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.
Applications for Deputy Chair and Committee Member positions closed on Friday 27 April 2018 at 5pm.
Information to be updated shortly.
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 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, a Member of the Advance Cairns Advisory Committee and Director of Terrain, NRM but is still involved as a Member of the Audit & Finance Committee.
Ben Tooth brings over 15 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, Finance Committee Member of the North and Primary Health Care Network and Board member of the Cairns Penny Savings and Loans. Ben applied to join the Committee due to his passion for Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait region and the future of sustainable growth in both locales and using his knowledge and skills to contribute to the community and government engagement around regional priorities. Ben is keen to provide assistance to others to work through the regions’ challenges and realise their opportunities.
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. Interim CEO at Advance Cairns (Jan-July 2016 and Oct-Dec 2017), 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 for a second term in March 2016, following 6 years as an independent Councillor with Cairns Regional Council. Julia holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diplomas in Education and Communication. Julia is a Director of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, an Executive Member of the Australian Coastal Councils Association and the North Queensland Local Government Association. Julia was recently re-appointed to the Library Board of Queensland and is also Chair of the Public Libraries Advisory Group. 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 passionate about ensuring the financial, environmental, cultural and social sustainability of our region. Julia has 2 adult sons and lives with her husband on an organic fruit farm, which they established 27 years ago in Lower Daintree, Far North Queensland.
Dr Keith Noble is a tropical fruit grower near Tully and Rural Planner with Insideout Architects, Townsville. Keith is Chair of Terrain NRM, the regional NRM body for the Wet Tropics, and their long-standing Industry Advisory Group. Keith is also a director of NRM Regions Queensland, and Chair of Corporate Nature – a company providing administrative and governance services to all north Queensland NRM bodies. Keith has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland, a Master of Science and PhD from James Cook University and is an Australian Institute of Company Directors Fellow and a Registered Planner with the Planning Institute of Australia. Before farming, Keith worked in natural resource management throughout regional Australia, culminating in declaration of Australia’s largest terrestrial protected area – the Ngaanyatjarra Lands IPA. Keith was Founding Director of Australian Tropical Fruits and Australian Tropical Marketing before cyclones Larry and Yasi changed the course of the tropical fruit industry. Keith has a demonstrated commitment to regional Australia.
Joann identifies as a Waribarra clan, Mamu Traditional Owner connected across the six groups of the Dyirbal speaking people of the 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. Lara owns Wilde Drive, a business focusing on providing support and advice for people to have safe, simple, stylish adventures on the road. Through Wilde Drive, Lara writes articles for a number of publications and speaks at a variety of events. Wilde Drive also has an online store Wilde Garage that provides performance parts and accessories for automotive enthusiasts. When Lara is not working in her business, she is the Regional Innovation Coordinator for Ignite FNQ driving innovation throughout the region. Lara also works as the member liaison for the Institute of Managers and Leaders and is the Chair of the Defence Reserve Support Council for Far North Queensland.
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.