Our Board

Our Board of Directors oversees our organisation’s policies, management and performance. The Board sets our strategic direction, and ensures we achieve our business and regulatory commitments.

Hunter Water’s Board of Directors has been appointed under the Hunter Water Act 1991. The Board comprises of up to nine members, including the Managing Director (Chief Executive Officer), Chairperson and seven independent Directors.

Darren Cleary

Managing Director

Darren was appointed as Managing Director of Hunter Water on 29 April 2020. In his role, Darren leads the Executive Management Team and is responsible for the management and day-to-day operations of Hunter Water.

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

Prior to being appointed Managing Director, Darren held a number of executive roles at Hunter Water including Chief Investment Officer, Executive Manager of Strategy & Planning and Chief Operating Officer. Darren is also a Director of the Committee for the Hunter, a member of the Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board of the University of Newcastle, the Advisory Board for the Newcastle Institute of Energy & Resources and the Utility Excellence Committee of the Water Services Association of Australia.

Darren holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) (Honours) from the University of NSW and a Masters of Engineering Management from the University of Technology Sydney.

Grahame Clarke

Non-executive Director

Grahame has extensive experience in the functions and administration of local and state government in New South Wales, specialising in the regulation of the environmental health, building and planning functions of local government and the NSW Government’s planning assessment, licencing and regulation of pollutant emissions from a wide range of industry types. For example: electricity generation, mining and mineral extraction, livestock processing, chemical production and mineral processing, waste processing, contaminated soil treatment and water and wastewater treatment systems.

Grahame has an in depth working knowledge of water supply and sewerage systems operated by local government councils under the NSW Government's, Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Scheme Program. Grahame also worked for the NSW Environment Protection Authority, including seven years as the Regional Manager for the Hunter Region regulating the environmental performance of a wide range of industries operated by the private and public sector.

Grahame holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Master of Engineering Science and is a Graduate Member of The Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Christine Feldmanis

Non-executive Director

Christine has more than 30 years of experience in the financial arena, spanning both the government and private sectors. She has extensive experience in investment management, finance, accounting and risk management, legal & regulatory compliance, governance and business building, in both the listed and unlisted financial products markets. Christine formerly held senior executive positions with firms including Deloitte, Elders Finance, Bankers Trust, NSW TCorp and Treasury Group.

Christine is currently a non-executive director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committees of Perpetual Equities Investment Company Ltd (ASX: PIC), IMF Bentham Ltd (ASX: IMF) non-executive director of FIIG Securities Ltd and Chair of Bell Asset Management Ltd.

Christine was previously an independent non-executive director of Delta Electricity and Perpetual Equity Investments Company Ltd.

Christine holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Applied Finance and is a Justice of the Peace. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, Trustee Fellow of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Rod Harrison

Non-executive Director

Rod has over 40 years of experience in industrial relations. Based in Newcastle he has been involved in the shipbuilding, ship repair, major civil and mechanical construction and held senior roles at a regional, state and national level in the Australian Coal Industry.

With 28 years’ experience as a judicial officer, Rod held a dual commission as Deputy President of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (now the Fair Work Commission) and an occasional appointment to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission. Rod is widely recognised for his innovative and collaborative approach to workplace improvement.

Rod was the inaugural Chair of the University of Newcastle’s Human Resources, Employment Relations and Management Industry Advisory Group. He was also a member of the Establishment Board of the University of Newcastle Foundation and Chair of an advisory committee to the Newcastle Knights Ltd. He is currently Principle Associate with Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors.

Rod holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Dr of Business honoris causa from the University of Newcastle.

Jayne drinkwater

Non-executive Director

Jayne brings a wealth of experience having held previous roles as Interim CEO nib New Zealand, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at nib Health Funds and as a senior executive in operations, IT, customer service and marketing.

An advocate for the Hunter Region, Jayne has also held roles as non-executive director of the Newcastle Anglican Church Corporation, Hunter Economic Development Corporation, Hunter Sporting Venues Authority, Trustees of Church Property Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College.

Jayne is currently a non-executive director of Greater Bank, Greater Charitable Foundation, Greater Investment Services, CBHS Corporate Health and a member of the University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board.

An experienced director and committee chair, Jayne is currently chair of the Greater Bank Board Audit Committee, chair of the Board Transformation Governance Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee and Succession Planning Committee.

Jayne holds a Bachelor of Economics, MBA (with merit) and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michelle Vanzella

Non-executive Director

Michelle has an extensive combination of customer, marketing, digital, data and commercial legal skills built up across multiple industries including technology, retail, property and financial services. Michelle practiced Corporate & Commercial Law at Allens and has held senior executive positions with iconic Australian brands including Westfield, Suncorp and AAMI.

Michelle was previously an independent non-executive director of Canteen Australia and chair of the People and Performance Committee. She is currently a non-executive director at Abbotsleigh School and chair of their Strategic Planning Committee, and a non-executive director of Collaborate Corporation (ASX:CL8), holding roles as chair of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee and member of the Audit & Risk Committee.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a MBA, she is also is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michelle Board People 001

geoff crowe

Non-executive Director

Geoff was previously employed as CEO at Port of Newcastle. Geoff has experience in the ports, shipping, resources, and logistics sector having held senior executive roles with Port Waratah Coal Services, BHP, Yancoal and Coal and Allied amongst others.

Geoff is Chair of the University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board and a past director of the Hunter Business Chamber.

Geoff is an experienced executive and non-executive director with experience and skills gained in commercial, legal, operational, logistics, safety, projects, change management, strategy setting and logistics having also being heavily involved in the coal industry’s development of the Capacity Framework Arrangement and also as a past Director of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator and Ports Australia.

Geoff holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle and is a Fellow of the Certified Practising Accountants Australia, and Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

eric de rooy

Non-executive Director

Eric is a Water Industry Professional with over 40 years experience, predominantly with Sydney Water, ensuring the delivery of essential water-related products and service to over five million people. He operated as a key member of the Sydney Water executive team, and was directly accountable for the commercial, customer-focused operations and compliance outcomes for the organisation. Eric has extensive experience and skills in asset management/investment, strategic business planning, business development and risk management.

Eric was previously an appointed member of Dam Safety NSW, helping to govern the introduction of the new regulatory approach to Dams Safety on behalf of the public of NSW. He is also a Non-Executive Director for Scripture Union NSW (Religious Charity), operating as Deputy Chair of the Board, Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee and member of the Risk Working Group.

Leadership team

Learn more about Hunter Water's Executive Leadership team who are leading the way.

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