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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, Bendigo Affordable Housing Company and SEFA Australia.

Dr Jane Doolan (Deputy Chair)

BSc (Hons), PhD, MAICD
Appointed October 2013

Jane Doolan

Jane is currently the Environment Commissioner at the Australian Productivity Commission and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra.

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.



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 a Senior Project Adviser to Jesuit Social Services in ecological responses to community disadvantage, Adjunct Professor at Monash University Law School and for 8 years until 2017 held the position of Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Legal Services Board, the regulator of the Victorian legal profession. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 2006-2009. During Michael’s private sector legal career, he was a solicitor, then partner at the law firm, Holding Redlich, for 23 years.

Michael is a landscape gardener and registered apiarist as well as 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 President of the Gisborne and District Lions Club, and Deputy Chair of the Gisborne and District Bowling Club.


Claire Filson

LLB, MBA(Exec), Grad Dip App Corp Gov, FGIA, MAICD

Appointed October 2017.

Claire Filson

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

Claire is currently a director of Murray Irrigation Limited, Port of Hastings Development Authority, TT-Line Pty Ltd and Deputy Chair of the Portable Long Service Benefits Authority.  She is also an independent member of several audit and risk committees and is a former Director of South East Water (2000-2006). Ms Filson has a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Business Administration (Executive), Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance, Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Isabelle Higgins

BEng (Chemical), MScChemEng, MEnv

Appointed October 2017.

Isabelle Higgins

Isabelle is 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 Masters qualifications in Environment (University of Melbourne) and Chemical Engineering (University of Houston, USA).

Isabelle is passionate about the environment and social justice. She is a director of The Water Well Project Ltd (the 2019 Victorian Community Organisation of the Year), a NFP that provides free health education sessions to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. For over 10 years, she has also volunteered for food relief and wildlife protection agencies. 


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. She has extensive experience in developing and communicating public policy.

Llewellyn is an experienced company director and currently serves on boards in the health, water and alternative dispute resolution industries. 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 a member of the VicWater Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. She completed the Williamson Community Leadership Program in 2017. She is an associate of the Nous Group and provides consulting services in public policy, diversity and inclusion.




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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