We would like to congratulate Professor Jennifer McKay, Professor of Business Law, University of South Australia for being awarded the Premier’s Water Professional of the Year Award at the Australian Water Association’s South Australian Water Awards. The Awards recognise the contribution of the Association’s members for their inspiring leadership and innovative research, programs and infrastructure projects. This year’s gala dinner was held on Friday 6 November at Adelaide Town Hall.
The Premier’s Water Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by the Department for Environment and Water, recognised Prof McKay’s extensive body of research into water law governance and policy in Australia. Her research has helped policy makers to understand the implications of their policies on farmers, urban dwellers and water users generally. She has also provided constructive suggestions to reform and improve water governance structures and promote ecologically sustainable development. Her research in relation to trust across and within the water sector has been instrumental in guiding water supply businesses and government strategy.
Prof McKay worked with the Goyder Institute on several important projects concerning Adelaide’s water supply, in particular on the governance arrangements. Her work on a collaborative project with UniSA, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and CSIRO led to the report: A study into the supply, demand, economic, social and institutional aspects of optimising water supply to metropolitan Adelaide – preliminary research.
Prof McKay and her team then went on to use a range of innovative methods to conduct social science research with water consumers on these topics, publishing several key journal articles:
- Wu, Z, Keremane, G & McKay, J 2016, ‘Sustainable urban water management through the lens of community: a photostory exercise in metropolitan Adelaide’, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 141-156.
- Keremane, G, Wu, Z & McKay, J 2014, ‘Is organisational culture a barrier to implementing integrated urban water management in Adelaide?’, Water: Journal of the Australian Water Association, vol. 41, no. 8, pp. 27-29.
- Keremane, G, Wu, Z & McKay, J 2014, ‘The emotional connection to urban water through the lens of the water customer: a photostory exercise in metropolitan Adelaide’, Water: Journal of the Australian Water Association, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 61-65.
She then reflected on this research to publish a chapter A governance solution in Australian freshwater law and policy within the book Reforming water law and governance (Springer 2018). The chapter presents research outputs on three governance players: the law, the organisations and a collective look at civil society through epistemic communities and non-government organisations.
We’re grateful for the significant contribution Prof McKay has made to the Goyder Institute and water resources industry as a whole, and are delighted that she’s been recognised in this manner by the Australian Water Association. You can read more about the award winners here.