Fresh faces to help drive economic growth for Central West

Regional Development Australia Central West have announced its new Committee members with Phil Dodds of Phocas Group stepping away after his highly valued contribution to the organisation.

Joining the Committee are Ricky Puata, Deputy Director, Regional Coordination & Delivery for the Department of Regional NSW; Owen Williams Director at ASIR Pty Ltd; Eleanor Falkiner non-executive Director of Haddon Rig and co-owner of Boridgeree; Therese Herbert of Gundamain Pastoral Co and Joshua Devitt, Chief Engineer – IPWEA NSW & ACT.

RDA Central West Chair Ruth Fagan said the five new appointments will add important new perspectives, insight, and expertise to the five Committee members continuing for another term.

“We are really excited to welcome new experience to our committee, with five new forward-thinking board members with a diverse range of skills and interests to drive the economic growth of the Central West region,” said Ms. Fagan.

“These members have expertise in areas such as agriculture, government, engineering and technology, and will add to the experienced committee members who have continued in their roles.”

Owen Williams, who has held roles as project director for a vast range of national companies, said he has a keen interest in providing support to practical initiatives that advance the region as a centre of excellence.

“I am delighted to have joined RDA and look forward to contributing to RDA’s work in development of the Central West region of NSW,” said Mr. Williams.

“I am keen to support individuals and organisations across all sectors, my experience lends itself to assisting in education, health, minerals extraction, and tourism/hospitality. I am especially keen to see new industries and technology businesses developing in our region that are not dependent upon capital city location.”

Committee members continuing for another term are Chair Ruth Fagan, Deputy Chair Reg Kidd, and members Dave Sherley, Christine Weston, Tracie Robertson, Diana Fear and Rich Evans.

RDA Central West Director Josh Gordon said the 2024 Committee is a strong representation of expertise across industries and Central West local government areas (LGAs).

“Our first Board meeting for 2024 was held this week in Blayney, and I am so excited to welcome such a diverse range of ideas and perspectives to help govern priorities and drive new projects for our organisation,” said Mr. Gordon.

Regional Development Australia Central West is a not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with governments, local communities and other stakeholders to develop initiatives that enable the Central West region to grow sustainably.

The organisation is overseen by a committee of dedicated local leaders who possess a wide cross section of professional expertise, skills and experience. RDA Central West is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, and is an Australian Government initiative. Read more about their Strategic Framework for Regional Development Priorities 2021-2024 on their website –