Danielle Carey – Chief Executive Officer
Danielle’s background lies in economic and regional development, international relations, multicultural business development and international education.
Danielle returned to Cairns in 2015 following 10 years away to address skills gaps affecting regional economic and business growth in FNQ for the Department of Education and Training. Prior to this she managed Townsville Enterprise’s North Queensland Emerging Leaders Program to drive the future development of the Townsville region. While living in Townsville she was also actively involved with the Townsville Fire WNBL, Townsville Business Women’s Club and sat on the Townsville Fashion Festival Board.
Before returning to North Queensland, Danielle managed Study Brisbane, developing initiatives to increase Brisbane’s international student enrolment numbers and improve the international student experience. She also facilitated international relations and multicultural partnerships to generate economic development and create business opportunities for Brisbane on behalf of the Lord Mayor’s office.
More recently, Danielle addressed the challenges of economic growth and industry diversification in FNQ for Advance Cairns, was a Study Cairns Executive Board member and sat on the Skilling Cassowary Coast and Workforce North committees.
Lainie Poon – Office Manager
Lainie joins the team as an experienced administration and client-focused professional into the position of Office Manager. Skilled in customer service, sales, management, business development, relationship building and social media, she brings a wide range of skills and experience to the RDA office. Most recently in her career as a Finance Broker, she was recognised as a finalist in 2017 and 2018 in the national ‘Women in Finance’ Awards for the development and delivery of the ‘Creating Wealthy Women’ finance seminar.
She has extensive work experience across a wide range of industries including self-employment, hospitality, travel, tourism, sport and finance and is looking forward to increasing her knowledge of the projects and economic development in our region. In addition, Lainie also held a Board Member position with the Cairns Business Women’s Club in 2018 and was responsible for sponsorship and event management.
She has travelled extensively and has lived overseas on Christmas Island, in Hamilton, New Zealand and Hanoi, Vietnam before making Cairns home for the past seven years, with her husband and two children.
Dr Crystal Williams – Project Officer
Holding a PhD in identifying, developing innovative and entrepreneurial strategies in the mindsets of SME’s and Micro-enterprise (creative start-ups), Dr Crystal Williams brings creative thinking and practical experience to RDA FNQ&TS.
In her most recent position, Crystal activated an economic and social development strategy in her role as Project Manager for Queensland’s Social Enterprise’s Stand-up Project (QSEC). This venture was the first Queensland initiative enabling businesses across the state to constructively engage with Government and other stakeholders to co-produce a coherent sector plan to strengthen and grow the social enterprise sector.
In 2018, Crystal contributed to founding the Social Enterprise Network for the Tropics (SENT) of which she is now the Deputy Chair. Before that, Crystal was a researcher at James Cook University and lectured on innovation in collaborative projects. She is a former co-director of a not-for-profit and past committee member of the Cairns’ RADF grant program. Crystal is committed to creating entrepreneurial ecosystems to solve grand challenges and hopes to apply this expertise to support regional economic progress.
Her skills include facilitating collaboration between all levels of government and industry, research and project management.