Board of Directors & Management

Role of The Board

The Board of Directors, who are appointed by the Minister for Water, operate under the provisions of the Water Act 1989 and have responsibility for the governance of the Corporation, to provide strategic direction and accountability for the performance of South Gippsland Water. Responsibility for ongoing operation and implementation of strategy is delegated to the Managing Director and Senior Management Team.

The Board meets on the fourth Thursday of each month and on other occasions as required. Follow the link to the Board meeting overview August 2016

The Board



David Schultz – MIEAust, CPEng, GAICD

Appointed 1st October 2011 (Chair)

David Schultz is a Civil Engineer and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. He is a Director of VicWater and has been a non-Executive Director of Life Saving Victoria.

David along with his wife Jan and family, has owned a holiday house in Inverloch for over 40 years. He has been actively involved with the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club since it started in 1998, being a member of the first patrol, President of the club from 1999 until 2006 and now a life member. Previously, David held various executive roles with GHD Global including Practice Leader of the management consulting practice and Senior Project Director Middle East


Geoff Lake

Geoff Lake

Appointed 1st October 2015

Geoff is a practising barrister at the Victorian Bar. He is a director and past Chair of Vision Super and a councillor and former Mayor of Monash City Council. Geoff is also a director of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and has previously served as president of the Australian Local Government Association and the Municipal Association of Victoria and as a board member of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade




Kate Young

Kate Young

Appointed 1st October 2015

Kate Young is a town planner at Crowther & Sadler. Kate is currently on the Board at

Gippsland Grammar, is a former chair of the Governance Committee, and is a former Director of the East

Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. Kate also served on the Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee and East Gippsland Shire Inundation and Adaption Management Project Steering Group Committee. Kate has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), post graduate qualifications in Planning and Environment, Arts (Criminology) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.


Susan Friend

Appointed 1st October 2017

Sue Friend is a Chartered Accountant and Director   at Sapere Research Group, an economics and consulting firm providing services to government and legal clients. She has held senior roles in global accounting firms and smaller consulting firms.Sue is currently a board member of Melbourne Market Authority and Chair of the Financial Audit and  Risk Management committee. Sue was previously on the Board of Yarra Valley Water from 2010 to 2017 and was a member of the Risk Management & Audit Committee (including Chair from 2012 to 2016) and its Sustainability, Planning, Infrastructure & Regulation Committee. Sue is also an independent member of Courts Council and is an independent chair of a number of audit and risk committees in the government sector.


Director Chris Rose

Christopher Rose

Appointed 1st October 2017

Christopher Rose is a Director and Founder of Three Pipe Consulting Pty Ltd, a small consulting firm specialising in delivering economic development through sustainable tourism. He has more than 30 years’ experience in public land management, 11 years’ executive management experience and

acted as Chief Executive Officer of Parks Victoria for one year. He is currently a Director of the Victorian Fisheries Authority and the Game Management Authority, and has previously held directorships of Alpine Tourism (Deputy Chair), Destination Gippsland, the Gippsland Coastal Board, and the Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council. Chris holds a Bachelor of Forest Science. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program.


Nicola Hepenstall

Appointed 1st October 2019

Nicola Hepenstall is a highly skilled strategist with extensive experience in C-suite leadership roles, holding Executive Director and Non-executive Director positions spanning marketing services,

research, education and member organisations. With over 25 years experience in evidence-based consulting, she has worked with State and Federal Government departments and many of

Australia’s largest companies helping them navigate the complexity of the communications environment and develop strategies to enhance business and social outcomes.

Nicola is currently a Director of The Front Project and has previously held directorships of Haileybury College, Clemenger Group Limited and Chair of the Association of Market & Social Research Organisations.

Nicola holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Psychology) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was the Australian Marketing Institute’s Certified Practising Marketer of the Year 2018.


Jennifer Ryan – BEng(Civil), MBA, GAICD

Appointed 1st October 2019

Jennifer Ryan is a Civil Engineer and has more than 25 years’ experience in the water and civil infrastructure industries.

She has held senior leadership positions in both government utility and private construction sectors, delivering multi-million dollar capital works programs throughout Victoria and ACT.

Jennifer has achieved project and industry awards during her career, including the Civil Contractors Federation Training Awards 2017 Women in Civil, Excellence Award, and the NAWIC Awards 2012 (Vic & Tas) for Outstanding Achievement in Construction.

She holds a Master of Business Administration (Technology Management), a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Computing, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



Nick Fleming – BE(Hons) PhD FIEAust GAICD

Appointed 1st October 2019

Nick is a chartered engineer, management consultant and executive educator. He brings to the board 30 years professional experience working with the private and public sectors across Australia, New

Zealand, south-east Asia, the UK and Americas. During this time Nick has held local, international and industry leadership roles and received many related awards. In particular, Nick brings a proven capability

for strategy, innovation, complex problem solving and leadership of change. He has a strong social ethos and commitment to excellence and positive impact. Prior to establishing his own advisory firm, Nick was the Director of Business Innovation at Jacobs Group (Australia) and before that the global Chief Sustainability Officer for Sinclair Knight Merz. Nick previously sat on the board of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) and is currently the National President and Chair of the Board of Engineers Australia. Nick also delivers executive education on complex public problem solving, systems thinking and effective policy implementation as a member of faculty at the ANZ School of Government.


Our Management Team

Managing Director – Philippe du Plessis

Philippe is responsible for direction of the Management Team and the corporate and strategic functions of South Gippsland Water. These include strategic relationships, strategic marketing, the Corporation’s performance and image, information technology, OH&S, awareness of future trends in the water industry and contact with the Corporation’s key stakeholders.

General Manager Corporate Services – Tristan Pham

Tristan manages the finance, strategy, risk, governance, and ICT functions. The key responsibility of the General Manager Corporate Services is that of custodian of the Corporation’s assets and financial resources on behalf of all stakeholders

General Manager Infrastructure and Planning – Mark Lynch
Mark is responsible for the planning, direction and management of the Corporation’s Capital Works Program covering a broad range of projects. Other functions under this role include asset planning, managing the Corporation’s Urban Water Strategy including the Drought Response Program, and engineering and technical services.

General Manager Operations – Ravi Raveendran

Ravi manages service delivery to our customers. He manages the operational and maintenance functions of water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants and water and wastewater networks. . His responsibilities include compliance with water and wastewater quality guidelines, site safety, environment and catchment management, and specialist services to major customers.

General Manager People, Culture and Customer – Annette Katiforis

Annette’s role provides strategy advice about, and operational management of programs developing workforce skills, diversity and inclusion programs, workforce planning and design, and contemporary human resources operations. Annette is also responsible for managing the Customer Service function including   enabling responsive local customer call centre and reception services, customer connections, the issuing and managing customer accounts and revenue and the Customer Support Program for customers experiencing changes and challenges. During the year the Communications and Engagement function was moved into the People, Culture and Customer department, bringing in responsibility for customer and community engagement and education programs, marketing and public relations, publications and the SGW website.