High-profile RDALC board unveiled

The new-look board of Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) will meet for the first time this month in Mount Gambier, setting a clear direction to bring jobs and investment to the region.

MiniJumbuk CEO, Darren Turner, The Border Watch General Manager, Dennis Jackson, Hello Friday co-owner, Simone Kain, and Glenelg Shire Media Manager, Liz McKinnon, will fill four vacant committee positions as a result of the expiry of board appointments.

RDALC chair, Peter Gandolfi, said the new appointments followed an extensive search for strong business or regional leaders who champion local job creation and sustainable regional growth:

“We are building on our regional and industry diversity, and we are extremely pleased to have new representation from Naracoorte, Penola and Mount Gambier in both the private and public sector,” he said.

Mr Gandolfi said the new-look board brings strong business acumen and fresh vision and drive to the organisation’s existing skills base:

“We’re confident that this dynamic mix of professionals will further strengthen our focus on attracting investment and jobs.”

Former ABC South East Regional Manager, Alan Richardson, has been reappointed to continue to work alongside Mr Gandolfi as Deputy Chair along with forestry consultant Lew Parsons, KCA Millicent Mill Manager, Scott Whicker, and The City of Mount Gambier’s City Growth General Manager Judy Nagy, who have also been re-appointed to the board.

Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage did not seek reappointment.

“The RDALC Board would like to thank Richard Sage for his valuable contribution and his ongoing efforts to give back to the community, and we wish him well on his future endeavours,” RDA CEO David Wheaton said.

Further board appointments will be made later this year as terms expire.

New board member bios:

Darren Turner has more than 35 years’ experience leading one of Australia’s premium branded wool bedding companies, MiniJumbuk. Throughout his career, he has undertaken numerous business and management courses including the Global CEO Program. He also has over 20 years community service with Apex, has served eight years on the Naracoorte Golf Club board with four years as president, and also sits on the board of the Industry Leaders Fund Scholars Network in Adelaide.

Dennis Jackson has been in the media industry for more than 25 years with News limited, APN and now as general manager of The Border Watch Pty Ltd. He sits on the Board of Country Press SA and has extensive leadership and stakeholder engagement experience. Dennis moved to Mount Gambier with his family in 2012 to become involved with long-established family business interests in the region and is keen to contribute to the economic growth and success of the Limestone Coast.

Simone Kain is the co-owner of creative agency Hello Friday, and the co-founder of the award- winning educational brand George the Farmer. With extensive experience in website development and business management, Simone has received a number of awards including the 2015 NAB Women’s Agenda Regional Entrepreneur of the Year and the Brand SA Flinders Education Award. She is a current board member of Women in Agriculture and sits on the Ignite Advisory Panel for Agrifutures Australia.

Liz McKinnon was born in Mount Gambier and grew up on a beef farm in Dartmoor. She has extensive leadership experience and has worked in the media industry for many years, including a stint as media advisor to former Victorian Premier Denis Napthine. Returning to live in Mount Gambier earlier this year, Liz is a member of the Glenelg Shire’s leadership team, working in the role of media manager coordinating and supporting a large team.

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