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The Board of Directors are responsible for planning and managing the policies, strategies and objectives that drive Western Water.

The roles and duties of Western Water’s Board are established by legislation, Ministerial directions and letters of agreement.

The Western Water Board comprises Board Members with a wide range of relevant skills, experience and expertise.

Andrew Cairns - Chair

BEng (Electrical), AFAIM, GAICD 

Appointed October 2017

Andrew Cairns

Andrew was previously appointed as a Director of the Coliban Board in October 2007 and as Chairperson in October 2011.  Andrew is CEO of Community Sector Banking and a former Head, Community Solutions and Partnering for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd.  He has held senior management positions with a range of private sector organisations including as Chief Executive Officer of Community Telco Australia Pty Ltd (2001–2010).

Andrew is a Director of Loddon Mallee Housing Services and Bendigo Affordable Housing Company.

Jeff Rigby - Managing Director

Jeff Rigby

BEng Civil, MEng Sc, MBA, CPEng, FIEAust, EngExec, NER, FAICD, FGIA, FCIS, MIPAA

Jeff Rigby was appointed by the Board and commenced at Western Water in March 2019.

Jeff was previously the Managing Director at Coliban Water since December 2011.

Jeff has 34 years of experience working in the water industry in regional Victoria.  He was the Managing Director of Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water from 2007 prior to joining Coliban Water.

Since 2017, he has been a Board Director of VicWater, the State association for the water utility sector.  Jeff also serves as a Board Director of Castlemaine Health, a regional public hospital.

Jeff is a chartered professional engineering executive and chartered secretary.




Michael McGarvie

Appointed October 2015

Michael McGarvie

Michael is Adjunct Professor at Monash University Law School and previously held the position of Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Legal Services Board, the regulator of the Victorian legal profession.  During his private sector legal career he was a solicitor, then partner at the law firm, Holding Redlich for 23 years.

Michael was then appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 2006–2009.  Michael is also a Graduate in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies from the John Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Russell Walker OAM

DipBus(Acc), GradDip(Govt Acc), FCPA, MAICD
Appointed October 2015

Russell Walker

Russell has extensive experience in both the not-for-profit and public sectors.  He was Assistant Auditor-General of Victoria (a position he held for 20 years), a Commissioner on the Victorian Commission of Audit, and has undertaken a number of consultancies, including for the Victorian Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee. 

Russell has been a past President and board member of Guide Dogs Victoria, Board Member of the Royal Guide Dogs of Australia, Board Member of Coliban Region Water Corporation from 2010 to 2015, serving as Deputy Chair of the Board and Audit and Risk Committee Chair, Board Member and Audit and Risk Committee Chair of Macedon Ranges Health, and Chair of a Western Bulldogs Football Club major fundraising group.

Russell is an active member in the local community and is currently Vice President of the Gisborne and District Lions Club, and board member of the Gisborne and District Bowling Club

Professor Jane Doolan

BSc (Hons), PhD, MAICD
Appointed October 2013

Jane Doolan

Jane is currently the Environment Commissioner at the Australian Productivity Commission. Previous positions she has held include Professorial Fellow in Natural Resource Governance at the University of Canberra, Chair of the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre and Deputy Secretary for Water in the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries. 

Jane has more than 27 years’ experience in the sustainable management of catchments and water resources. She was also a Commissioner with the National Water Commission and was a Director with eWater Ltd.

Claire Filson

Appointed October 2017.

Claire Filson

Claire is a highly experienced non-executive director with an extensive background in financial services, superannuation, insurance, funds management, infrastructure and property including ports, roads, rail and utilities (water). 

Ms Filson is an independent member of the Department of Premier and Cabinet Audit and Risk Committee and a former board Director of South East Water Corporation (2000 – 2006).  Ms Filson has a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Business Administration (Executive), Graduate Diploma Applied Corporate Governance, Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Isabelle Higgins

Appointed October 2017.

Isabelle Higgins

Isabelle is currently the Principal and Director of R&I Consulting, Environmental & Management.  Ms Higgins is an experienced independent consultant to the manufacturing and utilities sectors with expertise in sustainability and environmental management, particularly in the water and waste sectors.  Ms Higgins has a Chemical Engineering degree (Toulouse, France) and two Masters qualifications in Environment (University of Melbourne) and Chemical Engineering (University of Houston, USA). 

Ms Higgins is also involved in The Water Well project and is passionate about the environment and social justice. For over 10 years, she has volunteered for food relief and wildlife protection agencies. In particular, she has set up the education program for Wildlife Victoria, which has reached over 2500 students per year since 2014. Coming from overseas, she understands how important it is to help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers feel welcomed and integrated into their local community. She believes that education is the key to empowering these communities to improve their health.

Llewellyn Prain

LLB (Hons), BA (Hons), GAICD
Appointed October 2015

Llewellyn Prain

Llewellyn has worked as a commercial litigation lawyer and in senior roles at a number of Government agencies.  Through her firm, PrainWriting, she helped develop public policy in a range of areas, including health, public transport and equal opportunity.  She is currently a Director of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the Public Transport Ombudsman of Victoria and the Disability Services board.  She was an inaugural Director of cohealth, one of the largest community health organisations in Australia, and is a past Chairperson of the Western Region Health Centre.  Llewellyn is currently completing the Williamson Community Leadership Program.



Board committees

Western Water has three Board Committees. Each operates under approved Terms of Reference and is chaired by a member of the Board.

Community & Environment Committee

Our Community Engagement Committee provides a direct link between the Board and customers, local businesses and organisations to help us effectively engage about matters of strategic and operational importance to Western Water.

The Committee draws on ideas and influences from outside the immediate customer base and geographical reach of Western Water to inform itself of trends, innovations and changes occurring elsewhere to ensure we deliver exceptional customer experience.

The Committee also allows us to receive feedback from customers via a formal process and provides us with access to valuable local community and consumer perceptions.  This input helps focus our priorities for regional expenditure during strategic and price determination planning periods.

Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities by reviewing all matters related to corporate finance, auditing functions, review of financial statements and accounting policies. The committee also considers compliance with legislation and other activities and procedures, including insurance and risk management.

People and Culture Committee

The People and Culture Committee reviews remuneration and performance arrangements of executives and terms of employment for all employees.

Investment Review Committee

The Investment Review Committee provides strategic input into Western Water’s Capital Works Plan and monitors implementation of the plan in accordance with timeframes and budgets.

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