Recipients announced for 2020/21 Clearwater Water Leader Scholarships


Clearwater is excited to announce our 2020/21 Clearwater Scholarship recipients for the International WaterCentre's award-winning Water Leadership Program. Our two emerging water leaders from across the state will spend the next 9 months strengthening their ability to exert influence, drive change and advance challenging Integrated Water Management (IWM) projects.

Congratulations to our Clearwater Emerging Indigenous and Metro Melbourne Water Leader Scholarship receivers, Nicole Hudson and Millie Wells! 

The successful candidates bring a diversity of skills and backgrounds, and this program will facilitate exchange of information and expertise between key organisations in the water industry. 

This is a fantastic opportunity and Clearwater is excited to offer these scholarships to drive capacity building for IWM in Victoria.

Read on below to find out more about our scholarship recipients' motivations, challenges and expectations.

Clearwater Water Leader Scholarship Winners  

Nicole Hudson, Aboriginal Water Officer for Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation 

Nicole is a proud Gunditjmara woman from Portland who has just begun a new adventure in her life as the Aboriginal Water Officer for Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation in Heywood.

What motivates you in your current role?

What motivates me in my new role is the passion for healthy waterways for our mob both present and future so that the native fish species, bird life and bush tucker are bountiful and well taken care of to thrive and still be around for many generations to come. Making sure that our waterways are well managed for our spiritual, cultural, environmental, social and economic outcomes by fulfilling our moral obligation to care for water and country in accordance with our law and customs.

What major leaderships challenges you currently face?

What major leadership challenges I feel I currently face is finding my voice and you may say my feet in this new role to assist me with building stronger and better relationships for the best possible outcome.

How do you think the Water Leadership Program will benefit you in your role?

I am hoping that the Water Leadership Program will assist me with my confidence in my role and assist with my professional development, to better communicate with stakeholders and community for me to be able to take the lead to confidently manage projects and to deliver the best results and outcomes for the indigenous community around the importance of water and the native species that live in and around our waterways.


Millie Wells, Senior Environmental Advisor – Whitehorse City Council 

Millie has been working at Whitehorse City Council for nearly 8 years, where she is currently developing and driving Council strategies and policies including the Urban Forest Strategy, Biodiversity Strategy, and the Integrated Water Management Strategy. 

What motivates you in your current role?

I am interested in the role that nature plays in the urban environment to improve liveability and increase urban resilience. People depend on nature not just for food, water and resources but for physical and mental well-being, inspiration, recreation, adventure and relaxation. We can build cities that shut nature out or we can build cities in a way that surrounds us with nature. As a response to climate change, I am inspired by the integration of blue-green infrastructure within the built environment to achieve multiple benefits whilst enhancing biodiversity. By adopting an integrated water management approach to manage the urban water cycle as a whole, I strive to achieve efficient use of resources to improve liveability and urban resilience.

What major leaderships challenges you currently face?

Integrated water management brings together different stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams; sometimes with opposing opinions and contradicting methodologies. To successfully bring about change with an integrated water management approach, I will need to influence and advocate a wide range of stakeholder groups, whilst balancing needs to seek a wide range of outcomes.

How do you think the Water Leadership Program will benefit you in your role?

The Water Leadership Program will give me a more in-depth understanding of what good leadership is and equip me with a suite of practical tools to draw on. I hope to join a community of practice where I can learn from experts and the experiences of my colleagues, and offer my own insights for discussion. With a more in-depth understanding, I hope to bring people together to develop a shared vision supported by a coordinated implementation plan that facilitates collaborative effort.