Meet the Champion: Matthew Leach from North East Water

Matthew Leach is a new arrival in the Champion’s program and he joins us from North East Water. We asked Matthew a few questions to get to know him a bit better.

Can you give us a bit of your personal background?

I am originally from Geelong, but have spent most of my life living in North East Victoria. After spending my early 20s living Melbourne I moved back to Wodonga as I enjoy the lifestyle and spending my spare time in the great outdoors with my wife (Stacey) and son (James) who is 6 years old.  I am a very keen cyclist, and recently started getting into kayaking which I am really enjoying.  

And what is your professional background?

My working career started in hospitality before completing a degree in Environmental Science. Following my studies I worked with the Murray CMA in NSW. This role was really enjoyable as I got to work in a range of subject areas from working with large cropping farmers on the implementation of new technologies, through to assessing the impacts of altered flow regimes in the Murray-Darling basin. In 2013 I joined North East Waters systems optimisation team. My role with North East Water provides the opportunity to work on a range of interesting and challenging topics. I am also currently completing a Masters in Environmental Engineering.

What inspired you to want to become a champion?

I was fortunate to be involved the Energy Benchmarking project conducted by WSAA and IWN a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed working with people from various water corporations on this project, and thought it would be great to get involved with IWN in the future if the opportunity presented itself. I am really looking forward to getting involved in complex and challenging projects which will deliver great outcomes for the water industry.   

What IWN program interests you the most?

My initial interest was in energy optimisation and power programs given it’s such an important topic at the moment. However, I’m also really interested in learning more about some of the projects outside my normal role such as big data and analytics, or the biosolids and resource recovery program.  

What are you hoping to get out of your new role?

It is my aim to gain a good understanding of each of the programs and how North East Water can support or participate, and form strong relationships with IWN members from other water corporations. I have also set some challenging personal development goals to achieve over the duration of ‘champions’ role.    

And if anything, what do you want to give back to IWN?

I would like to contribute to the development and implementation of projects and initiatives which ensure the Victorian water industry is ready for future challenges. And I hope to raise the profile of IWN, and promote the programs achievements across regional Victoria.