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RDA ACT Farewells RDA ACT Chairman


Mr Andrew Blyth has resigned from the position of Chairman, Regional Development Australia (ACT), effective from 11 May 2016.   A difficult decision, but one that Andrew found needed to be made to allow him to give full attention to his new role as Centre Manager, Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) at UNSW, Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Andrew’s period as Chairman began in turbulence, with major changes to the to the Committee membership, RDA ACT funding model and thus to the capacity of the Secretariat.  However, it also became a time of strengthening - of the RDA ACT profile and to the outcomes of the organisation in producing strong economic development results. ‘No mission without margin’ became the catch-phrase of the Secretariat who will be forever grateful for learnings taken from Andrew’s leadership, and for his commitment and vital contributions to RDA ACT.

RDA ACT Deputy Chairman James Willson will take on the role of Acting Chairman until the Minister is in a position to appoint a permanent Chair after the election.

Outgoing Chairman Andrew Blyth’s Reflections:

Since coming to the role of RDA ACT Chairman in January 2015, my focus centered on driving enhanced stakeholder engagement, providing input to policy and project development, while returning the organisation to financial stability.  Without doubt, the decision by the then Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher to withdraw ACT Government funding from RDA ACT placed our organisation under great stress, forcing the redundancy of a key project officer crucial to supporting the functions of stakeholder engagement and project development.

Without the strong financial support of former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss we would have needed to have made some serious decisions regarding the organisation’s future. RDA (ACT) Executive Officer, Liz Veitch is to be congratulated for her efforts in working with me to attract additional funding to support our commercial viability.  I am most pleased to report that we are now back on track financially, and developing a strong RDA ACT profile through effective stakeholder engagement - both domestically and internationally, providing input to policy, and constructive project development.

I wish the RDA ACT Committee and Executive staff all success going forward.  I also sincerely thank Senator Zed Seselja for his support in nominating me for the role of Chairman, and my fellow Committee members for their contributions during my time as RDA ACT Chairman.


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