MSDI’s Director of Monash Water Sensitive Cities, Professor Rob Skinner, has been recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, announced on Monday, June 10.
Professor Skinner was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in recognition of his “significant service to environmental water management” during a career that has earned him a reputation as one of Australia’s great champions of water sensitive urban design.
The award comes just months after he was recognised by the United Nations’ UN-Water to chair the Sustainable Development Goal 6 Working Group at MSDI.
Professor Skinner is also Chair of WaterAid Australia and WaterAid International, Director of Yarra Valley Water and the International Centre of Excellence for Water Resources Management, and Deputy Chair of the CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) for Water sensitive Cities – a Monash-based research centre whose mission is to revolutionise urban water management in Australia and overseas.
In 2017, he was appointed Lead Chair of Victoria’s Integrated Water Management Forums, to help government organisations work with the community on urban water management, water supply, waste water and waterway health. He was also named Chair of the Werribee catchment forum.
Between 2005 and 2011, Professor Skinner was Managing Director of Melbourne Water, where he played a key role in initiating a number of collaborative relationships between Melbourne Water and agencies in Singapore, UK, Israel and Timor Leste.
Prior to that, he spent 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Kingston Council – a large municipal council in metropolitan Melbourne.
MSDI Chair Professor John Thwaites described Professor Skinner as “a visionary leader in water and sustainability… in Australia and globally” and said he was “most deserving of the Order of Australia award.”
Chairperson for CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and EPA Victoria, Cheryl Batagol, said Professor Skinner’s Queen’s Birthday honour recognised her colleague’s unrivalled contribution to sustainable water reform in Australia.
“No one has done more for sustainable water management across utilities, academia and international aid,” she said.
Professor Skinner is also a Distinguished Fellow of the International Water Association and for five years, until March 2019, was Chair of the Association’s Cities of the Future Program.