Yarra Valley Water bids farewell to water industry stalwart after 40 years
Speaking at Andrew’s farewell event, Pat McCafferty, Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water said: "It's truly a testament to Andrew's character to see such a great turnout today. He's had a profound impact on our organisation and the water industry as a whole."
“As we gather to celebrate Andrew’s outstanding career, it’s important to reflect on the legacy he leaves behind and his remarkable contribution to Yarra Valley Water and the water industry,” Mr McCafferty said.
In 1980, Andrew joined the Board of Works as a technical trainee in water supply reticulation, marking the beginning of a 43-year career in the water industry.
Throughout the years, Andrew held many diverse and vital roles, as Mr McCafferty reflected, "Andrew's journey with us has been nothing short of exceptional. His contributions have been pivotal in our success."
"Andrew leaves us with an enduring legacy with our food waste to energy plant at Aurora, one of the first of its kind in Australia,” Mr McCafferty said. “As a result, we’ve been successfully operating Victoria’s first commercial food waste to energy facility since 2017. It's a testament to Andrew’s dedication and innovative thinking."
Andrew and former Yarra Valley Water employee, Maarten De Beurs, carried out extensive research into European models to gather insights that informed Yarra Valley Water’s development.
The award-winning facility can produce around 22,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per day, the equivalent power demand of around 1,300 homes.
During his long career, Andrew has experienced many achievements. He was heavily involved in the integration of water trusts into the Board of Works, serving at Hurstbridge and Yarrambat Trusts. He contributed significantly to design and construction, shaped water supply control, managed urban development projects, and led metering strategy and system implementation at Yarra Valley Water.
He also served as the Local Government Account Manager and played a major part in setting up Yarra Valley Water’s Retail Services Division. His versatility led him to head Human Resources for a period. Later, he took a break to complete his MBA full-time.
Over the last three years, Andrew played a central role in the COVID-19 response team, emergency response reviews, Hydrogen project, and the ground-breaking food waste to energy initiative.
Steve Lennox, General Manager of Retail Services, highlighted the lasting impact that Andrew has had.
“We will always have the physical legacy he has left us with our food waste to energy plant at Aurora, a project he co-created from inception to operation. His leadership, dedication, and innovative thinking have left an indelible mark and we are grateful for his unwavering commitment," Mr Lennox said.
Known affectionately as "the Oracle" within the Retail Services Leadership Team, Andrew is recognised for his unparalleled knowledge of the water industry's history.
“If you want to know anything that has happened in the water industry in the past, Andrew can tell you what happened and on what date it took place,” Mr Lennox said. “He can recount historical events, dates, and documentation with astonishing precision, ensuring we never lose sight of our rich heritage."
“We wish Andrew all the best in his future endeavours,” Mr McCafferty.
In his own words, Andrew said: “I am extremely proud to say that I worked for Yarra Valley Water and what we have achieved since inception,” Andrew said. "I've been fortunate to be part of an 'Excellent Adventure,' and I'm excited about the new adventures that lie ahead."