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Our Board

WaterRA Board directors are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The Chair is elected for a term of three years, while other non-executive directors serve terms of two years.

The Board represents a broad cross-section of experience and expertise from within the water industry and associated research and regulatory organisations. 

The Board of Water Research Australia is composed of 9 director positions:

  • An independent non-executive director and Chair appointed by Members
  • An independent non-executive director appointed by the Board
  • Three non-executive directors nominated by Industry Members and elected by Members
  • Three non-executive directors nominated by Research Members and elected by Members
  • The CEO
  • Mr Shaun Cox: Chair
    Qualifications: B. Eng (Civil), M. Eng & Tech Man, GAICD
    Professional Memberships: FAICD, FIE (Aust), FAIM, Adj Prof University of Queensland
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 22nd October 2014. Shaun Cox has led various Australian water utilities for more than 18 years. His most recent role was as the head of Melbourne Water and has previously led South East Water and Gold Coast Water. He also has more than 10 years of Board experience, as past Director and Chair of both the Smart Water Fund and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). He has also served as the Managing Director of Melbourne Water and South East Water and was on the inaugural Board of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.
  • Ms Karen Rouse: Executive Director (Chief Executive Officer)
    Qualifications: BSc(Hons), M Env St
    Appointed as WaterRA CEO on the 21st November 2016, Karen has over 20 year's water sector experience. She has a BSc Hons in Geology from the UK and a Master of Environmental Studies from Adelaide University. She began her career in the energy sector as a petroleum geologist before joining Amdel Ltd to provide dimension stone testing and consulting services to the construction industry. Since gaining her Masters degree in 1996 Karen has worked exclusively in the water sector holding senior management positions at the water utility SA Water and the CSIRO's water flagship. While in charge of the $15 million per annum urban water R&D portfolio at CSIRO, Karen was responsible for strategic direction, research delivery and leading collaborative efforts to develop innovative water technologies and bring them to market. At SA Water her roles spanned environmental and water resource management, climate change and sustainability, strategic planning, economic regulation, and most recently, research management. Karen has previously served on Board Committees for the Water Services Association of Australia and is currently on the Board of the Water Industry Alliance.
  • Mr Ken Murphy: Non-Executive Director (Independent)
    Qualifications: Dip Comp Director, Dip Bus Mgmt, Dip HR Mgmt
    Professional Memberships: FAICD, FAIM, CAHRI, SIA
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 10th October 2016, Ken Murphy has 20+ years of experience as a Company Director/Chairman across multiple industries including Environmental Protection, Training, and Agriculture. Complemented by 25+ years of Chief Executive and Managing Director level experience in the commercial, not-for-profit, and government-funded sectors across multiple industries, Ken is also a past member of various Government, Business, and Community Committees and Taskforces. He brings capability with Corporate Governance, Finance, Risk Management, Strategic and Operational Development, Human Resource Management, Company Restructures, Mergers & Acquisitions, Project Management, Community and Stakeholder Engagement, Problem Solving, Innovation and Change Management.
  • Professor Richard Stuetz: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: Bsc, PhD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA on 23rd October 2015. Richard Stuetz research interests are the fate of contaminants in water, wastewater and waste management processes. He has 20 years research experience in Australia and the UK and is currently Director of the UNSW Water Research Centre. He is a member of IWA and was instrumental in the establishment of the IWA YWP programme and its international conference series. Richard is interested in making a difference to the learning experience of students through an interdisciplinary focus on sustainable principles in infrastructure planning and design.
  • Dr Steve Capewell: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Qualifications: BSc (Hons); PhD (Chem Eng), GAICD
    Professional Memberships: AWA, IDA, IWA
    Steve is a water quality and treatment specialist with extensive knowledge of the planning, design, operation and optimisation of water treatment plants and process technologies to meet safe drinking water quality objectives. He currently heads the Operations Services Group, consisting of Water Quality Treatment and Operations support, Safety Environment and Aboriginal Affairs and the state-wide Operations Centre at the Water Corporation in Western Australia. Steve has co-developed the water treatment management framework within the Water Corporation, and is responsible for the strategic, tactical and operational implementation of the ADWG across all metropolitan and regional localities in WA. He has practical research interests in NOM removal, conventional and novel drinking water disinfection processes along with process optimisation of large scale seawater desalination facilities. Steve is a member of the WA State Advisory Committee for the Purity of Water and the Curtin Water Quality Research Centre Advisory Board. He has strong governance and assurance competencies as a Board member for the Perth Seawater Desalination Alliance and the Southern Seawater Desalination Alliance.
  • Dr Melita Stevens: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member) and Deputy Board Chair
    Qualifications: BAppSc, Dip Micro, PhD (Micorobiology), GAICD
    Professional Memberships: WSAA Healthy Liveable Communities Committee Member
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA on 26th October 2010, Melita Stevens has a background in public health microbiology and has been involved in water quality and research for 20 years. Melita was involved in the development of HACCP-based systems for drinking water and recycled water and contributed to the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water qualtiy, the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. Melita was a member of the Implementation Committee that supervised the start-up of WaterRA and was the Melbourne Water representative before becoming a member of the Board in 2010. Melita is an adjunct professor at RMIT and an Honorary Senior Fellow at Melbourne University.
  • Mr David Sheehan: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Professional Memberships: GAICD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA on 22nd October 2014. David Sheehan was appointed to the role of General Manager Water Quality Performance and Regulation at Coliban Water in February 2014. Prior to that he worked in a regulatory role with the Victorian Department of Health. He is also currently a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council's Water Quality Advisory Committee. David has been involved with the Australia water industry for 30 years.
  • Professor Christopher Saint: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: BSc(Hons), PhD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA on 12 October 2017. Chris Saint has extensive academic research and utility based R&D, strategic planning and implementation experience. Chris was appointed Dean: Research & Innovation for the Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment at the University of South Australia in April 2016. Chris is also Director of the China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (a joint initiative with Tianjin University, China). He previously held the positions of Director at the Centre for Water Management and Reuse, University of South Australia and Research, Development & Innovation Manager at the SA Water Corporation. Chris is also a member of the Goyder Water Research Institute and Dublin City University Waster Institute Boards.
  • Mr Jamie Hollamby: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: CA, GAICD
    Appointed as a Non Executive Director for WaterRA on the 12 October 2017. Jamie is responsible for research undertaken by the Australian Water Quality Centre scientists at SAWater. He is the General Manager, Business Services and is responsible for leading the finance, information technology, procurement, energy, pricing, research, engineering, data and information, water expertise and wastewater and environment expertise teams. He is also a Chartered Accountant with broad experience in finance, governance, project and risk management and sits on the Advisory Board of the SA Government Financing Authority and Board of Governors for St John's Grammar School.