2019 Ken Thiess Scholar – an update from José Fernández

IWC North Stradbroke Island Trip

2019 Ken Thiess Scholar – an update from José Fernández

Reflections from José Fernández
Our 2019 Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship Recipient

I arrived in Brisbane from Peru in January to start my Master of Integrated Water Management at the International WaterCentre (IWC).

The IWC Master’s program officially kicked off in mid-February, with a field trip to North Stradbroke Island just of the coast of Brisbane. Students from at least twelve countries had the opportunity to get to know each other, talk and debate on water problems in their countries and around the world. As part of this outing and introduction to the program, an exercise was undertaken to identify the current social, environmental, economic and political situation of the island in relation to its most precious resource, groundwater.

In order to develop a successful professional career, especially if it is related to natural resources, it is vital to be exposed to different environments, cultures, issues and solutions that occur on both a national and global level. Professionals who are dedicated enough to educate others within the water resources sector, and who have had the opportunity to learn through this process, know that these experiences and knowledge allow them to provide more creative, efficient and inclusive solutions when it comes to local, regional or national water problems. For this reason, it is important that postgraduate programs in water management have an international, multi sectoral and inclusive approach. The IWC’s Master of Integrated Water Management, incorporates all these aspects.

As a recipient of the Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship, I recognise that this introduction to the program met my expectations and gave me an idea on how to approach the training of a water professional, especially in terms of the ability to listen and readjust knowledge by looking into the problems and solutions of similar issues that arise in the water sector around the world. With the first field trip over, I’m looking forward to growing my skills and knowledge as part of the IWC Master’s program.

Written by José Fernández

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