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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.

Board Member

Malcolm Eccles

MSc, CEng, MIET, MAICD, FCMI

Appointed October 2011
Current term expires September 2021

Malcolm is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Basslink Group (2007 – current). The Basslink group owns power and telecoms transmission assets in Australia. He was previously Basslink’s Assets and Operations Director (2005-2007).

Malcolm has held senior management and engineering roles with Siemens Power Services (2002-2005) and British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (1986- 2002). He is a current Director and Executive Committee member of the International Cable Protection Committee (2007-current).

Malcolm has international management experience having led projects and operational businesses in Europe, USA, Asia and Australia. Malcolm has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Management Studies. He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer (CEng), a member of the Institute of Engineering Technology (UK), a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (US), a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (UK). Malcolm has also completed an Advanced Management Program at Henley Business School (UK) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. He is also a qualified health & safety practitioner, holding an International NEBOSH certificate.

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

Rod Touzel

M Admin, BE (Elec), Dip Elec Eng, Dip MechEng, FIEAust, CPEng

Appointed October 2017

Current term expires September 2021



Rod is a Principal of Advisian Pty Ltd and he has had extensive experience in the power industry in Australia and internationally covering the planning, development, operation and regulation of transmission, distribution and generation assets. He has also been a strategic advisor to the NSW Government in relation its electricity industry privatization and to the Victorian Government in development of its renewable energy and bushfire mitigation initiatives. In the water industry, Rod led a 10-year energy partnership for WorleyParsons with Sydney Water Corporation which included the development and implementation of energy efficiency strategies in the Corporation’s operations.



Rod’s experience in the Gippsland region has included roles in the development and support to all the Latrobe Valley generation assets and a 12-year period as a Council member of the former Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE.

Board Member

Katrina Lai

MBA, LLB, GAICD

Appointed October 2019

Current term expires September 2023


Katrina Lai has 20 years of experience as a Lawyer, a senior executive in a service utility (Telstra) and a strategy consultant in customer service, strategic planning, asset management and ICT innovation. She is an experienced director of two Victorian boards and has contributed advice to the Victorian Government on a climate change project through feasibility and design phases. Ms Lai is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Laws.


Board Meetings

NOTE: The Board Meeting Summary Document is not the official record of the Board Meeting. Formal Meeting minutes are prepared and presented to the Board for endorsement at the next Board Meeting.

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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Choose Tap

Choose Tap aims to promote the benefits of drinking tap water as part of a healthy lifestyle and as an alternative to bottled water.

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Contact Us

Gippsland Water Head Office, 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

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