Board of Directors
The Board sets the strategic direction of WATC and establishes the policies and principles under which WATC operates.
Michael Barnes, Chairperson
Mr Barnes assumed the role of Chairperson when he became Acting Under Treasurer in the Department of Treasury in February 2014. Mr Barnes was appointed Under Treasurer in April 2015. As Under Treasurer, Mr Barnes is the principal economic and financial policy adviser to the Government of Western Australia. He is also the Chairperson of WATC’s People and Remuneration Committee. Prior to joining the Department of Treasury in 1997, Mr Barnes worked in the Commonwealth Treasury, where he commenced his career as a graduate in 1992. Mr Barnes holds a Bachelor of Business degree with Honours in Economics.
Michael Court, Deputy Chairperson
Mr Court was appointed to the Board as Deputy Chairperson in July 2017. Mr Court was permanently appointed Deputy Under Treasurer in September 2016, after having acted in the role since February 2014. This followed more than five years as the Executive Director of the Department of Treasury’s Economic business unit. Mr Court joined the Department of Treasury in 1997, after working in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Commonwealth Treasury and the London Underground Ltd. During 2018/19, Mr Court chaired the quarterly Public Sector Financial Management Committee and the Department of Treasury’s Information and Communication Technology Committee, and was a member of the Government’s Energy Transformation Taskforce.
Ms Gulich commenced as CEO of WATC in February 2019. Ms Gulich has extensive experience in public policy, knowledge of financial markets and expertise in the Western Australian economy. She has previously held senior roles within the Department of Treasury, most recently as the Executive Director of the Economic business unit. Prior to this role, Ms Gulich was the Executive Director for Infrastructure and Finance, where she was responsible for the provision of advice, systems and operations critical to the State’s financial management. Since 2013, Ms Gulich has been responsible for the Commercial Advisory function within Treasury, with oversight at a whole-of-government level regarding the commercial and financial risk aspects of major government contracts and commercial transactions. As well as being a member of CPA Australia and the AICD, Ms Gulich has previously been a Director with Gold Corporation and a member of their Audit and Risk Committee. She has previously held the Deputy Chairperson position on WATC’s board.
Susan Murphy AO
Ms Murphy was appointed as a Director in January 2019. As CEO of Water Corporation from 2008-2018, Ms Murphy led the multi-faceted organisation that supplies drinking water to two million customers and wastewater services across 2.6 million square kilometres. Ms Murphy played a pivotal role in ensuring sustainable services were maintained during a time of declining rainfall, growing population and scarce water supplies. In each year from 2009-2015, Ms Murphy was listed as one of the 100 most influential engineers in Australia by Engineers Australia. Ms Murphy was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2019.
Ms Nance has been a Director of WATC since 1998 and is the Chairperson of the Audit Committee and a member of the People and Remuneration Committee. She is a Partner and Actuary of PricewaterhouseCoopers, with over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry advising governments and companies on finance-related matters including superannuation, investment and financial services. Ms Nance is a recognised authority and active contributor to policy development in both superannuation and financing the ageing. Ms Nance has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pure and Applied Mathematics and Physics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Statistics. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, an Affiliate of the Institute of Actuaries (London), a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, a member of the CFA Institute and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Ms Nance is a Director of the Government Employees Superannuation Board.
Mr Searle was appointed to the Board as a Director on 1 January 2009 and is a member of the People and Remuneration Committee. He was previously the Director General of the Department of Communities. Prior to this, Mr Searle held a number of executive positions, including Leader of the State’s Regional Services Reform Unit, Director General for Department of Housing and Chief Executive Officer at Landgate, following a range of senior leadership and management roles in Victoria. Mr Searle holds a Bachelor of Business degree. He is a Fellow of both the Spatial Sciences Institute of Australia and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.