Our people
Ben Furmage

Ben is WSCA's founding CEO, continuing the work he started as CEO of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC). He joined the CRCWSC in 2017 as Chief Operating and Finance Officer, becoming CEO in 2020. In addition to his executive responsibilities,  Ben also leads multidisciplinary local and international projects supporting the valuation and application of water sensitive city approaches.

Before joining the CRCWSC, Ben spent 10 years as a member of Melbourne Water’s executive leadership team where his responsibilities included water resource and sewerage system planning, utility regulation, customer service, public affairs, research and development.

Ben’s career has also included senior positions with a range of policy, regulatory and research organisations including the Productivity Commission, the National Competition Council, and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. Ben has an honours degree in Economics, a Master of Business Administration, and has completed the Executive Fellows Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Professor Tony Wong
Thought Leadership

Professor Tony Wong was formerly the Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and is internationally recognised for his research and practice in sustainable urban water management. He has led a large number of award-winning urban design projects in Australia and overseas and has been commended for having defined “a new paradigm for design of urban environments that blends creativity with technical and scientific rigour”.

In October 2010, Tony was presented the prestigious Sir John Holland Award as Australia’s 2010 Civil Engineer of the Year. He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2012 and received the IWA 2018 Global Water Award for his leadership and lifetime achievements in developing the concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design. Tony has over 200 publications and has presented over 75 keynote and invited lectures.

Read Tony's profile

Associate Professor Briony Rogers
Research Leadership

Associate Professor Briony Rogers is the Director of MSDI Water, based at Monash Sustainable Development Institute. She leads a team of boundary spanning experts in water, sustainability, governance and system change. In her previous role as Chief Research Officer for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Briony oversaw interdisciplinary research on economics, planning, governance, transitions, modelling, urban design, urban heat and groundwater.

Briony is also the CEO of Fire to Flourish, a community resilience program at MSDI. The transdisciplinary Fire to Flourish team involves researchers, practitioners and community members to advance community-led bushfire recovery and disaster resilience through a focus on strengthening community leadership, capabilities and social capital.

Briony has a PhD in Environmental Sociology, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science, and a background in engineering consulting. This has given her deep experience of interdisciplinary research and practice to drive system change. She has focused her research career on strengthening the capabilities and pathways for communities and practitioners to influence institutional, policy and regulatory conditions for thriving futures.

Jamie Ewert
Mainstreaming Leader

Jamie manages WSCA's mainstreaming program, strategically scaling up the tools and practices developed by the CRCWSC. He works as a broker between researchers and industry and delivers research synthesis services that facilitate the translation and adoption of CRCWSC research into practice. He has worked with cities across Australia to develop practical water sensitive city projects and  brings extensive facilitation, engagement and IWM strategic skills to this project.

Jamie has over 21 years’ experience in the water and environment industry having worked in roles in service delivery, regulation, policy, strategy and research. Before joining the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, he worked at Melbourne Water, focusing on waterway management and integrated water management.

Dr Jianbin Wang
Chief Innovation Officer

Collaborating with researchers and practitioners from multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral backgrounds, Jianbin translates research into practice and provides transformative responses to emerging urban challenges. He promotes multifunctional infrastructure and applies circular economy approaches to deliver water sensitive city visions at a range of spatial scales, using urban design, landscape architecture and industrial design as integrative platforms.

He incubates new thinking from ideation to design, development and prototyping. And then he works with partners to implement proofs-of-concept on-ground. Jianbin has worked extensively with governments, industry and research institutions. He has implemented over 30 on-ground demonstration projects across Australia, China, Singapore and Israel.

Michael Simon
International Program Lead
Michael is our International Program Lead. He is currently working on the Resilient Urban Centres and Surrounds (RUCAS) project, developing climate resilient urban solutions for cities in Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Lao PDR. 
He is an experienced Water and Natural Resource Management leader, having worked in the development and environment sectors globally. He is a skilled not-for-profit organisation leader who specialises in building collaboration between stakeholders and across sectors. With over 2 decades working internationally, Michael's work has spanned advocacy and campaigning, sustainable community development, corporate social responsibility, human rights and gender mainstreaming. He previously worked with International Rivers and Oxfam.
Chris Manning
Water Sensitive Cities specialist

Chris recently joined WSCA as a Water Sensitive Cities specialist in the mainstreaming program. He assists communities around Australia to transition to more water sensitive practices and processes through effective collaboration, broad understanding of contexts and a thorough knowledge of available tools and processes from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

Chris has worked in the water and environmental management sector for 22 years with the Water and Rivers Commission, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville City Council and now with Water Sensitive Cities Australia. He is recognised as a leader in urban water quality and quantity management in the Reef region, including residential water use management and behaviours, smart technological approaches and water quality improvement planning and action. In addition, he also has significant experience in natural resource management, and urban and regional planning, and is also a sessional lecturer at James Cook University and a member on several industry advisory groups.

Li Xia
Finance and Operations Manager

Li Xia is Water Sensitive Cities Australia’s Finance and Operations Manager, performing the work she started as the Finance Manager of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Ltd (CRCWSC) and Water Sensitive Cities Institute Pty Ltd.  She joined CRCWSC in 2015 and is responsible for providing high quality innovative solutions and advice formulated from advance business planning, forecasting, modelling, analysis and reporting.

Li Xia’s career started from across the Tasman. She has assumed the roles of Financial Controller, Company Secretary, Treasurer, and Deputy Finance Director over a range of sectors that include government, insurance, building materials and forestry sectors while in New Zealand. Since relocating to Melbourne and prior to joining the CRCWSC, Li Xia was a senior Financial Controller within the Loyalty Division of the Qantas Group.

Jenny Flynn
Communications Manager

Jenny is an experienced professional economist, with 15 years of experience in both the government and private sectors (PricewaterhouseCoopers and Productivity Commission). She has been providing freelance research, writing, editing and communications services for the past 12 years.

She provided communications services for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities for 3 years before its term ended in 2021.

She has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the University of Queensland.


Hima Chanarithichai


Ditiphatra Chanarithichai (Hima) is an economic research assistant with 5 years of experience in infrastructure finance, market research, economic & financial analysis, and business development in Thailand (PricewaterhouseCoopers and Charoen Pokphand Group).

He is currently studying Master of Data Science at Monash University (AU) and has a Bachelor of Economics from Thammasat University (TH).

Advisory board
Charlie Littlefair
Charlie leads the Liveable Water Solutions group at South East Water, which manages the land development, resource recovery, liveability, connections, reliability, growth, liveable and sustainable futures and strategic asset management functions of the business. He has more than 30 years of international experience in the water and sewerage industry, having worked for both private and public water utility organisations including Metrowater, Opus International Consultants, Acer Engineering (a subsidiary of Severn Trent Water) and NZ Forest Products across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Professor Tony Capon
Tony is Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute and holds a Chair in Planetary Health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Tony has more than two decades of senior leadership and management experience in public health policy, research and education, and has consulted in many countries and for a wide variety of organisations. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Global Health Alliance, a member of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, and the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Planetary Health.
John Van Den Hurk
John is head of Water Corporation’s Asset Investment Planning team, planning and managing Western Australia’s existing and future water assets to ensure they have the capability to meet customers’ current and future expectations. Water Corporation is the principal supplier of water, wastewater and drainage services to over 2 million people throughout Perth and Western Australia. John is a Professional Engineer with more than 35 years of Asset Management Leadership experience, having worked in government organisations at both Federal and State levels as well as in the private sector.
Chris Williams
Chris is General Manager of Integrated Planning at Melbourne Water. He manages long-term water services planning, integrated water management, catchment and water quality, research and land use planning for liveability and environmental initiatives.
Susan Worley
Susan has been involved in water resources management in Western Australian public sector over the past 27 years with planning, regional and educational roles. Her work in water planning has focused on responding to climate change effects on water resources, in particular groundwater. This included a strong focus on urban potable and non-potable water supply, wetland resilience and on drainage associated with urban growth. Retired since June 2021, Susan is now contributing to the sector through advisory, mentoring and support roles including Perth’s Water Sensitive Transition Network.
Joanna Donagan
Joanna is Interim Director Enterprise and Director Global Initiatives at Monash University, where she leads the development and implementation of major global initiatives and new business enterprises. She also chairs the Major Opportunities Group, which nurtures large-scale impact projects for Monash and partners.