Our Executive Team

The Executive Management Team oversees policy implementations, day-to-day management of our people, and the delivery of services to our customers across the different divisions.

Jim Bentley

Jim Bentley | Managing Director


Dr Jim Bentley was appointed as Managing Director on 27 July 2016.

Jim has more than 20 years' experience in the infrastructure sector, much of it in water and wastewater.  He spent 12 years with Thames Water, half of which were in the UK regulated business and half with the international division.  Key roles with Thames Water include managing the major water treatment plants serving Thames Water's London customers, Regional Director for Turkey and the Middle East, including the US$900m Izmit Water Supply Project and a US$250m wastewater concession in the UAE, and Chairman of a 500 employee contracting subsidiary in Spain.

Jim has spent the last 10 years living in New Zealand.  In that time he has been a Strategy Programme Manager for Watercare Services Limited, Chief Executive of Metrowater Limited - the water and wastewater utility for the former Auckland City Council, Chief Executive of infrastructure services consultancy Synergine Group Limited and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Research at the University of Auckland.  Outside of the water sector Jim was Alliance Project Manager for the planning, design and consenting phases of a $600m expressway for the New Zealand Transport Agency, Programme Director for a major transport strategy development in central Wellington and Course Director for a number of executive education programmes for a range of clients, with particular focus on leadership development within the infrastructure sector.  He has also had a number of advisory roles to infrastructure sector clients, including the Joint Modelling Applications Centre for Transport in Auckland and Auckland Council. His research and consulting interests have been largely in the area of how infrastructure development and services relate to city liveability.

As Hunter Water's Managing Director, Jim's key responsibilities include:

  • accountability for operational safety 
  • providing leadership to employees and the executive
  • facilitating the development and delivering Hunter Water's strategic vision and direction
  • overseeing all operating activities, capital programs and projects
  • ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks 
  • managing Hunter Water's relationships with its stakeholders. These include regulators (IPART and NSW EPA), state and federal governments, members of parliament, community and special interest groups, industry bodies and suppliers.

Darren Cleary | Chief Operating Officer


As Chief Operating Officer, Darren oversees operational and maintenance services for Hunter Water and planning and delivery of a $600 million infrastructure program:

  • Program Management Office
  • System Control
  • Operations
  • Planning
  • Infrastructure Delivery
Fiona Cushing

Fiona Cushing | Chief Financial Officer


Prior to her appointment to this role, Fiona worked in a number of different positions within Hunter Water including Manager Finance, Senior Business Analyst and Team Leader Corporate Reporting and has 19 years' experience working in the financial industry at both Hunter Water and also PricewaterhouseCoopers. Fiona has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Newcastle, a Master of Accountancy from Charles Sturt University and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. Fiona is also a Director of State Records Authority of New South Wales.

As Chief Financial Officer, Fiona oversees:

  • Regulatory Policy
  • Corporate Accounting
  • Business Engagement
  • Financial Analysis
Peter Kembrey

Peter Kembrey | Executive Manager Corporate and Legal Services

BA, LLB, Dip. Legal Prac.

Peter was appointed as Hunter Water's Executive Manager Corporate and Legal Services in October 2015 and appointed by the Board as Company Secretary in November 2013.  Peter moved to Hunter Water from TressCox Lawyers where he worked for 6 years in the Commercial Litigation division.  Prior to that Peter worked in a variety of roles in the non-government sector in Newcastle and the Upper Hunter including Manager of Community Services for the Samaritans Foundation.

As Executive Manager Corporate and Legal Services, Peter oversees:

  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Internal Audit
  • People and Culture
  • Work, Health and Safety
  • Facilities and Services
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Risk and Quality
  • Procurement.
Richard Harris

Richard Harris | Chief Information Technology Officer


Richard has over 20 years' experience in Information and Communication Technology and joined Hunter Water in 2014. Prior to joining Richard held a number of senior management and executive roles with national and international organisations in Software Development, Banking & Finance, Government, Mining, Automotive and Utilities.

As Chief Information Technology Officer, Richard is accountable for the Information and Communication Technology areas of:

  • Planning
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Project Services
  • Business Systems
  • Operations
Victor Prasad

Victor Prasad | Executive Manager Customer Services

BE (Civil), Dip PM

Victor commenced with Hunter Water in 2007 and has more than 17 years' experience working in the water and energy sector. Prior to his appointment to this role, Victor worked in a number of different teams with Hunter Water including Manager Treatment Operations and Manager Technical Services.

Before joining Hunter Water, Victor worked in a variety of roles in Australia and overseas overseeing project delivery, program management, service delivery and community and stakeholder relations.

Victor has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Canterbury (NZ) and a Diploma in Project Management from Deakin University.

As Executive Manager Customer Services, Victor is accountable for the Customer Service areas of:

  • Call Centre and Customer Centres
  • Developer Services
  • Technical Services
  • Major Customers
  • Billing and Collections