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.

Prof. Jim Cavaye - Chair

Jim Cavaye is a practitioner and researcher in regional development with 35 years’ experience working with rural and regional communities.  He has assisted over 130 local communities across Australia and internationally with community development and economic development strategies.  As Professor of Regional Community Development at the University of Southern Queensland, he leads a collaborative research program addressing key issues for regional communities.  He was formerly a Principal Rural Development Officer with the Queensland Government.  He has lived and worked in five communities in the Darling Downs and South West since 1982.  He is chair of the International Committee of the Community Development Society, and a board member of Condamine Alliance and of Rural Immersion Inc.  He is an International Fellow at the Rural Futures Institute in the USA, and an international speaker and author.



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. 

Stuart Mackenzie - Deputy Chair (Interim)

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. 

Committee Vacancies

Several committee vacancies exists and will be advertised shortly.

Find our location

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