Our leadership team

The Leadership Team oversees policy implementations, day-to-day management of our people, and the delivery of services to our customers.

Darren Cleary

Managing Director

Darren has more than 25 years of experience working for utilities in the water sector, including in infrastructure planning, capital delivery and operations.

He leads the Executive Management Team and is responsible for the management and day-to-day operations of Hunter Water.

Darren is a member of the Advisory Board for the Newcastle Institute of Energy and Resources and a past Director of the Committee for the Hunter.

Prior to being appointed Managing Director, Darren held a number of executive roles at Hunter Water including Chief Investment Officer, Executive Manager Strategy & Planning and Chief Operating Officer.

Darren holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) with Honours from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Engineering Management from University of Technology Sydney.

Darren Cleary

grace macpherson

Executive Manager Business Services and Assurance

Grace commenced with Hunter Water on 3 October 2023 and heads up the Business Services and Assurance team which includes Property Services, Internal Audit and Risk, Environment and Compliance and Management Systems. She is responsible for the corporate audit and risk frameworks, integrated management systems and business support services.

Grace is an experienced senior executive, with a background in the financial services and government sectors. She has worked across a variety of risk, compliance, legal and operational roles.

Grace holds a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Communication, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Master of Business Administration (Executive). She is admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Grace MacPherson

Jennifer Hayes

Executive Manager Finance and Business Performance

Jennifer is responsible for the functions of Finance, Economics, Commercial Procurement, Regulatory Policy, Financial Control and Compliance, Corporate Accounting, Treasury and Business Performance Reporting.

Jennifer’s career expands Executive and Non-Executive positions, in a diverse range of sectors including fast moving consumer goods, primary health, utilities, education and regional development, in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Known for her broad ranging skills and experience leading organisations strategically and operationally, Jennifer has implemented key organisational initiatives to drive positive change and transform the ways employees work.

Currently, Jennifer serves as a member of University Council, Charles Sturt University, Director of Hunter Primary Care, Director of Regional Development Australia (Hunter) and Chair of Cessnock City Council Audit Committee. She is Co-founder of the community foundation, City2City.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Master of Business (MBA), is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jennifer Hayes


Executive Manager Digital

Jenny Francis has over 25 years of experience in IT, strategy, program/project management and business improvement in banking, electricity, transport logistics and the coal industry. A proud Novocastrian, Jenny is passionate about the role Hunter Water plays in making our communities great places to live.

As Executive Manager Digital, Jenny leads a team maintaining and implementing secure and effective information systems in support of Hunter Water service delivery excellence.

Jenny has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from University of Newcastle. Jenny is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Director of the Cooks Hill Surf Club.

Jenny Francis


Executive Manager Strategy and Engagement

Emma is a water sustainability professional with over 25 years' experience in the water industry. She is passionate about the environment and delivering sustainable outcomes for the community.

As Executive Manager Strategy and Engagement, Emma leads a multi-disciplinary team responsible for strategy development, investment planning and community and stakeholder engagement; to ensure community values are reflected in a resilient and sustainable water future for the region.

Emma has a degree in Environmental Engineering (Hons) and a Master of Business Administration (with distinction) from the University of Newcastle.

Emma is currently an Advisory Board Member on the Vitens Adaptive Pathways Research Program (Netherlands) and a member of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) Liveable Communities Committee.

Emma Berry


Executive Manager Customer Delivery

Glen has more than 20 years of experience in the water sector, including in infrastructure planning, capital delivery, system operations, asset maintenance and customer services. Having filled numerous roles at Hunter Water, Glen has been directly responsible for delivery of some of Hunter Water's largest capital works projects and for the operation of all water and wastewater assets including dams, catchments, treatment plants and distribution networks.

Glen is responsible for planning, building, operating and maintaining the assets that deliver Hunter Water's services, to enable and improve the quality of life of our customers and communities.

Glen holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and a Bachelor of Surveying both with first class honours from the University of Newcastle and a Diploma of Management.

Glen Robinson

Ian Pike

Executive Manager People & Culture

Ian leads the People and Culture team that includes human resources, safety health and wellbeing and organisational change capability.

Ian has led the human resources functions of large, complex, organisations in the tertiary education and research sector (University of Newcastle and CSIRO) as well as utilities (Sydney Water Corporation) and a water resource management agency. Ian has also provided specialist executive and professorial search services for the Higher Education sector.

Ian has a Bachelor Applied Science (Environmental Health) and Graduate AICD and is a member of the University of Newcastle Employee Relations / Human Resources Management Programs Advisory Committee.

Ian Pike


Executive Manager Customer Services

Matt leads the team responsible for delivering great services to our customers, consumers and the community, ensuring their experiences are valued at every touchpoint. This includes leading the teams responsible for customer service operations, residential and business water efficiency and conservation, revenue services, retail services, developer services and customer solutions.

Matt is an experienced leader with a diverse career spanning a number of industries including financial services, marketing and communications, media and utilities. He is passionate about ensuring customers are at the heart of decision making, recognised for delivering digital transformation programs and driving strategic change in the businesses he has operated in to create better experiences for customers.

Matt is a member of the Faculty of Business (Marketing) Executive Advisory Board, of the University of Newcastle, and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications Studies) degree from the University of Newcastle.

Matt Hingston

The Board

We appointed a Board to oversee Hunter Water's policies, management and performance. See some of the dedicated leaders who ensure that our business continues to grow and provide a sustainable water future for our region.