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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: BEng (Civil), MEng 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.
  • Deb Evans: Non-Executive Director (Utility)
    Qualifications: CPA, Bus. Admin BA (hons), Grad Dip (Professional Accounting), Grad Dip (App Finance & Investment), GAICD
    Deb was appointed as a non-executive director of WaterRA in 2021, and was previously an independent member of the WaterRA Risk & Audit Committee. She is Head of Strategic Finance at Water Corporation in Western Australia and holds key leadership positions on Perth Seawater Desalination Plant and Corporate Water Quality committees. Deb has extensive commercial experience in risk management, banking and finance, both in Australian dollar and foreign currencies. As a director on, and chairman of boards she appreciates the different needs of boards and members and the advantage that arises from viewing issues from different perspectives.
  • Dr David Bergmann: Non-Executive Director (Utility)
    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.
  • Assoc Prof Helen Stratton: Non-Executive Director (Research)
    Qualifications: BAppSci(Hons), PhD Microbiology
    Professional Memberships: AWA - Life Member, IWA, ASM
    Appointed as Non-Executive Director of WaterRA in 2021, Helen is an Associate Professor in Microbiology at Griffith University. She has over 25 years of experience in water research and consultancy as an academic complemented by multiple management and leadership appointments, including 10 years as Board Director for the Australian Water Association and 20 years of service to the AWA, including Branch President. Helen is also an advisor for the Water Research Foundation, the Fitzroy River Partnership, a member of the International Water Association (Australia Branch) and an editor/reviewer of international journals and national competitive grant schemes. Helen brings capability in water research, industry training and skills needs, and a deep understanding of the economic, social, cultural, political and technical issues the water sector faces in Australia and globally. Helen is also a member of external community management committees as a volunteer, including Australian Families 4 Genomics and volunteers her time to improve health outcomes for children who survive cancer treatment.
  • Steven Porter: Non-Executive Director (Utility)
    Qualifications: BEng (Civil), M Organ. Dyn., AICD
    Appointed as Non-Executive Director of WaterRA in 2021, 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.
  • Prof Stephen Gray: Non-Executive Director (Research)
    Qualifications: BEng (Chemical), PhD Chemical Engineering
    Professional Memberships: AWA, IWA, IDA, MSA
    Stephen was appointed as a non-executive director of WaterRA in 2021, and was previously a non-executive director of Water RA from 2011 to 2017. He is the Associate Provost Research Institutes and Centres at Victoria University, and has over 30 years of water research experience. Stephen brings experience and expertise in development and implementation of research strategy, aligning research for impact, and management of budgets and personnel. He also serves as Co-Editor–in–Chief of IWA’s Water Reuse journal, is an Associate Editor of Water Research, and is an Editorial Board Member of the Desalination journal and the Membranes journal.
  • Dr Daniel Hoefel: Non-Executive Director (Research)
    Qualifications: BSc. (Hons), PhD
    Appointed as Non-Executive Director of WaterRA in 2022, Dan is Senior Manager of Water Expertise & Research at SA Water Corporation with over 20 years’ experience in the water industry. Dan brings to the Board experience in leading water research and innovation, development and implementation of water related strategies, water utility operations, governance and risk management, business improvement, and expertise in customer and stakeholder management.