Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra is the peak regional development consultative organisation for the Illawarra region (Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama local government areas).
We are one of the 55 regional bodies within the RDA Australia network - a network of committees commissioned by the Government to support rural, regional, remote and urban communities all across Australia.
We exist because we are committed to ensuring the long term sustainability of Australia’s regions. We are here to work with all sectors of the Illawarra community, including women, young people, Aboriginal Australians and people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
Natalie began her career with the Australian Public Service in Canberra around 18 years ago and has had an interesting career path that has seen her help manage the aftermath of the Ansett collapse to working on low level airspace reform.
Natalie has significant project management experience and in 2003 took up the position of Regional Manager for the then Department of Transport and Regional Services, where she was responsible for, amongst other things, recommending many regional projects for funding to Ministers. She worked with the Australian Public Service Commission as a Regional Advisor before starting with RDA Illawarra as the project officer in August 2009.
Natalie has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Business Administration, specialising in International Relations, both from the University of Canberra.
Natalie was appointed CEO of RDA Illawarra in April 2010 and is passionate about developing the Illawarra region and realising the opportunities presented through RDAI.
In 2013, Natalie completed the Company Directors course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Natalie is a Board member of The Illawarra Connection and Company Secretary on the Bendigo Bank Fairy Meadow Board.
David has many years' experience in community and public sector roles such as general manager Illawarra Skills Development, faculty manager and executive officer Development and Community Affairs at University of Wollongong.
In South Australia, David worked as Senior Project Manager and acting CEO of Adelaide Hills Regional Development Board, and then regional partnerships coordinator at Flinders University. Previous program management roles included TAFE Outreach Coordinator for the Central West and Illawarra regions.
David has graduate diplomas in continuing education and regional administration and masters degrees in History, Education and Public Administration (Policy). His interests are in public policy, ethics, equity, corporate social responsibility and social policy.
David welcomes any opportunity to engage with stakeholders to progress projects and develop initiatives that will benefit the Illawarra.
Lee was a Registered Nurse with the Illawarra Area Health Service for 21 years, before joining the Human Resources team at the Novotel Northbeach in 1999.
She joined the Illawarra Area Consultative Committee (now RDA Illawarra) in 2005.
Lee coordinates and facilitates the Wollongong Small Business Club (WSBC). The club has been running since 2002 and is a monthly business networking event aimed at assisting small business operators in developing their business skills and keeping up to date with issues affecting small business. Lee has a passion for seeing small business owners and operators grow and develop their businesses.
Lee has a Diploma in Human Resources and a Certificate IV in Financial Services.
Deborah has more than 25 years’ experience in delivering business improvement and systems development in both the private and public sector.
After 15 years within the ICT sector, Deborah moved to apply her project management skills to environmental and community projects for government and NFP organisations.
Deborah is focused on increasing the capacity of organisations to deliver financially and environmentally sustainable outcomes for our community. She is leading the EE3A project for RDA Illawarra working closely with the project’s consortium partners.
Karen joined RDA Illawarra in October 2014 as the Executive Officer for the Leadership Illawarra Program. Karen is returning to the region after 30 years in Canberra after her most recent role was as a Senior Executive in the Australian Public Service. This adds to her extensive experience in the private and public sectors.
Karen is passionate about improving the reputation of the Illawarra. Through the Leadership Illawarra Program, Karen is focused on enhancing the skills of our emerging leaders to ensure and promote innovation, success and the prosperity of the Illawarra. The program seeks to inspire well-connected visionaries who will lead our region into the future.
Leigh joined RDA Illawarra in 2013 as the Marketing and Communications Officer and Project Officer for the Digital Enterprise Program.
Prior to this role, Leigh has held positions including Channel Marketing Manager, Australia and New Zealand for Palm Inc., Digital Switchover Community Liaison Officer for the Department of Communications and Telstra Account Director for Mobile Mentor Australia.
Leigh is passionate about growing and promoting the digital opportunities available in the Illawarra and promoting the region as an amazing place to work, live and play.
A timely reminder that Round 1 of the Port Kembla Community Investment Fund (PKCIF) closes tomorrow. https://t.co/NDWE5cbJOV
RDA Illawarra would like to congratulate and welcome Ms Debra Murphy as our new CEO. For more info - https://t.co/2x6SwjFHe9
OUR PRIORITIES FOR REGIONAL GROWTH IN THE ILLAWARRA
We believe in our vision of transforming the Illawarra into a prosperous, vibrant and equitable region. We believe we can achieve this vision through focusing on business growth, job creation and a more liveable and equitable region.
To that extent we have developed 6 key priorities for the Illawarra region and initiatives which we believe will support regional growth.
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