RDAT Committee Members
Prof Sue Kilpatrick
RDA Tasmania Chair and University of Tasmania
Professor Sue Kilpatrick is Professor of Education at the University of Tasmania Launceston Campus. She is also Deputy Chair of the Northern Tasmania Development Corporation Board. Up until the end of 2015 Sue was the Pro Vice Chancellor "Students", University of Tasmania, where her responsibilities included pre-degree programs and pathways to UTAS from schools and TasTAFE, the Aboriginal support Riawunna Centre and the English Language Centre.
Sue was formerly Pro Vice Chancellor (Rural and Regional) at Deakin University, Australia and a member of the Regional Development Australia Barwon South West Victoria Committee.
Sue has had a diverse career in higher education, including in, economics, education and rural health. She holds a PhD in the Economics of Education and a Master of Economics in Labour Economics and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
A born and bred Tasmanian, Sue is committed to working with and for the communities in which she lives. She has been a member of a diverse range of Boards in Victoria and Tasmania including, in Victoria: South West TAFE, South West Local Learning and Employment Network, G21 Education Pillar and Marcus Oldham College, and in Tasmania: TL3 (Tasmanian Lifelong Learning), the Early Years Foundation, FarmBis State Planning Group Family-based Care North, Australian Rural Health Education Network and headspace Northern Tasmania.
RDA Tasmania Deputy Chair and Mayor of the City of Clarence
Doug Chipman is a 7th generation Tasmanian, who returned to the State after 36 years full-time service in the Royal Australian Air Force. His education started at Cambridge Primary School and he attended both Hobart and Launceston High Schools before joining the Air Force as a cadet in 1964.
A pilot and flying instructor, Doug flew Caribou, Hercules and Boeing 707 aircraft; and held a number of senior command appointments, culminating with command of Air Force Training Command from 1998 to 2000. Other postings involved Doug in policy development, project management and commercial support.
His overseas service included postings to the United States and Pakistan, and attachments to Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
Reaching the rank of Air Commodore, Doug transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 2000 and retired from the Service in 2011.
Doug was elected as an alderman to Clarence City Council in 2000, Deputy Mayor in 2007, and Mayor in 2011, a position he continues to hold.
As a councillor, Doug has focused especially on the economic and community development challenges confronting the growing municipality, along with managing the impacts of climate change.
Doug served as President of the Local Government of Tasmania from 2015 to 2019, and as a Vice President of the Australian Local Government Association from 2016 to 2018. He continues to represent Clarence on the Joint Ministerial Committee on the Hobart City Deal, and the South East Regional Development Association.
He was also elected as the Chief Owner Representative for Taswater in 2018 for a three year term.
Doug married Jo Donnelly 51 years ago and they have three adult children and seven grandchildren.
Director Academic Business and Planning, University of Tasmania
Fiona supports delivery of the strategies and functions of the Academic Division of the University of Tasmania.
Fiona has previously worked in senior regional economic development roles for the Tasmanian Government, and for regional or local government in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand.
Director of Leadership and Change Consultants Pty Ltd
Michelle is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program, has a Bachelor of Social Work, studied at the London Business School in Negotiating and Influencing and has qualifications in leadership and management.
She is a highly experienced director, facilitator, coach and change manager, and is currently Director of Leadership and Change Consultants Pty Ltd. She has built her consulting work on her ability to work with a diverse group of people, concepts, communities and organisations.
Michelle’s background is in leadership, governance, advocacy and policy across health, VET, housing, community and capacity building in community, government and private sectors. She is influenced by a strong commitment to working with businesses and individuals to realise their potential and to making a difference.
She has been a member of a diverse range of Boards including TasCOSS, and is currently a director of the Tasmanian Community Fund and TasTAFE, chairing its Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Communications Manager / Consultant at TasRail
Sarah Hirst has 25 years’ experience in business management, strategy, branding, marketing, media, public relations, reputation management, government relations, corporate governance, team engagement and communications.
She grew up on a farm in northern Tasmania before embarking on her journalism career at the Launceston Examiner, the Weekly Times in Melbourne and the Herald Sun in Canberra’s Federal Press Gallery.
Sarah then travelled through Africa for five months, worked in public relations and event management in London, managed Public Relations for the National Farmers’ Federation, was CEO of the Wine Industry Association of WA and Brand Manager for Gunns Limited.
For the past decade, Sarah and her husband Mark have owned and managed the multi-award-winning Leaning Church Vineyard, as well as Lilydale Larder.
Sarah has worked as Communications Manager / Consultant at TasRail since August 2017, focusing on government relations, media, internal and external communications, sponsorship, and stakeholder and project management.
She is also CEO of Sarah Hirst Strategy, a boutique consultancy empowering leaders and businesses to be the best they can be through strategy development and implementation, communications, branding, storytelling and reputation management.
Sarah is a Director and Co-Founder of Tasmania Invest, assisting local, interstate and overseas investors to realise investment opportunities in Tasmania, Chair of the Tasmanian Cycling Investor Group, former Chair of the North East Rail Trail Board, was an inaugural Board Member of Tourism Northern Tasmania and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Course.
Sarah has facilitated economic development summits, delivered keynote addresses at multiple conferences around Australia, was named a Telstra Businesswomen’s Award finalist and was the Rural Woman Award Tasmania Runner-Up.
Sarah and Mark have two children, Lachie and Gracie, and they share a love of camping, travelling, fishing, food, wine and new projects!
Owner of Enchanted Isle Farms
Michael has been involved in farmer advocacy and community groups for many years, including terms as Chairman of Vegetable Council for the TFGA, Ausveg and currently a TFGA Director since 2011 representing the 64 zone.
Mike is actively involved in farming, with a current enterprise in the Forth area, which produces various crops, for the fresh processing and export industries.
Mike was awarded the inaugural Rural Community Leader of the Year award at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards in 2016. He also was a finalist in the Hort Connections National Awards for Excellence 2018 in the areas of Grower of the Year and Community Stewardship Award.
From 1995 until 2012, Mike was one of the largest producers in Tasmania of tulip and oriental lilly bulbs, producing up to 50 acres per year for both the domestic and export markets.
As an independant contractor working within Education, Agribusiness and with Pointer Remote Roles, Kathleen builds on experience in industries such as nanotechnology and the manufacturing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). She offers a broad global perspective having coordinated Meat & Livestock Australia's marketing programs into South East Asia and having lived extensively in Europe and South America.
Kathleen was a board member of Agritas Trade College for 3 years and a member of the Circular Head Regional Economic Working Group which formed to support economic development after the Edith Creek site of Murray Goulburn was closed in 2017. In November 2018, she was elected on the Circular Head Council and is the current Chair of the Circular Head Education and Training Consultative Committee.
Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Governance in not-for-profit qualification from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Principal Advisor - Communities - Bell Bay Aluminium
Ms Lou Clark has worked at Bell Bay Aluminium’s smelter operation located just south of George Town and about 35 minutes’ drive north of Launceston since 2011.
As Principal Advisor – Communities, Lou’s role is to develop, implement and administer Bell Bay Aluminium’s community and external relations strategy in line with the site’s business priorities and objectives. Lou’s role also has a strong focus on developing long term mutually beneficial relationships within the Tasmanian community.
From 2008 to 2011, Lou was the Executive Officer of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that Lou worked for WIN Television in media sales and management for 14 years.
Lou is currently a member of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Advisory Board and a member of Natural Resource Management (NRM) North Committee. She has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Tasmania and is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program.
Adrian Wood has retired following a career in international relations and international business development in various public and private sector organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including NSW Trade & Investment, NSW Business Chamber and Trade NZ. His roles focused on investment attraction and the development of trade in goods and services, including tourism and international education.
Adrian has lived in Launceston for 6 years and was previously a regular visitor for over 30 years – having married a Tasmanian from the Tamar Valley. Since moving to Launceston he has become active in a number of cultural, community and economic development organisations. Adrian is a member of Rotary and is engaged in a range of projects at District and Club level. He is also a presenter on community radio – City Park Radio in Launceston.
Business Development Manager - Port of Melbourne
Gary’s current role is with TasPorts as a Senior Commercial Manager, following on from the last ten years with the Port of Melbourne as a Business Development Manager.
The current role involves actively liaising with Tasmanian supply chain stakeholders, ranging from shipping/transport companies to importers/exporters to Government agencies and Ministers, generating a detailed understanding of business requirements and operations, and how they interact across the logistics plane; and delivering commercial outcomes to the mutual benefit of all parties.
Private Consultant - Agriculture
Greg retired from a forty year banking career in March 2016 where he rose from junior ranks to executive level. The last twenty five years of this period was specifically involved with the rural sector, initially on the North West Coast of Tasmania and state-wide since 1997. His final role was as State Manager for one of our larger rural lending institutions which involved team leadership and responsibility for their substantial asset book. In that role he was a member of bank’s Senior Management Team covering Australia and New Zealand and a rotational member of their Credit Committee, making decisions on larger loan requests in both countries. In retirement he chose to operate as a private consultant and has since grown this position to more than a full time role.
His strong passion has always been to lead teams and achieve business growth. As the bank’s ability to continue growing began to peak he joined with other senior industry and government leaders to drive economic growth in the state, particularly in the rural space. He was also one of the senior leaders that drove the formation of the Market Tasmania concept which was born from a desire to promote Tasmania’s brand advantage to bring premiums back to farm gate.
This drive to see farms develop led him to retire from banking to focus specifically on helping key farms increase productivity and profitability. Through this approach the gains would benefit, not only the farmers involved, but the state overall. In this period he sat on several Boards with the most recent being Deputy Chair for Northern Tasmania Development Corporation.
His most recent challenge was to help build an organic dairy farming opportunity within the state as the representative of Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia. An aside to this is the opportunity to also grow an organic feed grain market as current sources are only available from interstate at very expensive levels.
CEO Cradle Coast Authority
Before joining the Cradle Coast Authority in mid-2018 as Regional Economic Development Manager, Daryl was the Executive Officer at Switch Tasmania, an organisation that he co-founded to support people with a business or business idea. He holds a Master of Business from the University of Tasmania and is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program.
Daryl was appointed as CEO of the Cradle Coast Authority in December 2019, to oversee a period of organisational reform, including a renewed focus on economic development and council collaboration. He is Cradle Coast born and bred, and lives at Forth with his wife and two daughters.