Seeking Applications for Chair Positions

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is seeking highly-motivated leaders with vision, drive, and strong ties to their region to volunteer to Chair their local RDA Committee.

RDA Committees are vital promoters for their region. They bring together private business and all levels of government with regional communities to build and drive economic growth.

Applications are sought from business and community leaders who have a proven track record of achieving meaningful outcomes in a complex environment.

Women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with diverse cultural backgrounds, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information including the role description and how to apply, please visit  www.rda.gov.au

You can contact the RDA team via phone 1800 505 938 (Mon–Fri 9am-5pm AEDT) or email rdaapplications@infrastructure.gov.au .

Applications close at 4pm on 20 October 2017.

The Committee

Each RDA committee has a broad and diverse skills base with demonstrated networks and alliances. The Chair & Deputy Chair are appointed jointly by Commonwealth & State Ministers, and each committee includes representatives from local government.

RDA – Far South Coast Committee

The RDA – Far South Coast Committee comprises 10 members who representing community, business and local government.


Rob Pollock OAM – Chair

Rob’s background spans more than twenty years in regional development and includes his appointment as Chair of the New South Wales South East Regional Economic Development Board in 1991, a time as Member of the Australian Capital Region Development Board and a previous Chair of the South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation. Since 1987, Rob has served as a Councillor on Eurobodalla Shire Council and is the current Deputy Mayor. Between 1983 and 2003 Rob was a successful restaurateur in Bodalla and Batemans Bay. Rob’s long term association with the many State and Local Boards is characterised by his pragmatic approach. He assists these bodies to become more efficient at a grass-roots level through effective target-market liaison to bring about real and measurable results.

John Lamont – Deputy Chair

Managing Director of Nowra Chemicals, John is a qualified Industrial Chemist with a specific interest in business development and infrastructure to increase employment on the NSW South Coast. John is especially interested in increased employment opportunities for young people. He is the Chair and organiser of the South Coast Youth Leadership Forum and Chair of Shoalhaven City Council’s Business and Economic Development Committee. John is a past President of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber and maintains a consultative role advising the Chamber on policy needs. 

Russ Pigg – Committee Member

Russ is the General Manager of Shoalhaven City Council and has over thirty eight years’ experience in local government, including twenty years at General Manager level. Russ has been involved in the planning and delivery of economic development programs and infrastructure/facilities to three diverse regions of New South Wales; the North Coast, the Far West and the South Coast. Russ has a practical and common sense approach, extensive experience in working in a political environment and lobbying Government Ministers. He enjoys working with local communities to ensure their needs are met and that residents of all areas have equal access to services and facilities.

Dr Catherine Dale – Committee Member

Catherine is the General Manager of Eurobodalla Shire Council and has extensive experience at Chief Executive Officer level in both the public and community services sector and has successfully managed significant budgets and services. Catherine has held a number of State Government appointments and has extensive lecturing and presentation experience. Currently a Board member of Montsalvat Trust and Whitehorse Community Health Board, Catherine has strong leadership skills in strategic planning, disability and mental health employment services, community engagement, financial and contractual management, people management, advocacy, environment and land use planning and economic development. Catherine also has a proven record in developing professional, responsive and motivated organisational cultures, the delivery of major projects and quality customer service, negotiating excellent outcomes and establishing positive working relationships and partnerships.

Leanne Barnes – Committee Member

Leanne is the General Manager of Bega Valley Shire Council and, like the other two Council General Managers, is a representative for Local Government on the Board. With previous experience in planning and networks reaching across local, State and Federal government sectors, Leanne has worked closely with key stakeholders on the Eden Port project and continues to champion the rights of residents, particularly Aboriginal communities, young people and vulnerable and at-risk groups within the region.

Allen Grimwood – Committee Member

Allen is an urban and regional planner with experience in government, research and consulting. He is a state member of the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel, a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Certified Practising Planner. Allen communicates and negotiates effectively with senior and elected representatives of government and with industry leaders. Allen has co-ordinated Council committees and reference groups and regularly Chairs JRPP meetings. Allen has demonstrated leadership experience and recognises the economic contribution of improved services to the region as drivers of growth and jobs.

Paul Goodwin – Committee Member

Paul is a senior manager with TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute and has held senior management positions in both private and public organisations within the tertiary education sector for over 20 years. During this time, Paul has worked in training and workforce development in Australia and Japan, industry strategic planning in the horse industry and resource management. Paul is currently completing a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership, is an Executive Member of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber and South Coast Workplace Learning, a former Chairperson of Shoalhaven Student Workplace Learning Inc. and a member of the Illawarra Apprenticeship Project Committee. Paul Chairs the South Coast Equine Industry Steering Committee and continues to seek greater economic and educational outcomes for the South Coast region.

Nick Machan – Committee Member

Nick has a considerable interest in the field of disability and the area that is now recognised as the ‘Third Sector’ – not for profit organisations. Having spent twenty five years in Local Government, the last fifteen as a Senior Manager, Nick is well aware of the difficulties facing regional New South Wales. He has been associated with the south coast for the past thirteen years and now lives at Kalaru.

Peter McLaughlin – Committee Member

Peter has spent over 40 years in the Human Services sector including roles in operational leadership in the areas of health, disability, aged care, community services, social housing and local government. Peter has worked in policy environment with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and as a Visiting Fellow in Health Science Management with Charles Sturt University.  Peter’s most recent role was as District Director for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, Dept. of Family and Community Services.