Hunter Water Hunter Water

The 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.

The Board and its subcommittees, operate under the following adopted Charters:

Terry Lawler AO - Officer of the order of Australia

Terry was appointed as Chair of Hunter Water in 2012. Terry is also Chair of Life Without Barriers Limited, a Director of peoplefusion Pty Limited and a member of Ampcontrol.

Terry has previously been the Chair of National Rail Corporation Limited, Newcastle Knights Limited, Ampcontrol and a Director of Newcastle Port Corporation and Powerdown Australia Pty Limited.

Terry holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.

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 (EMT), 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.

Darren also leads Hunter Water's Drought response since restrictions commenced in September 2019.

Darren is also a Director of the Committee for the Hunter, a member of the Advisory Board for the Newcastle Institute of Energy & Resources (NIER) and the Utility Excellence Committee of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA).

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

Independent 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.

Grahame has an in depth working knowledge of water supply and sewerage systems operated by local Government Councils having been involved in the delivery of the then NSW Government's Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Scheme program for New South Wales. Grahame also worked for the NSW Environment Protection Authority, which included seven years as the Regional Manager for the Hunter Region.

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

Independent Director

Christine Feldmanis 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. Ms Feldmanis 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 from 2012 until 2016, chairing the Audit & Risk, and Environment, Workplace, Health & Safety Committees.

Christine is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Senior Fellowship, ASFA Trustee Director Accreditation, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Strategic Auditor, holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Applied Finance and is a Justice of the Peace.

Rod Harrison

Independent 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.

In 28 years as Judicial Officer, Doctor Harrison held a dual commission as Deputy President of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and the Fair Work Commission and an Occasional appointment to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission and is widely recognised for an innovative and collaborative approach to workplace improvement. Rod was the inaugural Chair of the University of Newcastle Human Resources, Employment Relations and Management Industry Advisory Group. He was a member of the Establishment Board of the University of Newcastle Foundation, Chair of an advisory committee to the Newcastle Knights Ltd and works with Australian business lawyers and advisors.

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

Jayne drinkwater

Independent Director

Jayne Drinkwater was previously employed as Interim CEO New Zealand, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at nib Health Funds. Prior experience includes senior roles with Citibank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ.

Jayne is also a Non Executive Director of Greater Bank, Greater Charitable Foundation and CBHS Corporate Health and has extensive experience as a Senior Executive in the financial services and banking sectors across operations, IT, customer service and marketing.

Janye is an experienced Non Executive Director and Committee Chair and is currently a member of the Greater Bank Board Audit Committee, Board Risk Committee, Remuneration Committee, Succession Planning Committee and Greater Investment Services.

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

Michelle Vanzella

Independent 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 the Strategic Planning Committee.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws, MBA and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


geoff crowe

Independent 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 also a Non-Executive Director of Hunter Business Chamber and Chair of the University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board.

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.

Michelle 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

Independent 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.