The Chairperson, Acting Chairperson and Commissioners are appointed by the Governor, pursuant to section 12 of the Essential Services Commission Act 2002. The Governor may appoint persons as Commissioners who are qualified for appointment on the basis of their knowledge of, or experience in, industry, commerce, economics, law and/or public administration.
The Commission comprises of Mr Brett Rowse (Chairperson), Dr Lynne Williams (Acting Chairperson), Ms June Roache, Professor David Round and Mr David Swift.
Mr Brett Rowse - Chairperson and Commissioner
Mr Rowse was appointed as Chairperson of the Commission in July 2016.
Mr Rowse has worked for 35 years in Treasury and Finance Departments at both the national and State level covering a diverse range of public sector policy issues. He provided broad policy guidance on a range of issues, with a particular focus on economic and financial management.
In January 2003, Mr Rowse was appointed Deputy Under-Treasurer in the South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance, and in December 2010 was appointed Under-Treasurer, South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance.
Mr Rowse chaired the South Australian Financing Authority Board and was also a Board member of the Adelaide Festival, Motor Accident Commission and Funds SA.
Mr Rowse retired from the position as Under Treasurer, Department of Treasury and Finance on 30 November 2015.
In December 2018, Mr Rowse was appointed as a Competition Commissioner for South Australia.
Dr Lynne Williams - Acting Chairperson and Commissioner
Dr Williams was appointed as a Commissioner in September 2013 and as Acting Chairperson in September 2014.
Dr Williams worked as an economist in the public sector for over 30 years. She currently sits on several boards related to public policy and undertakes small consultancies.
She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in January 2017 for contributions to economic and public policy, and in March 2018 was given the Alumni of Distinction Award (Faculty of Business and Economics) for her contributions to the University of Melbourne.
Dr Williams previously held senior executive positions in both the Victorian and Federal public services, including the Victorian Treasury and Finance, Premier and Cabinet and Industry departments, and the Federal Productivity Commission and Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research.
Dr Williams is a Commissioner with the Commonwealth Grants Commission, chairs the Victorian Judicial Entitlements Panel and is a member of the Victorian Legal Services Board (VLSB). She also chairs the Audit Committees for the VLSB.
Dr Williams has degrees in economics from the University of Melbourne, the London School of Economics and Monash University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA), Principle Fellow and Board member of St Hilda’s College (University of Melbourne), and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ms June Roache - Commissioner
Ms Roache was appointed as a Commissioner in May 2014.
Ms Roache is an independent non-executive director with extensive business experience having held several senior executive roles including Chief Executive of SA Lotteries, and a number of governance roles including Vice President of the World Lottery Association and Chair of the Asia Pacific Lottery Association.
She currently holds the positions of Chair and a Board member of the South Australian Forestry Corporation, a Board member of the History Trust of SA and a Director of COTA SA.
Ms Roache has a degree in accounting from the University of South Australia, a graduate certificate in management from Monash Mt Eliza Business School and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, CPA Australia and the Institute of Managers and Leaders.
Mr David Round - Commissioner
Mr Round was appointed as a Commissioner in May 2014.
Mr Round retired as Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for Regulation and Market Analysis at the University of South Australia in April 2014. For a short period after that he was the Research and Innovation Director at Torrens University Australia. He previously taught at the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University, Duke University (USA), the University of Delaware (USA), the College of William and Mary (USA), Wesleyan University (USA), Vanderbilt University (USA) and at Canterbury University in New Zealand.
Mr Round was a member of the Australian Competition Tribunal from 1998 to 2018, an Associate Member of the Trade Practices Commission from 1986 to 1993 when he was appointed as an Associate Member of its successor, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission until 1998 and an Associate Member of the Australian Telecommunications Authority (AUSTEL) from 1989 to 1997. From 1997 to 2006 he was a Member of the Australian Communications Authority, which took over many of the functions of AUSTEL, as well as additional responsibilities.
Mr Round has authored some 150 papers published in leading Australian and international economic and legal journals, on a variety of industrial economics, competition policy and antitrust topics.
In January 2014, Professor Round was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia.
David Swift - Commissioner
Mr Swift was appointed as a Commissioner on 1 August 2019.
Mr Swift has worked in the electricity industry for many years, initially in South Australia. He has worked on, or been involved in, the national energy markets in various roles since the late 1990’s. He is currently the Deputy Chair of the Energy Security Board.
Mr Swift was a member of the executive leadership team of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) from its inception until 2019. AEMO has responsibility for operating the electricity and gas markets in eastern and southern Australia and a range of planning and forecasting roles related to these markets. Since November 2015 AEMO’s responsibilities have extended to Western Australia.
Prior to the formation of AEMO, Mr Swift was the Chief Executive of the South Australian Electricity Supply Industry Planning Council (ESIPC). He has had a strong involvement in work to integrate renewable energy into the national grid both in the ESIPC and AEMO. He led AEMO’s “Future Power System Security Program” to ensure that the security of Australia’s evolving energy markets is maintained with the changing generation mix.
Mr Swift is now the Deputy Chair of the Energy Security Board which was established by the CoAG Energy Council to coordinate the implementation of the reform blueprint produced by Australia's Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, and to provide whole of system oversight for energy security and reliability to drive better outcomes for consumers. Additionally, he is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Cigre, the International Council on Large Electric Systems.
The Leadership Team of the Commission is comprised of the following Chief Executive Officer and Directors:
Mr Adam Wilson - Chief Executive Officer
Mr Wilson has over 20 years of experience in the legal and regulatory fields, including as Chief Executive Officer for the Commission.
Mr Wilson was previously the Director, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and prior to this practiced law and held senior positions in the legal, regulatory development and reform areas including senior roles with Attorney Generals in South Australia.
Mr Wilson also contributes internationally in the economic regulation sector, including as a keynote speaker.
Mr Wilson holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts, and is an alumni of Oxford University SAID Business School.
Sean McComish - Director, Advisory and Research
Mr McComish has over 20 years of experience working in regulated utilities, regulatory offices and economic consultancies. His involvement in regulated utilities spans the water, electricity, gas, rail, postal, television and telecommunications sectors. He has worked in developed and developing countries.
Mr McComish leads the advisory and research group at the Commission. Advisory and research provides high quality economic and regulatory research and advice to the Commission and Government.
Mr McComish holds both an Honours and Master Degree in Economics.
Natasha Cheshire - Director, Regulatory Monitoring and Evaluation
Ms Cheshire has over 20 years of experience working within both public and private businesses in the energy and regulatory sectors, including in banking, energy and economic regulation.
Ms Cheshire leads the regulatory monitoring and evaluation group at the Commission, which has a focus on monitoring and verifying the performance of regulated businesses to deliver long-term benefits to consumers.
Ms Cheshire holds a Bachelor of Banking and International Finance, and is an alumni of University of Melbourne Business School and Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Rachel Thamm - Director, People and Corporate
Rachel is an experienced people, culture and business manager with a demonstrated history of working in multiple industries including utilities, Government and space.
Rachel leads the corporate services group at the Commission which includes the Commission’s licensing function and provides all workforce, finance, ICT and administrative support to the Commission. The team supports organisational effectiveness, increasing engagement and creating a high performance culture.
Rachel has studied and undertaken research in many areas including economics, psychology, leadership, human resources, occupational health and safety, risk management and is the holder of an executive Masters in Business Administration.