RDA AHFKI Announces Departure of CEO

After more than a decade of dedicated leadership, Damien Cooke, has announced his departure from the RDA AHFKI, effective from June 30, 2024.

CEO, Damien Cooke, bids farewell after 11 years of service

After more than a decade of dedicated leadership, Damien Cooke, has announced his departure from RDA AHFKI, effective from June 30, 2024.

During his tenure, Damien has played a pivotal role in shaping RDA AHFKI into a leading force for regional development in South Australia. Under his guidance, our organisation has implemented numerous initiatives aimed at fostering economic growth and enhancing liveability across our region.

The biggest highlight for me in this role was bringing this RDA from a position of real uncertainty, to one of the most secure and successful RDA’s in the country.  From what was an organisation facing various challenges, this RDA is now the envy of most others with its financial strength and efficient structure.

Damien Cooke, CEO, RDA AHFKI

RDA Chair, James Sexton, has expressed his gratitude for Damien’s leadership and the countless projects and initiatives he has championed for the region, emphasising the significance of Federal Minister Kirsty McBain’s recognition of RDA AHFKI’s achievements under his guidance.

Damien has been an outstanding CEO to work with in achieving so many projects for our region. The endorsement from Federal Minister Kirsty McBain, attributing RDA AHFKI’s success as one of the best in Australia to his leadership, is a testament to his exceptional abilities. I will be sorry to see him go and wish him good luck for the future.

James Sexton, Chair, RDA AHFKI

Damien will leave behind a legacy of innovation and progress that has been instrumental in shaping RDA AHFKI. We express our gratitude for his dedication and wish him every success in his future pursuits. I have no doubt he will continue to make a positive contribution to our region.

Victoria MacKirdy, Deputy Chair, RDA AHFKI

Reflecting on his time at RDA AHFKI, Damien highlighted our organisation’s involvement in COVID and bushfire recovery efforts as proud achievements. However, after more than a decade at the helm, he believes it is time for fresh perspectives to drive further progress.

The time is right for a change. I know that I leave the organisation and the region in a strong and prosperous state, and thank the dedicated staff and Board members, both past and present, who I have served with along the way.

Moving forward, RDA AHFKI take this opportunity to officially announce that Mr Stephen Shotton will be taking on the leadership role as Director Regional Development.

The team and board remain committed to maintaining our collaborative relationships with stakeholders to further develop the region’s economy and liveability.

For questions or further information, please contact our office.