringing multiple stakeholders together to provide guidance to governments on water management based on the best available science”.

Alec is looking forward to the opportunity saying “We are very excited for Kane and his new position with Watertrust Australia,” adding, “I am delighted to accept the opportunity to move into the Deputy Director and subsequently the Interim Director roles and I thank the Institute Chair and Board for placing their trust in me. I am very much looking forward to working closely with all of the Institute Partners and stakeholders, to build on the strong foundations that Kane is leaving and to help shape the future of the Institute.”


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