Meet the Board

Colleen Gates Colleen Gates (Chair)

Colleen was elected to Campaspe Shire Council in October 2020. Prior to that, Colleen was a councillor at Hobsons Bay City Council between 2012 and 2020, where she also served two terms as mayor. Colleen is employed full time and has more than 20 years’ experience as an environmental professional. She has worked across sectors including manufacturing, contaminated land, landfill and waste. Her experience includes operation and statutory auditing of waste facilities.

Colleen has a detailed understanding of the Victorian environmental legislative framework, a ‘coal face’ appreciation of the challenges in the waste sector, and an awareness of emerging technologies and initiatives in the market.

Colleen has held board positions prior to joining MWRRG in health and local government. She has served as Chair of the MWRRG Board since her appointment in May 2017.


Sam Alessi Sam Alessi

Sam has broad experience in education and within the local and federal government sectors.

He has held executive board directorships at local, state and national levels. Sam is a passionate believer in local community engagement, especially within multicultural communities, and has a strong commitment to inclusion and social justice.

Sam served as a councillor for over 20 years, including three terms as Mayor of the City of Whittlesea where he gained considerable policy development and implementation experience with waste and resource recovery.

He is a strong advocate for minimising communities’ environmental impact through the implementation of socially progressive and environmentally appropriate waste policy.

Sam was appointed to the MWRRG Board in 2017.


Margaret Donnan Margaret Donnan

Margaret is an experienced director with a strong reputation as a leader from her time as CEO of the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association and as a senior executive at WorkSafe Victoria. She has extensive board, public policy, stakeholder and governance experience across government, commercial and not for profit sectors. She currently chairs two global safety boards and is chair of the audit and risk committee of a federal government regulator. She is also an independent director on the Battery Stewardship Council, which is establishing and implementing a national battery stewardship scheme.

Margaret was appointed to the MWRRG Board in 2014 and reappointed in 2018.


Tom Melican Tom Melican

Tom was elected onto Banyule City Council in 2003 and served three terms as mayor. Following a successful 40 year career in the financial industry and leading large IT projects, Tom retired and volunteers for sporting and community organisations.  

Passionate about environmental management, Tom believes we need to do more to reduce our environmental impact and make better use of limited resources. Tom is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  

Tom was appointed to the MWRRG Board in 2013 and reappointed in 2017. 


Evy Papadopoulos Evy Papadopoulos

Evy is a consultant with the Australian Energy Market Operator and has extensive experience as a lawyer with a range of energy companies. Evy’s expertise includes regulated industries, corporate governance and procurement. She has held non-executive director positions in the water and superannuation industries and a start up company. She also has experience as a company secretary.

Evy was appointed to the MWRRG Board in August 2018.


Collin Ross Collin Ross

Collin is a councillor at Cardinia Shire Council and has a passion for the waste sector. He is committed to growing the volume of waste (such as food waste) diverted from landfill. 

Collin was appointed to the MWRRG Board in 2017. 


John Watson John Watson

John has significant experience at an executive level in local and state government administration, governance, strategic planning, mentorship and advocacy. He is the Chair of the Victorian Local Government Grants Commission, a Director for the Northern Hospital and chair or member of a number of local government and health audit and risk committees and for the Municipal Association of Victoria. John was the interim CEO of the forerunner organisation to MWRRG and was instrumental in its development. John was appointed to the MWRRG Board in August 2018 and is the Chair of the Audit, Risk and Finance Management Committee.

Last updated: 27/09/2021