RDAT Committee Members

Tom Black

Chairman RDA Tasmania, Retired

Mr Tom Black recently retired from the Tasmanian Public Service having worked for 14 years in Regional and Economic Development. He has strong networks within the Tasmanian Government and across local government and the business community across Tasmania.

From 2009 to 2011 Mr Black was the General Manager in Regional Development with the Tasmanian Department of Economic Development and the Arts.

This role included stimulating economic and regional development across the state, fostering innovation and creating employment opportunities.

From 1997 to 2009 he was the Regional Manager North for the Department of Economic Development. This role was responsible for development and implementation of the Tasmanian Governments economic development strategies for Northern Tasmania. He worked closely with major industries and on major community infrastructure projects throughout this time.

Mr Black is a former executive Director of the Northern Tasmanian Development Board, and is a past or current board member of a number of not-for-profit organisations. He has national regional development experience through his State Government involvement on the COAG Regional Development Committee and the associated Ministerial Council.


Lou Clark

Deputy Chair RDA Tasmania, Community Relations Specialist - Bell Bay Aluminium

Ms Lou Clark is Bell Bay Aluminium's Community Relations specialist at their smelter operation located just south of George Town and about a 35 minute drive from Launceston.

Lou’s role at the smelter is to develop, implement and administer Bell Bay Aluminium’s community relations strategy and related activities 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 and from 1994 to 2008 worked for WIN Television in media sales and management.

She is currently Chairman, Launceston Festivale Committee Inc and is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program.

Lou has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Tasmania


Tim Hess

General Manager, Sales & Logistics, Petuna Group

Tim Hess is General Manager Sales and Logistics at the Petuna Group located in Devonport Tasmania. Petuna is the largest vertically integrated seafood company in Tasmania.

Tim has played a central part in the development and growth predominantly in the sales/marketing and freight logistics of an internationally renowned aquaculture and wild fishing enterprise which produces and exports fine Tasmanian seafood including Ocean Trout and Atlantic Salmon.

Tim also has a background in the Shipping Industry as the Victorian State Manager with the German Shipping Company Hamburg Sud/Columbus Line and marketing/managerial roles with the ACTA Shipping Company and Tasmanian Cargo Services. Tim was the recipient for the 2003 Austrade Agribusiness Export Award.

His background in aquaculture/wild fish production has seen him undertake roles on industry-related groups. These have included being the inaugural Chairman of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association and the Tasmanian representative on the South East Trawl Management Council. He was also on the Board of Seafood Australia Marketing.  Tim is also a Director of Petuna Pty Ltd and also the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council. He is also a community representative of the Devonport City Council Living City Committee.



Bob Frost


Bob was a Chief Executive with broad International experience in business development, Company restructuring and management change initiatives within Transport, Tourism, Service and Communications Industry Organisations.

Bob also has past experience as a Board member of the Area Consultative Committee Tasmania, Chairman of the Huon Eldercare Foundation - Franklin Tasmania, member of Franklin Progress Association, Franklin Palais Management Committee and Franklin Township Development Committee and a past Consultant and Adviser to The MS Society of Tasmania.

He was also Interim Chief Executive with various companies prior to retirement in Tasmania including the Brooke Hospital for Animals - an International Equine Charity, National Milk Records plc - with 11000 cattle herd clients and the St John's Eye Hospital based in Jerusalem.

Bob has spent over 20 years in International Car Rental, Shipping and Airline businesses, while also heading up a variety of service operations in the UK. He is married with three adult children and currently resides at Franklin in Southern Tasmania.

Bob is on the management committee of the Maritime Museum Tasmania based in Hobart.


Prof Sue Kilpatrick

University of Tasmania

Professor of Education at the University of Tasmania & Director-Education, Northern Tasmanian Development Board

Professor Sue Kilpatrick is Professor of Education at the University of Tasmania Launceston Campus.  Up until the end of 2015 Sue was the Pro Vice Chancellor "Students" and Director, Centre for University Pathways and Partnerships, 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 including South West TAFE, South West Local Learning and Employment Network, G21 Education Pillar and Marcus Oldham College, and when previously living in Tasmania, including the Early Years Foundation, FarmBis State Planning Group Family-based Care North, Australian Rural Health Education Network and headspace Northern Tasmania Board.


Dr Christine Mucha

RDA Tasmania Committee Member

Christine has extensive executive management experience in agriculture and water sectors including 14.5 years as CEO in the Tasmanian water industry, Hobart Water and Onstream until her resignation in 2011.

She has tertiary qualifications in agricultural science and economics: B.Ag. Sc. (Hons), Ph.D., Dip. Ag.Ec., F.A.I.C.D., Comp.IEngAust.

Her expertise encompasses change management, organisational transition and growth, strategic and operational improvements, infrastructure development and stakeholder engagement.

Christine’s other current Board and Committee appointments include Chair Wellington Park Management Trust, Director  Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (Forestry Tasmania), Independent Director Dial Before You Dig Vic/Tas, Vice President Lifeline Tas, and  member Inland Fisheries Advisory Council (Tasmania).



Michael Bailey

Chief Executive Offcer, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Michael has been CEO of Tasmania's peak business and employer body since Jaunary 2013

The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an independent membership organisation that positively leads the Tasmanian business community.

As a member of the Australian Chamber Alliance and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the broader Chamber movement across Australia, TCCI provides valuable support to its members through a range of programs and services, and actively advocates their concerns as the ‘voice of business’ at all levels of government.

The TCCI represents more than 1,000 businesses through its Tasmanian membership base. At the same time it reaches up to 20,000 businesses through regional chambers with the TCCI Chamber Alliance.


Dr Bruce Williams

Economic Development Manager - Launceston City Council

Bruce has a diversity of interests, skills and experience with ability to understand, develop, implement and manage programs between and within different business and community sectors at Local, State, Federal and International levels.

Bruce has a diversity of interests, skills and experience with ability to understand, develop, implement and manage programs between and within different business and community sectors at Local, State, Federal and International levels.

He is interested in regional and rural Australia and has diverse background in senior executive management within the agriculture, forestry, natural resources, education and small business sectors. A consulting and research background provides the basis for analytical skills, while executive experience provides a high level of strategic thinking. A life on the farm brings a dash of common sense and down to earth approach to problem solving.

He is currently the Economic Development Officer for the City of Launceston and Vice President of the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australian Indonesian Business Council.  His other leadership roles have included; Chair of Rural Business Tasmania [Rural Financial Counselling Service], Regional Manager, Housing Industry Association and Executive Officer, University Department of Rural Health, University of Tasmania. Prior to this, Bruce led the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association as Chief Executive Officer; and was Executive Officer of the Central Queensland Forest Association; Business Manager of Greening Australia, Rockhampton, and the Director of the Center for Rainforest Studies in far north Queensland.

Ph.D, B.Agr.Sc, GAICD, Dip Bus, Cert IV Governance



Fiona Wilson

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.


Sally Chandler

International Trade Adviser, TradeStart, TCCI

Sally Chandler is an international trade specialist. She is employed by the TCCI and is part of Austrade 's TradeStart network. In this position Sally covers the whole of Tasmania including King and Flinders Islands. She works very closely with Tasmanian exporters and Austrade personnel both nationally and internationally.

Sally has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden. She graduated with the degree Master of Business Administration from Bond University in Queensland, and, the degree Master of International Business from the University of Tasmania. Sally is a member of the Australian Institute of Export, the Australian Institute of Management, and, the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

Sally currently sits on the Tasmanian Regional Committee of the Australian Institute of Management and was a member of the 2014 Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Industry Taskforce.


Don Thomson

Farmer and Consultant

Don's diverse background in design and high level research skills enables him to work across disciplinary boundaries.

I have a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Hons) and a PhD in Rural Sociology/Human Geography. I work with a range of private and public-sector organisations at all scales and have over 24 years experience.

My consulting work focuses around three main areas (key skills and methodologies are listed under each, but there's much overlap):

• Understanding People
Innovative qualitative & quantitative social research methods. Database development. Statistical analysis. Understanding people's perception of place(s).

• Understanding Places
Site Analysis. Landscape Planning. Landscape Design. Participatory design. Post occupancy evaluation. Visual Impact Assessment. Understanding people's perception of place(s).

• Understanding Processes
Program evaluation. Program and policy design. Dialectic analysis of processes. Outcome-oriented process analysis. Program Logic.

My diverse background in design and high level research skills enable me to work across disciplinary boundaries.

'Design thinking' is probably the best contemporary role description that summarizes my skill set.


Adrian Wood


Adrian is an active member of a number of cultural, community and economic development organisations.

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 4 years and before that he was 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 currently Secretary of the Rotary Club of Central Launceston and is a presenter on community radio – City Park Radio.


Gary McCarthy

Business Development Manager - Port of Melbourne

Gary has a commerce under-graduate degree, plus post graduate qualifications, which has culminated in the completion of a Master of Business Administration.

Gary’s current role for the last eight years has been as Business Development Manager with the Port of Melbourne.  This 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. 

Gary has held senior roles in both FMCG and Development Companies, over the past twenty years, bringing together experience in financial management, successful integration and re-branding of aligned businesses, and a capacity to generate long term, beneficial commercial arrangements.  

Gary has held past Board positions on a not for profit organisation, as well as at FMCG and Development businesses, including undertaking the role and responsibilities of Company Secretary.  Gary also has a current position on the Audit Committee of one of Tasmania’s Local Government municipalities. 

Gary has a commerce under-graduate degree, plus post graduate qualifications, which has culminated in the completion of a Master of Business Administration.  Gary is a Fellow of CPA Australia and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.