Our Board and Executive team establish the overall corporate governance of Powerlink, including strategic direction, policies and operational framework.
The board and management work together to establish and maintain a legal and ethical environment and framework that ensures accountability throughout Powerlink that is in the best interests of shareholders and the corporation.
Board of Directors
Kathy Hirschfeld AMChair
Kathy Hirschfeld AM
Chair (Appointed 2018)
BE (Chem), HonFIEAus, FTSE, FIChemE, FAICD
Kathy has extensive experience on ASX, NYSE, private company and government boards and brings to her board roles corporate and commercial experience as a CEO of a complex manufacturing business. In addition, Kathy has expertise in operational risk management, safety and corporate governance.
Kathy is a chemical engineer with 20 years' experience with BP in oil refining, logistics and exploration in Australia, the UK and Turkey. Kathy was also a Logistics Officer in the Australian Army Reserve.
Kathy is passionate about improving the representation of women in leadership and engineering and in 2015 was named one of Australia’s AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence. In 2014, she was the ninth woman recognised by Engineers Australia as an Honorary Fellow.
Kathy is a member of the Powerlink Board’s Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee and People, Culture and Remuneration Committee.
Director (Appointed 2021)
Bachelor of Arts - Politics and Public Administration
Kara is a proud First Nations woman as a descendant of the Yiman and Gangulu peoples of Central Queensland.
Kara is an experienced Board Director, Board Chair and the Principal Consultant at KTL Collective.
She has a passion for building the capacity of, and working with, First Nations organisations and also has a particular interest in justice, gender equality, and building and empowering communities.
Kara brings to Powerlink extensive experience in developing and leading a range of strategic campaigns, policy development, advocacy and stakeholder engagement programs with over 15 years’ experience working in member based representative organisations.
Kara was on the board of Cbus (United Super), the Cbus Investment Committee and was Chair of the People Culture & Remuneration Committee until 2021.
Kara is Chair of Women in Super (elected November 2020) and is a Director of an investment manager.
Kara is the Principal Consultant at KTL Collective who works with not-for-profit organisations, governments and companies to articulate and advise on complex social and organisational issues with the aim of achieving cohesive and value based outcomes for clients.
Director (Appointed 2015)
BE (Hons), MEngSc, BEcon, DipCompSc, GAICD
Alan has more than 40 years' experience in the energy sector with management roles covering corporatisation of the Queensland Energy Government Owned Corporations, general energy policy, development of the national energy markets, energy market trading and risk management.
Alan has held a number of senior executive roles including General Manager and Deputy Director General within the Queensland Government departments responsible for energy, as well as the role of Queensland Energy Regulator.
Alan has a detailed knowledge of the operational and regulatory environment of Queensland and national electricity sectors and the issues they face going forward.
Alan is the Chair of the Powerlink Board’s Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.
Director (Appointed 2016)
LLB, GAICD, GAIST
Sarah brings to Powerlink extensive executive, operational, legal, governance and advisory experience. She has a record of delivering revenue growth in large corporations through developing and executing corporate strategy, negotiating commercial agreements, capital raising, M&A, construction, infrastructure and project management across complex multi-million dollar transactions.
She is a professional non-executive director and governance consultant who is also on the Boards of Energy Super, Millovate, Stockyard Beef, LogiCamms and Unity Water. She previously held roles as General Counsel and Company Secretary for G8 Education (ASX:GEM), the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET), and Cement Australia.
Sarah is the Chair of the Powerlink Board’s People and Safety Committee.
Dr Lorraine StephensonDirector
Dr Lorraine Stephenson
Director (Appointed 2017)
BSc (Hons), MBA, PhD, FTSE, GAICD
Lorraine has more than 35 years of technical, policy and executive experience with a strong strategic focus on the energy sector. Owner of Lightning Consulting Services, Lorraine works with clients to mitigate risks and create opportunities in response to climate change challenges, including options to drive investments in low emission technologies in line with Net Zero Emissions goals.
Lorraine is a non-executive director of Good Environmental Choice Australia and a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Tyre Stewardship Australia Board. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. She was formerly the Chief Clean Energy Advisor to the Queensland Government, a member of the NSW Climate Change Council, held executive roles at Origin Energy and was a Partner at EY.
Lorraine is a member of the Powerlink Board’s Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.
Kevin Hegarty OAMDirector
Kevin Hegarty OAM
Director (Appointed 2020)
Kevin had a twenty-two year career within Queensland Health, seventeen years of which he was a Health Service Chief Executive.
Prior to his health sector career Kevin had 14 years in the electricity supply sector commencing in 1981 with the transmission areas of both the Queensland Electricity Generating Board and Queensland Electricity Commission and finally Capricornia Electricity.
Kevin now heads his own consultancy practice that includes clients within the health, education and infrastructure sectors. He is also an adjunct associate professor at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and a board member of its mind and neuroscience, Thompson Institute Pty Ltd.
For three years until June 2021, Kevin served as a Board member of the Queensland Government’s infrastructure body, Building Queensland.
Kevin was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List for service to public health administration.
Director (Appointed 2020)
Wayne has more than 39 years of experience in the power and mining industries. Prior to his retirement in June 2020, Wayne lead TransAlta Corporation’s global mining activity and power generation operations across all fuel types. TransAlta is a publicly traded international power business based in Calgary, Canada.
In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer for Stanwell Corporation Ltd (Queensland), he was responsible for a fleet comprising coal, gas and hydro power generation and a large open cut coal mine.
His career has predominantly been in power plant operations and maintenance but also included a period developing and building new utility scale renewable power plants.
He has spent more than 20 years working in associated energy commodity markets (power, coal, gas, liquid fuel).
Corporate governance refers to the way Powerlink conducts its business. The Powerlink Board is responsible for our overall corporate governance - including the governance of our subsidiary companies - and sets our strategic direction, policies and operational framework.
Paul Simshauser AMChief Executive
Paul Simshauser AM
BEcon, BCom, MCom, PhD, FAICD, FCPA
Prof. Paul Simshauser AM brings to Powerlink more than 20 years’ experience in the energy industry across the public and private sectors with extensive experience in generation, retail, energy policy and public administration.
Paul’s previous roles include Director-General of the Queensland Department of Energy & Water Supply, EGM Energy Markets at Infigen Energy and Chief Economist & Group Head of Corporate Affairs at AGL Energy Ltd. He has also held executive positions at Stanwell Corporation and Babcock & Brown.
Paul holds Bachelor Degrees in Economics and in Commerce, has a Masters Degree in Accounting & Finance, and a PhD in Economics. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Paul is also Professor of Economics at Griffith University, a Research Associate at the Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge University, and is widely published on energy economics in academic journals.
He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for significant contribution to the energy industry through executive roles and applied economics and policy research.
Jacqui BridgeExecutive General Manager Energy Futures
Executive General Manager Energy Futures
Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial), Diploma in Energy Management, AICD
Jacqui has more than 20 years’ experience in the power sector and brings to the role a detailed understanding of the electricity supply chain, regulation and energy markets.
As Executive General Manager Energy Futures, Jacqui understands that transmission networks are a key enabler of the energy transformation.
Jacqui previously led the Energy Markets team, engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to understand customer needs and influence the development of policy and regulatory frameworks for the future power system.
Jacqui’s successful energy consulting career has seen her working with electricity, gas and water utilities throughout the Australia Pacific region.
Des KluckActing Executive General Manager, People and Corporate Services
Acting Executive General Manager, People and Corporate Services
Des has more than 15 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in both private and government entities across a range of industries including rail, aged care, education and transport.
Des has extensive knowledge in human resources, industrial relations, safety and wellbeing, and operational and strategic leadership areas.
At Powerlink, Des is the acting Executive General Manager People and Corporate Services and leads the people and culture, business information technology, communications, customer and engagement, and health, safety and environment functions.
Leigh PickeringActing Chief Financial Officer
Acting Chief Financial Officer
Leigh is an experienced senior executive who has held a range of roles at the federal and state level including in the finance, education and transport sectors.
She has extensive experience in delivering on transformational activities and innovation.
At Powerlink, Leigh manages all finance, tax, treasury, investment analysis, contract management, internal audit, insurance, network regulation, and legal, business and risk services.
Gary EdwardsChief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Gary is an experienced senior leader with more than 35 years’ experience in technical and leadership roles within the energy industry.
Gary is responsible for delivering Powerlink’s state-wide operations including 24/7 real time operations, all field maintenance, telecommunication services, operational technology, and laboratory and warehousing services.
Stewart BellExecutive General Manager Network and Business Development
Executive General Manager Network and Business Development
BEng, PhD (Electrical), MBA, CEng, FIET, RPEQ
Stewart is a delivery focused career professional with more than 15 years senior management experience in the electricity transmission industry.
Stewart has extensive experience in asset management and investment, project delivery and network operations and maintenance. He is responsible for leading Powerlink’s business development, network portfolio and strategy functions.
Ian LowryExecutive General Manager Delivery and Technical Services
Executive General Manager Delivery and Technical Services
Bachelor Engineering - Electrical (Hons); Graduate Diploma Business
Ian is an experienced senior leader and power systems engineer with around 20 years of experience in the electricity transmission industry.
Ian has extensive experience in strategy, asset management and investment planning, energy markets, innovation, and work program delivery and management.
He is responsible for leading Powerlink’s community and delivery services, design solutions and infrastructure delivery functions.