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Our Board

Our Board of Directors is comprised of nine directors, committed to forging strong relationships and promoting interconnectivity across the sector. Each director brings a diverse range of skills, expertise and experience ensuring diversity of opinion and a strategic direction which is beneficial for our members.

Working closely with the executive team, our Board is responsible for:

Overall organisational performance: ensuring the development and implementation of strategies and supporting policies to enable WaterRA to fulfill the objectives set out in our constitution. The Board monitors and supports the CEO and management in an on-going way, aiding them to deliver day to day operations of the organisation, ensuring organisational performance is delivered for our members and shareholders.

Overall compliance/conformance: ensuring the organisation develops and implements systems, processes and procedures to enable it to comply with its legal, regulatory and industry obligations and ensure the organisation’s assets and operations are not exposed to undue risks through appropriate risk management

Project and research funding is decided upon outside of the Board through our research tender and selection process.


Meet Our Board 

  • Mark Gobbie: Chair
    Qualifications: B Eng (Civil), M Eng Sc, GAICD
    Professional Memberships: AWA, AICD, Eng Aus(retired)
    Appointed as the Chair of WaterRA in 2020, Mark has over 40 years’ experience as a professional engineer and general manager in infrastructure delivery and water utility operations with specialist expertise in water and wastewater. His great energy, enthusiasm and passion for the water sector represents the values WaterRA strives for as a member-driven and member-funded organisation. Mark is also an experienced Company Director, bringing a wealth of knowledge in ‘best practice’ governance, having served on the Board of Diving South Australia (Chair) for the past four years. In addition to this, he was also a past President of the SA Branch of the Australian Water Association; a former Chair of the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Adelaide; a trustee of the Edwardstown Football Club (SA) and provides Board Advisory services to a number of private sector companies through is own business. His strong local, national and international network perfectly complement the activities and ambitions of WaterRA now and into the future.
  • Ken Murphy: Non-Executive Director (Independent)
    Qualifications: Dip Comp Director, Dip Bus Mgmt, Dip HR Mgmt
    Professional Memberships: FAICD, FAIM, CAHRI, SGIA, SIA
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director of WaterRA in 2016, Ken Murphy has over 25 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 (Independent)
    Qualifications: BSc, MSc, GAICD
    Professional Memberships: AWA, IWA, AICD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director in 2018 then Independent Director in 2021 and Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee (since 2019), Amy has over 15 years’ experience providing services in developing countries, regional centres and remote Aboriginal communities. She is currently Executive Director at the Northern Territory's Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security. Amy has governance experience with not-for-profit entities through Water Aid and Indigenous Essential Services Pty Ltd. She is also involved with the Australian Water Association, having formerly served as NT Branch president. She is passionate about making a difference to the lives of people by delivering solutions and ensuring that research is translated into real world outcomes to meet our current challenges.
  • Assoc Prof Rita Henderson: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: MChem, MSc, PhD, GCert
    Professional Memberships: RSC, AWA, IWA
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA in 2019, Rita commenced her water research career in Australia in 2007 and is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW, Sydney. Her research interests are in water quality and treatment research, with a particular interest in the management of climate-driven, extreme water quality events. In addition, Rita is a passionate equity and diversity advocate and has led projects related to both gender equity and humanitarian engineering. She has a desire to build capability and capacity within the Australian water industry to ensure that the community is equipped to meet future water challenges.
  • David Sheehan: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Professional Memberships: GAICD
    Appointed as a Non-Executive Director for WaterRA in 2014, David Sheehan is the Senior Water Quality and Regulatory Advisor 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.
  • Emeritus Professor Christopher Saint: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: BSc(Hons), PhD, MAICD
    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 formerly Dean: Research & Innovation for the Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment at the University of South Australia. Chris was 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 has also served as a member of the Goyder Water Research Institute Board and currently sits on the board of Dublin City University Water Institute. He is currently a Senior Associate of Outside Opinion - a higher education consultancy business.
  • Dr David Bergmann: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Qualifications: BSc (Hons), PhD
    Professional Memberships: AWA, RACI, AICD
    Appointed as Non-Executive Director of WaterRA in 2020, David is the Research & Development Manager at Melbourne's South East Water. He has over 20 years’ research and product development experience in highly commercial environments. David has led teams to deliver major business transformations, cost improvements and new product launches. David also works with the major universities engaging in activities such as co-supervision, advisory boards and chairing project steering committees. At South East Water, he shapes the R&D strategy, leads R&D governance, manages the intellectual property portfolio, and works extensively with their commercial subsidiary Iota to bring innovations to a broader market. He also is the Chair of a not-for-profit Board with a portfolio of community initiatives, schools, accommodation and aged care.
  • Anna Jackson: Non-Executive Director (Research Member)
    Qualifications: B Journalism, GAICD
    Anna Jackson is the General Manager of Strategy, Engagement and Innovation at SA Water and leads the team responsible for water and wastewater quality, water security through the Australian Water Quality Centre, engaging and communicating with customers and communities, and transforming social and economic insights into business strategy to improve customer experience. With more than 25 years of experience in both Australia and internationally in corporate and government sectors, Anna brings her background in market and business development, stakeholder and community engagement and journalism, with her passion for access to sustainable and safe water and sanitation to Water Research Australia.
  • Steven Porter: Non-Executive Director (Industry Member)
    Qualifications: BEng (Civil), M Organ. Dyn., AICD
    Steven is Executive General Manager of Water Services at the Northern Territory's Power and Water Corporation. He has over 35 years’ experience in the water industry across public and private sectors in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Steven’s experience includes developing and implementing strategic business plans and asset management strategies, capital works planning and project delivery, client-customer relationship management, operational maintenance, and operating water and wastewater facilities.