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Board of Directors

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Chair

Therese Ryan

LLB, GAICD

Appointed October 2015
Current term expires September 2023

Therese Ryan, LLB, GAICD is an experienced director and former lawyer. She is presently a non-executive director of listed entity Bapcor Ltd, WA Super and VicForests. She is also an independent member of the Audit Committee of the City of Melbourne. She was previously a director of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, Yarra Valley Water and MFB, and in her last executive role was Vice President and General Counsel of General Motors International Operations, based in Shanghai.

Managing Director

Sarah Cumming

B.A., LLB (Hons), EMBA, GAICD

Sarah commenced as Managing Director of Gippsland Water on 5th 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, business transformation and creating enabling cultures to deliver process improvements.

In addition to her previous role of the General Manager Corporate Services at Latrobe City Council, Sarah's experience covers a range of senior management positions at the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), and commenced her career as a litigation lawyer with a national law firm.

Sarah lives in Gippsland and has a very strong connection to the Gippsland community.

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.

Deputy Chair

Greg Hade

BBus, CPA, GAICD

Appointed October 2015
Current term expires September 2023

Greg has significant experience as a non executive director, including 9 years as a director of Latrobe Regional Hospital and 5 years as a trustee director of Equipsuper, a $5b profit for member superannuation fund. His executive career spanned 40 years in the energy sector, most recently as Head of Finance, Merchant Energy AGL and Executive General Manager Finance (CFO) Loy Yang Power. Greg has a Bachelor of Business, is a Certified Practicing Accountant and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Board Member

Jane Oakley

DipCompSys, GCertLeadership, GAICD

Appointed October 2015
Current term expires September 2023

Ms Oakley is currently the project manager for a regional procurement project and a business improvement consultant. Jane was Executive Manager Communications, Advocacy and Customer Service at Baw Baw Shire and previously the Regional Director Regional Development Victoria Gippsland at the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation. Having worked in the telecommunications sector for a number of years, Jane has held senior leadership roles with Telstra Corporation primarily in sales and marketing. Jane is a Director with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and has been a Director of Latrobe Regional Hospital. She has a Graduate Certificate in Regional Leadership; Diploma Practice Management; Diploma Competitive Systems and Practices. Jane is also an accredited MBTi facilitator.

Board Member

Jo Benvenuti

HDipTeach (Secondary), GDipPubPolicy

Appointed October 2015
Current term expires September 2021

Ms Benvenuti is an experienced consultant across a range of consumer matters, specialising in consumer engagement and energy and water policy. Jo was previously Executive Officer of the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre and held executive positions for the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria and RSPCA Victoria. She was previously Chair of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia. Ms Benvenuti has a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy. Jo has been appointed as a member of the COAG Energy Council- Independent Energy Appointments Selection Panel for a four year term.

Board Member

Christopher Badger

BEng. CPIEA, GADP (LBS UK), LC&OR (Stanford USA), FAICD and GAICD

Appointed October 2017
Current term expires September 2021

Christopher is a private management consultant, mentor and coach who was until recently 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 Director of the Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group, and formerly 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 of Wellington Council's and South Gippsland Council's Audit & Risk Committee.

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).

Board Member

Katrina Lai

BA/LLB (Hons), MBA, GAICD

Appointed October 2019

Current term expires September 2023

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 currently serves on two other public sector boards - Bendigo Kangan TAFE and VARTA. She has worked as a corporate lawyer and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Board Member

Felix Ohle

Bec, BBA

Appointed October 2021

Current term expires September 2025

Felix has extensive experience in strategy development and delivery. He is a Logistics Business Manager at Viva Energy Australia. Having worked in the oil and petroleum sector for over two decades, Felix has held senior leadership roles with Shell and BP across Australia and Europe. He has also spent 10 years in BP’s global top 250 downstream talent program.

Felix has an Executive Education from Melbourne Business School, and a Bachelor in Economics and Business Administration from the Academy of Economics, Germany.

Board Member

Penny Hutchinson

FCA, GAICD, MA, BA(Hons), AMusA.

Appointed October 2021

Current term expires September 2025

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.

Board Member

Shara Teo

LLB, BA

Appointed October 2021

Current term expires September 2025

Shara has an extensive background in industrial relations and law and is a National Organising Coordinator at the United Workers Union. She is also responsible for strategic decision making around dispute resolution options, including litigation in the Federal Court or arbitration in the Fair Work Commission.

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.

About us

Gippsland Water supplies fresh clean drinking water to more than 70,000 customers, and wastewater services to more than 63,000 customers across an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. It maintains a $1 billion infrastructure network, which includes more than 2,000 kilometres of water mains, 15 water treatment plants, over 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains and 14 wastewater treatment plants.

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Free drinking water initiative

Did you know that you can access free tap water at refill locations across the Latrobe Valley?

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Contact us

55 Hazelwood Road, Traralgon, VIC, 3844

Phone: 1800 050 500

Fax: (03) 5174 0103

Interpreter service: 131 450


TTY: 1800 555 677

Email: contactus@gippswater.com.au