Our executive leadership

Linda Dobe, Acting Director-General

Linda Dobe, Acting Director-General

Linda took up the role of Acting Director-General of DRDMW in March 2023. Prior to that, she was the department’s Deputy Director-General, Water Resource Management, and has been the Queensland Government’s most senior water executive for more than 5 years.

Linda has broad government and private-sector experience in senior roles across the water, lands, mining, finance and education portfolios. She has held lead roles in government water functions in key areas such as strategic water policy and reform, regulation of water entitlements, drinking water and dam safety, water planning and science, water security planning, and progression of bulk water infrastructure projects.

Linda is Queensland’s representative on the Murray–Darling Basin Officials Committee and also on the committee that is revamping Australia’s National Water Initiative (which has a focus on increasing the involvement of traditional custodians in water management; climate response; and ensuring rural and remote communities have access to safe, reliable drinking water).

Linda has led numerous large multi-disciplinary teams, successfully facilitating cultural transformation while delivering strategic, innovative solutions. She also has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and consultation, with a commitment to building long-lasting and authentic relationships across diverse stakeholder groups. She has a particular interest in working with First Nations Peoples on water management issues.

Linda holds a Bachelor of Science (Geology) from The University of Queensland, and began her career as one of the first female exploration geologists working in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Bernadette Zerba, Deputy Director-General, Regional Economic Development

Bernadette Zerba, Deputy Director-General, Regional Economic Development

Bernadette has worked in government for more than 20 years, holding leadership roles in multiple agencies across state government. She specialises in leading regional economic development initiatives across the state, including policy development, strategic analysis, interdepartmental and interjurisdictional engagement, and negotiation.

Prior to taking the role of Deputy Director-General of Regional Economic Development, Bernadette was the Executive Director of Water Infrastructure and Strategic Co-ordination for the department. In that role, she provided governance oversight of government-owned bulk water providers, contributing advice on bulk water infrastructure projects and regional urban water security and oversight of SEQ water supply planning.

Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, Acting Deputy Director-General, Water Resource Management

Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, Acting Deputy Director-General, Water Resource Management

Jarrod has more than 20 years’ experience in policy development and implementation, project management, and best-practice regulation in Queensland and the United Kingdom, with skills in leadership, stakeholder management, intergovernmental relations, strategic reform, and legislative development.

Jarrod’s substantive role is Executive Director of Water Operations and Systems, and he has previously acted as the department’s Head of Corporate.

Jarrod is also active in the National Regulators’ Community of Practice, and represents Queensland at the Murray–Darling Basin Regulatory Leaders Forum.

Prior to joining the public sector, Jarrod worked as a solicitor and as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Wietske Smith

Wietske Smith, Deputy Director-General (Corporate)

Wietske has been DRDMW’s Deputy Director-General (Corporate) since October 2021.

Wietske has extensive experience delivering corporate and operational services across the Queensland public sector and has provided strategic leadership across all corporate service functions, supporting transformational change and ensuring customer service delivery. She has held many senior roles including Head of Corporate Services (TransLink), Executive Director (Customer Experience) and General Manager (Governance) at the Department of Transport and Main Roads

Wietske holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), is a Certified Public Accountant and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Last updated: 19 Feb 2024