The Committee’s role is to:
- Engage the community and inform governments of regional priorities and areas of greatest need.
- Identify and drive, together with the community the key things that need to happen for our region’s future wellbeing.
- Address these regional priorities by providing a framework for developing strategic actions and initiatives.
- Conduct ongoing engagement with the key planning and delivery institutions within the region to implement these strategic actions and initiatives.
- Provide a single point of contact or one-stop-shop for regional development and for individuals and agencies driving economic, social, and environmental and governance initiatives.
- Carry out structured negotiation with all levels of government and neighbouring regions as opportunities and challenges emerge.
- Deliver information to local stakeholders about programs, services, grants and initiatives for regional development by all three levels of government.
Allan Dale is a Professor of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. Allan has a strong interest in integrated governance, with a particular focus across the tropical world and in northern Australia. He has both extensive research and policy expertise in building strong governance systems, but particularly in regional development and natural resource management. Allan was previously the CEO of Terrain NRM from 2005 to 2010. He has also been extensively involved in regional development across FNQ&TS from previous roles in the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Department of Community Services (Social Impact Assessment Unit). Allan has a long research background in regional planning and development (including CSIRO and Griffith University) and is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow with Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute. He also has global experience in respect to social impact assessment in development. While Allan originally grew up north of Cairns, having started his career as an agricultural scientist, his doctoral work explored rural development in remote Indigenous communities and he has long working relationships with Traditional Owner groups throughout Cape York Peninsula, Torres Strait and the Gulf. After spending the last 10 years in Babinda, Allan and his family now reside in the Speewah area west of Kuranda.
An experienced professional renowned for her insight, foresight and outcomes centered approach, Bronwyn Voyce is a newly elected Councillor at Tablelands Regional Council located in Tropical North Queensland. With over a decade of experience across the public and private sectors, Bronwyn has worked with governments, corporates, industry groups, SME’s and startups, not-for-profits and community groups. Her strength lies in her ability to design creative and strategic solutions for clients seeking an independent and forward thinking perspective. She has a particular interest in supporting the convergence of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to nurture economic and social solutions by developing new approaches to old and complex problems. Bronwyn is a standout regional leader passionate about talent attraction and retention, policy and research, economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Bronwyn has a Graduate Certificate in Economic Development, a Masters in International and Community Development and a Diploma in Business Management and Administration. She currently holds the following positions: Co-Deputy Chair, Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait Inc; Chair, CQUniversity Regional Engagement Committee; Co-Founder, yRepublic – Cairns Millennial Taskforce; Program Manager & Alumni, Australian American Young Leaders Dialogue; Director Tropical Tablelands Tourism; and Director, Tablelands Futures Corporation.
Mr Bill Shannon lives at Mission Beach and is a Director of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Board. He was Mayor of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council from 2008 until 2016 when he did not seek re-election. He has an economics degree from the University of Sydney, is a chartered accountant, a public company director and a member of the Governance Institute of Australia. With his wife he grows sugar cane, rice and stud cattle and is interested in sustainable economic development and natural resource management. He was the Chair of the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils and is currently a Member of the Advance Cairns Advisory Committee.
RDA FNQ&TS welcome newly appointed Ben Tooth to the committee and also as the new Treasurer. Ben brings with him over 13 years’ experience in finance and management in both the public and private sectors in Far North Queensland. Ben’s experience extends to a variety of industries including health, financial services, tourism, logistics and Local Government. Ben is currently an Executive Manager of the Cairns Private Hospital group and Board member of the Cairns Penny Savings and Loans.
Brett Moller is an elected Councillor on the Cairns Regional Council representing Division 1, the largest division with predominately rural and farming land and being the growth corridor in the southern part of the greater Council area. He Chairs the Council’s Governance Committee and is a member of the Infrastructure, Water and Waste and Planning and Economic Committee’s of Council. Brett is a respected lawyer and a former partner in a regional law practice until his election to Council having been admitted in the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia and has been a practicing lawyer for over twenty-five years. He is a former Chair of the Queensland Government owned Ports North Corporation, a former State President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland and has served as a Director on the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Brett has significant Director experience, is a strong community and business advocate and through meaningful collaboration believes in a power with, rather than power over, style of community leadership.
Rob’s 40 years’ in senior Tourism management and marketing executive roles across seven different Australian regions. CEO, Tourism Tasmania, CEO, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Director of marketing, Destination NSW, GM, Blue Mountains Tourism, GM, Tourism Albury-Wodonga, Tourism manager, Griffith Tourism, Project manager, Tourism Australia. With exceptional relationship development & management skills he has galvanised other industry sectors, community and political leaders to work together to maximise the community and economic benefits of the Visitor Economy to the destination. During his career Rob has developed and managed, many aviation route development negotiations and general transport logistics strategies. He directed the introduction of low cost airline services to Tasmania and was a key player in the planning and purchase of two new ships for the bass strait crossing as well as the reintroduction of direct international airlines services to Cairns between 2008 and 2013. Strategic representation and presentation on the national white paper on Australian aviation policy (2009) and state aviation policy to incentivise new airline carriers to service Queensland international airports (2012).
Peter Scott is Mayor of the Cook Shire Council and has over 12 years experience in local Government in Queensland. Peter spent many years in the country areas of Australia and has a strong background in the banking and finance industry in Australia and Papua New Guinea and he and his wife are also small business owners. Peter has been actively involved in Cooktown community groups and associations and is passionate about the sustainable growth of regional Australia.
Dr Scott Davis is the Senior Executive, and experienced Board Chair and Director of the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service with a passion for regional and rural Australia. Scott brings to the RDA Committee comprehensive expertise in social and economic policy and research, health service management, Indigenous health, health professional training, workforce development and in facilitating collaboration between industry and research institutions, with a focus on translating research into to policy and practice. Most recently Scott led a network of health and education service delivery across Northern Australia, which demonstrated the benefits of collaboration in address complex health workforce in regional, rural and remote communities. Scott currently sits on a number of boards including the newly established Jobs Queensland, which has a mandate to address workforce issues across a range of industries in Queensland. Scott originally from Tully, in FNQ has been vocal in shining a light on the issues that impact on the sustainability of regional, rural and remote communities. Scott is a strong advocate for leveraging our intellectual capital and innovative tropical health and education services to position Northern Australia as a leader in within the region. The health and education sectors are significant contributors to the economic and social development of regional, rural and remote Australia. Scott is an active member of the local community, and is currently leading the renewal of junior sailing in Cairns, and is currently a director of the state peak sporting body, Yachting Queensland.
Susan Darby is a former Executive Director of Schools (Cairns & Coastal District) for Education Queensland. Her career in Education includes more than a decade as Principal of the high achieving Edge Hill State School and many years in leadership roles at the Cairns School of Distance Education. She has accepted secondments to implement curriculum change in Cape York Schools and has spent time as a full time panel member on a recruitment and selection team working across the state. Her commitment towards students and working with families as partners in their children’s education is well known. Susan was an inaugural member of the Queensland Studies Authority (2002- 2005) and served on the State Showcase Board for Education Queensland. She is presently involved in coaching Principals and Deputy Principals in a number of schools across FNQ Region where the focus is on a strong improvement agenda and high level results in classrooms. Susan also provides facilitation and mediation services in education settings. She was the recipient of a Public Service Medal in 2006 for her contribution to Education and the Community. Contributions to the community include volunteering for Court Net – an organisation providing services to all court users and victims’ support within the court system. She is a member of Red Cross and involved in the International Humanitarian sub group.
Cr Julia Leu was elected Mayor to the new Douglas Shire Council in November 2013, and re-elected as Mayor in March 2016, following nearly 6 years as an independent Councillor with Cairns Regional Council. Julia holds a Masters in Business Administration from James Cook University, a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Education from Melbourne University and a Graduate Diploma in Communication from NSW University of Technology. Julia has a wide range of experiences, including running her own business and has been a secondary teacher, lecturer and senior commonwealth employee in Indigenous, health, housing and community services. Julia is a Director of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, Terrain Natural Resource Management, and a Queensland executive member of the Australian Coastal Councils Association. Julia is passionate about ensuring the financial, environmental, cultural and social sustainability of our region. Julia has 2 sons aged 27 and 23 and lives with her husband on a certified organic fruit farm, which they established 25 years ago in Lower Daintree.
Keith Noble is a tropical fruit grower near Tully and partner/Rural Planner with Insideout Architects P/L, Townsville. Keith is also a Director of Terrain NRM and chairs their long-standing Industry Advisory Group, as well as director Qld NRM Regional Groups Collective. Keith has a BAgSc from UQ and MSc from JCU, where he is presently considering resilience in North Australian agriculture as a PhD candidate. He is an AICD Fellow, and Planning Institute of Australia Certified Practising Planner. Before farming, Keith worked in natural resource management throughout Australia, culminating in declaration of Australia’s largest terrestrial protected areas – the Ngaanyatjarra Lands IPA. Keith was Founding Director of Australian Tropical Fruits & Australian Tropical Marketing before Cyclones Larry and Yasi changed the course of the tropical fruit industry, and is a past Director of Growcom and TropLinks. Keith has a demonstrated commitment to regional Australia.
Joann identifies as a Waribarra clan, Mamu Traditional Owner connected across the six Dyirbal speaking language groups from the southern Tablelands, central Wet Tropics Rainforest country. Her family comes from the Millaa Millaa area and Austria. Her passion is promoting participation, awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples and interests in the diverse fabric of Australian local, regional, state and national settings. Through growing up and public service work she has lived in Mount Isa, Townsville, Brisbane and Canberra. In FNQ region Cairns since 2005, Joann’s business supports Indigenous-related networks in their operations, and how Indigenous interests can be accounted in social, cultural, environmental and economic development.
Lara Wilde has successfully worked in local Government, project management, recruitment and retention, economic development and her own private businesses in remote, rural and regional parts of Australia. Throughout her career Lara has honed her commercial project management skills in the areas of community resource projects, infrastructure and agriculture amongst others. Today Lara works at the helm of the Cairns RSL Sub Branch to improve welfare delivery for Veterans throughout the RDA FNQ&TS footprint.
Yen is a Torres Strait Islander, born on Thursday Island on 14 December 1960 and lived all his life on Muralug (Prince of Wales Island). Yen completed all his education on Thursday Island. On leaving school, Yen went to work at Thursday Island Engineering Pty. Ltd for twelve years, during which time he achieved a qualification in the Boilermaker trade. He moved on to work on a crayfish boat for six years and then accepted an offer to work as an assistant engineer with a shipping company where he worked for six years. After completing a marine course with Marine Power Australia Pty. Ltd Yen decided to take up the challenge of owning his own business and established Loban Marine Pty. Ltd on Thursday Island. Through hard work and dedication Yen decided to expand the company and bought a marine charter company which provides a much needed service amongst our island communities. In 2012 Yen was first elected to Torres Shire Council as a Councillor and again in the 2016 elections and after a unanimous decision from his Councillor colleagues accepted the role of Deputy Mayor. For a second term, Yen is also contributing to the Torres Strait Regional Authority as a valuable Board Member. Yen is married to Alice and have their home on Prince of Wales Island where they brought up five children and are now happy grandparents.