RDA Great Southern WA 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 commenced as the Executive Manager Strategic Development at the Shire of Plantagenet in February 2019. He previously was the Executive Manager of Property & Assets for the Shire of Katanning. In this role he looked 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 has been extended and expires on 30 June 2025.


Sue Bennett-Ng, Deputy ChairSue Bennett-Ng


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.


Ian Alexander

Ian Alexander


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.


Delma Baesjou


Delma Baesjou is a Director with Ayton Baesjou Planning in Albany and has more than 30 years' experience in town planning practice. She has extensive experience working in local government in rural and regional WA and has held a number of executive roles managing multi-disciplinary teams. 


In addition to her government and business experience Delma has contributed to numerous community organisations including Southern Edge Arts and has a particular interest in aboriginal arts and culture.


Delma was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 and her term expires on 30 June 2021.


Jan DavidsonJan Davidson


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


John Gates

John Gates is the recently retired 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.


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.


Darryl Hockey


Darryl Hockey has an extensive career in the mining and resources sector and has returned to the Great Southern transitioning to retirement.  He has many leadership and achievement awards for his community work including as a past WA Citizen of the Year and a centenary Medal.


Darryl has held senior executive roles in major infrastructure and multinational companies and brings a high level and broad corporate perspective to the Committee.  He has worked in State Government in Southern Australia and is focussed on achieving outcomes in his business and community initiatives.  Darryl is enthusiastic about the Great Southern region and looks forward to using his extensive work and community networks to advance the region for positive growth.


Darryl was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 and his term expires on 30 June 2021.


Graeme JonesGraeme Jones


Graeme Jones has lived and worked in the Great Southern most of his life and has been a successful farmer and grazier in the northern part of the region.  His extensive agribusiness experience includes establishing pastoral companies and trading businesses in regional towns where he has provided strong advocacy for farmers and producers across many industry sectors.


Graeme has worked extensively on agricultural research for both State and Federal Governments and has been awarded on numerous occasions for his industry contributions.  His diverse rural interests have seen him involved in rural counselling, fire management, natural resource management, landcare and conservation and fund raising for countless community projects.  Graeme has strong leadership experience and has been involved in many community organisations at Board level throughout his career and family life.


Graeme was appointed to the RDA Great Southern WA Committee on 1 July 2018 and his term expires on 30 June 2021.

Bruce ManningBruce Manning

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.

Simon Lyas – 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.