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2019 Winner

Gary has 20 years of working experience in the Pacific in the water and wastewater infrastructure sector. He has become a reliable partner to all the Pacific Utility Members (PUMs) over the years through the continuity of his service and his ability to adapt to the Pacific way of doing business, in the same sense that he has gone over and beyond his role as a partner and supplier of goods to all PUMs he has assisted in ensuring that PWWA thrives by lobbying to other companies to joining the PWWA. Those are just a few things about Gary but his work speaks for itself in each PUM, his presence in and passion for PWWA is noticeable and valued by all.

Gary is a longstanding member of PWWA and has spent the past 6 years on the Board of PWWA as an Allied member representative.


Cited Awards Nights, Port Vila Vanuatu

Thursday 9 August 2019

2018 Winner

“The Water Professional of the Year Award honours an individual who has displayed a sustained passion and continued commitment to the water industry, and who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and influence in the Pacific water sector.

For 2018, the award is given to Mr Opetaia Ravai, former CEO of Water Authority of Fiji, and former Chairman of PWWA. 

Mr Ravai assumed chairmanship of PWWA from 2011 and under his leadership, PWWA undertook a reform programme that saw the re-vamping and modernisation of the organisation’s Constitution, re-building the governance framework for PWWA which saw the establishment of a Council, a smaller (10-member) Board of Directors and subsequently establishing a permanent Secretariat in late 2016.  In 2015, the first Water Ministers Forum was convened as part of the PWWA Annual Conference and Expo, seen as a step forward for soliciting the political support for establishing PWWA as the regional “voice for water in the Pacific”.

He was a driving force in securing funding for PWWA to finance the establishment of a permanent Secretariat with permanent staff, and establishing a capacity building programme for its members that included the Young Water Professionals programme launched in 2017.  He continued to encourage growth of the organisation by seeking new members and ways to encourage new membership in PWWA.

Mr Ravai is well-respected and known in PWWA circles as a pragmatic but visionary leader who has tremendous rapport with all categories of members of PWWA.”


Recognition Plaque:

“For his visionary leadership and service to PWWA for many years”… the Board of Directors presented Mr Opetaia Ravai with a recognition plague after receiving the PWWA Water Professional Award 2018 at Noumea, New Caledonia.


Cited at the Awards Night Noumea New Caledonia

Thursday 9 August 2018


2017 Winner

“The Water Professional of the Year Award honours an individual who has displayed a sustained passion and continued commitment to the water industry, and who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and influence in the Pacific water sector.

For 2017, the award is given to Mr Fua’ava Sulumalo Amataga Penaia, former CEO of the Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).  

Suluimalo has worked professionally in the environment and water sectors of Samoa for more than twenty (20) years. Before promotion to CEO, Suluimalo established the Water Resources Division of MNRE in 2006 , pioneering the significant linkage of effective integrated water resources management to sustainable water supply. He was a strong proponent of Integrated Water Resources Management framework in Samoa which strengthened the inclusiveness of communities and all other key parties within the water sector to work together for better resource management. He contributed to the rehabilitation and restoration of water resources and water catchment areas through replanting, and development of water shed management plans in critical water catchment areas to ensure the protection of water resources and  the provision of a sustainable supply of water for a resilient Samoa. He was also a key proponent of the Water Abstraction Licensing Scheme at which enforced the licensing of all abstractions of groundwater and surface water sources and payment by water providers  of extracted water.  A key proponent of the “Ridge to Reef” approach for sustainable water supply and environmental management, Suluimalo has always been an advocate for integrated water management.

During his service as CEO of MNRE, he held a number of positions within the water arena  of the Pacific which included being the National Focal Point for the Pacific- Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Project 2006-2013. Prior to moving to MNRE, Sulimalo worked for 6 years in management positions of Samoa Water Authority and contributed to the development of SWA’s Asset Management Plan and Strategies amongst other achievements.

Suluimalo's passion for water has been very much manifested and evident by his invaluable contributions to major improvements and positive changes in the water sector of Samoa both in the water resources management and water supply areas as well as  his extensive years of service within the Samoan water industry.


Cited Awards Nights, Apia Samoa

Friday 11 August 2017

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