Floating on Water


Monique Retallick is a foundation student of Bishop Druitt College who sat for the HSC in 2000. After leaving school she entered the University of NSW and gained first class honours in Civil Engineering and a bachelor of Science in Geography in 2007.

Monique is a senior associate at WMA Water, a specialist floodplain management consultancy where she has worked for the past 10 years.

Her work entails conducting studies and writing reports for councils, defining their flood risk and suggested management plans. The majority of projects she has worked on since graduating have been on the mid north coast helping local communities develop flood risk management strategies.

She works in conjunction with the Australian Government, Geoscience division, and over 100 experts from around the country to update Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR is a national guideline document, data and software suite that can be used for the estimation of design flood characteristics in Australia). The update took 8 years and received $9 Million of government funding. Monique is one of the editors of the recently published ARR.

Here is a list of just some of Monique’s achievements and responsibilities:

Author of 27 conference papers presented both nationally and internationally (China, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA)

Author of 2 journal articles published in the Australasian Journal of Water Resources

2016 Co-editor of Australian Rainfall and Runoff (national guideline)

Assist with reports to the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry -2011

Organising committee member for 4 conferences

Chair of the Engineers Australia Sydney Water Engineering Panel -2017

Vice Chair of the Engineers Australia Sydney Water Engineering Panel -2016

Secretary of Engineers Australia Sydney Water Engineering Panel – 2008-2015

Winner of Engineers Australia JD Lawson Scholarship 2017 for attendance at the 37th International Assoc for Hydro- Environment Engineering World Congress in Kuala Lumpur

2011-ongoing– Warrell Creek to Urunga Pacific highway upgrade

2015 Sept – Lower Bellinger and Kalang River flood study

2016 July – Kempsey CBD flood plain risk management plan

2016 August – Nambucca Shire floodplain risk management

2013-2017 – Warragamba Dam and Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood modelling

Independent Hydrology review of Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade

Kempsey Bypass – flood mitigation report

Frederickton to Eungai Pacific Highway upgrade – initial modelling

As an example of her expertise can be gained from the start of the abstract of her Journal Article “A Monte Carlo Framework for assessment of how mitigation options affect flood hydrograph characteristics”, which she co-authored with other members of her company.

“The evolution that is occurring in flood estimation is providing new tools that allow us to better understand the variability of real floods and how to robustly plan large scale evacuations. The Monte Carlo approach allows design flood estimation inputs to be characterised probabilistically or using an ensemble instead of a single input. While these changes are being used to better estimate design flood levels they have significant benefit in understanding real flood behaviour by producing thousands of plausible synthetic events. The spatial and temporal variability in rainfall and the timing difference between the key tributaries is modelled. This approach allows impact of management measures to be assessed for all the variability seen in observed events and to properly understand what a mitigation strategy does to average and individual events.”

Monique’s professional profile reads:

Monique has 10 years’ experience in hydrology, 2D modelling and design of major waterway openings for road projects particularly on large and coastal rivers. She has extensive experience in the communication of flood impacts to the community and development of situation specific mitigation measures. Monique has worked on the concept design, EIS and independent review of detailed design of numerous sections of the Pacific Highway upgrade. Her roles as ARR project engineer and an editor of Australian Rainfall and runoff 2016 means she is up to date with the latest best practice. Monique is an author of the Australian Rainfall and Runoff Revision Project 15, Two Dimensional Modelling of Urban and Rural Floodplains and has authored 27 papers presented at conferences both nationally and internationally. Monique has published on the use of eddy viscosity in 2D models which is of particular importance for Australian floodplains. She is the current chair of Engineers Australia’s Sydney water panel.