Rebecca Yianakis

Senior Production Officer, Sydney Water

Senior Production Officer, SydneyRebecca works with a diverse team of operational staff to ensure wastewater is treated in south-west Sydney.

Growing up in outback NSW and living primarily on bore water, Rebecca knows just how precious water is. She has always appreciated the effort and care that goes into creating world-class water and wastewater services across the globe. As an indigenous woman, Rebecca knows the strong cultural and spiritual significant waterways have for First Nations people.

‘It’s important to me that I continue to protect the environment as my elders and ancestors did before me. Knowing that my work keeps my community healthy and safe is really rewarding. I love working with passionate people to discover and deliver new technologies that drive efficiencies and protect the environment.’

Rebecca started in the water industry as a young mother. She experienced many biases as a female working in a male-dominant industry.

‘I’ve been told “you’re a girl, you can’t lift that”, which isn’t pleasant, but it’s fuelled me over the years and helped me develop a strong sense of resilience. I love challenging the status quo and my perspective as a mum has allowed me to slow things down, assess the situation holistically and apply empathy to help solve problems.’

Rebecca supports other women in the industry by always being open to listen and lend a supporting hand.

‘One of the biggest lessons that I have learnt from my leaders is to believe in yourself and be your own advocate. Many of my life experiences have taught me to always challenge. For me, the International Women’s Day theme “Choose to Challenge” means to always look forward, not backwards. I only ever look back to the past to learn from it.’