Program Advisory Committee

Dr Allan Dale, Professor of Tropical Regional Development, Cairns Institute, James Cook University (Chair)

Allan Dale is a Professor of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University and an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow with Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute. He is also the Chair of Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Inc. Allan has a strong interest in integrated governance, with a particular focus across the tropical world and in northern Australia.

He has both extensive research and policy expertise in building strong governance systems, but particularly in regional development and natural resource management. Allan was previously the CEO of Terrain NRM from 2005 to 2010 and has held executive and management roles within the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Department of Community Services (Social Impact Assessment Unit).

He also has global experience in respect to the social impact assessment of development. While Allan originally grew up north of Cairns, having started his career as an agricultural scientist, his doctoral work explored rural development in remote Indigenous communities and he has long working relationships with Traditional Owner groups throughout Cape York Peninsula, Torres Strait and the Gulf. After spending the last 10 years in Babinda, Allan and his family now reside in the Speewah area west of Kuranda.

Prof Fiona Coulson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Development & Growth), CQUniversity

Prof Fiona Coulson is the CQUniversity Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Development & Growth), a role which sees her spearhead the University’s exciting Dare to Be Different agenda. Prior to this DVC role, Prof Coulson held previous roles at CQUniversity including Dean of the University’s largest School; the School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences.

Prof Coulson has a background in biomedical research spanning across multiple institutions, including The University of Queensland, Griffith University, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. Prof Coulson’s upbringing in small towns across outback Queensland has made her a powerful advocate for the role played by regional Australia in our national prosperity, and the transformative effect that training, education and research yields in non-metropolitan communities. Prof Coulson and her family proudly call Rockhampton, Central Queensland their home.

Mr Luke Bowen, General Manager, Northern Australia Development & Trade, Northern Territory Government

Luke was born and raised on a diverse farm in Western Australia, educated in Perth and studied agriculture at Curtin University. Early in his career he spent time working in the agriculture sector in Western Australia and Europe.

Luke has worked as a sales and marketing executive the in building and construction industry and has worked across Australia on land management and pastoral development on Indigenous land.

Between 2008 and 2014, Luke was Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, the peak industry body representing the majority of the Northern Territory cattle industry. He was instrumental in advocating for members and providing support for the Northern Territory pastoral industry during the suspension of the live export trade. Luke is also a member of the Commonwealth Government Agriculture Industry Advisory Council.

In July 2014, Luke was appointed as General Manager, Northern Australia Development Office, within the Northern Territory Government. Luke’s leadership has since expanded to include the Office of Asian Engagement, Trade and Investment, StudyNT, DefenceNT and Indigenous and Regional Economic Development within the recently formed Northern Australia Development and Trade division.

Under Luke’s guidance, the division is showcasing and marketing the Northern Territory to prospective investors interested in the development of Northern Australia. The Northern Australia Development Office works with regional provinces including Nhulunbuy, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs to lead the implementation of emerging policies that are driving the development of the Northern Territory.

Mr Ricky Archer, Chief Executive Officer, North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA)

Ricky Archer is a Djungan man from the Western Tablelands region of North Qld and is the Chief Executive Officer of the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA). Ricky has a strong network of on ground land and sea managers across northern Australia from which to draw from and has demonstrated an ability to connect on-ground work of Indigenous organisations with regional, state and commonwealth priorities.

Ricky has a background in geographical information systems, Indigenous knowledge management, and natural & cultural resource management.

Terry Hill, CEO - Pilbara Development Commission

Terry Hill was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Pilbara Development Commission in February 2015.

Prior to joining the Pilbara Development Commission, Terry spent four years as Executive Director (Irrigated Agriculture and Diversification) at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia Government. Prior to that, Terry spent six years in Adelaide as the Deputy Chair of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.

Terry holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a Masters in Agribusiness and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Sam Stewart, CEO, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc.

Sam Stewart has recently been appointed the new CEO of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc. The strategic business experience, innovative mindset, high level of energy and fresh perspective he brings to the team will positively impact the association in many ways.

Sam has been, and still is, an avid business investor, active business strategist and seminal thinker across a diverse range of business sectors during his 15 years of business ownership. He has bought and grown 10 businesses in different industries including restaurants, function center, online health, online agriculture, fruit and vegetable wholesale and retail, importing wholesale and retail, construction and education.

On the side of his business interests, Sam has been engaged to coach and chair the board of directors meetings for 6 privately held companies for which he facilitates and offers strategic advice. He is also contracted to give business advice to other privately held businesses on an ‘as needed’ basis, using the depth and vast business experience he has acquired over the years across many industries.

Sam is passionate and excited to apply his business experience and skillsets to assist the Association to be able to grow the membership base, increase membership benefits by adding more value to its members and increase the association’s exposure.

Western Australian Sub Committee

Cr Grant Cucel, Deputy Mayor, City of Karratha

Grant was born and raised in the Pilbara. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business with First Class Honours from Curtin University in 1997.

Grant’s foray into the world of small business began in 1999, where he successfully built the recruitment business, Mangrove Personnel. In 2009, Grant finalised the sale of the business to the Chandler Macleod Group.

He is also a board member of the Small Business Development Corporation, a statutory authority in Western Australia.

Grant was the 2012 inductee into the Western Australian Regional Small Business Hall of Fame and was the local 2013 Citizen of the Year.

Sheriden Morris, Chair, Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia

Mark Coffey, Head, Office of Northern Australia

Mark has lived in the Northern Territory for over 30 years and is passionate about northern Australia development. Since arriving in 1985, Mark has contributed significantly to both public and community

As Head of the Office of Northern Australia in the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Mark is responsible for overseeing delivery of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing the North. Mark’s collaborative engagement is driving cross-jurisdictional development across northern Australia through innovative and targeted approaches.

Under Mark’s leadership, the Office of Northern Australia is securing sustainable benefits by attracting investment, enhancing economic outcomes and driving jobs and growth whilst balancing social impacts. This important work will ensure lasting benefits, not just for the north but also for all of Australia.

Dr Chris Chilcott, CSIRO A/Science Director for Land and Water, Research Leader for Northern Australia, Project Director Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA)

Dr Chris Chilcott has more than 20 years’ experience in the agricultural sector, research and development. He currently leads CSIRO’s Land and Water business unit based in Darwin and leads and develops research into northern Australian Development.

He is part of the team managing the North Australia Water Resource Assessment, an $18M assessment of water resources across three catchments. His career has spanned across ecology and animal industries, pastoral production and management, and policy.

Prior to joining CSIRO, Chris led a policy group providing strategic leadership on industry development activity and policy related to animal industries within Queensland.

Mr Jed Matz, CEO, Cooperative Research Centre Northern Development

Jed has had over 20 years of experience providing policy, strategy and operational leadership in Australian Agriculture.

Graduating from the University of Adelaide (Roseworthy) with Bachelor in Agricultural Business majoring in both marketing and international trade, Jed worked with the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA, as an English teacher in Japan and with the South Australian Farmers’ Federation representing the interests of Sheep meat, Goat, Cattle, Wool, Poultry and Pork Producers.

In 2007 Jed was appointed the Policy Director of the Cattle Council of Australia representing and progressing the interests of Australian beef cattle producers and in 2013 he was appointed the CEO of that organisation. Jed was appointed as the inaugural CEO of the CRC for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) in July 2017.

Chris Rees, Assistant Manager Northern Australia Delivery, Austrade

Chris Rees is responsible for Austrade’s Northern Australia investment program.  In this role, he works to connect investors to projects in the north, and organised the Northern Australia Investment Forum, held in Cairns in November 2017.  He also heads up Austrade’s Partnerships branch.

Chris has had an extensive international career, having spent some 19 years in Asia.  He has led Austrade’s operations in Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Osaka and Singapore, as well has having managed Austrade’s operations in Qld, SA, NT and NSW.

Prior to joining Austrade, Chris has worked in Australia and Japan in chemical trading, executive recruitment and food packaging.