Leadership team

Our executive leadership team is responsible for delivering on our promise to deliver high quality, affordable and secure water services, and outstanding customer and community value.

The team comprises the Managing Director and five general managers.

The leadership team meets fortnightly and at other times as required. Team members also attend monthly Board meetings.

See also: Board of Directors

Shaun Cumming

Shaun Cumming, Managing Director

Appointed October 2023

Over a 20-year career in the water industry, Shaun has worked across the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in strategy, operations, construction, business development and large-scale project delivery. Shaun spear-headed a private sector partnership and oversaw the largest capital investment program in Barwon Water’s history.

Shaun holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Shaun Cumming on LinkedIn

Laura Kendall, General Manager Customers, Community and Strategy

Appointed December 2021

Laura and her team deliver outstanding customer service and community value, responsible for our pledge to become a regional leader in effective, innovative customer experience management. The group’s core responsibilities include customer service, new property connections, communications, education, community and stakeholder engagement, strategy development, and pricing regulation.

The Customers, Community and Strategy group is responsible for developing key business plans including our visions for a long-term water security (Water For Our Future), high quality services and affordable pricing (Price Submission), and to lead our region’s economic, environmental and social prosperity (Strategy 2030).

Laura’s extensive senior leadership experience in strategy development, customer experience and digital technologies strongly complements our key drivers and commitment to enabling regional prosperity.

Laura holds a Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, and post-graduate qualifications in Technology and Innovation Management.

Laura Kendall on LinkedIn

Seamus Butcher, General Manager Planning, Delivery and Environment

Appointed May 2019

Seamus and his team plan, monitor and deliver quality systems and services to achieve remarkable outcomes for our customers, community and environment. The group’s core responsibilities include corporate strategy and business planning, policy development, water security, water quality, catchment management, infrastructure planning, property realisation, spatial services, environmental planning, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and traditional owner partnerships.

Seamus has almost 20 years of experience in water industry planning, managing significant operational areas and implementing complex water, recycled water and sewage projects.

Seamus holds a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering.

Seamus Butcher on LinkedIn

Melissa Stephens

Melissa Stephens, General Manager People and Corporate

Appointed May 2017

Melissa and her team ensures the integration of people, process and governance systems to drive high performance workplace to deliver our Strategy 2030. The role informs decision making on prioritisation, risk management and deployment of resources within a financially sustainable framework. The group’s core responsibilities include people, finance, governance and health, safety and wellbeing.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Melissa has extensive experience in strategic management, human resources, change management, customer service, stakeholder engagement, and finance. In 2018 Melissa was named as one of the Top 50 Public Sector Women in Victoria and has been recognised on the Institute of Public Administration Australia’s International Women’s Day Honour Roll.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration. She is a Fellow of Certified Practising Accountants, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of Institute of Managers and Leaders, and is a Certified member of Australian Human Resource Institute.

Melissa Stephens on LinkedIn

David Snadden, General Manager Smart and Sustainable Infrastructure

Appointed February 2024

As the General Manager, Smart and Sustainable Infrastructure, David and his team ensures the provision of outstanding services for our customers, community and environment. They are responsible for strategic asset management, smart networks and automation, infrastructure operation and circular economy initiatives that are turning waste into high value resources. The portfolio covers water, wastewater, recycled water, energy and organic recycling infrastructure.

David is a senior executive with extensive experience covering a wide range of strategic, project delivery and operational leadership positions in the water, housing and government sectors. He has worked closely with stakeholders and agencies to develop industry wide collaboration, investment and innovation initiatives that deliver greater value to customers and the community. He has extensive expertise in strategy development and delivery, project development and delivery, strategic asset management, pricing and economic regulatory affairs, communication and stakeholder engagement and delivering major cultural, operational, capital and commercial excellence programs.

David holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), a Master of Business Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Snadden on LinkedIn

Anna Murray, General Manager Barwon Asset Solutions

Appointed June 2023

As General Manager Barwon Asset Solutions, Anna is responsible for ensuring the success of Barwon Asset Solutions, a 100% locally-based maintenance services company, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Barwon Water.

Barwon Asset Solutions is an exciting initiative inspired through Barwon Water’s 2030 strategic vision of enabling regional prosperity with a focus on entrepreneurship and affordability. In partnership with local business and agencies, Barwon Asset Solutions is building regional capability, enhancing productivity and creating jobs and opportunity, while maintaining affordable pricing for Barwon Water customers.

With over 20 years’ experience across operational, maintenance and reliability roles delivering essential services to customers and community, Anna is a dynamic leader who leverages the strengths of her team to enable best business outcomes. Anna is an advocate for women in traditionally male-dominated roles, providing mentoring and coaching to females within the industry.

Anna Murray on LinkedIn

Photo of Wayne Pales smiling. He has brown hair and glasses and is wearing a dark blue shirt..

Wayne Pales, General Manager Digital Business

Appointed March 2024

Wayne and his team are taking the lead on Technology Operations and our new Digital Business Transformation Program. The program consists of carefully selected digital projects, to improve the services we provide our customers and the way we work.

Over the next five years, the group’s core responsibilities will include implementing a range of improved customer technologies, upgrading and improving our asset management systems, digitising and streamlining internal systems, investing in data and integration capabilities. A key focus will be securing our systems to strengthen cyber security.

Wayne has 25 years’ experience in the digital transformation and energy utilities industries, comprising uplifting digital capabilities, customer experience, employee work practices, technology uplift, and optimising business processes.

Wayne holds a Masters in Information Systems, he is the author of  two books, ‘The Digital Director’ and ‘The Digital Utility’, and in 2015 and 2019 was recognised as a Global Energy Elite by Smart Energy International.

Wayne Pales on LinkedIn