Meet the Board

Colleen Gates Colleen Gates (Chair)

Colleen is currently serving her second term as councillor at Hobsons Bay City Council,  whilst also working as an environmental professional. Colleen has a 20 year career that includes seven years of direct experience within the landfill, waste and organics sector, and three years’ experience working with accredited EPA auditors on statutory auditing of waste operations.  

She has a detailed understanding of the Victorian environmental legislative framework, a ‘coal-face’ appreciation of the issues and challenges associated with the waste sector including community concerns, as well as an awareness of emerging technologies and initiatives in the market.   


Sam Alessi Sam Alessi

Sam has extensive experience with waste and resource recovery within a  local government context.

Serving previously as a Chair and delegate of the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum, Sam worked actively to establish the Forum’s Strategies and Policy Advisory Group (SPAG). Prior to the formation of the Forum he served as the City of Whittlesea Council’s representative on the former Northern Region Waste Management Group.

A councillor for over 20 years, Sam has served three terms as Mayor of the City of Whittlesea, nine years as a Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Board member (including four years as Vice President and a short term as Interim President), two years as an Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Board member, two years as a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant and Chair of various other local boards and committees.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) degree and a Bachelor of Education degree from La Trobe University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Computing from Deakin University.


Margaret Donnan Margaret Donnan

Margaret is a strategic and skilled chair and non-executive director, experienced in working with government, commercial and not for profit boards, and in providing advice to Boards and CEOs on addressing a diverse range of issues.

Margaret earned a strong reputation as a leader in both government and industry for her role as Chief Executive of PACIA, the peak body representing Australia’s $40 billion chemical industry and as a senior executive in WorkSafe Victoria.

Margaret is committed to sustainability and to industry and government leadership. She has a strong track record in public policy, effective stakeholder relations, organisational representation and advocacy, and in working with ministers, governments, industry, and community to deliver outcomes.

Margaret currently chairs a global safety board and is an active Director on two Victorian Government boards and a not-for-profit board. Margaret has recently completed an independent review of WorkSafe Victoria’s OHS activities for the Minister for Finance.

Margaret holds a Master of Science degree in Chemistry, is an Associate Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Theresa Glab  Theresa Glab

Theresa Glab was appointed to the MWRRG Board in August 2018 as a skills-based Director. Theresa brings experience from her previous role as a skills based director and chair of the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee of Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group from August 2014 to July 2018.

Theresa is currently a non-executive director and audit committee chair of a private higher-education business, Ozford Institute of Higher Education Pty Ltd. Theresa is also an executive director of Considered Compliance Services Pty Ltd which provides risk management, finance and compliance services in the education sector.

In local government, Theresa has been appointed as the independent audit committee member for seven Victorian councils. She is an independent member and chair of Manningham City Council’s audit committee and a member of City of Whittlesea Council’s audit committee.

Theresa has previously held roles as a Partner/Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit, Senior Manager Assurance, Financial Controller and Business Banker with two banks. She holds a Bachelor of Economics, Graduate Diploma in Banking and Finance, a Master of Accountancy and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.


Tom Melican Tom Melican

Tom was elected as a Banyule City councillor in March 2003 and served as Mayor in 2009, 2012 and 2017. He has been a player, coach, President, volunteer and committee member in several sporting and community groups. He is on Council’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Group and Banyule Bicycle Advisory Committee.

He has a passion for good environmental management and has been involved in several successful environmental and transport-related committees including the Metropolitan Transport Forum, on the board of the  Municipal Association of Victoria, Northern Melbourne Regional Development Association and the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action. Tom is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Diploma in Financial Management. He has retired from paid employment to focus on community work and council responsibilities.


Evy Papadopoulos Evy Papadopoulos

Evy Papadopoulos was appointed to the MWRRG Board in August 2018 as a skills-based Director. She is a consultant with the Australian Energy Market Operator Ltd and has extensive experience as a lawyer with energy companies, including SPI PowerNet, Multinet Gas and IKON Energy, and the Gas and Fuel Corporation. 

Evy’s areas of expertise include regulated industries, corporate governance and procurement. She has held non-executive director positions with South East Water, a superannuation fund and a small startup company, and has experience as a company secretary.

Evy is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association.


Collin Ross Collin Ross

Collin has been the Cardinia Shire’s delegate to the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum for nine years – including two terms as Chair. He has served as a member of Forum’s Strategies and Policy Advisory Group.

Collin has a real passion for the waste sector and has a strong desire to make sure the Forum has strong representation on the MWRRG Board. He is committed to seeing resources dedicated prudently in the sector and a desire to have new streams of waste (such as food waste) taken out the landfill.


John Watson John Watson Hon. FLGMA

John Watson was appointed to the MWRRG Board in August 2018 as a skills-based Director. John  has significant experience in local and state government administration, strategic planning, mentorship and advocacy.

He is a recognised governance expert with previous responsibility for the development of Victorian local government legislation, regulations and guidelines including on financial reporting, audit committee and internal audit requirements.

John is the Chair of the Victoria Grants Commission, a Board Director for the Northern Hospital (Northern Health) and a chair or member of a number of Audit and Risk Committees in local government and health. He is also an Independent Chair of the Municipal Association of Victoria Audit Committee.

John is a former Executive Director of Local Government Victoria. He has played a key role in local government integrity as the former Chair of Administrators of the Brimbank City Council and the transition auditor for the Sunbury Local Government Panel. John was also the interim CEO who  managed the amalgamation of the four former Metropolitan Waste Groups to form the forerunner to the MWRRG -the Metropolitan Waste Management Group.

He has held roles as the Chief Executive Officer of Moonee Valley City Council, Hume City Council and the former Shire of Bulla.

Last updated: 08/05/2019