Our Program Committee

Dedicated to developing an engaging and relevant program

Program Committee Chair


Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo | Managing Director, Melbourne Water

Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo is the Managing Director of Melbourne Water Corporation.  She leads Melbourne Water’s vision of enhancing life and liveability for the greater Melbourne region, encompassing the provision of water supply, sewerage, drainage, waterway health and catchment management services.

Prior to this appointment Dr Di Lorenzo was the Executive General Manager of Service Delivery at Melbourne Water. Dr Di Lorenzo has over 21 years of experience in senior leadership roles, including CEO of Moreland City Council for five years. She brings a strong focus on delivering strategy and performance improvement focussed on costumer and stakeholder outcomes, along with extensive experience in Asset Management, Infrastructure Operations, Project delivery and Business Improvement.

Dr Di Lorenzo commenced her early career in the oil industry working on the oil rigs in Bass Strait. Dr Di Lorenzo holds a Bachelor of Engineering, a Bachelor of Business and a PhD centring on the topic of organisational change management.

Program Committee Members

L Martin

Lou-Ellen Martin | Director, Urban Water and International Engagement, Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

Lou-Ellen leads the Australian government’s engagement on urban and international water issues. She is a Kooma/Kamilaroi woman based in Brisbane. 

Shelley Shepherd-2

Shelley Shepherd | Director, Urbaqua 

Shelley works to support and deliver environmentally sensitive outcomes in Western Australia. She is a strong advocate for the ability of the land use planning system to deliver innovative development outcomes and liveable communities which respond to environmental and climatic conditions.


Chelsea Hayward | Water Engineer, Jacobs 

Chelsea is passionate about driving a sustainable water future for all. In 2023, she was awarded the Australian Young Water Professional of the Year Award.


David Kirby | Business Director, BecaHunterh2o

David has over three decades consultancy experience in the water industry. He has made significant contributions to the Victorian Branch Committee over a decade, serving as the Branch President on two occasions.


Tony Wulff

Tony is an accomplished and visionary business leader with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation. Throughout his career, he has displayed a keen understanding of market dynamics and emerging trends, allowing him to identify opportunities for strategic expansion and market disruption. 

Toni Veronese

Toni Veronese | Executive Manager Utility Services, Cairns Regional Council

Toni is the Executive Manager Utility Services for Cairns Regional Council, accountable for delivering water and wastewater services to the greater Cairns region.


Paul Freeman | Director, Freeman Management Solutions

Paul is an executive leader with over four decades experience in Australia's largest water utility. He has deep and diverse experience across all aspects of the organisational governance, strategy, operations, asset management, capital investment, project delivery, and customer service functions of water utilities.


Nina Braid | BA, MMgmt, Dip Gov, MAICID 

Nina is an Aboriginal woman from far-north South Australia. She has eight years' experience working in and with communities for conservation and environmental purposes as a project manager at the Indigenous Land Corporation and is also a board member for Trust for Nature.


Dr Geoffrey Puzon | Senior Research Scientist Team Leader, Resource Sector Biotechnology, CSIRO Land and Water

Dr Geoffrey Puzon is a senior research scientist at CSIRO. His research focuses on pathogens and the microbial dynamics in water distribution systems and aquifers.


Asoka Jayaratne I Water Quality Specialist, Yarra Valley Water

Asoka is the Water Quality Specialist at Yarra Valley Water. He has over four decades of experience in the water industry including water quality risk management in water distribution systems. Asoka has also been a consultant to the World Health Organisation for the implementation of Water Safety Plans in low income settings since 2008.

AWA Committee Members


Charlotte Allam | Head of Events, Awards and Digital, Australian Water Association  


Laura Steffan | Senior Event Manager, Australian Water Association 


Bridget Masters | Event Manager, Australian Water Association