YP Testimonials 2017

In 2017 successful state YP winners were awarded with the opportunity to present at a YP session at Clean Up in Perth with travel, accommodation and registrationn fees covered.

Below is a brief precis from each of the state winners:



Alex Savaglia – Kleinfelder

"I was expecting the worst and anticipated an unreceptive audience when giving my presentation at the ACLCA YP forum. However, I was pleasantly surprised with 20-30 attentive ACLCA members present to support all YP entries. Following the presentation, a number of consultants approached me to introduce themselves, congratulate me, and query some of the more practical aspects of the tracer testing.

The opportunity to attend and present at the 2017 CleanUp conference was fantastic. The presentations and plenary discussions were all very interesting. Although PFAS was the primary contaminant focus, I was pleased to break up with day with a number of presentations regarding the practical aspects of remediation, including community engagement challenges and unforeseen chemical buffers/inhibitors.

All in all, the experience was great and one I really hope to be a part of again."



Dr Benjamin Friedman - AECOM

“The CleanUp conference brings together academia, consultants, contractors, regulators and laboratories to communicate the most up to date information on the identification, characterisation and remediation of hazardous materials and emerging contaminants worldwide. As a young professional, the CleanUp conference provided fantastic new exposure to the ground-breaking science and policy surrounding contaminated land issues.

It was excellent to see researchers and industry engaging in productive discussion, with the aim of translating research to field application. I was able to expand my professional network and knowledge of emerging contaminants (particularly PFAS), and I would encourage all young professionals to attend the CleanUp conference in the future. It was great to meet my fellow young professionals and see what projects were being undertaken.

For supporting my attendance and presentation as part of the young professionals series at CleanUp, I would like to thank ACLCA NATIONAL, ACLCA Qld YP Sponsorship, The University of Melbourne, the Australian Antarctic Division and AECOM Services.”



Ben Grasso – Jacobs

“It was my time attending a conference dedicated to bringing the contaminated land industry together and I feel grateful for having been given the opportunity to not only attend but also present on behalf of ACLCA and of course Jacobs. I listened to some really interesting presenters talk about their passion projects and learnt about some new ideas and concepts that I’ve since taken back to work with me.

 It was an experience that I feel more young professionals should have. It’s a good platform to share what you’ve been working on with others who are both interested in and empathetic to the work we do in contaminated land.”




Cameron Ritchie - AECOM

“I really enjoyed CleanUp 2017 and am deeply appreciative of the opportunity provided by ACLCA to attend it. Besides meeting and presenting with peers on the Monday of the conference, the undeniable highlight of the week for me was meeting John Cherry and discussing some of the aspects of my presentation, in particular nitrate, its mobility in hydrological systems and its human health risk.

Broadly speaking, the conference was a fantastic learning opportunity with presentations on wide-ranging subject matter being accessible to people with the scantest of knowledge (often me) and subject matter experts (rarely me).

Rather than finding this intimidating, it was an exhilarating experience, especially after discovering many of the presenters were more than happy to discuss elements of their presentation/work/site afterwards, as well as offer guidance (or warnings!) for future work in their respective niches. Ultimately, it was a fantastic experience and opportunity and I wholeheartedly encourage other young/novice professionals that are even halfway interested in it to grab it with both hands.”



Daniel Wong - AECOM

“CleanUp 2017 was an amazing experience for me as a young professional. I was given the opportunity to present in front of many professionals about my experiences as a field technician and how it has developed my career over the past 18 months. I believe the presentation was relatable to everyone in the room as many in the audience talked to me about their experiences when they were starting out in the contaminated industry, aspects such as safety and overcoming obstacles encountered in the field were some of the take back messages.

After getting the presentation out of the way, I was able to relax and sit for other presentations, which I found really useful as most of the talks were new to me and gave me an understanding of concepts and common issues that the contaminated sector experiences. My favourite set of talks were on the topic of MNA, which is something I use a lot when writing reports and doing plume analysis. These talks gave me a deeper understanding of the assumptions involved.

Overall, CleanUp was informative and an experience I’ve never had before. Presenting at this conference has been a milestone in my career and a great opportunity to meet people with an abundance of experience and knowledge in my field.”