Yarra Valley Water


Prosperity: Planning for business resilience and inclusive growth

Prosperity starts with our high-performing, productive workplace culture, which is an important part of the way we create value.

Boy planting plant

We provide fulfilling work for our nearly 600-strong workforce and contribute to Victoria’s economy. We foster open and innovative thinking across the organisation, contributing to productivity and performance.

Our workplace is not only good for our people, it is beneficial to our bottom line. Our high-performing culture is reflected in the financially responsible and efficient way we conduct our business, which helps us to keep the pressure off customer bills.

We are dedicated to investing responsibly. We are innovative and flexible in our search for the best outcomes for the community, while ensuring we don’t take risks that could jeopardise our business sustainability and our ability to deliver an exemplary service.

Ensuring we are accountable

Under new arrangements negotiated with our customers through our citizens’ jury process, we now assess our performance annually.

If we have not met the target for any of the seven outcome measures, including three core service expectations:

  • water that is safe to drink
  • water and sewerage services that they can rely on
  • fast response and effective restoration of their service when it is interrupted.


And four community-based values:

  • support for customers having difficulty paying their bills
  • a modern, flexible service and advice that suits their needs
  • saving water now so it’s available in the future
  • looking after the environment.

We will return $1.5 million for each target missed to our customers via price reductions.

Procuring goods and services sustainably

Our relationships with partners and suppliers allow us to influence positive change. We are exploring ways to unlock the social and environmental value in our procurement activities, such as supporting opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses.

Our Supplier Code of Conduct articulates our expectations of our suppliers and helps us understand how they work in key social and environmental areas. We recently revised the code to include our focus on reconciliation and family violence. We ask our key suppliers to self-assess against the code and use it as part of our tendering process.

We are leading our industry in this area and working with other Victorian water companies on a joint approach that will magnify the impact across industry.

Building a diverse workforce

A diverse workforce delivers economic and social value to an organisation, increasing innovation and the opportunities for partnerships we can forge with diverse communities. Our workforce reflects our customer base. It consolidates the many perspectives, life experiences, skills and capabilities of modern Australian society.

Our priorities are to improve gender balance in leadership and technical roles, train managers to recognise unconscious biases, and conduct a review of people policies, processes and practices.

We track the diversity of our workforce using anonymous surveys, which are completed by a large proportion of our workforce. As a result, we know that:

  • 0.75% of our workforce are Aboriginal
  • 8% speak a language other than English at home
  • 10% of our workforce arrived in Australia in the last 10 years
  • 7% of people identify as LGBTIQ+


We’re making clear progress on gender diversity – the number of women shortlisted for positions in 2016-17 was 50 per cent, up from 28 per cent in 2015-16. Women also represent 39 per cent of people managers and 50 per cent of directors and executives at Yarra Valley Water in February 2018. By contrast, our executive team was only 12.5 per cent women in 2014-15. We are now working towards gender parity across the wider leadership team in the organisation.

We are continuing to promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace by establishing diversity employee working groups across six areas. These include: gender diversity, cultural diversity, disability and access, flexible working, life stages and generational diversity, LGBTIQ+ diversity and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation.

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