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Our mission


Water for healthy waterways valued by communities

Organisation mission

Our environment: We work with program partners to preserve and improve the environmental values and health of water ecosystems across Victoria through robust decisions about water for the environment.

Our communities: We engage communities across Victoria about water for the environment and improve waterway uses that depend on environmental condition.

Our culture: We are aligned with our business direction, proud of our performance and own a culture centred on collaboration, integrity, commitment and initiative.

We do this by preparing a seasonal watering plan each financial year. This scopes where, when, how and why environmental water can  be used across Victoria's rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

See our annual report for details of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder's activities and financial performance. You can also read our corporate plan.

Reflections is published each year and explains the achievements of environmental watering across Victoria.


The Victorian Environmental Water Holder is comprised of a small team including an executive officer, planning and delivery, administration and communications staff.

It has four part-time Commissioners appointed by Governor in Council, upon recommendation of the Minister for Water.

Learn more about our Commissioners below:

VEWH Commissioners - Chris Chesterfield, Peta Maddy, Jennifer Fraser and Rueben Berg

Chris Chesterfield (Chairperson)

Chris has over 30 years in the Victorian water industry, primarily in waterway management.

He has extensive experience in sustainable water resource and environmental water management as well as solid business management experience as General Manager Waterways Group at Melbourne Water. Chris is currently also a professor at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Chair of the Birrarung Council.

Chris Chesterfield
Chris Chesterfield

Peta Maddy (Deputy Chairperson)

Peta has a background in water policy and strategy setting, governance and water engineering.

Peta is a board director of Barwon Water and Barwon Asset Solutions where she chairs the Risk and Audit Committees.  She is also a senior associate at the consulting firm Aither.

She is a past President of the Victorian branch of the Australian Water Association and was previously a board director at Southern Rural Water and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water. In 2018 she chaired the interdepartmental reference group for the Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy and was a member of the Victorian Catchment Management Council for six years.

Peta has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (honours), a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacology and Toxicology) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peta is a member of VEWH’s Risk and Audit Committee.

Peta Maddy

Rueben Berg (Commissioner)

Rueben is a Gunditjmara man and the founder and Managing Director of RJHB Consulting.

He holds a number of senior positions in the community representing his expertise in stakeholder and community engagement including: Director at the Australian Communities Foundation, Chairperson at Westernport Water, a Representative for the Metropolitan Region for the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria, and a Member of the Heritage Council of Victoria.

In addition, Rueben is a founder and director of the Indigenous Ultimate Association and the Chair of the Ultimate Rules Sub-committee for the World Flying Disc Federation. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture.

Rueben Berg
Rueben Berg

Jennifer Fraser (Commissioner)

Jennifer has an extensive background in governance, public administration, policy and legislation development, and in the application of natural resource management frameworks.

Jennifer is currently a  member of the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council. Previously she has been a director at the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, a sessional member of Planning Panels Victoria and for five years was the Chairperson of the Council of Medley Hall at the University of Melbourne – a small residential college supporting students from rural and or indigenous backgrounds.

Past roles within government include Director of Groundwater and Licensing, Director of the Office for Youth and many years as a senior officer within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Jennifer Fraser

Page last updated: 01/02/21