Wagga Wagga recently hosted the prestigious Environmental Health Australia state conference, which offered guidance and support to members of the state health industry.
The annual conference, held at the RSL club, is the largest of its kind in New South Wales and attracts leaders from local and state government as well as practitioners, academia, private industries and representatives from the Australian Defence Force.
The event venue alternates between metropolitan and rural areas, with Wagga being selected as the 2023 host due to its importance and location for regional industries in NSW.
This year’s theme of Connecting Paths Less Travelled looked to recognise the complexity of environmental health challenges, the interdisciplinary fields crossed, and the importance of connecting and working together to overcome these challenges.
Mayor Dallas Tout welcomed delegates from across the state to Wagga Wagga, congratulating members for the current work being completed across several industries.
“It was a privilege opening this event in Wagga Wagga to welcome the leading environmental health professionals to our community and prompting important discussions about our future,” Cr Tout said.
“This conference celebrates us learning from one another, sharing knowledge and experience, and working towards a healthy and sustainable future for us on this planet.”
The council’s environmental officer Uvindu Warnakulasooriya was also recognised for his outstanding work, receiving the EHA Early Career Environmental Health Professional of the Year award.
The award recognises Mr Warnakulasooriya’s valuable efforts and contributions that have helped enhance the city’s environmental health outcomes.
The council’s environment and regulatory services manager Mark Gardiner said Mr Warnakulasooriya’s passion for the profession and humility to constantly learn and grow had underpinned his award nomination.
“Uvindu’s dedication to achieving positive environmental health outcomes was recognised, the award being a reflection of how well he works as part of a team in protecting and serving our community,” Mr Gardiner said.
“We are proud of Uvindu’s achievements. He has exemplified dedication and excellence in the environmental health field early in his career and it is a pleasure to watch him go from strength to strength.”