Regional Development Australia DD&SW | Welcome


About RDA Darling Downs & South West


Darling Downs and South West is one of the largest RDA regions in the network and covers 23% of Queensland. The vast distances between population centres and the diversity of contributors to the economic well-being of the region, creates significant challenges for any organisation charged with effectively advocating for priority government funding that will have the most benefit to the region strategically. Nevertheless, the Committee of RDA DDSW is committed to playing a pivotal role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of this region.

It is our aim to consult widely and regularly with communities, business, non-profit organisations and all levels of government to articulate local priorities, identify and align resources, engage stakeholders and promote solutions that support the economic growth and development of our single regional community. 

Regional Roadmap

 Click on the below Roadmaps to download the Pdf version



Previous Regional Roadmaps

Click on the below Roadmaps to download the Pdf version

RDA DD Roadmap 2011
RDA DD Roadmap 2011
RDA DD Roadmap 2012
RDA DD Roadmap 2012
RDA DD Roadmap 2013
RDA DD Roadmap 2013



Our Committee

RDA committees are non profit community based organisations. Committee members are committed volunteers appointed from the region and represent the community, business and local government. Each RDA committee has a broad and diverse skills base and demonstrated networks and alliances. The committee of RDA Darling Downs and South West Inc comprises ten members, all of whom were jointly appointed via application by the Commonwealth and State Governments.

Vic Pennisi - Chair

The Chair of RDA Darling Downs and South West Inc. is Cr Vic Pennisi. Vic is currently an elected representative of Southern Downs Regional Council and has served as a Committee Member of RDA DDSW since its inception in 2010. Vic brings to RDA a vast and diverse knowledge, particularly in the areas of horticulture, agriculture and small business. He has been heading the RDA investigation into impacts on the Qld headwaters of the Murray Darling Basin Plan at the request of the Commonwealth and has brought insight and expertise to this ongoing work.

Neville Stewart OAM - Deputy Chair

Neville has called Toowoomba and the Darling Downs home for the majority of his life. From being born and educated at the St Mary’s Christian Brothers College, Neville joined the Australian Navy at age 15 and after seven (7) years returned to Toowoomba where he began life as an insurance agent. It was during this time that Neville’s interest in the horse industry and in particular, the thoroughbred breeding industry started to broaden soon followed by the purchase of the first part of what is now ‘Oaklands Stud’, one of Queensland’s leading thoroughbred farms.

Horse breeding and Oaklands soon become Neville’s way of life and a long career in the horse racing and breeding industry. Neville became Chairman of the Toowoomba Turf Club at just 33 years of age, a position he held for 21 years, and was also Chairman of the Downs and South West Racing Association for 14 years.

Derek Tuffield - Treasurer

Derek Tuffield is the Treasurer of RDA Darling Downs and South West Inc and has been the Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Inc. for the past 12 years. Derek is a member of the State Disaster Recovery Committee, Local Disaster Management Group, Current Deputy Chairman of the Gambling Help Network in Qld, Past President of Willowburn Football Club Inc and has lived in Toowoomba for the past 30 years.

Julia Telford - Secretary 

Julia built and runs her own business, Engage & Create Consulting from Goondiwindi, home for the last 8 years.  The focus of Engage & Create Consulting is to support the viability and vibrancy of regional Australia.  Her background is in Landcare and catchment management with over ten years of experience working with landcare and catchment groups across South-west Queensland and industry and NRM groups across Australia.  She works with regional communities across the country on a range of projects, with the focus on identifying needs in business, and actions to address this need.  She has recently purchased a PR & marketing business to expand the business support that can be offered through Engage & Create Consulting.  Julia was listed as one of the 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness in 2014, and was a finalist in the community contribution category.  She has recently completed the AICD Company Directors Course as part of a Federal Government regional diversity bursary.  She is also Chair of the Australian Land Management Group and Vice President of Care Goondiwindi.

Bryan Gray – Executive Officer

Bryan was born and raised in and around Toowoomba and has called Toowoomba home for the majority of his life. Bryan followed a career in Hospitality where he gained qualifications in Cookery leading to positions in management and vocational training within the Hospitality and Education sector. Bryan has been with RDA Darling Downs and South West since October 2010, initially starting as the project officer, before taking over the role of Executive Officer in January 2015. Bryan has sat, and continues to sit, on several Advisory Committees within the region and has a passion to see the Darling Downs and South West reach its full potential. 

Glen Postle

Since his retirement from a variety of teaching roles in schools and tertiary education, he has been actively involved in a number of community projects – the Toowoomba Flexi School (a school for marginalised and disenfranchised youth) and The Older Mens’ Network (TOMNET) of which he is the Patron. These involvements led to his appointment as  part-time coordinator of the Community for Community initiative (C4C) - a partnership between the University of Southern Queensland and the community that is exploring community-centred solutions to complex social problems being faced by the community (marginalised youth, ageing). This work has led to an interest in developing a greater understanding of what we mean by community well-being.

Stuart Mackenzie

Stuart Mackenzie is a pastoralist from the western area of Quilpie Shire. He is the owner and Manager of Plevna Downs, a grazing enterprise dealing in organic wool, sheep and beef.

Stuart served as a Councillor on Quilpie Shire Council from 1997 to 2004, as Deputy Mayor from 2004 to 2008 and was elected Mayor in 2012. He is also Deputy-chair of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association.In 2008 Stuart founded the non-profit, charitable public company Outback Gondwana Foundation Ltd. He is the Chair and a Director on the board. The company was set up to preserve the natural assets of the south west region and educate the public in relation to the amazing paleontological discoveries being made there. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree (QUT) and is married to wife Robyn and has 2 adult children. 

Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson is Chief Executive Officer of Australia Milling Group, which is wholly owned by Canadian based and TSX listed Alliance Grain Traders. Prior to joining Australia Milling Group, Peter held a range of senior management and trading positions in Australia and Canada. He is also Chairman of Pulse Australia, which is charged with developing the Australian Pulse Industry by improving market access and improving supply chain efficiency. Peter is passionate about the role pulses play in diversifying on farm agronomic rotations and cash flows. He is equally optimistic about the opportunities to grow customer markets by improving quality and supply reliability.Peter holds a Post-Graduate qualification in Agribusiness from Monash University and he is a part time lecturer at the University of Queensland. Peter maintains a keen interest in a family farming business on the Darling Downs in southern Queensland. 

Rebecca Lomman

Rebecca Lomman has called South-West Queensland home since 2012.  Prior to living and working in St George, Rebecca worked in the finance industry for ten years, latterly as a Vice President at a leading global investment bank, in both London and Sydney. 

Rebecca’s professional experience within the south-west has allowed her to develop a sound understanding of the current issues and opportunities facing the region. As the project lead for the major projects and supply chain project under the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program, she has been committed to working with local businesses to develop supply chain and procurement requirements, for major projects and customers. Rebecca has an evolving understanding of the agriculture industry through hands on experience on her husband’s family-run horticulture farm, her role as Treasurer and Secretary of the St George Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, as a member of the National Rural Women’s Coalition and Growcom’s ‘Women in Horticulture’ initiative.  As President of the St George Arts Council, Rebecca has partnered with some of Queensland’s leading arts organisations and is passionate about the positive impact that the arts have on the economic and social development of regional communities.

Find our location

Level 1, 516 Ruthven Street,
Toowoomba Qld 4350
PO Box 2519, Toowoomba BC Qld 4350