James is a prominent businessman and business leader from Mount Barker. He is also leading the campaign to establish The Cedars as the premier gallery and studio showcasing the work of Hans Heysen. James is active in ensuring that the rapid development of the region meets the needs of the community.
Victoria is the Chief Executive of the City of Victor Harbor. Victoria has worked at senior levels with local government as well as a board member of Arts SA.
Peter has had a successful background in financial services, business finance and taxation services in his own firm for over 30 years.
Peter has been involved in managing corporate business affairs and property management and development during that time and has been an active investor/developer in Mount Barker since 1993.
Now a resident of the region he is well equipped to apply his business skills for developing investment and employment opportunities within his community.
Brett co-founded the Miller Dental Group of which he remains Group CEO. With broad international industry experience working from the paddock to the Boardroom as a sustainability and management consultant, he remains a determined and passionate advocate of accessible primary health care.
Brett remains active as a Board member of leading organisations including Family Business Australia, Australian Dental Foundation, AAPM, Harley Day Surgery, and the Kangaroo Island Business & Brand Alliance.
PETER WADEWITZ – OAM
Peter is the Managing Director of both Peats Soils & BiobiN® Technologies, and an industry leader in environmental management, receiving a Medal of Australia (OAM) in 2020 for his services to the organics recycling industry.
Stephanie is a primary producer from Kangaroo Island. She has worked in senior level roles within local and state government and is a board member of various agricultural and community organisations.
John Ashcroft is a leading Adelaide Hills businessman, having been involved with the design and construction of many significant Adelaide Hills and city projects.
He is also past chairperson of the Hahndorf Business and Tourism Association.
Luke Gray is Manager Strategic Projects and Economic Development at Mount Barker District Council and brings broad and active Local Government experience.
Arabella has practised as a lawyer in the area of commercial transactional and advisory law since 2000. For nine years she practised in a specialist South Australian corporate and commercial law firm, including more than two years as partner.
She has now established her own commercial advisory practice in Adelaide and is currently a member of the Law Society of South Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Arabella has 14 years of experience on company boards and is currently a board member of SYC Ltd, Lifetime Support Authority, Country Racing SA, Oakbank Racing Club and is a member of the Heart Foundation SA Local Advisory Board.
As a CEO of Alexandrina Council, my primary role is leadership and governance. A strategic and decisive transformational leader with extensive executive experience in Local Government in both private and public sectors. I am recognised for my in-depth knowledge and exemplary delivery of leadership, strategic planning, business and cultural transformation, economic development, stakeholder relationships, community engagement, project management, governance, asset management, financial/accounting processes, innovation and technology.
I am highly effective in establishing collaborative relationships across Council Divisions, Community, Business, State and Federal Government Minsters/Departments and Elected Members. As CEO for Fleurieu Peninsula Councils for the past seven and a half years, I have extensive knowledge and connections throughout the greater Fleurieu area.
Holding degrees in Law and Commerce, Tom is a consultant working in agribusiness advisory and project management. He is currently engaged as a consultant by the Southern rock lobster, strawberry and livestock industries, predominantly in research fund management and advisory roles.
Tom was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia as a barrister and solicitor in 2016 and prior to project management he worked as a business advisory, tax and insolvency accountant at PKF Australia. Tom and his wife Aimee breed beef cattle in Hindmarsh Valley on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Damien brings a wealth of knowledge having 20+ years’ experience working in the field of business development, sales management and marketing in many industry sectors and a variety of overseas markets. Damien is a professional and conscientious person in all aspects of his work, staff find him to be clear, concise leader and enjoy working with him.
He is well organised, systematic and structured in his approach to tasks and problem solving. Damien has been a long term resident of the region and as a local business operator and primary producer he has a genuine understanding for the region and the potential of what the region has to offer.
Steve is experienced in creation, growth and management of businesses across several industries including agriculture, aquaculture, technology, professional and environmental services. He is skilled in board directorship, entrepreneurship, raising capital, strategic planning, business operations, business development and sales, project management, culture building, systems and procedures, LEAN and relationship building at all levels.
He brings to RDA a wealth of knowledge across many industries, experience in rural and remote regions, an ability to network, think outside the box and look for win-win outcomes.
Sara plays an integral part at RDA AHFKI. In addition to strong planning and organisational skills, Sara is unfailingly professional and courteous. Her integrity, commitment and hawkish attention to detail underpins the significant support she provides to the CEO, Regional Development team, board, and staff.
These qualities, alongside a cheerful, enthusiastic demeanour, have allowed Sara to build authentic working relationships with key stakeholders across the business community and government.
Well-known, and well-respected, by her contemporaries, Sara has established herself as a key connector and all-round “go to” across the region. From organising calendar schedules, to workshops, or functions, her ability to multi-task and contingency plan ensures a seamless, efficient outcome in everything she does.
Sue brings a wealth of experience to the RDA having 30+ years in business and economic development.
Sue’s vision is to help business, organisations and communities be the best they can by fostering the development of skills and vision, cooperation and collaboration. As a strategic thinker, business mechanic, resource investigator and connector, she visualises the big picture and uses her strength in networking to connect people and business to create strategic alliances and achieve outcomes.
Having worked on Kangaroo Island for 8 years, Sue has been actively involved in the significant economic transformation of the island. In that time Sue was an advisor to the RDA for 18 months during which time she led the RDA’s advocacy work on the ~$64M SA Water Security project and mentored over 40 businesses impacted directly or indirectly by the Black Summer Bushfires.
Leanne joined RDA in 2013 in the role of Finance Officer, reporting to CEO and the finance committee. In addition to holding a master’s degree in accounting and finance, she is a CPA qualified accountant.
She works with external auditors to set up and improve our accounting procedures, keeps financial records for both office operation and various projects, prepares regular financial reports for both internal and external use. Her most outstanding job qualities are her reliable on-time reporting, problem-solving, well planned scheduling, and trustworthiness.
Anna brings more than 15 years’ copywriting, content creation and digital marketing experience to her role. She has a strong commitment to the region and helping local business thrive through their online presence. In conjunction with RDA, she has previously delivered education seminars around digital content and social media strategy to businesses across the Fleurieu, Adelaide Hills and Riverland. Anna has also worked with local business groups and Council on projects such as the Santos Tour Down Under, and developed the tagline for the Town of Strathalbyn’s updated branding.
Anna is responsible for our online communications and marketing, from creating our weekly newsletter and social content, to maintaining our website and writing media releases.