- About RDA Great Southern
- Structure of the RDA
- What We Do
- Join Your Local RDA Great Southern Committee
RDA Great Southern WA Committee
The Committee of RDA Great Southern is comprised of ten volunteer members chosen for their skills; experience and geographic location; and assessed against how their experience can help deliver the RDA Charter.
If you are interested in joining the RDA Great Southern Committee or in filling any casual vacancies, see the Join Your Local RDA Great Southern Committee link above or visit the Regional Development Australia website for more information. The number of Committee members cannot exceed 11 in total and it will be up to the Chair to decide if they fill all positions as vacancies occur. The Chair positions are appointed by the Minister of Regional Development through an EOI process.
Andrus Budrikis, Chairperson
Andrus is the Executive Manager of Property & Assets for the Shire of Katanning. In this role he also looks after the Shire's development projects including the re-development of the All Ages Playground, Piesse Park and the Piesse Lake residential development. Andrus is a registered architect (currently non-practicing) and has owned and operated businesses as an architect and project manager. He has also held the position as Regional Manager (Great Southern) of a commercial building company and been the General Manager of a Perth based building company. He has been awarded for his work as a project manager as well as a builder and is a member of the Australian Institute of Architects and Local Government Professionals.
Andrus first moved to Kendenup in 2004 where he grew vegetables and helped establish Hawker Ridge Wines with his father. He was an elected Councillor for the Shire of Plantagenet from 2007 to 2015 and helped see the Sounness Park development become a reality. He was on the inaugural organisational committee for the Grapes and Gallops horse racing and wine festival held in Mount Barker and helped the Kendenup community raise funds to support the refurbishment of the Kendenup Agricultural Pavilion. Andrus has many interests and has a great affinity for regional areas having worked and lived in areas from the Murchison to Eucla and the Great Southern.
Andrus was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 March 2015 and as Chairperson on 7 March 2018. His term expires on 31 December 2020.
Sue Bennett-Ng, Deputy Chair
Sue had a long career in Local Government, as an elected member of the Fremantle City Council and as CEO of the WALG Industry Employment and Training Council, before relocating to the Great Southern to take up the position of Director of Training Services at the Great Southern Regional Institute of TAFE. In this capacity, she established, and still maintains, a wide network across the Great Southern to support the community's and industry's aspirations for opportunity and growth in the Great Southern.
Sue was an original member of the Area Consultative Committee when it was set up by Minister Crean as a mechanism to provide regional input into Federal Government planning.
Since retirement, Sue remains an active community member contributing expertise and experience to community and Government Boards and Committees. Currently she serves as Chairperson of the Albany Headspace Consortium, a Ministerial appointment to the South Regional TAFE Governing Council and to the planning of the annual Albany Summer School.
Sue was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 and her term expires on 30 June 2021.
Anne Sparrow, Treasurer
Anne Sparrow currently works as the Albany Manager for Greenskills, working with local governments, businesses and the community to deliver projects with conservation and sustainable living outcomes for the Great Southern region.
Anne recently moved to Albany in November 2015 with her two daughters who now attend High School. She has lived in the Great Southern region for 30 years. Anne also spent nine years as the CEO for the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group, working with farmers, local government and community groups to achieve projects within the Jerramungup region. Highlights include winning the WA Coastal Awards for Excellence 2009 in the Community Group category, assisting Bremer Bay win the South Coast region title for Tidy Town Sustainable Communities and celebrating 30 Years of Landcare in the Jerramungup Shire. Anne has previously been involved in farming and other agricultural activities in the Jerramungup area.
Anne has 15 years of volunteering on a range of groups from Trails, Day Care, Arts to P&C committees. She has an active interest in community development both locally and regionally.
Anne was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 23 December 2011 and her term expires on 30 June 2021.
Dr Ian Alexander has a background in geography, urban and regional planning and politics. He spent much of his working life lecturing and researching urban and regional development issues. He also had stints as a local Councillor (Perth City 1982-85) and State Member for Perth (1987-1993).
Now semi-retired, he has rejoined RDA after a few years tasting life in Bunbury, and Noosa, Queensland. He moved back to the South Coast via Perth late in 2018, and is now resident in Denmark at the new Deco Village. Ian enjoys walking, swimming and cycling and is an avid reader. His novel 'City of Sharks' was published in early 2018.
Ian was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 and his term expires on 30 June 2021.
Jan is a long term Albany resident with a strong commitment to regional development and a particular interest in the way in which education and training support that development. She holds an Arts degree from Murdoch University with a double major in Post-Secondary Education and Communication Studies.
As the former Manager of the Skills Development Centre, a part of South Regional TAFE, Jan had a diverse role that included the management of the College's short courses, overseeing a small committed team of trainers and support staff who delivered services throughout WA. She also developed training partnerships with public and private sector agencies and worked with emerging industries, to support the development of the workforce in the area serviced by South Regional TAFE, through its many campuses located across the region.
Jan was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 March 2015 and her term expires on 30 June 2021.
John Gates is currently the Executive Officer of the Great Southern Wine Producers association and also operates a small communications consultancy. Holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Media Studies and Certificate level qualifications in training and assessment and in project management.
John relocated to Albany in 2005 and since then has been employed by a wide range of organisations including the Albany Maritime foundation, University of Western Australia, Great Southern Institute of Technology, Albany Regional Prison, and Wanslea Family Services. John has previously served on the boards of the Albany Gateway Inc., and Australia's Southern West. He currently sits on the Taste Great Southern Advisory Group and the Wines of Western Australia Wine Tourism Alliance.
His major interests lie in tourism development, especially wine and food tourism; supporting premium food and wine production; in electronic communications including local micro news sites; and in regional cultural development.
John was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 and his term expires on 30 June 2021.
Bruce Manning is the Chief Executive Officer of the Great Southern Development Commission, a position he has held since 2000. His qualifications include an Executive MBA from the University of Western Australia (UWA).
His regional development experience includes five years as the Regional Manager for TAFE in the Great Southern region and five years as Executive Officer of the Southern Province Projects Group, a joint Peel, South West and Great Southern Development Commission initiative to fund major infrastructure projects.
He has won several regional development awards. Mr Manning is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the UWA Research Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management and was awarded the UWA Chancellor’s Medal in 2010.
Bruce was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 January 2010 and his term expires on 30 June 2021.
New Committee Appointments:
The following Members were appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 with their terms expiring on 30 June 2021. Complete biographies coming soon.
- Director of Ayton Baesjou Planning
- Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban and Regional Studies
- Graduate Diploma in Natural Resource Managment Policy and Planning
- Partner in Albany Laserscape
- Former Chair of Albany Water Ways Management Authority, Water and Rivers Commission
- Former Chairperson of Southern Edge Arts
- Nominated for Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 1998
- 1992 Outstanding National Member (Australian Junior Chamber) - State Vice President/Regional President
- Director, NortherlyPRO International
- Master of International Business
- Diploma in Agricultural Scence
- Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Western Australian Citizen of the Year, 1994
- Centenary Medal, 2004
- Queen's Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal, 2005
- Henderson Alliance, 2017-
- Professionals for Humanitarian Assistance & Protection, 2001-
- Agri-Business, State and Federal Level
- Agricultural Producer, Borden Region, Great Southern
- Member and Chairperson, Southern Ag Care
- Chairperson, WA Rural Counsellors Association
- Chairperson, State Annual Rye Grass Toxicity Committee
- W.A. National Rural counselling Management Respresentative
- Chairperson, Corackerup Conservation Group
- W.A. Annual Landcare Award (Corackerup Farming)
- Former member of the Shire of Gnowangerup
Simon Lyas – Acting Director of Regional Development, Secretary
Simon joined the RDA in April 2009, when his chief responsibility was to manage the establishment of the new organisation after its transition from the Great Southern Area Consultative Committee.
Simon brings over 25 years’ experience in corporate, community and government organisations where his skills and experience in business management, product development, community consultation and marketing has served him well. His experience includes working with several State and Commonwealth agencies including the NSW Dept of Environment and Conservation, and various roles in the Commonwealth Dept of Human Services in Canberra and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in North Queensland.
An active member of the Great Southern community Simon also serves on several boards and committees.