Claire Miller

Chief Executive Officer, NSW Irrigators’ Council

Claire Miller, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Irrigator's CouncilClaire Miller has more than 35 years’ experience in contentious and complex environments like the water space. She has been an award-winning journalist and a ministerial policy adviser and strategist.

At The Age, where she worked for 20 years, Claire chased down stories about water, environmental and regional issues, learning the value of listening to diverse voices and communities.

She has a passion for sustainable land and water management and a master's degree in Environmental Studies from Melbourne University. Claire is now the Chief Executive Officer at the NSW Irrigators’ Council.

Claire believes some of the greatest minds in water management are women.

‘I’m in awe of the women I work with in this field, who have an innate ability to understand how policy affects the big picture and what it means for industry, local communities and the environment,’ she said.

Claire believes that when we take a leaf out of their book and consider the greater implications of our work, hear from many voices and work together, we see the strongest results.

‘Look at the Southern Basin, where rice farmers are working closely with scientists to adapt farming practices so that endangered Australasian bitterns can complete their breeding cycles. This kind of collaboration is the pathway to a sustainable future for farming and environment alike.’

Claire laments that many women still consider themselves guests in the workplace and make themselves small, despite their skills, knowledge and experience.

‘We aren’t guests, we are here because we are good at what we do and we should walk tall,’ she urged.

Claire often wears a t-shirt emblazoned with her mantra for the coming year – ‘women will be women, born to lead’.

‘I wear it a lot and I feel like this is going to be me for the next 12 months. As women, we tend to internalise criticism and our introspection can mean we question our judgement. But rather than seeing introspection as a negative, I think it makes me a better leader.’