Adam Fennessy, Partner – Advisory, Government and Public Sector and Oceania Lead Partner for Future Cities at EY, and Caroline Stalker, Design Director (Urban) and Principal, Arup Australasia, will take to the stage to open the three-day 4th Water Sensitive Cities Conference, being held in Brisbane from 26–28 March.

Both major drawcards on the program, Caroline will speak about ‘Designing the 21st century city in nature: prospects for a high(er) density urbanism’, while Adam will follow with the topic of ‘Resilience thinking in unlocking the complexities of cities—the complementary roles of the public and private sectors’.

Caroline will bring to her address 30 years of experience as a highly skilled urban designer. She says: ‘As Australian cities consolidate, we tend to drive out nature, particularly in high density areas. Yet, a relationship to the processes and experiences of the natural environment are fundamental to our wellbeing. Through a highly integrated approach to the design of streets, public spaces, landscapes and buildings, we can create cities that support the nature connection and liveability at higher densities’.

Adam Fennessy will offer his extensive knowledge and experience of both the public and private sectors during his discussion of resilience thinking in unlocking the complexities of cities.

He will explore a new paradigm that draws on the lessons learned from the emerging science of cities—one that acknowledges and responds to their complex and highly adaptive nature.

We know Caroline and Adam will bring invaluable insights to their 2019 WSC Conference keynote addresses, which will introduce three days of interactive workshops, plenary sessions, and special events focusing on living in a changing climate, valuing a water sensitive city, transition journeys, integrated platforms for city transformations, and how we will continue our impact after the CRCWSC expires. You can view the full program and speaker list on our event page.

Adam Fennessy
Caroline Stalker

Get to know Caroline Stalker and Adam Fennessy

Caroline Stalker is a highly skilled designer, communicator and leader of teams for complex urban design and master planning projects. Her career spans 30 years and a range of project types, including new communities, urban regeneration around transport hubs, city and town centres, universities, public spaces, public buildings, mixed use and multi-residential buildings.

Throughout her career Caroline has demonstrated a sustained commitment to enhancing people’s connection to the natural world and each other through design, and an outstanding ability to take a holistic approach to the complex design problems of cities. This has been recognised over the years through numerous architecture and planning awards. Caroline is an Adjunct Professor, School of Design, QUT Creative Industries, and has served on and chaired awards juries in both architecture and urban design and held advisory roles for government.

As EY Partner – Advisory, Government and Public Sector and Oceania Lead Partner for Future Cities, Adam Fennessy covers urban planning, cities, environment, infrastructure, regional development, and diversity and inclusion. He moved to EY in 2017 after a long and successful career in the Victoria Government, where he was most recently Secretary of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and oversaw some of the state’s largest projects and events.

Adam is a member of the Male Champions of Change 2015 National Group and led change to embed gender equity across the Victorian Government. He was appointed to the inaugural board of Infrastructure Victoria and served on the board of IPAA (Victoria). He is currently serving on the advisory councils of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute.


The 2019 Water Sensitive Cities Conference will be held at the Brisbane Mercure Hotel, 85–87 North Quay, Brisbane, Queensland. To register online, or for information on the event program, accommodation packages, or local government travel subsidies, visit the CRCWSC event page.

Registration closes Monday 15 March 2019. Contact the Event Manager, Lorena Taylor, at the CRCWSC on +61 7 3365 7517 or via email if you need more information or the CRCWSC Participant promo code.

Last updated: 5th Feb 2019