The Victorian Minister for Water has announced the appointment of 125 new board members across the state’s water corporations, increasing diversity and representation throughout the sector.
The newly appointed members are stretched across Victoria’s 18 water corporations, nine Catchment Management Authorities, and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, bringing new skills and perspectives into the water sector, making the total number of board members 227.
The selection process was overseen by an independent panel, who brought an increased focus on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse appointments to ensure the leadership of Victoria’s water entities better represents the communities they serve.
Female representation on water boards was as low as 38 per cent in 2014, however the new appointments announced mean that 57 per cent of board directors – and 17 out of 28 chair roles across the sector – are now held by women.
The number of Aboriginal board members has also increased to 21, up from eleven in 2019 and 13 in 2021. With this increased representation, 19 out of 28 water sector boards will have an Aboriginal board member.
These board appointments also put local people in local leadership roles, with 72 of the board members appointed coming from Regional Victoria, meaning Regional Victorians make up 55 per cent of board positions.
People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds now make up 19 per cent of board appointments across the sector, in keeping with the growing diversity of the state’s regions.
The new board members will be responsible for guiding Victoria’s water organisations through challenges such as climate change, a growing population and bushfire preparedness.
Victorian Minister for Water, Harriet Shing, said “Victoria’s water entities have a strong history of dedicated representatives and these appointments continue our work in establishing a culture of fairness, diversity, expertise and equity.”
“We expect a lot from our water sector organisations, and they deliver – with lower water bills compared to the rest of Australia, efficient use of water resources, working with communities to restore and manage environmental values, and helping communities face challenges like flooding, climate change and bushfires.”
Both the Federal and State Governments are actively working to increase diversity in water sector leadership, and applications are encouraged from Indigenous Australians, Traditional Owners, people with disabilities, young people and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.