Our people

The Ombudsman

Two levels of administration are crucial to the maintenance of EWOV’s independence — the Board of EWOV Limited, a company limited by guarantee, and the Ombudsman.


Cynthia Gebert
Cynthia Gebert

Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria)

(B Economics (Social Sciences), LLB (Hons), Grad Dip Law and MDR)

Appointed in 2012, Cynthia Gebert is Victoria’s second Energy and Water Ombudsman. Before this, Ms Gebert was EWOV's General Manager Investigations, managing all aspects of the dispute resolution process, from initial customer contact through to the resolution of complex, high-risk complaints. 

Previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Commercial Dispute Centre, Ms Gebert also has extensive experience providing executive industry-based dispute resolution services. Highly committed to impartial and independent alternative dispute resolution techniques, Ms Gebert is a leader in the dispute resolution sector. In 2011 she was invited to participate in Leadership Victoria’s Williamson Community Leadership Program.

Ms Gebert is an executive member of the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA).

The Board

The EWOV Limited Board is responsible for the business affairs and property of the company, including corporate governance, budget setting, risk management, strategic planning, appointing the Ombudsman and ensuring the Ombudsman's independence.

The Board is made up of:

  • four directors appointed by the Scheme Participants
  • four directors appointed from groups representing customers of electricity, gas or water services or raising public interest issues relevant to electricity, gas or water services
  • an independent Chairperson.


Paul Sheahan
Paul Sheahan AM

Chairperson, appointed November 2014

Made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2014, Paul has considerable executive knowledge as a board member and was previously the President of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

A former Australian test cricketer, Paul has held the positions of Headmaster at both Melbourne Grammar and Geelong College.

Neil Brennan
Neil Brennan

Industry Director, appointed August 2002

Interim Managing Director of Goulburn-Murray Water, Neil Brennan has over 30 years’ experience in the water industry.

A past President of the Institute of Water Administration, he is an Executive Member of the Institute of Water Association.

Peter Gartlan
Peter Gartlan

Consumer Director, appointed July 2012

Peter Gartlan is Executive Officer of Financial and Consumer Rights Council, the peak body for financial counsellors in Victoria. Peter also sits on the boards of Consumer Action Law Centre and Consumers Federation of Australia. Peter is a former consumer representative on the General Insurance Code Compliance Committee and former board director of Insurance Brokers Disputes.

Claire Hamilton
Claire Hamilton

Industry Director, appointed December 2011

Claire is General Manager, Risk and Assurance, for transmission and distribution business AusNet Services. Within AusNet Services, she is responsible for improving operations by leading enterprise risk management and providing an independent assurance service. A chartered accountant, Claire brings over 15 years’ experience in the energy industry.

Gerard Brody
Gerard Brody

Consumer Director, appointed August 2014

Gerard is the Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) and has an extensive background in consumer advocacy. Gerard has represented consumers on a number of bodies, including the:

  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Consumer Consultative Committee
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Consumer Advisory Panel
  • Australian Energy Regulator’s Customer Consultative Group.
Gavin Dufty
Gavin Dufty

Consumer Director, appointed June 2013

Gavin Dufty is the Manager of Policy and Research at the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria.  He has worked for over 20 years in the community welfare sector representing the interests of low income and disadvantaged consumers. In 2001 he was awarded a Centennial Medal for services to the community.

Jonathan Briskin
Jonathan Briskin

Industry Director, appointed August 2014

Jon is Executive General Manager, Retail at Origin Energy. He has over 15 years experience delivering complex strategic, organisation design, business improvement and technology programs and running onshore and offshore operations.

Gino Fragapane
Eugenio (Gino) Fragapane

Industry Director, appointed October 2015

Gino is one of AGL’s Senior Leaders and heads the Revenue Assurance & Networks Team within AGL’s Energy Markets Division. He has over 20 years’ financial and managerial experience in the energy industry.

Gino has a comprehensive, end-to-end understanding of energy markets and his experience includes financial and management reporting and analysis and due diligence of target retail entities. More recently, his focus area has been on commercial leadership roles including network strategy, regulation compliance and revenue assurance.

Ronda Held

Consumer Director, appointed October 2016

Ronda is currently CEO of Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria, having recently moved to that role from being a National Manager with COTA Australia. She has served in leadership and governance roles in the community services sector, in government positions, and as a consultant and educator. In these roles Ronda has promoted citizen participation and direction in services, innovation, grass roots leadership development, research to inform practice, and has more recently been engaged in national advocacy and capability building activities.

She is passionate about all people’s right to have full citizenship in our community and access to a decent standard of living. Ronda holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Postgraduate Bachelor of Social Administration, and a Masters in Policy and Administration. Ronda is currently Chair of the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre Board and has served on the Board for 6 years.

Christopher See

Company Secretary, appointed October 2008