Chair and commissioners
AEMC Commissioners are appointed by Australia’s state, territory and federal governments to make the rules under the national energy laws, and to advise governments on overall energy market development.
The Commissioners exercise the AEMC’s statutory rule making and market development functions, subject to some delegations as explained below. Most of the functions relating to the management and day-to-day running of the organisation are the responsibility of the Chief Executive and the Executive Leadership Team. The Commission retains the majority of the statutory rule making powers and market development functions, and is also responsible for the AEMC’s strategic direction.
The Commissioners review the corporate governance framework of the organisation, overseeing the development of the AEMC’s strategic priorities and business planning, and approving corporate development initiatives as proposed by the Chief Executive with the Executive Leadership Team. The Commission holds monthly organisational meetings to review operational matters. In terms of risk management and reporting, the Commissioners review the AEMC’s budget, monitor its financial performance, and consider and approve the annual financial statements.
The AEMC is putting in place a transitional internal governance arrangement following John Pierce’s retirement as AEMC Chairman on 3 July 2020. Commissioner Merryn York is our designated Acting Chair under her instrument of appointment. She took up her role as Acting Chair on 4 July 2020.
Ms Merryn York
Merryn York was appointed as a part time Commissioner of the AEMC on 25 August 2019. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian energy sector, predominantly with Queensland’s electricity transmission network provider.
An electrical engineer by profession, Merryn has worked in all facets of transmission network service delivery including asset management, regulation, capital investment and governance, customer engagement and business development, and network planning and performance.
From 2011 to 2019 she served as Powerlink’s Chief Executive, with a focus on leading the business in its transformation to align with the changing external environment and better meet customer expectations.
Merryn has also served as an Energy Networks Australia (ENA) board member, and chaired the ENA’s Policy and Strategy Committee.
Merryn has a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Engineering Science, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Law from the University of Queensland and is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.
Ms Allison Warburton
Allison has worked in the energy sector for more than twenty years, advising energy users, governments and major corporations on energy policy and legislation. Allison was previously national head of Minter Ellison’s climate change and renewables practice, and has been involved in emissions reduction and clean energy projects, and advised on the Renewable Energy Target, the Emissions Reduction Fund and other legislative schemes to report and reduce emissions.
In 2016 she was appointed by the Queensland Government to its independent Renewable Energy Expert Panel to advise on credible pathways to achieving the government’s renewable energy target. She served as a non-executive director of Stanwell Corporation Limited until January 2018 and previously advised the Australian Greenhouse Office on developing new laws to regulate geological carbon capture and storage.
Allison has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Queensland Law Society.
Mr Charles Popple
Charles Popple has spent more than four decades in the energy network sector. In the 1990s he played a significant role in the development of the National Electricity Market including reform of the network sector and the implementation of transmission system planning and pricing arrangements.
He has also held management roles with Victorian Power Exchange, VENCorp, SPI PowerNet and SP AusNet. As a consultant, his focus was on energy markets and regulatory arrangements, with a view to achieving a balance between security, environmental challenges, and competitive pricing and products for energy consumers.
Charles has a Bachelor of Engineering from Monash University and a Master of Engineering Science in power system engineering from the University of Melbourne.
Ms Michelle Shepherd
Michelle has over 20 years’ experience in energy policy and regulation in both the private and public sectors and has been at the forefront of the markets' development across Australia.
Michelle was the General Manager Regulatory and Government Affairs at Alinta Energy for 6 years where she was actively involved in energy policy reform and the commercial implementation of policy changes nationally. Prior to Alinta, Michelle spent nearly 10 years at AGL where she played a key role in the development of the regulatory frameworks across Australia. Michelle has also worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, UK Competition Commission and the Federal Department of Finance.
Michelle has strong Board experience and a focus on governance. She was a board member of the YMCA WA for four years, serving as Vice President (Deputy Chair) for her final two years of service. Michelle also spent almost 5 years on the board of REMCo when it operated the WA gas market. She is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Applied Economics from Murdoch University.