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 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 has over 20 years experience in the legal sector including extensive executive leadership experience in the infrastructure, energy, water, mining and manufacturing industries in large government and private corporations.
Sarah has extensive Executive and Company Secretary experience across large Government and Private Corporations, having led a range of Boards and Board Committees through events of significant strategic and operational change.
Sarah specialises in the areas of corporate governance, risk management, compliance, commercial negotiations and strategy.
Sarah is the Chair of the Powerlink Board's People, Culture and Remuneration Committee.
Dr Lorraine StephensonDirector
Dr Lorraine Stephenson
Director (Appointed 2017)
BSc (Hons), MBA, PhD, FTSE, GAICD
Lorraine is an experienced company director and board advisor with a focus on energy and climate change strategy. Owner of Lightning Consulting Services, Lorraine draws on her 35 years’ corporate experience to advise clients on options to mitigate risks and create opportunities from the transition to a low carbon economy, including investments in low emission technologies and abatement options.
Lorraine held senior executive roles at Origin Energy, and was formerly a Partner at EY, the Chief Clean Energy Advisor to the Queensland Government and a Member of the Victorian Government’s Interim Targets Expert Panel.
Lorraine is a non-executive director of Good Environmental Choice Australia and a Member of the NSW Climate Change Council.
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.
In 2018 Kevin was appointed to the Board 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 SimshauserChief Executive
BEcon, BCom, MCom, PhD, FAICD, FCPA
As Chief Executive, Professor Simshauser brings more than 20 years’ experience in the energy industry across the public and private sectors with extensive experience in generation, retail, energy policy and the regulatory environment.
He joins Powerlink from Infigen Energy where he was Executive General Manager – Energy Markets. He was previously Director-General Department of Energy & Water Supply for the Queensland Government and Chief Economist for AGL.
Cathy HeffernanExecutive General Manager People and Corporate Services
Executive General Manager People and Corporate Services
GradCertLegalSt, Qualified Workplace Investigator, Qualified Mediator
Cathy has more than 25 years’ experience across human resources, change management, customer and corporate services, and health, safety and environment functions.
At Powerlink, Cathy leads the people and culture, business information technology, communications, and health, safety and environment functions.
Darryl RowellChief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer
FCPA, MBA, BCA
Darryl is an experienced executive in both Australia and New Zealand with a background in both private and public sectors, including the energy industry.
Prior to joining Powerlink, Darryl was the Chief Financial Officer at Queensland Urban Utilities.
At Powerlink, Darryl manages all finance, tax, treasury, investment analysis, contract management, internal audit, insurance, network regulation, and legal, business and risk services. He is also Powerlink's Company Secretary.
Kevin KehlExecutive General Manager Corporate Development
Executive General Manager Corporate Development
Kevin has more than 30 years’ experience in the electricity industry. He joined Powerlink from Energy Queensland where he was Executive General Manager Strategy, Portfolio and Innovation.
Since joining Powerlink he has lead the strategy, business planning, network regulation, business development, network portfolio and business resilience functions.
Kevin recently acted as Interim Chief Executive of Powerlink following the departure of Merryn York in August 2019.
Gary EdwardsExecutive General Manager Operations and Service Delivery
Executive General Manager Operations and Service Delivery
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 Strategy and Business Development
Executive General Manager Strategy 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.
Rakesh SolankiExecutive General Manager Delivery and Technical Services
Executive General Manager Delivery and Technical Services
BEng(Hons), EMBA(Hons), AAICD
Rakesh is an experienced senior leader with over 15 years of experience in the electricity industry in both private and public sectors. His experience ranges from distribution through to transmission and generation of electricity.
At Powerlink, Rakesh is responsible for leading Powerlink's infrastructure delivery program which includes delivery of capital, both regulated and non regulated, and operational projects. This encompasses project management, estimation, design, procurement of plant and equipment, construction, commissioning, property and landholder relations functions.