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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:

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder advises that Rueben Berg has resigned from his position as VEWH Commissioner to focus on his other commitments.

VEWH Commission Chair Chris Chesterfield thanked Rueben for his enormous contribution since being the first Aboriginal person appointed as a VEWH Commissioner in 2017

"Rueben has contributed enormously to better incorporating Traditional Owner values in our decision-making and progressing self-determination in the environmental watering program," Mr Chesterfield said.

Mr Berg said, "I am immensely proud of the work the VEWH has done and the role I have been able to play. The VEWH has been an amazing organisation to be part of."

Chris Chesterfield (Chairperson)

Chris has over 30 years’ experience in the Victorian water sector, primarily in waterway management.

He was General Manager of the Waterways Group at Melbourne Water before joining Monash University where he is now a Professor at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. He is also Chair of the Birrarung Council created under the Yarra River Protection Act (2017) as the ‘voice of the Yarra River’.

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 non-executive director at Barwon Water (Chair, Audit Committee) and Barwon Asset Solutions (Chair Audit and Risk Committee). She is also an independent member of the Risk and Audit Committee at Surf Coast Shire Council. She is a past President of the Victorian branch of the Australian Water Association and was previously a non-executive director at Southern Rural Water (Chair, Asset Governance) and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (Chair of the inaugural Water Resources Committee). 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

Jennifer Fraser (Commissioner)

Jennifer has extensive background in rural water management, governance, policy and legislation development, and in the application of natural resource management frameworks.

Jennifer is currently also 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 is a member of VEWH’s Risk and Audit Committee.

Jennifer Fraser

Page last updated: 01/02/21