Our Committee

Non-profit Committe Volunteers

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.

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Fiona Gaske

An elected Councillor since 2012, Ms Fiona Gaske is currently the Deputy Mayor for Balonne Shire Council, and has an active and strong presence in the St George community. She maintains a range of Council portfolios including economic development, public health, asset management, and arts and culture, as well as chairing committees such as Information Communication Technology, and Parks & Gardens. Serving on a number of Regional Boards, Fiona is immersed in a broad range of issues, including several unique to regional Australia, and is an advocate for developing strategies to diversify, innovate and build capacity in agricultural economies to ensure a sustainable future for people living and working in rural communities. With significant expertise in community engagement, networking, and leadership, Fiona has served as Chair of the St George Community Advisory Network, and is well regarded for investing her time, energy and skill into regional health, business, and arts, and for her proactive management of the challenges facing regional communities and local government.

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Deputy Chair - 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. For generations, Stuart’s family has dedicated their lives to to living and producing in Western QLD, and Stuart is committed to to doing everything he can to ensure regional QLD has an exciting and prosperous future.
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Treasurer - Sarah Delahunty

Living and working in rural, regional and remote Queensland and the Northern Territory Sarah recognised that the strength of a community is built on connections and by those people willing to get in a make a difference. Sarah Delahunty has extensive stakeholder networks and major project experience across the Darling Downs and South West region.

She is currently the Engagement Manager for Inland Rail across Queensland. Sarah has previous experience as the Stakeholder Engagement officer with Nexus Infrastructure, CareFlight (LifeFlight) and Arrow Energy. Sarah joined the board of RDA to help groups build connections across the region and with all levels of government.

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Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson is Managing Director of Wilson International Trade a business focused
on providing superior services to Global Agribusiness. Peter has held Board, C-Suite
and senior trading positions for listed and private International Trading and Logistics
companies in Australia and Canada.

Peter is Immediate Past Chair and Board Member of Pulse Australia Limited, which
is charged with developing the Australian Pulse Industry by improving market access
and improving supply chain efficiency. He is also a member of the Global Pulse
Confederation’s Executive Committee.

Peter is a Board Member of Regional Development Australia (Darling Downs and
South West) which is responsible for determining strategy for an the region regarding
development, sustainability and resilience.

Peter holds a Post-Graduate qualification in Agribusiness from Monash University
and has lectured in agribusiness and risk management subjects at the University of
Queensland.
Peter maintains a keen interest in a family farming and contracting business on the
Darling Downs in southern Queensland.

He is married to Sonja and has 3 children.

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MARCO

Marco Otaola

Marco Otaola is Managing Director of Ago Vires. A regionally based construction company in Thargomindah working extensively throughout regional Australia and specialising in the delivery of Oil and Gas related projects in remote areas and supplying trades and services for local communities in far west Queensland. He has been working in the building, construction and manufacturing industry for two decades. Throughout his career, Marco has strengthened his ability firstly, as a tradesman and then later as an experienced Construction m=Manager, Project Manager and now Managing Director. He has extensive experience with community services and is strongly involved in community groups. He is an avid businessman whose approach is to build relationships that customers can trust. Marco has always had a strong focus on family and community and is looking to help better the region within his capabilities.

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Kate Venables

Kate Venables, Executive Director of CatholicCare Social Services SW QLD, has spent the last 20 years working history in the social services sector across Central QLD and the Darling Downs and South West Queensland. Working with teams who provide services to families and individuals needing support, refugees and migrants, our first nation peoples and separated parents, Kate is aware of the many vulnerabilities and complexities of our varied communities in SW Qld as well as the enormous resilience they are able to develop.

Covering more than 450,000 km2 in her executive role, she is aware of the invaluable benefits of collaboration and partnership across many sectors in our part of the world.
Married to Cam, and mother of three adult children (26, 21 and 19), Kate is also committed to family and her local church community at St Barts, and squeezes in a bit of exercise, some baking and reading in her down time.

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