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.

Paul is also Chairman, Christ Church Grammar School, Board Member of Queen Victoria Market and DrinkWise Australia Pty Ltd.

 

Neil Brennan
Neil Brennan

Industry Director, appointed August 2002

Neil Brennan was appointed Managing Director of Western Water in June 2012. Prior to this, Neil was the Managing Director at Central Highlands Water for 15 years and has previously held CEO positions at Western Water and Macedon Region Water Authorities.

Employed in the Victorian water industry for some 32 years, Neil has had various Ministerial appointments to industry committees. He is also an Executive Council Member of the Institute of Water Administration (IWA) and Chair of the Victorian water industry's Intelligent Water Networks Steering Group.

Neil holds a Graduate Diploma in Management, a Master's in Business Leadership and has completed the Oxford Advanced Management Programme.

Peter Gartlan
Peter Gartlan

Consumer Director, appointed July 2012

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

Claire Hamilton
Claire Hamilton

Industry Director, appointed December 2011

Claire is Executive General Manager, Governance and Company Secretary for transmission and distribution business AusNet Services. Within AusNet Services, Claire is responsible for the risk, legal, company secretarial, information security and audit functions. A chartered accountant, Claire brings over 20 years’ experience in the energy industry. Claire is a Non-executive Director of the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).

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 25 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 Briskin is the Executive General Manager, Origin Energy. Jon leads the teams responsible for energy sales, marketing, product development and service experience for Origin’s customers.  Jon has held various roles leading customer operations, service transformation and customer experience redesign.

Gino Fragapane
Eugenio (Gino) Fragapane

Industry Director, appointed October 2015

Gino is one of AGL’s Senior Leaders and heads the Customer Operations 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 due diligence of target retail entities. More recently, his focus area has been on commercial leadership roles including network strategy, revenue assurance, and energy market operations.

 

Ronda Held

Consumer Director, appointed October 2016

Ronda is currently CEO of Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria. She has served in leadership and governance roles in the community services sector, in government positions, as a consultant and educator, and in national advocacy and capacity building roles. Ronda is currently Chair of the Consumer Policy Research Centre Board (formerly the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre) and has served on the Board since 2010. She is also a board member of the Future Social Services Institute.

Ronda holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Postgraduate Bachelor of Social Administration and a Masters in Policy and Administration.

Christopher See

Company Secretary, appointed October 2008