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CEO: Michael Claessens

Michael Claessens was appointed Director of Regional Development Australia (RDA) ACT in July 2018. As a proud long-time ACT resident, he has more than 20 years experience in industry and investment, specialising in food, agribusiness and advanced manufacturing. Michael’s focus is on optimising RDA ACT’s connections with regional businesses, councils, government and industry to innovate, seize economic opportunities and attract investment.

Michael has broad experience in rural and regional stakeholder engagement and is particularly skilled in working with people to understand commercial challenges and finding practical market-based solutions. He has successfully maximised investment outcomes for industry, the not for profit sector and government in organisations as diverse as Invest Australia, Ausaid and the Australian Airports Association.

As the originator of award winning national projects in workforce and skills, Michael understands the value of building collaborative networks as a vehicle for delivering profound, sustainable improvements in business competitiveness. He believes that social responsibility and inclusion should go hand in hand with business success.  


Executive Officer: Meredith Dickie

Meredith joined RDA ACT in July 2018 and is a seasoned communications campaigner having worked across government, not for profits, business and regional Australia.

Meredith is responsible for implementing strategies that support RDA ACT in adding value and opportunities for our local community and regional markets, including RDA ACT’s South East Region Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) industry cluster.

Prior to this role, Meredith provided strategic policy, reputation and business advice to a North American based consultancy. Having trained as a teacher she has a personal interest in education.


Project Officer: Matthew Keighley

Matthew has managed projects for RDA ACT’s South East Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) industry cluster, including membership, events and social media, since 2016.

With research experience in clean energy solutions and energy consumption, Matthew is a passionate sustainability advocate and is committed to supporting the development of sustainable energy systems in our region.

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the Australia National University (ANU) and is currently completing his Masters of Energy Change. In April 2018, he was appointed as the Coordinator for the Clean Energy Solutions Center’s Asia Pacific node based in Canberra.