Terri Benson named one of Victoria's Top 50 Public Sector Women

23 August 2019


We’re thrilled to announce the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Victoria has named our Managing Director, Terri Benson as one of the Top 50 Public Sector Women Victoria for 2019.

The award recognises Terri’s outstanding leadership, accomplishments and inspiration in the public sector. It celebrates her significant work to drive cultural change and initiatives that benefit our community and support women in our industry.

Terri has driven a number of important initiatives since joining South East Water in 2017. She played a leading role in establishing our Customer and Community Advisory Council, which acts our critical friend and provides an essential customer voice to shape our strategy and actions.

Terri led an organisation-wide restructure in 2018 to unite our people through shared goals and bring our service-delivery functions together to improve our customers’ experience with us. She’s also driven cultural change programs – like reshaping our values – to foster a vibrant workplace culture that supports innovation and authenticity.

Under Terri’s leadership, we’ve made great progress in tackling the challenges of population growth and climate change.

Our partnership Aquarevo development in Lyndhurst with Villawood Properties is leading the way in sustainable development. Our new residents are enjoying the water-saving benefits of having three sources of water (drinking water, recycled water and rainwater) plumbed directly to their homes – so they only use drinking water where it’s really needed. Terri has also overseen the expansion of our digital utility program, and we’re now using technology in new ways to monitor our network to deliver cost and water savings to our customers and community. 
Our Customer and Community Engagement General Manager, Mikala Hehir congratulated Terri on her award.

“This award is a fantastic acknowledgment of Terri’s passion about innovation, whether driven by technology or the expectations of our customers,” Ms Hehir said.

“That means creating a culture that embraces change, where people are encouraged to think differently, and empowered to make changes to deliver better customer outcomes. In a sector undergoing significant transformation, it gives us at South East Water a huge advantage.”

Terri has mentored other women both within the water sector and beyond, with a particular focus on problem solving, leadership and career development.

She participates in a range of public sector and industry forums including the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities Women in Water event, VicWater, the Intelligent Water Networks and the GHD Young Professionals Program.  She’s a board member of the Water Services Association of Australia and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.

We’re proud to have a leader like Terri at the helm of our organisation and congratulate her on this significant achievement. Her passion and vision continues to position us as one of Victoria’s leading water organisations while keeping our customers at the centre of all that we do.

Terri received her award during Public Sector Week 2019 – a week-long event that brings the Victorian public sector together to drive fresh thinking, develop new ideas and create new opportunities.