Board Members

Geoff Harley was appointed the Chairman of the Queensland Urban Utilities Board on 5 October 2012.

Geoff has practised commercial law for more than 40 years and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Queensland for six years. During his career, he has held numerous senior management positions, including Managing Partner and Partner in Charge of the Brisbane office of Clayton Utz. Geoff is currently Chairman of BDO. He was previously Chairman of Translink Transit Authority and CS Energy Limited, and was both Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of Queensland Rail.

Professional experience
Geoff has had in excess of 40 years’ experience as a commercial litigator and has trained as a dispute mediator. He has appeared as an advocate in various courts and tribunals and has extensive experience in conducting complex litigation in the areas of insolvency and corporate reconstruction, securities enforcement, contractual disputes, trade practices, insurance and employment, and industrial law.

Geoff's workplace relations experience dates back to the initial wave of industrial relations legislation introduced by both the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments in the late 1980s. He has advised clients on the numerous changes of legislative regime that have occurred over the past two decades.
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Queensland
Admitted to practice:
  • Queensland (1967)
  • High Court of Australia (1992)
  • Reserve Forces Decoration
  • Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member Australian Human Resources Institute

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.

  • 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

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


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.

 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
  • Centenary Medal 2003 for "distinguished service to the transport industry


Len Scanlan was appointed to the Queensland Urban Utilities Board on 25 June 2010.

Len was Auditor-General of Queensland from 1997 until 2004. In this role he was also the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Audit Office.

Len has since pursued a successful career as an independent consultant which has included service on audit committees, as a Non-Executive Director and general consulting work.

Professional experience

As the Queensland Parliament's external auditor, Len was responsible for the audits of all local governments and state public sector entities (more than 800 reporting entities) including government departments, statutory bodies, government owned corporations, government companies and controlled entities of these organisations, and communicating the audit results in reports to Parliament.

Len's public service career spanned 31 years and included service with the former Department of the Auditor-General where he was employed in external audit, policy and planning and audit services development. He also served with the Premier's Department, working in inter-governmental relations, Transport Department (policy and planning) and the Queensland Treasury (financial management policy). Prior to his appointment as Auditor-General he held the position of Assistant Auditor-General for four years with the Queensland Audit Office.

After the completion of his term as Auditor-General in December 2004, Len commenced a portfolio career as an independent private consultant. This has encompassed various activities in the public and private sectors, including audit committees, as a Non-Executive Director, other committees (finance, risk management and compliance), governance and probity reviews and advice, university lecturing, executive recruitment and coaching and other reviews.

  • Bachelor of Business (Accountancy), Queensland Institute (now University) of Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts (Government/Asian Studies and Public Administration), University of Queensland
  • Master of Public Administration, University of Queensland
  • Company Directors Diploma, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Fellow Institute of Internal Auditors (Australia)
  • Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Fellow Institute of Public Administration Australia
Honours and Awards
  • 1993 Royal Institute of Public Administration Prize for outstanding achievement in public administration studies
  • 1994 Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his contribution to CPA Australia
  • 1999 National President's Awards for his contribution to CPA Australia and the accounting profession
  • 1998 QUT Faculty of Business Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of his professional achievements and contribution to the community
  • 2006 QUT Alumni Service Award in recognition of his service to the QUT Alumni Program and the University
  • 2003 Centenary Medal Award for distinguished service to the public sector
  • 2009 Appointed Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the practice of public administration and contribution to the Institute of Public Administration 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 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


Executive team

Louise was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Urban Utilities on 1 July 2012, having been part of the organisation since it was formed on 1 July 2010. She previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Louise played a key role in the creation of Queensland Urban Utilities during her time as Executive Manager, Water Retail, Brisbane City Council. This included a major contribution to the successful transition of five local authority water businesses into a single entity.

Louise enjoyed a seven year career with Brisbane City Council in senior management positions including Director of Finance and Legal Water Transition Program; Chief Procurement Officer; and Commercial Manager Information, Communication and Technology Division.

Prior to joining Brisbane City Council, Louise spent 17 years with leading accounting and advisory firm KPMG, and in a senior role with PresCare.

Louise currently serves as Chair of the Liveable Communities Committee – a sub-committee of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). She is also a director on the boards of AMP Superannuation Limited, WSAA, Horizon Foundation (a not-for-profit focusing on people with disabilities) and AWA (Australian Water Association).

As well as being a Chartered Accountant, Louise holds 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 Queensland 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.

Richard is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of Queensland Urban Utilities’ operations and services delivery, which includes major projects, capital program, network operations, infrastructure maintenance and reliability, and treatment.

Richard has significant experience in engineering and the water industry. His career has included senior roles in both the private and public sectors across a broad range of industry functions. Prior to joining Queensland Urban Utilities, Richard has worked with TRILITY Pty Ltd where he was the national Operations Director, and earlier held a senior management position at Sydney Water Corporation.

As Executive Leader Customer and Community, Justin is responsible for leading and managing Queensland Urban Utilities’ retail business. This includes management of customer service, marketing and communications and media.  

Justin previously held senior management roles at Energex and various marketing agencies.

Justin launched his career as a journalist in the mid-1980s and holds a degree in professional writing, journalism, from the University of Canberra.

As Executive Leader, Commercial Customers Ian is responsible for Queensland Urban Utilities’ commercial and developer customer relationships, the performance of its NATA-accredited SAS Laboratory division, and the development of new products and services.

Ian has more than 25 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, sales management and the negotiation of large multifaceted contracts.

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

Susan is responsible for managing all aspects of Queensland 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 Queensland Urban Utilities in September 2016, Susan led  IT Strategy and Architecture for Brisbane Airport Corporation.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma Lib. & Information Science and a Masters of Information Technology.

As the General Counsel/Board Secretary, Tracey is responsible for providing legal advice to the organisation (including right to information and Crime and Misconduct Commission matters), secretarial assistance to the Board, policy development and implementation, management of the organisation’s insurance portfolio and its land access and tenure services.

Tracey has significant experience in infrastructure delivery in both the public and private sectors. Tracey is also an experienced probity advisor and contract lawyer.

Immediately prior to this appointment, Tracey was a partner with, and led the water and electricity practice groups of a major independent law firm.

Tracey has held several previous board appointments in the not-for-profit sector and is a member of Queensland Law Society, Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and the Australian Water Association.

Tracey holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from The University of Queensland and a Master of Arts (Honours) from Australian National University.
Paul is responsible for services strategy, infrastructure planning, capital inauguration, development assessment, and environmental and water quality strategy across Queensland Urban Utilities’ service area.

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

Paul was a key member of the team that established Queensland Urban Utilities and had input into the South East Queensland water arrangements.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration.

Mark and his team have primary responsibility for Queensland Urban Utilities’ corporate planning, performance measurement and corporate reporting and publications functions. He is also responsible for internal audit and assurance, corporate property, innovation and research and development functions.

Mark’s team is also responsible for stakeholder relationship management, which includes shareholder relations. This ensures Queensland Urban Utilities actively engages and interacts with shareholders and stakeholders to strengthen relationships.

Mark has worked in both state and local governments as well as in the private sector. Before joining Queensland Urban Utilities, Mark was one of the founding members of the Council of Mayors (South East Queensland) 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 to establish Queensland Urban Utilities. This represented the largest water transaction – and second largest utilities transaction – in Australian history.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce.

Glenn Smith was appointed Executive Leader People and Safety in September 2014 and is responsible for the People and Safety Group's program of work, supporting QUU's people, safety, wellbeing, culture, training, communication and leadership priorities.

Glenn brings extensive experience in human resources and industrial relations. His experience spans both corporate and operational functions in a range of industries, including resources and mining, contracting, manufacturing, services and the electricity sector.

Glenn was previously Vice President of Human Resources and External Affairs at Pacific Aluminium (Rio Tinto), and prior to that he held executive and senior manager posts at WDS Limited, Anglo American and Shell.