Customer service will remain a strategic focus for incoming Goulburn-Murray Water chairperson Sarah Scales.September 1, 2014 11:00pm
Customer service will remain a strategic focus for incoming Goulburn-Murray Water chairperson Sarah Scales.
Asked about priorities for the board, Ms Scales wants to see further progress in building value for the water corporation’s diverse customers.
‘‘It’s getting efficiencies and synergies in the business,’’ she said.
‘‘Gavin (the managing director) has been addressing our cost base, but it’s also about innovation and questioning how things have been done for the last 10 years and challenging the norm.
‘‘We have some big challenges as far as the cost size of the equation goes, but I think if we have that mentality and culture within the organisation it will be delivered.’’
In her first role as a chair, she is taking on Australia’s largest rural water authority, with more than 600 staff and a turnover of more than $200
Routinely the board meetings are ticking off projects worth multiple millions of dollars, but Ms Scales, a business and risk management consultant, is not fazed.
She was previously the general manager of AWB International and held other senior management positions in AWB Ltd, wrestling with derivatives, hedging and pricing.
She was appointed to the board of Queensland Sugar Limited in January 2013 and has been a director of West Australian-based InterGrain, a plant breeding company, since October 2011.
‘‘Leadership comes down to listening, having a vision and strategy and being relentless and boring in how you communicate that in getting stakeholders and staff to own it,’’ Ms Scales said.
‘‘Listening to diverse views is quite fundamental to reaching board decisions.
‘‘My maxim is: surround yourself with really smart people .
Ms Scales lives in Melbourne but runs a mixed farm at Mansfield. She is married to Henry Maling.
Asked about what keeps her busy, Ms Scales lists her board memberships and consultancy and also adds: ‘‘I’m a mother.’’
She is the first female appointed to chair Goulburn-Murray Water where about 75 per cent of the employees are male and abut 80 per cent of the water services committees’ members are men.
There is one other female board member.
For Ms Scales, gender is not an issue, but she jokingly says she is sometimes able to elicit more information from others because she is a woman.
‘‘I’ve worked in a male-dominated industry all my life — agribusiness. In essence I was the only female executive running a P and L at AWB and it was a complicated part of the business.
‘‘I remember going to the states, working out of New York and remember thinking before I went: I am going to America where they invented the word, ‘marketing’ .
Ms Scales has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and has completed the Stanford Executive program.
Merrigum Community Group president Sally Taylor met with Australia Post on Thursday to discuss retaining the town’s post office.
Police investigating a break and enter at a Mulwala club more than 10 years ago are renewing their appeal for public assistance by releasing an image of a person they believe has information to assist them.
Tatura’s Victory Hall is set for a big year as preparations get under way to celebrate the hall’s 90th birthday in September.
Former district resident and award-winning television producer Joanna Werner will no doubt be shopping for a glitzy gown ahead of the Emmy Awards in New York on February 20.
Rochester Secondary College school captains Dom Atley and Tim Poole have been accepted to study biomedical science in the first step towards becoming doctors.
Will it be Merrigum or Lancaster?
Fire destroys key public buildings in Seymour
Finley Henry Matheson was bestowed one of the highest Australia Day honours.
Heathcote Hostel residents were treated to a visit from Heathcote’s favourite horse, Sub Zero, as part of Australia Day celebrations.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Darren McLoughlin only started playing croquet seven years ago.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Former Benalla footballer Tom Rockliff has been named captain of the Brisbane Lions Football Club.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.