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.
David Kempton – Chair
David Kempton has worked and lived in far north Queensland for over 30 years. In 1988 David established the first law practice in Cooktown since 1935. After over a decade of legal practice in Cooktown and Cape York, David relocated his family to Cairns to provide his girls with a broader education.
David was a key negotiator on behalf of pastoralists in the Wik native title claim which saw the pastoralists rights enshrined in a binding agreement.
David has been a specialist consultant with Preston Law since 2007 providing advice to farmers across Queensland on a arrange of matters including tenure, native title, vegetation management, water rights, EPBC Act and planning appeals. Having owned and managed a cattle station in Cape York in the late 90’s David has a practical insight to the many issues the industry faces.
From 2012 to 2015, David took a break from law as the elected Member for Cook and appointed Assistant Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. During this time, David was a tireless and passionate advocate for the region and brought many infrastructure projects and new services to his electorate including part sealing the Peninsula Development Road, up grading airports and boat ramps, indigenous housing and the introduction of aboriginal freehold.
For the past 12 months, David has chaired the RDA FNQTS. In this role he has selected a dynamic board and surrounds himself with dedicated staff with a view to developing the necessary infrastructure and promoting a strong regional economy to underpin business and growth.
He is keen to ensure all projects consider not only the economic impacts and benefits but take into account the environment, cultural and social aspects.
Brett Moller – Deputy Chair
Brett 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 represents Council on the Audit Committee, the Cairns Gallery Limited and the Cairns River Improvement Trust.
Brett is a respected and practicing lawyer of over twenty-five years, having been admitted in the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia, and was a former partner in a regional law practice until his election to Council in 2016.
Brett has significant Directorship experience. He is a former Chair of the Queensland Government owned Ports North Corporation, former State President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland, served as a Director on the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and MSF Sugar boards and was Deputy Chair of the Mulgrave Central Mill Co. Ltd.
With his extensive Board and Director experience, Cr Brett Moller is a strong community and business advocate who believes effective community leadership comes from meaningful collaboration.
Carolyn Eagle – Treasurer
Carolyn has a diverse professional and business background. She has served on the governing bodies of State and Local government, as well as supported strategic partnerships and initiatives that provide both public and private sector growth opportunities. Carolyn a committed representative of our region, known for her integrity and ability to unlock opportunities that generate beneficial outcomes for our communities. Carolyn is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and holds a number of other professional qualifications. She is a Director of Pacifica Chartered Accountants and heads their Assurance & Advisory Services division.
Jodie Duignan-George – Committee Member
Jodie is the Associate Vice-Chancellor, Cairns and Far North Region for CQUniversity. Jodie commenced with CQUniversity in 2014 to establish a campus in Cairns. With a 20+ year career in higher education, Jodie has a strong understanding of the issues facing the sector, particularly from a regional university perspective. Her interests, however, extend beyond higher education to include regional development more broadly. She is an engagement specialist and a strategic thinker who loves working with ‘out of the norm’ ideas. Jodie is an active member of her community, serving on the Management Committees of Study Cairns (as Vice President) and Cairns Chamber of Commerce (as Vice President). Jodie is also a Director on the Board of Advance Cairns and the Company Secretary of Engagement Australia.
Robin (Rob) Giason – Committee Member
Rob brings a life long professional experience in State and Regional Tourism and Economic Development, Destination Brand Marketing, managing and delivering significant projects growing regional destination capacity and competitiveness.
Leading regional communities in regional development, marketing/communications, administration and governance disciplines at CEO level across seven diverse Australian regions, (CEO Tourism Tasmania, Deputy Secretary Tasmanian State Development, GM Griffith Tourism, GM Tourism Albury/Wodonga, GM Tourism Blue Mountains, Director of Marketing Tourism NSW and CEO Tropical North Queensland) has progressed Robs passion for regional communities and the understanding of the long term benefits of their positive development.
Rob has directly managed and delivered projects in key strategic disciplines such as, regional destination planning to drive, (tourism, economic development, business and regional events). He has directed innovative aviation route development and general transport logistics policy planning and has established respectful and valued stakeholder partnerships involving productive working relationships across government and industry.
Rob is also active on many other boards supporting indigenous health, improvements of general health innovations and cancer care, hospitality training and innovation in reef restoration.
Julie-ann Lambourne – Committee Member
Julie-ann’s experience over 20 years of State and Federal Government in education, employment and training; including working in Social Services in homelessness, social welfare and youth services.
Joe Moro – Committee Member
Born in Mareeba, Joe is a dedicated and experienced farmer and proprietor of the family farming business and now solely grows mango. He is also involved in a motor mechanic business – Moro Auto Repairs.
He has represented the region at a local, state and national level. He sees an important need to be a strong voice and advocate for the Atherton Tableland Community.
Bill Shannon – Committee Member
Bill 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 and is still involved as a Member of the Audit & Finance Committee.
Fred White – Committee Member
Fred joined Sea Swift in January 2009 as the CEO after spending 20 years in the mining industry predominately in Mount Isa. Fred was one of the few General Managers in the modern era to have worked from the ground up, holding management positions with Mount Isa Mines and later Executive Management positions with Xstrata Zinc. Since joining Sea Swift Fred has successfully steered the company through the GFC and change of ownership, retaining all personnel during this period while at the same time positioning the organisation for further growth. Fred grew up and has spent the majority of his life in remote and regional Australia, is part owner and Managing Director and CEO of Sea Swift, has held various Board positions, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.