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Our Team


Ms Karen Rouse
Chief Executive Officer

Karen commenced as WaterRA CEO on the 21st November 2016. She has a BSc Hons in Geology from the UK and a Master of Environmental Management from Adelaide University. She has extensive experience in environmental impact assessment, design and development strategies and planning. Karen has worked in the water industry since 1998, when she joined SA Water. Her most recent role there was Source Water and Environment Research Manager, and Assistant to South Australia’s Special Advisor on International Water Opportunities.

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Dr Ian Overton
Chief Research Services Officer

Ian is a water scientist with a strong background in research, program management and business development. He has both technical and business qualifications comprising a Bsc Hons and PhD in Environmental Management and Graduate Certificate in Management and Diploma in Company Directorship. He has over 25 years’ experience in water resource management, spatial information systems and decision making. As well as being a research program manager (specialising in integrated water resource management) at CSIRO for 15 years , Ian has been a lecturer at Adelaide University and UniSA, a research officer at the CRC for Soil and Land Management, and ran his own consulting and software development company for 6 years.  He has a passion for delivering science for decision making, business and service marketing and to improve global sustainable water use.

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Ms Michelle Pfitzner
Business Manager

Michelle is responsible for the financial and office management of WaterRA and has experience in various industries including not-for-profit and retail. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Flinders University, MBA from UniSA and a Graduate of the AICD.


Ms Claire McInnes
Senior Research Manager

Claire is responsible for the project management tool EDOS, manages projects and provides program administration support. She has a background in aerospace engineering and finds interesting parallels and differences in the risk management approaches of the water and aerospace industries.

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Ms Carolyn Bellamy
Research Capability Manager

Carolyn’s key role is to support the Education Program’s primary aim of building capability and capacity for the water industry through the PhD, Master and Honours Initiatives. Carolyn engages with students and supervisors to ensure the correct support and reporting processes are in place throughout the candidature.

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Dr Kelly Hill
Research Program Coordinator

Kelly assists the research team in the delivery of research, managing projects across several focus areas including: IWM and WSUD, Climate Change, IT Capability & Data Analysis, Managing Source Water and Wastewater.  She holds a PhD in Water Engineering, an MSc in Sustainable Catchment Management and Honours Degree in Environmental Management, gained from Universities in Australia. Scotland and England.

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Mr Mark Andersson 
Engagement and Marketing Manager 

Mark is responsible for the marketing and enagagement team and has a strong background in business development and engagement.

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Mrs Kathryn Nicholas
Communications Lead

With an established background in journalism, digital media and strategic communications as well as stakeholder engagement, Kathryn brings a wide variety of expertise to the Water Research Australia team.
Kathryn manages all aspects of communications, media relations and digital content from development to implementation. She works closely with members and external stakeholders to enhance promotion of WaterRA and delivery of its key events.
Prior to joining WaterRA, Kathryn was Communications Manager for the Water Industry Alliance and also the Goyder Institute for Water Research. Previously, she held strategy and project delivery roles for the public sector, and also worked as an editor and journalist for mainstream media organisations.
Kathryn has a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Bachelor of Media from the University of Adelaide.

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Ms Susan Spragg 
Engagement Officer 

Susan supports WaterRA to develop and maintain productive relations with stakeholders, especially its Members and Board, and facilitates membership participation and growth.

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