Life Members

In 2023, as the Water Directorate celebrated 25 years, the Executive Committee decided to create a new category of membership to honour long-serving members of the committee and the water industry. The first four Life Members were appointed at the Water Directorate’s 25th Anniversary celebration in May 2024.

Pictured left to right: Stewart McLeod OAM, Mike Rayner, Carmel Krogh OAM, Darryl McGregor. On the right is Gary Mitchell, who served 20 years as the Water Directorate's first Executive Officer. 

Mike Rayner 

Mike Rayner played an integral role in establishing the NSW Local Government Water Industry Directorate. He got the ball rolling by lobbying the 123 local water utilities that existed at the time, to form a new association to provide technical support to member councils, to replace the void left by the NSW Public Works Department. 
Mike served 13 years as a member of Water Directorate’s Executive Committee and was its inaugural Chair from 1999 to 2002.
Mike had a 38-year public service professional career including 30 years at Tweed Shire Council, after advocating and establishing the Water and Wastewater Unit as a stand-alone function of Council. He then spent 12 years as Director Engineering Services at Tweed Shire Council, overseeing significant investment in capital works to meet population growth demand. He was General Manager of Tweed Shire Council from November 2005 until his retirement in April 2012. 
Mike was instrumental in creating the Water Directorate’s early technical publications and submissions, as well as setting up an award-winning state-wide water loss management program in 2006. 
In 2003, Mike set up the Tweed-Kenya Mentoring Program, which transformed the lives of people suffering from heavy pollution on the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya. 

Daryl McGregor 

Daryl McGregor was a founding member of the Water Directorate, and at that time he was the head of Albury Water. Daryl was elected as the second Chair of the Water Directorate, serving between 2002 and 2006. In 2006 Daryl started his own consultancy, expanding his reach and commitment in assisting and advising local water utilities across regional NSW. More recently he answered the call for supporting technical projects at the Water Directorate and continues to support and advise the Water Directorate to this day. 
As Chair, Daryl advocated strongly for more innovative approaches to water security on behalf of the regional water sector, authoring numerous papers. 
Daryl also led the creation of the Wonga Wetlands at Albury – an innovative solution to reclaimed water management achieving the goal of no discharge of treated wastewater to the Murray River by purchasing 1,000 hectares of farmland and floodplain and re-creating an ephemeral wetland that became a marvellous haven for biodiversity. 
Daryl has had 40 years of experience serving regional NSW and still going strong. 

Stewart McLeod OAM

Stewart McLeod was a co-founder of the Water Directorate, forming IMEA’s Water Panel as the Water Directorate was known in 1998. He was the third and (as of 2024) is the longest serving Chair of the NSW Water Directorate between 2006 and 2013. 
He served the Water Directorate through 18 years of continuous service before stepping down from the Executive Committee in 2016. 
Stewart’s commitment to establishing and promoting the Water Directorate directly generated the high level of NSW council membership that continues to this day. Overall Stewart had 37 distinguished years of service as a public works professional, much of that time serving as Director of Technical Services with Dubbo Regional Council until his retirement. 
Stewart was instrumental in forming the Lower Macquarie Water Utilities Alliance, initially as an alliance of six councils in western NSW, in an era where collaboration between councils was largely poor or non-existent. Ultimately the Alliance grew to a complement of 13 councils before the local government reform process of 2016. 
Stewart was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the 2017 Australia Day Awards for service to local government administration and the community of Dubbo. 

Carmel Krogh OAM 

Carmel Krogh was a founding member of the NSW Water Directorate, initially representing Hastings Shire Council on the mid north coast (later Port Macquarie Hastings Council). Although Carmel’s career has taken her interstate to Queensland, nationally as President of the Australian Water Association and internationally through AusAID, she has maintained a close connection with the NSW local water utility sector.
Carmen was Director of Shoalhaven Water as well as being Deputy Chair during her second stint on the Water Directorate until 2012, when she was appointed as a Board Member of the Sydney Catchment Authority. In 2017 under Carmel’s leadership Shoalhaven Water won the Large Employer of the Year category at the NSW Training Awards. 
Carmel has been an active member of the Australian Water Association for more than 30 years. AWA made her a Legend of Water in 2011, and she won the NSW Water Professional of the Year in 2017. 
Carmel’s dedication to engineering earned her a prestigious Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2019. 

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