Our Board

We operate under a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister for Water.

Meet our Board

Tom Mollenkopf headshot
Tom Mollenkopf AO
Chair
B Juris, LL.B, MBA, FAICD
Tom Mollenkopf is an independent advisor on policy, strategy and governance. He is President of the International Water Association and a Senior Associate with the Aither consultancy. Over recent years he has advised government, NGO and private sector clients in Australia and globally. He is passionate about sound evidence-based decision making, and the role of informed and respectful conversations in good policy.

Tom's professional background is in law, first in private legal practice, then as corporate counsel - including Head of Legal at Australian Airlines (until its merger with Qantas) - before undertaking a series of executive and CEO roles in the water and environment sector. He was CEO of the Australian Water Association from 2007 to 2013, and later, CEO of the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust until 2021.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Peninsula Leisure, Deputy Chair of the Victorian Sustainability Fund Committee, and a member Australian Water Partnership Expert Review Panel.

In January 2023, Tom was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia, in recognition of his distinguished service to business, particularly through the essential services industry, and to the community.
Appointment
October 2023
Current term expires
September 2027
Sarah Cumming standing next to a window, smiling at the camera.
Sarah Cumming
Managing Director
B.A., LLB (Hons), EMBA, GAICD
Sarah commenced as Managing Director of Gippsland Water in April 2017.

Sarah has extensive experience in successfully leading transformational change and implementing large scale technology solutions across multiple tiers of government. Her expertise is in governance, strategic leadership, complex problem solving, business transformation and creating enabling cultures to drive sustainable futures.

An experienced litigation lawyer and business leader, Sarah also holds a Director role and is former President of the Institute of Water Administration (IWA), is an Executive of the Intelligent Water Networks (IWN), and is an Independent Trustee of a private charitable trust.

Sarah lives in Gippsland and is passionate about driving change that will build a sustainable future for her region, and State.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts (ANU), Bachelor of Law (Honours) (ANU), and a Master of Business Administration (Executive) (Mt Eliza/Melbourne Business School). She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has completed further study at both the Cambridge Judge Business School, and the Kennedy School of Government.
Jo Benvenuti
Jo Benvenuti
Board Member
HDipTeach (Secondary), GDipPubPolicy
Jo is a strategic thinker and industry leader with extensive experience in energy and water policy, customer welfare and engagement.

She has particular expertise in consumer interests and stakeholder engagement, having worked with many vulnerable communities and their representative agencies, government, regulators and industry, across many roles, including as the previous Chair of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia.

As Executive Officer of the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre, Jo led research including an examination of how utilities could better assist those experiencing family violence. This important report led to five recommendations being put to and adopted by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and subsequently rolled out as regulatory protections across the water and energy industries.

Jo has a deep understanding of legislation, regulation, and corporate governance with experience across various roles including at the Office of the Regulator-General (now Essential Services Commission) and seven years as second-in-charge to the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).

She has recently chaired two energy related panels advising the Victorian government and in May 2024 was appointed as a non-executive director to the State Electricity Commission's independent Board.
Appointment
October 2015
Current term expires
30 September 2025
Chris Badger, outside, smiling at the camera.
Christopher Badger
Board Member
BEng, CPIEA, GADP (LBS UK), LC&OR (Stanford USA), FAICD and GAICD
Christopher is a private management consultant, mentor and coach who was previously an Associate Director of Madison Cross Advisory Consultants where he led the Utilities/Energy Business. He has extensive board and senior executive experience in the Electricity, Gas, Telecoms, Water and Waste Industries.

Christopher is Non-Executive Director of Dulverton Waste Management Group and Gippsland Ports, and formerly NED with Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group , South Gippsland Region Water Corporation, the Stormwater Industry Association of Australia, Australasian Corrosion Association, Murray Irrigation Ltd, and Bendigo Community Bank.

He is an independent member and Chair of Wellington Council's Audit and Risk Committee, and previously Chair of South Gippsland Shire Council A&RC, and member East Gippsland Shire Council's A&RC.

Christopher has a Bachelor of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Degree, and is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also has post graduate leadership and business training from Stanford University Business School (USA), Warwick University Business School (UK), and the London Business School (UK).
Appointment
October 2017
Current term expires
September 2025
Katie Lai headshot
Katrina Lai
Board Member
BA/LLB (Hons), MBA, GAICD
Katrina has extensive experience in strategy consulting and executive management. She was a director of strategy with Telstra, responsible for customer service transformation, product investment and innovation. She has consulted to State and Federal government, as well as a wide range of industries locally and in Asia.

Katrina also serves on the boards of Bendigo Kangan Institute and VicTrack. She has worked as a corporate lawyer and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointment
October 2019
Current term expires
September 2027
Felix Ohle
Felix Ohle
Board Member
Bec, BBA, GAICD
Felix has over 25 years experience working in commercial, strategic and operational roles across Europe, the US and Australia where he gained deep experience in strategy development and delivery. With a strong background in the petrochemical industry, working for organisations such as BP and Shell, Felix spent many years developing and managing infrastructure and assets.

During his time leading large scale operational businesses in high-risk environments, Felix passion has been in safety and delivering step changes in performance through culture change.

Felix is currently the Head of Supply Chain for one of the divisions at Coles Group, one of Australia’s major retailers. He is also a Non-Executive Director with a not-for-profit organisation in the early learning sector and President of the German Saturday School in Melbourne.

Felix has an Executive Education from Melbourne Business School, and a Bachelor in Economics and Business Administration from the Academy of Economics, Hamburg, Germany. He is also a graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointment
October 2021
Current term expires
September 2025
Penny
Penny Hutchinson
Board Member
FCA, GAICD, MA, BA(Hons), AMusA
Penny has extensive board and committee experience, including current appointments on the board of Eastern Health, and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority. Penny is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Department of Planning Industry and Environment(NSW), chairs the board of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, and the CAANZ Public Sector Panel in Victoria.

Penny has previously held senior roles in the Victorian Public Sector and has been a partner in a large Chartered Accounting firm.

Penny is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, and has a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne. She also has a Music Performance Diploma of the Australian Music Examinations Board, and an Honours degree in German and Music from the University of London.
Appointment
October 2021
Current term expires
September 2025
Shara
Shara Teo
Board Member
LLB, BA, GAICD
Shara has an extensive background in industrial relations and law and is the Chief of Staff to the National Secretary at the United Workers Union. She also currently serves as a Non Executive Director on the Board of the Victorian Interpreting and Translation Services (VITS) LanguageLoop.

Shara is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors. Shara has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria as an Australian Lawyer, and has a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and Chinese from Monash University.
Appointment
October 2021
Current term expires
September 2025
Katie Wyatt headshot
Katie Wyatt (She/her)
Board Member
BCom, GAICD
Katie is a proud Noongar Yamatje woman from Whadjuk Noongar country. With over 20 years of leadership and business experience in various sectors, Katie believes in the power and responsibility of business to support social change. Her unique career has provided her with technical, strategic, and multi-sector expertise in driving growth and performance at the organisational and board level.

Currently Head of Culture and Inclusion in one of Australia’s largest employers, Coles Group, Katie has led a multi-year strategy and initiatives to build an inclusive and diverse environment. In her leadership she has seen Coles achieve gender balance in leadership, Gold employer status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index for LGBTQI+ inclusion and top 3 ranking in the Access and Inclusion Index. She also serves as a Director on the boards of the Reece Group Foundation and Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL), and mentors diverse up-and-coming board directors.
Appointment
October 2023
Current term expires
September 2027
Jenny Selway headshot
Jenny Selway
Board Member
GAICD, EMBA, FIEAust CPEng, GCCCPol, BEng (Civil and Environmental)(Hons), BSc
Jenny has over 20 years’ experience as an Engineer and Non-Executive Director, and a passion for decarbonisation and the energy transition. Jenny is currently the CEO of HILT CRC, a Co-Operative Research Centre that brings industry, universities and government organisations together to identify and de-risk decarbonisation pathways for Heavy Industry. Prior to this, Jenny worked across the energy industry at AEMO, the Australian Energy Market Operator where she focused on increasing renewable penetration in the Victorian transmission network, and at ExxonMobil, specialising in international joint venture and asset management.

Formerly a NED of HILT CRC before taking on the CEO role, Jenny was previously an Alternate State Director at Agribio, a $288M Agricultural research facility and joint venture between the Victorian State Government and Latrobe University.

Originally graduating from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) & Bachelor of Science, Jenny is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Fellow of the Engineers Australia, and has completed an Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School and postgraduate studies into Climate Change Policy at the Australian National University.
Appointment
October 2023
Current term expires
September 2027