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IPWEA appoints new Australasia CEO

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) has appointed Ms Cathy Morcom as the new Australasia CEO.

With 25 years in senior management, Morcom brings a track record of developing and executing transformational change in high-profile organisations including Scouts Australia, KPMG Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank and RailCorp. She has worked in the UK, Ireland and Asia, in addition to delivering programs in Silicon Valley and across mainland Europe.

Morcom views leadership as encompassing people, process, technology, leadership, human capital and culture. The opportunity to apply this integrated approach to driving the peak body of the Australasian public works sector attracted her to the position, which she considers to be a pivotal advocacy role connecting society, government agencies and supply chain service providers. 

“IPWEA’s objective, to enhance the quality of life of our communities through public works and services, is a powerful and shared higher purpose for the organisation,” said Morcom.  

“As an active member of my local community, I’m passionate about ensuring IPWEA supports the ambitions of its members, and all associated professionals, with the resources and collective voice to make the world a better place. IPWEA is ideally positioned to campaign for awareness of the sector’s essential purpose of understanding, interpreting and delivering on the needs of local communities, from the front line, as well as advocating for change.”

Although keen to plan strategies for growth, Morcom will first engage closely with IPWEA stakeholders across the region.  

“My first 100 days will be all about listening to our members and those we work with in support of our purpose, and the collective IPWEA team,” she said.

“Collaboration, consultation and transparency will enable us, together, to implement our mission of nurturing and enhancing the value of membership through knowledge-sharing, event networking and training for career progression. Collectively, IPWEA needs to continue developing resources to apply and adapt at a division and jurisdiction level.”

Morcom’s experience in advocating on behalf of members and stakeholders positions her well to direct IPWEA using an inclusive approach, from within and outside the structure.

“Having worked for and with a number of member-based organisations and associations, I have learned over time that growth and retention, sustainability and brand equity depends on, and is enhanced through, balancing the wellbeing of all stakeholder groups,” she said.

“IPWEA must continue to liaise with regulators and work to understand local, state, territory and federal government aspirations, their pipeline programs and projects. While cognisant that North America, New Zealand and Australia have a variety of regulatory obligations and priorities in the public works and services domain, IPWEA needs to take a collective and leading role in communicating the opportunities and challenges faced by public works professionals, such as the engineering skill shortage in local government, which are affecting infrastructure development.” 

Her most recent role as National General Manager of Scouts Australia prepared Morcom well to work in conjunction with IPWEA’s multiple entities across different geographic borders to drive IPWEA’s united purpose.

“Scouts Australia is a complex organisation made up of nine separate legal entities and it is both an organisation and a volunteer movement,” said Morcom.

Similarly, leading IPWEA means respecting the diverse nature of its stakeholders while using its collective voice to support the needs of public works professionals and the communities they work with and represent,” she said.

Ahead, it will be an expanding membership and growing brand currency that will set IPWEA apart and differentiate the organisation, thanks to its unique qualities and offerings, according to Morcom.

“Through dedicated advocacy, we can provide public works professionals with the timely tools and resources they need to develop new skills, grow their networks and engage with strategic partners. In doing so, we will remain the peak Australasian professional association in the field, a specialist network of choice and the key influencer,” she said.

Taken from IPWEA media release July 2019

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