Board Members

 Bronwyn Morris

Bronwyn is a professional Non-Executive Director, appointed to the Board of Queensland Urban Utilities on 1 July 2017.  Her other current roles include RACQ, RACQ insurance, Collins Foods Limited and Watpac Limited.  She is a member of the Queensland Urban Utilities Finance and Pricing Committee and the Strategic Asset Management Committee.

Bronwyn is a Chartered Accountant and former partner of KPMG.  She retired in 1996 to take up a career as a Non-Executive Director.

She has previously served on the boards of a number of listed, private, government-owned and not-for-profit entities including QIC Limited, Care Australia, LGIAsuper, Spotless Group Limited, Colorado Group Limited, Stanwell Corporation Limited and Queensland Rail where she was Chair from 1999-2006.

Professional experience

Bronwyn's career in chartered accounting spanned 20 years and involved roles in audit and corporate services in Brisbane, London and the Gold Coast.  Her clients covered a broad range of industries including manufacturing, construction, property development, health care and tourism.

Bronwyn has developed a strong commercial acumen from her professional services background and governance roles with a range of entities including those facing significant business transformation challenges.  Her board roles over the last 22 years have included transport, infrastructure, financial services, managed services, energy and retail.  She has been involved with a number of regulated organisations and associated compliance regimes. Bronwyn has served on and chaired a range of board committees, in particular audit, compliance and risk management committees.

She is a member of the Queensland Council of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Director Advisory Panel of ASIC.

  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of Queensland 
  • Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member Chief Executive Women
  • Member of the Order of Australia
  • Centenary Medal 2003 for "distinguished service to the transport industry

Photo of Bruce Leslie

Bruce Leslie was appointed to the Queensland Urban Utilities Board on 1 July 2018.

Bruce has worked as a consulting mechanical engineer for over 30 years. After 5 years with BMT WBM, he founded Leslie Consulting in 1989 and grew and managed it until its acquisition by CQMS Razer in 2016. After 2 years as General Manager of Engineering for CQMS Razer, he is again working as an independent consulting engineer.

Professional experience

Bruce’s career has focused on innovative design, the management of complex multi-disciplinary technical projects, and the commercialisation of innovation. With over a dozen patents in various fields, he has made internationally significant contributions to the design and productivity monitoring of mining excavators.

Since 2006, Bruce has also been active in renewable energy with involvement in both residential and commercial solar and battery systems and grid scale solar thermal generation.

  • Doctor of Engineering, University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), University of Queensland
  • Master of Engineering Science, University of Queensland
  • Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (1989 to present)
  • High Commendation, Institute of Engineers Australia, Engineering Excellence Awards, Queensland (2009)
  • Highly Commended, Australian Institute of Management, Management Excellence Awards, Queensland (2009)
  • Fellow, Institute of Engineers Australia
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Energy
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors 

Photo of board member Graham Thomsen

Graham Thomsen was appointed to the Queensland Urban Utilities board in September 2016. Graham has practiced civil engineering with a speciality in water management for over 40 years. During his career, he has held many senior management positions including Managing Director of a Consulting Engineering practice and has been Program Director of large infrastructure development programs.

Professional experience

As a professional adviser, Graham has worked with State and Local Government bodies in all aspects of strategic planning, governance and management of water and wastewater systems. He had significant roles in the infrastructure development and management required to offset the impacts of the “millennium drought” in south east Queensland.  As a part of all his projects, Graham has had a special focus on stakeholder engagement and workplace safety.


  • Associate Diploma in Civil Engineering from QIT
  • Currently undertaking Higher Degree Research at QUT
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Queensland


  • Managing Director, John Wilson and Partners Pty Ltd, Consulting Engineers
  • Board Member, Consult Australia
  • Chairman, Wide Bay Water Corporation
  • Director, Southern Regional Water Pipeline Company
  • Board Member, The Queensland Bulk Water Transport Authority


  • Chairman, Verterra Ecological Engineers


  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Life Member, Consult Australia
  • Fellow, The Institution of Engineers, Australia
  • Fellow, The Institute of Public Works Engineers, Australia


John Cotter

John was appointed to the Queensland Urban Utilities Board in January 2014.

John Cotter is an experienced senior executive, board member and chairman.

John is a qualified town and regional planner with 15 years’ experience working on major property and infrastructure projects. John has worked on and procured major PPPs.

John founded the project services company Flinders Group (now Flinders Hyder) before founding Initiative Capital to develop PPPs.

John is a director of Phosphate International and Initiative Capital, and a Board advisor for Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct.

Professional experience
In 2008 John founded the Flinders Group, a project services company following roles in government, private and a publicly companies.

John provides commercial advice for government and companies in establishing major infrastructure projects through funding strategies, government approvals and stakeholder management.

As Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, John provides strong leadership, cultural development and financial knowledge to company boards.
John holds qualifications from the University of Queensland (Bachelor of Regional & Town Planning), Certified Practicing Planner, Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently studying his Masters in Applied Finance.
  • Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Corporate Member of Planning Institute of Australia
  • Member of Urban Development Institute of Australia (Former Board Member)
  • Royal Agricultural & Industry Association - Future Directions Committee Chair
  • Trustee of Centre for Economic Development Australia
  • Executive Director - Phosphate International
  • Executive Director – Initiative Capital

Photo of Julie Anne Schafer

Julie-Anne Schafer was appointed to the Queensland Urban Utilities Board from 1 July 2018.

Professional Experience

Julie-Anne has experience in diverse and highly regulated sectors including financial services, infrastructure, health, energy, mutuals and transport.

She has ASX, unlisted public company, government, not for profit and advisory experience.

Julie-Anne was a director of three insurers. Current directorships include Av Super and C S Energy. Chair experience includes the National Injury Insurance Agency Queensland. She is President of the National Competition Council.

Her Committee experience includes Audit Risk and Compliance, Risk, Investment, People, Reinsurance, Remuneration and Nomination, Governance and Organisational Performance.

She has a strong interest in the organisational value brought by innovation and technology.

Qualifications and Affiliations

Julie-Anne holds an Honours degree in Law (LLB Hons), is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

She facilitates in Risk and Strategy for the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Kathy Hirschfeld

Kathy is a professional non-executive director appointed to the board of Queensland Urban Utilities on 1 January 2019.  Her current roles include Chair, Powerlink Queensland and director of Central Petroleum and Tellus Holdings.  She is President of UN Women Australian National Committee and a Senate member of The University of Queensland.

She has previously served on ASX, NYSE and government boards including Snowy Hydro, ASC (formerly Australian Submarine Corporation), Broadspectrum, InterOil Corporation and Toxfree Solutions.  Kathy brings to her board roles corporate and commercial experience as a CEO of a complex manufacturing business, as well as expertise in operational risk management, safety, corporate governance and a passion for leading people.

Professional experience

Kathy is a chemical engineer with 20 years of leadership experience with BP in oil refining, logistics and exploration, located in Australia, the UK and Turkey. Her last executive role was Managing Director of BP’s Bulwer Island Refinery in Brisbane.

Kathy has deep operational and technology experience and is experienced in Safety and Risk Management. She has managed major capital projects and investment decisions.

Kathy has chaired People and Safety and Risk committees and served on Audit and Risk, Governance and Remuneration committees.  

Kathy was an officer in the Australian Army Reserve for over 20 years.

  • Bachelor of Engineering, University of Queensland 
  • AICD Company Directors Course
  • AICD International Company Directors Course
  • Member of the Order of Australia
  • Fellow, Academy of Technology and Engineering
  • Fellow, the Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member, Chief Executive Women.  
  • Member of the Order of Australia
  • AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence, 2015
  • Honorary Fellow, Engineers Australia, 2014


Mark Gray

Mark is a professional Non-Executive Director, appointed to the Board of Queensland Urban Utilities on 1 July 2019. Mark serves on the Finance & Pricing Committee and the Audit Committee.

Professional experience

Apart from non-executive roles, Mark has had a distinguished executive career, spanning more than 40 years, primarily in the financial services sector, highlighted by Chief Executive roles with the Queensland Treasury Department, the Queensland Competition Authority and the Queensland Commission of Audit.

He was also the Office Head for the Macquarie Group in Queensland, and an Executive Director with BDO, where he was heavily involved in corporate finance and infrastructure funding issues.

  • Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours), University of Queensland 
  • Chairman of Sugar Terminals Limited
  • Chairman of Tailored Superannuation Solutions Pty Ltd
  • Chairman, Queensland Section and Director, Federation Board, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
  • Non-Executive Director of Data#3
  • Non-Executive Director of GenomiQa
  • Non-Executive Director of Queensland Cricket
  • Chairman of the Brisbane Boys’ College Council
  • Member of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association Board  
  • Senior Fellow, Financial Services Institute of Australia
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Adjunct Professor of Economics, University of Queensland
  • Honorary Doctorate (D.Univ), Griffith University
  • Prime Minister's Centenary Medal 2003 for services to banking and finance


phillip strachan board member 

Phillip Strachan was appointed to the Queensland Urban Utilities Board from 1 July 2019.

He has extensive experience in operations and finance at the executive level. He’s held a number of executive roles over a 35-year career with the Rio Tinto Group, including the Chief Executive Officer of the global Bauxite and Alumina businesses based in Brisbane and Chief Financial Officer at the Rio Tinto global aluminium product group based in Montreal.

He currently serves on the Boards of TILT Renewables Limited and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. He is also a member of Sunshine Coast University’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Professional experience

He is a Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Tilt Renewable Limited. Former Chair of Queensland Rail. He was the President of the Australian Aluminium Council and held a number of executive roles over a 36 year career with the Rio Tinto Group, including the Chief Executive Officer of the global Bauxite and Alumina businesses based in Brisbane, and Chief Financial Officer at the Rio Tinto global aluminium product group based in Montreal.

Phillip has extensive operational and financial international experience in: a global multinational mining organisation having worked overseas in Indonesia, United Kingdom and Canada for a total of 18 years, public sector transportation, renewable energy, and non-for profit sectors.

He has NZX, ASX, unlisted public company, government, not for profit and advisory experience.

His Committee experience includes Health, Safety, Environment and Community, Audit Risk and Compliance, People, Remuneration and Nomination.


Phillip holds a degree in Commerce (B.Com (Melb)). is a Fellow of the Certified Practicing Accountants (FCAP), and is a Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

  • Fellow of the Certified Practicing Accountants (FCAP)
  • Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD)

Executive team

Louise was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer on 2 July 2012, having previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Before joining Urban Utilities, Louise was Executive Manager of Brisbane City Council's Water Retail business unit. She has held several senior executive roles within Brisbane City Council, including Director, Finance and Legal Water Transition Program, Chief Procurement Officer and Commercial Manager Information, Communication and Technology Division.

Prior to joining Council, Louise's experience included 17 years with leading accounting and advisory firm KPMG, and senior roles with PresCare.

Louise is a Chartered Accountant, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Queensland, a Certificate of Superannuation Management from Macquarie University, and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ruth Coulson was appointed Chief Financial Officer in February 2018 and is responsible for Urban Utilities' financial activities and regulation, shared services, and strategic procurement.

Ruth has a unique skill set and background across finance, operations, capital management and major transformation and change initiatives to optimise strategic, financial, commercial and operational outcomes.

Ruth previously held senior leadership roles at Aurizon Limited. She has worked in both Australia and internationally in listed businesses with a strong focus on sound financial reporting, long term financial strategy, risk and governance and external reporting obligations.

Ruth is a Chartered Accountant, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Queensland, and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Susan is responsible for managing all aspects of Urban Utilities’ information, communication and technology (ICT) environment. Susan’s extensive experience in ICT spans the state and local government, health, aviation and commercial sectors.

Susan is responsible for the organisation’s ICT strategy, investment, business engagement, innovation, delivery and for the continued development of the existing ICT function.

Prior to joining Urban Utilities in September 2016, Susan led IT Strategy and Architecture for Brisbane Airport Corporation.

Susan has Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma Lib. & Information Science and Master of Information Technology qualifications.
As the General Counsel/Board Secretary, Tracey is responsible for the provision of both legal advice to the organisation and for providing governance and secretarial assistance to the Board.

Tracey has significant experience in infrastructure delivery, including the major approvals process and procurement and is an experienced probity advisor.

Immediately prior to this appointment, Tracey was a partner in the Infrastructure, Energy and Government Division of McCullough Robertson Lawyers where she was the leader of water and electricity practice groups.

Tracey has a strong interest in both urban and rural water resource policy and management including sustainability.

Tracey has 25 years experience in both private and public sector legal practices. She has provided legal advice to the Defence Materiel Organisation, Health Services Australia, Department of Health and Aged Care and the Department of Finance and Regulation.

Tracey is a member of the Queensland Law Society, Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and the Australian Water Association. In her spare time, Tracey has also held a number of board positions within the not for profit sector particularly in the areas of non-profit health service provision and the performing arts.
Paul is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of our water and wastewater infrastructure assets at Urban Utilities. This involves setting the strategic direction for a multi-disciplinary group of operational, planning, engineering and maintenance professionals across our Infrastructure Delivery, Infrastructure Maintenance, Network Management, Service Delivery and Treatment & Production Teams.

He has more than 20 years' experience in the water and sewerage industry across a wide spectrum of disciplines. His main areas of expertise being planning, asset management and operations.

He was a key member of the team that helped establish Urban Utilities and also had input into the establishment of South East Queensland’s water arrangements.

Paul holds both Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer Queensland and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mark provides strategic direction and leadership for the Office of the Chief Executive Officer as well as executive Board support while also contributing to ensuring sound enterprise level governance frameworks are in place.

Mark has worked in both State and Local Governments as well as in the financial services sector and was one of the founding members of the Council of Mayors (SEQ) water reform program which was responsible for implementing the institutional water reform arrangements in South-East Queensland.

Following this term, Mark was appointed as Program Manager, Program Connect, with the objective of establishing a local government owned utility through the merger of the water/wastewater/retail businesses of Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset Regional Councils. This represented the largest ever water transaction in Australian history and was the second largest ever utilities transaction in Australian history.

As the Executive Leader for our Customer & Community and Commercial Customer Groups, Ian is responsible for all commercial and residential customer interactions.

For our commercial customer portfolio, this involves building relationships with our largest water and trade waste customers, developing new revenue streams, delivering our core analytical laboratory services and providing leading assessment services to the development industry.

For our residential customer portfolio, this involves our customer services, marketing and communications, media, community engagement and customer experience activities.

Ian has more than 35 years' experience in customer-facing and leadership roles with global enterprises including Boeing, Verizon and Telstra. He has held roles in a range of disciplines spanning engineering, consultancy, project and change management, commercial management, business development, product development, government liaison, sales and the negotiation of large multi-faceted contracts.

Prior to joining Urban Utilities in July 2014, Ian held the position of Queensland State Director at Telstra, where he was accountable for the overall business relationship with Telstra's largest enterprise customers.