Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra is the peak regional development consultative organisation for the Illawarra region (Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama local government areas).
We are one of the 55 regional bodies within the RDA Australia network - a network of committees commissioned by the Government to support rural, regional, remote and urban communities all across Australia.
We exist because we are committed to ensuring the long term sustainability of Australia’s regions. We are here to work with all sectors of the Illawarra community, including women, young people, Aboriginal Australians and people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
Debra has a strong background with industry associations, health, mining and infrastructure sectors. Debra has been CEO of IBC since 2013 and during this time, the Chamber significantly grew its membership base, a merger was delivered with the NSW Business Chamber, and the voice of Illawarra business was heard loud and clearly.
Debra’s background includes senior management roles with Australian Industry Group and BHP Billiton. Debra has highly developed stakeholder engagement skills which have been used to influence government, boards, senior management, politicians and the media. She has an MBA (with Merit) from the University of Wollongong.
Contact Debra - firstname.lastname@example.org
David has many years' experience in community and public sector roles such as general manager Illawarra Skills Development, faculty manager and executive officer Development and Community Affairs at University of Wollongong.
In South Australia, David worked as Senior Project Manager and acting CEO of Adelaide Hills Regional Development Board, and then regional partnerships coordinator at Flinders University. Previous program management roles included TAFE Outreach Coordinator for the Central West and Illawarra regions.
David has graduate diplomas in continuing education and regional administration and masters degrees in History, Education and Public Administration (Policy). His interests are in public policy, ethics, equity, corporate social responsibility and social policy.
David welcomes any opportunity to engage with stakeholders to progress projects and develop initiatives that will benefit the Illawarra.
Contact David - email@example.com
Lee was a Registered Nurse with the Illawarra Area Health Service for 21 years, before joining the Human Resources team at the Novotel Northbeach in 1999.
She joined the Illawarra Area Consultative Committee (now RDA Illawarra) in 2005.
Lee coordinates and facilitates the Wollongong Small Business Club (WSBC). The club has been running since 2002 and is a monthly business networking event aimed at assisting small business operators in developing their business skills and keeping up to date with issues affecting small business. Lee has a passion for seeing small business owners and operators grow and develop their businesses.
Lee has a Diploma in Human Resources and a Certificate IV in Financial Services.
Contact Lee - firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen joined RDA Illawarra in October 2014 as the Executive Officer for the Leadership Illawarra Program. Karen is returning to the region after 30 years in Canberra after her most recent role was as a Senior Executive in the Australian Public Service. This adds to her extensive experience in the private and public sectors.
Karen is passionate about improving the reputation of the Illawarra. Through the Leadership Illawarra Program, Karen is focused on enhancing the skills of our emerging leaders to ensure and promote innovation, success and the prosperity of the Illawarra. The program seeks to inspire well-connected visionaries who will lead our region into the future.
Contact Karen - email@example.com
Leigh joined RDA Illawarra in 2013 as the Marketing and Communications Officer and Project Officer for the Digital Enterprise Program.
Prior to this role, Leigh has held positions including Channel Marketing Manager, Australia and New Zealand for Palm Inc., Digital Switchover Community Liaison Officer for the Department of Communications and Telstra Account Director for Mobile Mentor Australia.
Leigh is passionate about growing and promoting the digital opportunities available in the Illawarra and promoting the region as an amazing place to work, live and play.
Contact Leigh - firstname.lastname@example.org
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We believe in our vision of transforming the Illawarra into a prosperous, vibrant and equitable region. We believe we can achieve this vision through focusing on business growth, job creation and a more liveable and equitable region.
To that extent we have developed 6 key priorities for the Illawarra region and initiatives which we believe will support regional growth.
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