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.


Prof Sue Kilpatrick

RDA Tasmania Deputy Chair and 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.


Lou Clark

Committee Member RDA Tasmania, 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.


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.


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.


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’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.


Greg Bott

Private Consultant

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.


Doug Chipman

Mayor of the City of Clarence and President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania

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. 

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.  He currently represents Clarence City Council on the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority and the Owners Representative Group for TASWATER.

Doug was also elected as President of the Local Government of Tasmania in 2015, and a Vice President of the Australian Local Government Association in 2016, positions he continues to hold.

Doug married Jo Donnelly 50 years ago and they now have three adult children and seven grandchildren.


Michelle Swallow

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 TasTAFE, chairing the Audit and Risk Management Committee.