Skip to content Skip to navigation
News & media

News & media

Latest news and media releases.

Media Release

Long-time Board member Stephen Brown appointed Chair of North East Water

18 September 2023

North East Water has welcomed the appointment of long-time director Stephen Brown to the role of Board Chair, following the announcement of the incoming Board by Minister for Water, Harriet Shing.

A Board member since 2015, and Deputy Chair since 2018, Mr Brown has extensive corporate governance, audit, financial and technology experience, having held senior positions in the banking and finance industry for over 30 years.

He joins fellow North East Water Directors Angela Verde and Victoria Schmidt, who were both appointed in 2019, as returning Board members. In other appointments, Johnny Murray, who has successfully fulfilled the role of Independent Board Delegate for the past year, will join the Board as a full Director.

Mr Murray is a proud Duduroa and Yorta Yorta man and former Koorie Liaison Officer at Wodonga Institute of TAFE. He has extensive experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country and has held positions at Boys to the Bush, Sunshine Coast University, Albury City Council, and Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Such has been the success of North East Water’s Aboriginal Board Delegate program, other Victorian water and catchment authority boards are now being encouraged to introduce similar programs, which provide successful applicants the chance to develop the skills and experience to be a candidate for a full directorship within the water sector.

North East Water also welcomes new Director, Jennifer Fraser, who brings to the role significant Board, public administration, planning, water and catchments experience. She is currently the Victorian Environmental Water Holder Commissioner.

Managing Director, Jo Murdoch, congratulated all new and returning Director appointees and said she was excited to have their skills, expertise and experience to guide North East Water as it continues to proactively address the major challenges and opportunities of water security, public health, climate change, environmental sustainability, and growth.

Acknowledging outgoing directors

At the same time, Ms Murdoch paid tribute to, and thanked, outgoing Chair Cath Botta and Director Chris Mirams, whose terms conclude on 30 September 2023.

Ms Botta recently announced her retirement from the Board after a remarkable 11 years of outstanding service to North East Water and the Victorian water sector.

“Cath’s inspirational leadership, her technical expertise in agriculture and soil science, and her commitment to community engagement has helped drive many positive outcomes for North East Water over the years,” Ms Murdoch said.

“Cath’s contributions to our Climate Resilience Plan, our Independent Aboriginal Board Delegate program and award-winning engagement for our 2018-26 price period are just a few examples of this.

“She has been a wonderful role model, mentor and support for many at North East Water and she will be missed by all.”

Ms Murdoch also praised Mr Mirams for his passion, skill and commitment to North East Water’s program to positively transform its strategy, business practices and culture to better position itself to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

North East Water’s new Board, from 1 October 2023, will comprise Stephen Brown (Chair), Rosemary Bissett, Angela Verde, Victoria Schmidt, Jonathan Green, Leanne Mulcahy, Cris Topfner-Rigby, Johnny Murray, Jennifer Fraser and Jo Murdoch (Managing Director).