Management Team

Meet our Management Team

Philip Narezzi – Chief Executive Officer

Executive leader with over 25 years of experience in the process and industrial industries working in the fields of executive management, regulation, engineering, technical support, project delivery, business improvement and corporate management.

Philip’s experience includes detailed process design, engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, optimisation and continuous improvement, strategic planning, commercial, tendering, asset management, project management for multiple industries specialising in water, sewerage and recycling infrastructure.

Philip joined Sydney Desalination Plant in October 2016 as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the successful reinstatement of the plant following the December 2015 storm event and the 2019 plant restart after six years of water security mode.

Philip was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in March 2020.

Justin De Lorenzo – Chief Financial Officer

Justin joined Sydney Desalination Plant as Chief Financial Officer in April 2015.  Prior to that Justin was the Group Chief Financial Officer Networks NSW, the owner of the electricity distribution network in New South Wales.  He was previously Executive General Manager Finance and IT for Essential Energy and also held lead finance executive roles with Country Energy and Advance Energy. 

Justin has over 35 years of professional experience including 17 years as a CFO in the NSW energy industry.  Prior to that Justin headed up Strategic Planning at a major energy company based in Melbourne and was a Senior Manager at KPMG in the Corporate Finance business dealing with mergers and acquisitions, business valuations and forensic accounting.  Justin’s career at KPMG included a 2 year secondment to the KPMG Toronto office.

Justin has a  Bachelor of Commerce, (University of Melbourne), is a Chartered Accountant, Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mariela Southers

Mariela Southers – Office Manager 

Mariela is an office administration professional with 35 years’ experience working in Federal and State Government roles as well as private sector companies. Mariela began her career working in Accounting at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) moving onto other roles within the 13 years at the Bank. In 1998 she moved into APRA, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority as Statistical Officer following passage of legislation which transferred the RBA’s Bank Supervision Department’s functions into APRA.

During the years, Mariela held roles in industries which included financial planning, the mining sector, WorkCover NSW and the Federal Court of Australia. This provided experience in all aspects of Office Management, Executive Assistance, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Office Administration, Customer Service and IT.

Mariela joined the Sydney Desalination Plant in September 2021 and was appointed as Office Manager.

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Matt Blaikie  – General Manager Operations 

Matt Blaikie is a Civil and Environmental Engineer with over 15 years’ experience in the water industry in the fields of operations, maintenance, treatment process engineering, project delivery and contract management. Matt also has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Microbiology and Genetics.

As a key member of the SA Water Corporation team that delivered and operated the $1.83b Adelaide Desalination Plant, Matt has first-hand experience through all parts of the mega-project life-cycle including design, construction, commissioning and operations. Matt’s experience has contributed to the success in guiding the Sydney Desalination Plant to its recent operational state after 6 years in mothball, and he continues to oversee the ongoing operations of the Plant as it produces climate independent drinking water for Sydney.

Matt joined Sydney Desalination Plant in February 2018 and was appointed as General Manager Operations in March 2020.

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Iftekhar Omar  – General Manager Regulation 

Ifty is an experienced leader with a drive to deliver enhanced long-term value for customers and shareholders through core infrastructure. He has a track record of delivering strong outcomes through long-term regulatory revenue/price determinations and associated processes. Ifty works collaboratively with all key stakeholders including customers, regulators, government and commercial partners to develop shared solutions to complex industry problems. He continually seeks to align business incentives with customer value through well designed regulatory frameworks.

Ifty joined the Sydney Desalination Plant in August 2020, following an extensive career in regulatory economics. Prior to joining, he was Head of Regulation at Ausgrid, the largest energy network in the Australian National Electricity Market. Ifty has also worked at Networks NSW (joint venture between Ausgrid, Endeavour and Essential Energy), the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Ifty has degrees in Economics and Commerce, with a major in Finance, from the Australian National University.


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llyas Mukhamadyarov – Group Financial Controller 

Ilyas is a people-focused, entrepreneurial, results oriented leader with diverse experience in complex transactions, audit, and financial and management reporting. Prior to joining Sydney Desalination Plant in November 2021, Ilyas worked at Charter Hall Group for 14 years where he served as a financial controller for a number of listed and unlisted property funds. Throughout his tenure with Charter Hall, he was directly involved as a technical accounting advisor in a number of major capital initiatives including acquisitions/disposals, establishment of new joint ventures and debt and equity restructure transactions.

Ilyas has Bachelor of Business Administration (Econ) from Tashkent State Technical University and Bachelor of Science (Applied Physics and Math) from University of New England. He is also a member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK).           


Reece Karamihas – Senior Engineer (O&M) 

Reece Karamihas is a Civil Engineer with over 7 years’ experience in the water and construction industry, specialising in project delivery, contract management and operations. Reece also has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Applied Chemistry.

Having worked on large scale construction projects, such as the North-West rail link, and as a project engineer on the Sydney Water Networks and Facilities Renewal Program, Reece has a wide range of experience in both the construction and operational environment.

Reece gained significant experience with the Sydney Desalination Plant, having joined as part of the Rebuild project, before taking a leading role in the operations and maintenance of the Plant.

Reece joined Sydney Desalination Plant in July 2017 and was appointed as Senior Engineer in April 2019.          

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Kurt Galpin  – Senior Project Manager 

Kurt is an Electrical and Mechatronic Engineer with over 12 years’ experience in the Water Industry. He has a Diploma in Project Management and specialises in project development, contract management, asset management and business development.

Kurt joined Sydney Desalination Plant in March 2017 as the Project Manager and Company’s Representative of the Rebuild Project following the storm event in December 2015. He was then appointed as Design Manager for the planning phase of the expansion of the plant and is now an integral part of the operations team, overseeing the capital works program and asset management and maintenance.

Kurt has a strong interest in sustainability and is actively involved in our ESG reporting and management. 

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Jen Ng  – Finance Manager 

Jen is a chartered accountant specialising in the infrastructure and real estate sector and has diverse experience on financial reporting and audit of complex transactions.

Before joining Sydney Desalination Plant, Jen was an audit manager in Ernst & Young’s real estate division and has experience working with listed and private clients in the infrastructure, property development and asset management sector. Jen was also involved in IPO audits and transaction due diligence work of property acquisitions.

Jen has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), UK.          


John Duong  – Financial Analyst 

John is a financial analyst with a diverse range of experience across social, transport, energy and water infrastructure assets.

Before joining Sydney Desalination Plant, John worked with NSW Treasury and EY. John has developed several large financial and economic models across a range of infrastructure assets. He has previous experience working as a civil engineer for two years.

John has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of New South Wales.