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RDA ACT Committee Members are committed volunteers who represent the broad ACT communities of interest.  Members use their broad and diverse skills base and their networks to:

  • build partnerships to ensure governments and stakeholders are responsive to local priorities and needs;
  • be a conduit between government and the community – a provider of information and driver of change; and
  • advocate on behalf of the region to ensure the long-term sustainability of the region.

The current Committee of Regional Development Australia (ACT) comprises the following members:

James Willson – Chair

Founder and Managing Director CRE8IVE

James Willson founded CRE8IVE in 2001 and thrives in his position as Managing Director. Starting the business in the arena of web and graphic design, CRE8IVE quickly evolved into a market leader in the field of branding, campaign creation and rollout as well as web development. Today the business employs around 21 people and has clients in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Over the years James has worked on numerous campaigns on a national and a local level and is across all disciplines of the business.

James sits on numerous boards including The Canberra Business Chamber, Affirm – The Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research, The Canberra Hospital Foundation and The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal committee. As someone who has lived all his life in Canberra, James is excited about the opportunities ahead for the city, especially in developing its role as regional hub of the surrounding Capital Region with its regional catchment of some 800,000 people.

A known and active contributor to Canberra, James acknowledges that the city is a great platform to create oneself and at the same time contribute to the fabric of the city. James has been an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, appeared in the BRW Fast 100 list and received numerous business awards.

James loves working at the forefront of technology and combining this with the finest individuals, he believes that CRE8IVE will continue to grow and develop through successfully fulfilling clients’ objective.

Peter Elford


Peter Elford is an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professional with over 30 years of experience in the education and government sectors. He is passionate about the role ICT plays in improving the way we work, live, play and learn, and has a particular interest in the impact of the National Broadband Network on Canberra and the surrounding region.

Peter is currently the Director, Government Relations and eResearch for the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet), a position he has held since January, 2014. This is Peter’s second stint at AARNet – in 1989 he was employee #2 and was deeply engaged in the initial construction of AARNet and the established of the Internet in Australia.

In between, Peter spent nearly twenty years at Cisco in a variety of roles, including most recently as the Business Development Manager, Higher Education and Research. Peter’s formative years in the IT industry where at the Australian National University (ANU).

Peter was born, raised and educated in Canberra and hold a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the Australian National University. He is currently a resident of Gungahlin, and the Vice President of the Gungahlin Community Council.

Simon Troman

Simon troman

Simon Troman is the Project Manager of IT Power (Australia)’s Kiritimati Island Energy Sector Programme (KIESP). The KIESP is jointly funded by the Government of Kiribati, the European Union, and the New Zealand Government. Its aim is to revitalise the Kirimati Island energy sector, including a new high voltage electrical grid, low voltage network, power station and renewable energy generation.

Mr Troman has been with ITP for over nine years and previously held the position of Managing Director. He has over twenty years’ experience in the renewable energy sector, which has involved hands-on construction, development and research work through to government programmes and aid projects throughout Australia, the Pacific, and southern Africa. His past roles include acting Assistant Director in the Renewable Energy Branch of the Australian Greenhouse Office, Senior Field Technician with the CSIRO, and leading positions within the international aid and development sector.

Todd Eagles

For the past decade Todd has been instrumental in progressing the energy industry, he currently leads energy efficiency programs, solar operations and is currently deploying battery storage technologies at ActewAGL Retail. Since 2013 he has led the strategic arm of the Electric Vehicle Council, developing projects coordinating national stakeholders to increase the capability of both the public and private sectors adjusting to the fast developing electric vehicle future.

Todd also has a particular interest in enabling a sustainable environment and holds a Bachelor of Education, Masters of International Business and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy. 

Through living and consuming locally, and spending holidays regionally (South Coast and Snowy Mountains), Todd has become a passionate advocate for Canberra and the Capital Region.

Nigel Phair

Nigel Phair is an influential analyst on the intersection of technology, crime and society.  Adjunct Professor Phair has published three acclaimed books on the international impact of cybercrime, is a regular media commentator and provides executive and board advice on strategy, risk & governance of technology.  

In a 21 year career with the Australian Federal Police he achieved the rank of Detective Superintendent and headed up investigations at the Australian High Tech Crime Centre for four years.  He is founder and managing director of a technology ‘start up’ company and has chaired a number of not-for-profit organisations. He holds a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Government & Commercial Law.


Role and Responsibilities of RDA ACT Chair and Deputy Chair

The Committee Chair and Deputy Chair are members of the community committed to the development of their region. They:

• are knowledgeable about the region, including economic, social, cultural and environmental opportunities and challenges

• are strong advocates for their region

• have established networks

• bring together and present community views and interests, and

• are skilled in financial management, governance and leadership.

There are two key roles for the Chair of an RDA committee—to provide strategic direction and leadership to the committee and to develop and ensure continued adherence to sound governance arrangements.

The role of the Deputy Chair is to assume the role and duties of the RDA Chair, as defined above, whenever the Chair is not available. The Deputy Chair also plays an important role in supporting the Chair in day-to-day matters, including the chairing of sub-committees, and will have similar skills to the Chair.