The new Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra board is the most diverse one yet

Working together: The new RDA Illawarra board wants to bring everyone in the region together to seek the best for the region and its future. Picture: Greg Ellis.
Working together: The new RDA Illawarra board wants to bring everyone in the region together to seek the best for the region and its future. Picture: Greg Ellis.

The new Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra board is described as the most diverse one yet.

At the first meeting on Thursday chair Eddy De Gabriele said it was exciting to have such a good cross section of people working in the best interests of the region.

He said the board featured more diversity than any he has been involved in and will use that knowledge and experience to review the regional priorities identified by previous boards.

Mr De Gabriele said there was representation from industry, education, health, information technology, the service industry, local government as well as self employed business owners and an iAccelerate resident. “It is the first time ever we have had a board like this”.

He said with such a broad base of knowledge in so many areas the new board would be able to represent the region well in looking at how it can work with one voice to make the most of its future.

“We have such a big reach into the community. And for the first time we have a director of Roads and Maritime Services on our board. Infrastructure, roads and the port have been so important to us. I think we can present practical and real life solutions to the goverment. We are Federally funded now and Dr John McVeigh has said “go and make a difference in your region”.”

The three year appointment of the new board takes in the Federal and State elections. RDA Illawarra’s quarterly report recently provided an update on five strategic priorities. Mr De Gabrielle said the new board would streamline them into three areas of people and culture, infrustructure and services.

  • Kiama Council  environmental services director Linda Davis
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Corporate Governance & Strategy director Jessica De Angelis.
  • Self employed business owner Eddy De Gabriele.
  • Wollongong City Council Infrastructure & Works director Greg Doyle.
  • Global Solutions Strategies co-owner Joanna Kubota.
  • Transport for NSW Rural & Regional Planning & Development’s Trish McClure.
  • Shellharbour City Council general manager Carey McIntyre.
  • RMB Lawyers Managing Partner Craig Osborne.
  • University of Wollongong Strategic Projects senior manager Mark Roberts.
  • Internetrix managing director Daniel Rowan.
  • Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh.
  • Community Industry Group chief executive Nicky Sloan.
  • BlueScope Operations Excellence manager Milco Stojanoski.
  • UOW vice-chancellor Professor Paul Wellings.

RDA Illawarra’s five strategic priorities identified in the January to March quarterly report:

  • To improve connectivity between the Illawarra and Western Sydney through advocacy for transport and enabling infrastructure 
  • Economic development for Western Sydney’s Badgerys Creek Airport and the Illawarra Airport, both to and from the Illawarra region.
  • Grow the Port of Port Kembla through enabling infrastructure to attract new users and optimise the Port’s value.
  • Improve capability of Illawarra economy through innovation, IT and Advanced Manufacturing.
  • And growing the tourism industry sector.

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