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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
  • 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 of WaterRA in 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 CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.
  • Karen Rouse: Executive Director (Chief Executive Officer)
    Qualifications: BSc(Hons), M Env St
    Karen is the CEO of Water Research Australia and brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in the water sector including water resource and environmental management, economic regulation and strategic planning within a state-wide utility, and leading the urban water research program for Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. Karen’s career has seen her lead collaborative research initiatives in integrated urban water management; provide sector leadership in climate change response, and negotiate net positive environmental outcomes for wastewater treatment plant upgrades. Karen currently serves on the Board of the Global Water Research Coalition and Water Industry Alliance and is a passionate advocate for collaboration to solve wicked problems and design a better future.
  • 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 of WaterRA in 2016, Ken Murphy has over 20 years of experience as a Company Director/Chairman across multiple industries including Environmental Protection, Training, and Agriculture. Complemented by over 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.
  • Amy Dysart: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Qualifications: BSc, MSc, GAICD
    Professional Memberships: AWA, IWA, AICD
    Appointed as a non-executive director of WaterRA in 2018, Amy has experience providing utility services across regional and remote areas. Amy is currently acting as Senior Manager Strategy and Planning at Power and Water Corporation, responsible for providing water and sewerage services across the Northern Territory. She has previously been actively involved with Australian Water Association, including NT Branch president, and the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment.
  • Dr Steve Capewell: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Qualifications: BSc (Hons); PhD (Chem Eng), GAICD
    Professional Memberships: AWA, IDA, IWA
    Steve currently heads the Operations Services Group at Water Corporation in Western Australia, and is responsible for a diverse portfolio comprising Water and Wastewater Quality and Treatment, People and Safety, Environmental Management, Energy and the state-wide Operations Centre. Steve has technical expertise in water treatment technology, 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 has strong governance and assurance competencies as a Board member for the Perth Seawater Desalination Alliance and the Southern Seawater Desalination Alliance.
  • Professor Richard Stuetz: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: Bsc, PhD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA in 2015, Richard's research interests are the fate of contaminants in water, wastewater and waste management processes. He has 20 years of 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.
  • David Sheehan: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Professional Memberships: GAICD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA in 2014, David Sheehan is the General Manager Water Quality Performance and Regulation at Coliban Water. Prior to this role he worked in a regulatory role with the Victorian Department of Health. He is also a former 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 in 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 Water Institute Boards.
  • Jamie Hollamby: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: CA, GAICD
    Appointed as a Non Executive Director for WaterRA in 2017, Jamie is responsible for research undertaken by the Australian Water Quality Centre scientists at SA Water. He is the General Manager, Business Services at SA Water 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.