Board Members

 Bronwyn Morris

Bronwyn Morris AM is a professional Non-Executive Director. She was appointed as the Chairperson of the Urban Utilities Board on 1 July 2019, having previously served as a board member from 1 July 2017. By virtue of her position as Chairperson, Bronwyn is a member of the Audit, Finance and Risk, Experience and Safety, and Strategic Asset Management Committees. Her other current board-level roles include Collins Foods Limited.

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.

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

Amanda Cooper was appointed to the Urban Utilities Board on 1 July 2021. She serves a member of the Experience and Safety Committee and the Strategic Asset Management Committee.

Professional experience

Amanda brings with her a deep understanding of local government, specifically in the fields of infrastructure planning and delivery and urban planning and development.

Amanda was a member of Brisbane City Council’s Civic Cabinet from 2008-2019 and Chair of two senior portfolios: the Neighbourhood Planning and Development Assessment Committee (for two terms) and the Brisbane Infrastructure Committee. She was also the Councillor for Bracken Ridge from 2007-2019, demonstrating her commitment to advocating for community needs.

Boasting extensive industry knowledge and experience, Amanda has overseen the delivery of more than 36 Neighbourhood Plans; the largest planning review undertaken by Council in over a decade; and over a billion dollars in city shaping infrastructure projects, including the Kingsford Smith Drive and Wynnum Road upgrades, the first Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP) and the Howard Smith Wharves re-development.

Qualifications

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Government from the University of Queensland.

Julie-Anne Schafer

Julie-Anne Schafer was appointed to the Urban Utilities Board on 1 July 2018. She is the Chairperson of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee and serves as a member of the Experience and Safety Committee.

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 Icon Water. 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 Bachelor of Laws (Honours), 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.

Mark Gray

Mark Gray is a professional Non-Executive Director, appointed to the Board of Urban Utilities on 1 July 2019. He serves as a member of the Audit, Finance and Risk 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.

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours), University of Queensland 
Boards (Current)
  • Chairman of Sugar Terminals Limited
  • Chairman of Tailored Superannuation Solutions Pty Ltd
  • Non-Executive Director (Queensland Section) Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
  • Non-Executive Director of Data#3
  • Non-Executive Director of GenomiQa
  • Non-Executive Director of Queensland Cricket
  • Non-Executive Director, Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility 
Boards (Previously)

Mark is an accomplished Director, and has previously served on a range of corporate, government and non-for-profit Boards, including:

  • Airtrain CityLink
  • Q-Pharm
  • Max Frank (Australia)
  • Oaks Hotels and Resorts
  • Queensland Treasury Corporation
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland Art Gallery and Urban Futures Brisbane
Affiliations
  • Senior Fellow, Financial Services Institute of Australia
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors
Awards
  • 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 Urban Utilities Board on 1 July 2019. He is the Chairperson of the Experience and Safety Committee and a member of the Strategic Asset Management Committee.

He has extensive experience in operations and finance at the executive level. He’s held a number of executive roles 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 as Chair of Coal Network Capacity Company Limited, is on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and is a Council member of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Professional experience

He is a former Chair of Queensland Rail and former Director of Tilt Renewables Limited. He was the President of the Australian Aluminium Council and held a number of executive roles over his 35 year career with the Rio Tinto Group.

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, logistics, tertiary education and non-for profit sectors.

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

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

Qualifications

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

Lucia Cade was appointed to the Board of Urban Utilities on 1 October 2021.

She serves as a member of the Audit, Finance and Risk and the Strategic Asset Management Committees.

Professional experience

Lucia is an experienced non-executive director with a professional engineering and commercial background. Her board portfolio spans utilities, advanced manufacturing, waste recycling, energy research and investment. She has previous professional experience in engineering, executive and advisory roles in infrastructure, utilities and professional services working in global technical services, listed companies, significant government organisations and private enterprises.

Lucia’s other directorships include Chair of South East Water, Chair of Paintback, Director of Carbon Revolution, Director of Engineers Australia, Director of Flaim Systems and Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Future Fuels. She sits on the Monash University Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board.
 

Qualifications
Lucia completed her Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Economics and Master of Engineering Science at Monash University and later completed a Master of Business Administration at the Melbourne Business School. 
Affiliations

She is a Fellow of the AICD, Fellow of Engineers Australia and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Water Association.

Awards

In 2018 Lucia was honoured as the Distinguished Alumnus for the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University and in 2019 as their Civil Engineering Alumnus of the Year.

Urban Utilities board member Gerard Pender.

Gerard Pender was appointed to the Urban Utilities Board on 1 July 2022. He serves as a member of the Experience and Safety Committee.

He has served on and chaired the Boards of a number of not-for-profit organisations.

Professional Experience

Gerard served as a Councillor on the Ipswich City Council from 1994-2000 and chaired council committees. He was significantly involved in many council initiatives, activities and programs across the whole range of council areas.

He has been a Partner and Director in the legal firms of Pender & Pender and Walker Pender Group for 40 years. In 2007 he was awarded the inaugural “JB Reed Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Governance” by the Queensland University of Technology. In 2014 and again in 2017 he was awarded “Business Person of the Year” by the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce.

He is passionate about the importance of local communities and their development in the context of the strategic importance of infrastructure initiatives.

Qualifications

Gerard was a registered Tax Agent for over 40 years and has been admitted as a Solicitor since 1979, practising in a range of areas including property and business. He is an appointed Notary Public and graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors..

Executive team

Paul Arnold joined Urban Utilities as Chief Executive Officer in September 2022.

Paul has more than three decades of experience in the resources and energy sectors, spanning operations, project development and execution, business development, stakeholder relations, indigenous engagement, technical governance and strategy.

Paul was Chief Executive and Managing Director of Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. from 2017 to 2021 and has been involved with several councils and committees – he was Director of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Chair of the QRC Indigenous Affairs and QRC Environment Committees, and Councillor of the Minerals Council of Australia in the Northern Territory.

He is passionate about building success through enabling people and creating business cultures that operate with the highest levels of safety, wellbeing, integrity, operational performance and environmental care.

Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Mining) and a Master of Business Administration.

Chris joined Urban Utilities as Executive Leader Integrated Solutions in August 2020. Chris is responsible for the functions of Strategy and Planning, Systems Planning, Asset Management, Portfolio Investment and Infrastructure Delivery.

Chris is very much focused on enhancing the liveability of our communities through effective strategic partnerships, contemporary service planning, and sustainable, benefits-driven investment and delivery.

Over his 28 year career, Chris has held senior leadership roles in Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), Lendlease, Abigroup Contractors Pty Limited, Anglian Water and Chicago Bridge and Iron (CBI Constructors).

As an Executive General Manager at Lendlease, Chris played an integral role in the delivery of mega projects throughout Australia and overseas. Chris holds formal qualifications in Engineering and Management from the University of Technology Sydney. 

David became Executive Leader Service Delivery on 27 April 2020. In this role, David is responsible for Urban Utilities' network operations, network maintenance, billing and metering.

David originally joined Urban Utilities in May 2017 as Production Manager. Prior to Urban Utilities, David held several senior management roles within the water industry, including Chief Operating Officer Water and Waste at Mackay Regional Council.

David's core competencies include engineering and technical, strategy, risk and crisis management, customer, and corporate governance.

David has a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical).


Shane joined Urban Utilities as Executive Leader Environmental & Industrial in August 2021. In this role, Shane has enterprise leadership of Urban Utilities’ industry partnerships, key commercial relationships and business development. In addition, he is responsible for the safe, efficient and reliable operation and optimisation of sewage treatment plants and resource recovery facilities; the new development enabling services; and the environmental management functions including SAS Laboratories.

Prior to this, Shane held the role of Chief Operations Officer at Watercare Services Limited in Auckland, New Zealand, where he was responsible for the operation of the full water cycle including water and wastewater treatment assets, networks and field assets, along with asset integrity functions, and operations control centres for the greater Auckland region of 1.8 million customers.

Shane has over 25 years’ experience in the water industry, spanning research, engineering design, operational management, technical leadership and senior management. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Masters of Engineering (Civil and Resource).

James joined Urban Utilities as Chief Experience Officer (CXO) on 5 May 2020. As CXO, James is responsible for both the customer and employee experience.

He oversees the following functions: Human resources,Talent and leadership, Health and safety, Employee Experience, Employee Relations, Marketing, Digital, Media and Customer Experience. 

Over his 20-year career, James has held senior leadership roles at The Star Entertainment Group, Virgin Australia and Toyota Motor Corporation.

James's core competencies include strategy, risk management, customer, and strategic human resources leadership.

James has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations.

Jo joined Urban Utilities as Chief Risk Officer in October 2023 and is responsible for enterprise leadership across all elements of risk – including compliance, operational, strategic, environmental and reputational.

As part of her portfolio, Jo leads the Risk Services, Security and Resilience and Health, Safety and Wellbeing teams and functions, along with having Executive accountability for the enterprise Health, Safety and Wellbeing Improvement Program.

Jo has experience in mining and heavy industry across a range of commodities and jurisdictions and is particularly motivated by prevention of harm, to people and the environment.

Prior to Urban Utilities, Jo worked at BHP for 17 years. Her most recent role was Head of HSE Asia Europe. 

Jo holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Occupational Safety and Health and a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Hygiene.

 

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.

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.