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.
OPINION: A move to the Friday public holiday could be an option for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final.
With her effective left hand in particular, Chelsea Hanley retained the Victorian Under 17 junior welterweight title last Sunday with a convincing points decision victory.
It has been a successful year for Bega Cheese, which reflects on Tatura Milk Industries, with chair Barry Irvin announcing recently that Bega Cheese’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $55.7 million and normalised profit after tax of $22 million.
ECHUCA-MOAMA'S Xavier Campbell has been shortlisted for a major international award.
SEVENTY-FIVE years ago, men of the 2/21st and 2/22nd Battalions of the Australian Imperial Forcemarched from Euroa to Violet Town, a 20 kilometre trek.
Great Race helps a great cause
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Whether you fancy a flutter on the Caulfield Cup or the local cup, the Deniliquin racecourse is the place to be on Saturday, October 17.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the completion of negotiations under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), noting modest but important gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving access to global markets.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.