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RDA Appointments

January 2024

Former MSM Milling General Manager, Commercial Josh Gordon has been appointed Director of Regional Development for RDA Central West.

Josh (pictured left with Chair Ruth Fagan and Deputy Chair Reg Kidd) has extensive experience in senior management roles in both the public and private sectors. He brings to his new role an in-depth knowledge of both current and prospective economic development opportunities for the region.

Mark McKenzie has been appointed Chair for RDA Illawarra.

Mark will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to leverage the strategic advantage of the region. Mark said there are many advantages for all who choose to live and work in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

“These include our proximity to Australia’s largest capital city, our international port, our heavy manufacturing base, our Defence facilities, our leading academic/research institutions, and the beauty of our natural environment.”

Deirdre O'Sullivan has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer for RDA Northern Territory. She brings a wide range of experience from working across various sectors, including local government, corporate finance and Aboriginal economic development.

Deidre says she will use her knowledge to focus on driving innovation, embracing diverse communities and building strong partnerships.

December 2023

RDA Wheatbelt is pleased to announce the reappointment of Karen Strange to the position of Deputy Chair. Karen has been a Member since March 2015 and was first appointed as Deputy Chair in July 2018.

Karen has actively participated in all aspects of the organisation’s activities, undertaken training to complement her skills and continues to bring new initiatives, information and ideas to the table.

November 2023

RDA Orana has announced the appointment of Justine Campbell as the new Chief Executive Officer. Ms Campbell is an accomplished and recognised leader who brings a wealth of knowledge to RDA Orana with more than 20 years of experience as a chairperson, board member and non-executive director across varied sectors.


July 2023

RDA Moreton Bay has announced the appointment of Sorita McGrane as its new Chief Executive Officer.

With a wealth of experience in regional and economic development, Sorita brings a fresh perspective and boundless enthusiasm to her role. 


May 2023

Following a rigorous and merit-based selection process, Ms Farzian Zainal (pictured) has been appointed Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands for a period of 3 years, commencing June 2023. In her new role of Administrator, Ms Zainal will also be the Chair of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) Regional Development Organisation (RDO), which delivers RDA program services in the IOT.

She was sworn in by the as Administrator by the Governor-General, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) at a ceremony at Government House, Canberra (pictured).

Ms Zainal brings extensive experience in public and private sector leadership, most recently serving as a Councillor of the Shire of Christmas Island and as the Deputy Chair of the IOT RDO.

As a fourth generation Christmas Islander, Ms Zainal also brings valuable local expertise and lived experience, which will underpin her contribution to the current and long-term interests of the IOT.

April 2023

Kalgoorlie-Boulder local Sharon Henderson (pictured with chair Lee Jacobsen) has been appointed Director of the Regional Development for RDA Goldfields Esperance.

Photo credit: Madeleine Clark/Kalgoorlie Miner

Two new members have joined RDA Limestone Coast - Rebecca Weller and Lachlan Haynes.

Rebecca is an entrepreneur and community leader, with a wealth of board experience in tourism, economic growth and aboriginal development across the Northern Territory and South Australia. Lachlan is a fourth-generation farmer from the Naracoorte region, with an extensive background in mixed agriculture, agribusiness, and viticulture. 

March 2023

Professor Hurriyet Babacan AM has been appointed as the new chair of RDA Tropical North, in Queensland. She brings extensive experience in government, higher education and research, including working with the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Queensland and the Tablelands Regional Council.

Professor Babacan is currently employed at James Cook University and the University of Queensland at the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence. In addition, she serves as Vice Chair of the Cape York Natural Resource Management Board.

Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island welcomes 3 new board members: Nigel Morris and Brett Miller and Tom Cosetino. The 3 members will bring a range of skills and experience to their new roles including: oral health, primary industry, law, local government and agribusiness. Learn more

February 2023

Professor Sue Kilpatrick has been appointed as the Chair of RDA Tasmania.  She is a Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), was a Pro Vice Chancellor for UTAS and at Deakin University, and a Director on the Northern Tasmania Development Corporation board.

Learn more: Chair RDA Tasmania

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