Leadership Team

Leadership team

Board of Directors

Our Chairman and Board members are appointed by our shareholders as non-executive directors.

Leith Boully
Leith Boully, Chairman

Leith Boully | Chairman

Leith Boully was appointed as a non-executive director on 1 October 2015 and was last re-elected in October 2018.

Leith has many years experience in business and natural resource management, particularly water, at local, state and national levels.

In addition to Sunwater, Leith is also Chairman of Palgrove and serves on the boards of Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited, Australian Water Partnership Committee, Isis Central Sugar Mill, and Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority.

She is also a member of the Australian Water Partnership Committee.

Leith was formerly Chairman of Healthy Waterways and Wide Bay Water Corporation, and a Director of Seqwater and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

Jo Sheppard
Jo Sheppard, Director

Jo Sheppard | Director


Jo Sheppard was appointed as a non-executive director on 1 October 2018.

She is currently the CEO of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce where she plays a key role in advocating for local business interests and providing mentoring to future business leaders. She has formerly held board positions with South West Natural Resource Management, the Australian Agricultural College Corporation and Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise. She was also formerly the Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia South-West and a Director at Downlands College.

A steadfast advocate for the development of regional Queensland, Jo recently presented to the Regional Inequality in Australia Senate Inquiry supporting the further development of water infrastructure to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and regional communities.

Jo was awarded the Mary Wagner Honour Award in the 2017 Women in Business Awards (Darling Downs) in recognition of her demonstrated excellence in leadership through deep local understanding and outstanding initiative during her professional and personal life.

Patrice Sherrie
Patrice Sherrie, Director

Patrice Sherrie | Director


Patrice Sherrie was appointed as a non-executive director on 1 October 2015 and was last re-elected in October 2018.

Patrice is an experienced executive and director with over 30 years’ experience in Queensland and PNG in chartered accounting and commerce.

Patrice has diverse industry experience including finance, property, childcare and the arts.

Patrice is currently a consultant to Bentleys (Qld) Pty Ltd, Treasurer of The Women’s College within the University of Queensland and Director of Andersens Floor Coverings Pty Ltd.

David Stewart
David Stewart, Director

David Stewart | Director

BE(Hons), FIEAust, CPEng, NER, APEC Engineer, RPEQ, GAICD

David Stewart was appointed as a non-executive director on 3 December 2015 and was last re-elected in October 2018.

David is a civil engineer with 35 years’ experience in Australia and internationally, specialising in large dams, water supply, irrigation and other infrastructure projects.

During that time, he has worked in the private sector with major engineering consulting firms and in the public sector with large water businesses, including as Executive Manager Technical Services, Executive Manager Strategy and Development and as Managing Director of Goulburn-Murray Water in Victoria.

David is currently Managing Director of the specialist engineering consultancy Australian Dams & Water Consultants Pty Ltd and is a former Director and Past Chairman of the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD).

He was recognised by Engineers Australia in 2009 as one of Australia’s 100 most Influential Engineers and has been awarded the River Murray Water Medal by the MDBA.

Vanessa Sullivan
Vanessa Sullivan, Director

Vanessa Sullivan | Director

BEc(Hons), GradDip(AppFin), GAICD

Vanessa Sullivan was appointed to the Sunwater Board on 15 December 2016 and reappointed on 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2022.
Vanessa has more than 20 years’ experience in the water, energy and carbon sectors working with both government and private sector organisations. Vanessa’s previous roles include: Climate Change Leader and Utilities Leader for a Big Four Professional Services firm; founding and running a renewable energy and storage business which involved attracting capital from global investment houses in the US and Japan and developing greenfield projects; and undertaking significant market reform in both the energy and water sectors.
With extensive commercial, regulatory and finance experience, Vanessa has completed a number of significant transactions including contracting a $1 billion energy load for a large energy user, acting as commercial lead on energy and water market acquisitions and developing and implementing carbon and energy strategies for global corporates.
Vanessa is also on the Smart Energy Council Board and a member of Hydrogen Australia’s expert reference panel.

Executive Leadership Team

Nicole Hollows, CEO
Nicole Hollows, CEO

Nicole Hollows | Chief Executive Officer

Nicole Hollows was appointed as Chief Executive Officer on 26 April 2016.

Nicole is an experienced senior executive, with a career spanning over 20 years in the resources sector, including experience in the global resources and coal industries.

Prior to joining Sunwater, Nicole was Managing Director of global resources firm AMCI Australia and South East Asia. She was Chief Executive Officer of Macarthur Coal Limited from 2007 to 2011 and, under her leadership, the company grew from A$700m to A$5bn market capitalisation and was listed on the ASX Top 50 Companies Index. Nicole believes in leading a high performance culture and streamlined systems to achieve operational excellence.

Outside of her business activities, Nicole dedicates time to charity and community organisations. She is an advisory committee member of the Salvation Army SE Queensland Council and also a member of the CEO Advisory Committee for Dean of QUT Business School.

Nicole is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.

Tim Murphy
Tim Murphy, CFO

Tim Murphy | Chief Financial Officer

Tim Murphy was appointed as Chief Financial Officer on 21 May 2018.

With more than 25 years’ experience as a finance professional, spanning government, manufacturing and financial services, Tim is passionate about cultivating high performance teams to deliver sustained business success.

Responsible for leading Sunwater’s corporate functions including legal, finance, procurement, information technology and commercial, Tim achieves results through a focus on people development, accountability and transparent communication.

Prior to joining Sunwater, Tim spent a year at the Queensland Building and Construction Commission as Chief Financial Officer and five years as an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for The Public Trustee of Queensland, which had an operating a budget of more than $100 million and assets under management worth in excess of $2 billion. In this role he managed the finance, investment services and property programs. Past roles included senior placements at Bendigo Bank, AXA and Mars Chocolate Australia.

Tim is a chartered accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting and Business Law) from the University of Ballarat and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Colin Bendall
Colin Bendall, EGM Operations and Service Delivery

Colin Bendall | Executive General Manager Operations and Service Delivery

Colin Bendall was appointed Executive General Manager Operations and Service Delivery on 2 January 2017 after serving more than 35 years with Sunwater and its predecessors in technical, operational and senior management roles.

He oversees Sunwater’s on-ground services and is responsible for driving customer-oriented, efficient and safe operations that support regional Queensland’s water needs.

Colin is a highly skilled water industry specialist with expertise in the design, operation and maintenance of bulk water infrastructure with a strong customer focus. Previously, Colin worked for Sunwater in technical and senior advisory roles and was involved in the design of large-scale water harvesting schemes, on-farm dams, drainage and irrigation. He has also owned and directed a successful irrigation design company.

Colin is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Water Services Australia Utility Excellence Committee Member. He has specialist industry qualifications including an Associate Diploma in Applied Science – Farm Water Supplies (Hons) and a Certificate in Tropical Agriculture.

Kellie Breen
Kellie Breen, EGM People & Transformation

Kellie Breen | Executive General Manager People and Stakeholder Relations

Kellie Breen was appointed as Executive General Manager of People and Stakeholder Relations on 29 January 2018.

With more than 20 years’ experience in human resources, Kellie delivers shareholder value by providing strategic direction to develop and implement organisational strategies aimed to improve business outcomes.

At Sunwater, Kellie passionately drives initiatives to embed cultural change to drive efficiency and performance for customers.

Kellie has a strong background in the resources sector and professional experience in the manufacturing, retail and legal industries in Australia and internationally. She has led significant organisation development and efficiency programs for organisations including Incitec Pivot Limited and ASX listed Peabody/Macarthur Coal, achieving large-scale labour cost savings and a successful transition of a workforce during a corporate takeover.

Kellie holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resource Management from the University of Southern Queensland and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter MacTaggart
Peter MacTaggart, EGM Corporate

Peter MacTaggart | Executive General Manager Corporate

Peter MacTaggart was appointed as General Manager of Corporate Development on 11 September 2017 after spending 15 years with Sunwater in regional operations and senior infrastructure development roles.

A proven performer in the development of infrastructure assets, Peter leads Sunwater’s business growth strategy through securing business development opportunities, overseeing regional water infrastructure planning, feasibility studies and business cases for new projects, and directing water pricing and sales strategies.

Peter has led complex infrastructure projects from concept design through to construction and commissioning. This includes billion-dollar developments and high-profile feasibility studies including the Connors River Dam and the Nathan Dam and Glebe Weir raising pipeline projects. After successfully delivering the Mitchell Group’s Solomon CNG project, he took on the role of Chief Operating Officer with Verso Energy.

Peter holds a Bachelor Applied Science (Environmental Management) from the University of Queensland and a Master Business Administration from La Trobe University.

James Stuart
James Stuart, GM Water Resources and Dam Safety

James Stuart | General Manager Water Resources and Dam Safety

James Stuart became General Manager of Water Resources and Dam Safety on 30 January 2018 following four years with Sunwater in senior water management and dam safety roles.

He has 17 years’ experience in water engineering both in Australia and overseas, which included a year spent volunteering in Peru developing flood forecasting capabilities.

James oversees Sunwater’s dam safety program, hydrology services, customer billing and asset strategies. He uses his passion for technology to drive innovative thinking, improve data access for customers and help them use this information to find efficiencies in their water use.

Prior to joining Sunwater, James was Regional Hydrology Manager for Queensland at the Bureau of Meteorology where he was congratulated in the Queensland Parliament for his work throughout the 2011 Queensland floods.

James is a Chartered Civil Engineer (CPEng, RPEQ, C.WEM), completed a Master of Science in Hydrology/Hydraulics and in 2017 was elected to the Board of the National Hydrologic Warning Council of the United States.

Olivia Newman
Olivia Newman, GM Major Projects and Technical Services

Olivia Newman | General Manager Major Projects and Technical Services

Olivia Newman was appointed General Manager Major Projects and Technical Services on 22 January 2018.

Olivia brings more than 20 years’ management experience across high value, complex infrastructure programs to Sunwater.

Olivia is responsible for the delivery of new Sunwater infrastructure, asset upgrades and renewals including the DIP. Olivia’s department also provides engineering guidance and support across the organisation. Her work across a diverse portfolio of industries included a role as Program Delivery Manager on the $12 billion Australian Rail Track Corporation’s Inland Rail project.

Previously, Olivia has held senior project management roles with City of Gold Coast, City of Ipswich and Queensland Urban Utilities. Olivia holds an associate degree in Civil Engineering, a Diploma in Project Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

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