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Committee

Mr Ross MacDiarmid - Chair

The Regional Development Australia (RDA) ACT Committee welcomes incoming Chair, Mr Ross MacDiarmid, appointed by Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government the Hon. John McVeigh to lead the Committee from 16 April 2018 to December 2020.

Currently CEO of the Royal Australian Mint, Ross takes on his voluntary appointment as RDA ACT Chair to lead the fresh approach of RDAs as outlined in a Charter that defines the role of RDA Committees as having,  ‘a clear focus on growing strong and confident regional economies that harness their competitive advantages, seize on economic opportunity and attract investment.’

At a recent meeting of the RDA ACT Committee, members noted the comparative advantages of the ACT as being many and varied, but prioritised the knowledge economy and renewable energy as areas supported by member expertise and networks.  This aligns well with Ross’s previous experience as Chief Executive Officer of Dyesol Australia between 2007 and 2010.  Now GreatCell Solar, this renewable energy company is a global leader in the development of innovative photovoltaic technology.

Ross’s previous experience as Chief Executive of the Australian Capital Tourism Corporation will also bring expertise to the Committee in support of the ACT region’s burgeoning tourism sector.  Chief Minister Andrew Barr, at his recent Business Address, noted the ACT Government’s commitment to continuing to grow the visitor economy to $2.5 billion by 2020.  Recently released figures reveal that in 2017 Canberra welcomed a record 4.96 million overnight and day trip visitors to Canberra who spent a total of $2.46 billion in the regional economy during their visit.

Todd Eagles - Interim Deputy Chair

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, Todd has become a passionate advocate for Canberra and the Capital Region.

Peter Elford - Committee Member

Peter 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. Previously 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 was born, raised and educated in Canberra and holds 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.

Suzanne Moulis - Committee Member

Suzanne is Chief Executive of Moulis Legal - a Commercial and International boutique law firm, providing national and international clients with solutions to complex legal issues from offices in Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. 

Suzanne is also a registered landscape architect, concurrently engaged by a number of NSW government bodies to improve urban development outcomes through independent design review. She holds a first class honours degree in landscape architecture, an MBA from the AGSM, is a Graduate member of the AICD, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and has professional experience of over 25 years.

Nigel Phair - Committee Member

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.

Simon Troman - Committee Member

Simon is the Managing Director of Atratus Consulting, a specialist renewable energy consulting firm.  He was previously Managing Director of IT Power / ITP Renewables, and has worked on energy projects worldwide.

Simon was with ITP for over ten years, growing the company in Australia and taking it into international markets. Before taking on ITP he managed a $205m government incentive program for off grid renewable energy, and worked with the CSIRO.  Simon has nearly thirty years’ experience in the renewable energy sector, ranging from hands-on construction, aid and development programs, research work and technology development.  Simon has qualifications in engineering and corporate governance. He is a past Director of both NFPs and commercial boards.

James Willson - Committee Member

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.

 

RDA ACT Committee Members

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.

Roles of an RDA Chair, Deputy Chair and Committee members

Chair

The RDA Committee Chair will lead a diverse organisation of individuals working in a complex environment to deliver high value outcomes for the community and the region. The Chair will be a recognised business or regional leader who will champion local jobs and regional growth.

They will network widely across industry sectors and attract and facilitate opportunities and investment in their region. They will be very knowledgeable about the economic, social, cultural and environmental opportunities and challenges facing their region; be well connected and a strong advocate for their regions; and draw their regional communities
together to build and drive economic growth.

The RDA Chair will provide strategic direction and leadership to the RDA Committee and ensure corporate governance arrangements are effectively designed and implemented. 

They will demonstrate strong leadership to the Committee and have a sound understanding of board or committee performance management, including people and organisational management processes.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The RDA Committee Chair will be accountable to:

  • Their communities for delivering outcomes that meet regional needs;
  • The Minister for meeting the Government’s expectations of the RDA;
  • The funding providers for ensuring that agreed objectives are achieved and resources invested are expended as efficiently and effectively as possible; and
  • RDA Committee staff for providing a safe and healthy workplace.

The RDA Committee Chair will have primary responsibility for ensuring that the RDA Committee grows a strong and confident regional economy that harnesses competitive advantages, seizes on economic opportunity and attracts investment.

The RDA Committee Chair will also ensure the RDA Committee and delivers against the outcomes, reporting requirements and performance measures specified in the RDA Funding Agreement. The RDA Committee Chair will also be responsible, along with the other Committee Members, for the good operational and financial governance of the overall organisation.

Deputy Chair and Committee Members

As the Deputy Chair or Member of the RDA Committee you will be an active contributor to the outcomes of a diverse organisation of individuals working in a complex environment to deliver high value outcomes for the community and the region. Members will be active in their regional communities and contribute to supporting local jobs and regional growth.

Members will be expected to leverage existing networks and develop new networks across industry sectors. RDA Committee members will be required to support the Chair to attract opportunities and investment to their region. They must be knowledgeable about the economic, social, cultural and environmental opportunities and challenges facing their region; be well connected and a strong advocate for their regional communities; and draw their communities together to build and drive economic growth.

The RDA member will work as an effective member of the RDA Committee toward a common goal or strategy and drive projects that target specific areas of economic development for the region. They will actively support committee governance and management processes.

The role of the Deputy Chair is to assume the role and duties of the RDA Chair, whenever the Chair is not available. The Deputy Chair also plays an important role in supporting the

Chair in day-to- day matters and will have similar skills to the Chair.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities

RDA Deputy Chair and Committee Members will be accountable to:

  • the Chair for supporting the activities of the Committee;
  • their communities for delivering outcomes that meet regional needs;
  • the funding providers for ensuring that agreed objectives are achieved and resources invested are expended as efficiently and effectively as possible; and
  • RDA Committee staff for providing a safe and healthy workplace.

The RDA Deputy Chair and Committee Members will be responsible for supporting the RDA Committee to meet the requirements of the Charter, deliver against the outcomes, reporting requirements and performance measures specified in the RDA Funding Agreement, and for the good operational and financial governance of the overall organisation.