SEGRA is back on the 22–25 October 2018

SEGRA - Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia

The SEGRA National Steering Committee


Please click here to view the SEGRA Strategic Plan.


Kate Charters, Director, Management Solutions (Qld) and Founding member of SEGRA

During her career, Kate has held a number of challenging management positions. Kate is currently a Director of Management Solutions (Qld) a professional development and training company with particular focus on public policy issues and their implementation.

Kate has extensive experience in consultation and organizational reviews including:

  • Facilitation of Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority consultation on the Outlook Report
  • School of Human Services Curriculum Review, Queensland University of Technology

With extensive experience at senior levels of government in both service delivery and policy development roles, Kate has a strong interest and understanding of the interaction of government, business, the non-government sector and the community in shaping and responding to public policy agendas.

Kate is the principal author of the annual SEGRA communiqué and is a guest joint editor of the Journal of Economic and Social Policy.

Simon Boughey, Chief Executive Officer, Cherry Growers Australia

Simon is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Cherry Growers Australia.

Simon has worked and had an involvement in community and regional development since 1981. Simon also has a strong interest in environmental issues and has an active involvement in Land care. Simon was the National President of Greening Australia from 2000 to 2003.
Simon in 2010 ran his own consulting company specialising in local, community and regional development projects.
Simon was the Senior Adviser to the Minister for Primary Industries and Water in Tasmania. From 2004-2009 he was the Regional Director of Area Consultative Committee Tasmania.
Previous employment includes:

  • Manager of the Promotion, Communication, Marketing Implementation and Community Partnerships area of Tasmania Together, a community vision and plan for Tasmania out to 2020.
  • Environment Adviser to two Ministers
  • State Landcare Coordinator; and
  • National Landcare Program Coordinator

Simon holds a BA in Geography and Psychology, a Graduate Diploma of Recreation Planning in Natural Resources Management and Graduate Diploma with Honours in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies and is currently and Honorary Associate at University of Tasmania.

A/Prof. Jeremy Buultjens, School of Business, Southern Cross University

Jeremy is an Associate Professor with the School of Business at Southern Cross University. He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Economic and Social Policy. He has taught in a number of units ranging from Economics and Industrial Relations through to Tourism Planning and Indigenous Tourism.

Jeremy's research interests include Indigenous entrepreneurship, regional development and employment relations. His publications have appeared in Tourism Management, Journal of Industrial Relations, International Journal of Employment Studies, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Labour and Industry and the Australasian Journal of Business and Social Enquiry.

Jeremy has conducted numerous consultancies. His clients have included the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office, W.A. Department of Conservation and Land Management, and the Northern Rivers Area Consultative Committee.

Dr. Jen Cleary, Senior Research Development Manager, Centre for Regional Engagement (CRE), University of South Australia

Dr. Jen Cleary is Chair of RDA Far North in South Australia, and a human geographer with the University of SA. Her research interests lie in regional development, rural communities and agriculture. Jen's recent research has focused on community participatory planning and local decision-making in rural and remote communities in Australia. Together with national colleagues, she has also recently completed work on farmer collective bargaining in the agricultural sector and investigated the potential of Geographical Indications of origin as regional development tools.

Jen is recognised for her leadership in regional Australia and holds a number of positions that reflect her knowledge and experience. She currently chairs the Deputy Prime Minister's Regional Australia Reference Group, co-chairs the International Rural Network and is a member of the SEGRA National Steering Committee. Jen also holds an honorary position as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. Jen joined the SEGRA National Steering Committee in 2013. 

Prof. Geoff Cockfield, Professor in Government and Economics, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts, University of Southern Queensland and Founding Member of SEGRA

Geoff has long involvement working in and around rural industries and has extensive experience in undertaking research on rural policy, especially related to agri-environmental policy and management, and regional development.

He has published more than 30 refereed journal articles and 15 book chapters and co-edited three books. Recent research projects include developing systems to incorporate climate information in to natural resources management planning and the values behind conflict over land use in rural areas.

Cr. Rod Macdonald, Portfolio for Knowledge Economy & Education and Major Projects, City of Greater Geelong

Rod Macdonald has been a councillor at the City of Greater Geelong since December 2004. In that time he served a term as Deputy Mayor and has held the Portfolios for Infrastructure Parks and Gardens, Planning and Economic Development. Rod now holds the Portfolios for Knowledge Economy & Education, Major Projects and Veterans Affairs. Rod served in the RAAF for over 12 years and later worked in manufacturing management roles. He is currently self-employed and serves on the boards of several community and charitable institutions. He is a member of the SEGRA National Steering Committee.

Rod serves on the committee of the Australian Smart Communities Association, the steering group of local cluster organisation, ICT Geelong and as member of G21 (Geelong Regional Alliance) Education and Training Pillar. Rod has been heavily involved in the strategic direction of economic development within the City of Greater Geelong and is vitally interested in the transition of the city's economy. In particular, he is working to encourage the growth of technology based employment and programs that develop digital inclusion and capacity across the community. He holds a Bachelor of Business from D.D.I.A.E. (now USQ).

Mayor Damien Ryan, Mayor of Alice Springs and Member, RDA Northern Territory

Damien was elected as Mayor of Alice Springs in March 2008, and then re-elected in March 2012 for a second term.

Damien is passionate about promoting and working for the Alice Springs community. He works tirelessly towards making Alice Springs the best possible place to live, work and visit.

Damien is currently President of the Local Government Association – Northern Territory (LGANT) and Chair of Regional Development Australia – Northern Territory (RDANT). Damien is the Chair of the Central Australian Hospital Network Governing Council, as appointed by the Minister for Health. Damien is involved in many organisations that all work toward the sustainable development and advancement of Alice Springs and the Northern Territory. Some of these include the NT Grants Commission, Outback Highway Development Council as Co-Deputy Chair, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) as a board member, Alice Springs Regional Development Committee, Finke Desert Race as Vice-President, Alice Springs Alcohol Reference Panel, NT Tobacco Control Advisory Committee and Tourism Central Australia.

Cassandra Hughes, Manager Economic and Community Development, Shire of Cranbrook

After a move to the country in 2008, Cassandra was appointed Manager Business Development at the Shire of Cranbrook in WA. She has developed a deep passion for regional development and for the growth of regional economies to support population growth and rural sustainability. Since 2008, Cassandra has worked with local business and the wider regional community on developing the strength of the economy in both Cranbrook and the region. She now holds the position of Manager of Economic and Community Development covering a wide portfolio of activities from business development, art and culture, health and education and strategic economic development.  In 2013, Cassandra was also responsible for the coordination and delivery of the suite of Integrated Planning and Reporting documents and prepared both the Strategic Community Plan, Corporate Business Plan and Community Engagement Strategy for the Shire of Cranbrook leading the community consultation processes and preparing the documents.  

Cassandra has a business management background working across a diverse range of industries and roles. She has been a consultant to small business for 20 years and has written a plethora of strategy, processes and procedural improvement plans.  She owned a food manufacturing business for 6 years employing 10 staff, has worked in mining, hospitality, retail and industrial manufacture.

Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Business, with a double major in Management and Industrial Relations.  She currently holds a number of board and committee positions including,  Gilliamii Centre Inc Committee -  Chair,  SEGRA National Steering Committee, RDA Great Southern Committee, Hidden Treasures Tourism Group Committee, Lower Great Southern Water Reference Group, Lower Great Southern Hockey Association - Membership and Development Director.

A/Prof. Peter Waterman RFD, Adjunct Associate Professor in Environmental Science, University of the Sunshine Coast

Peter is an environmental planner with over 37 years professional experience working for governmental and private sector clients. Professional work has encompassed:

  • strategic and statutory planning
  • intergovernmental relations
  • environmental research (physical, biological, social, economic and cultural); public and environmental health, and
  • natural resource and environmental management

Peter’s formal professional qualifications are in geography, social science, urban planning and environmental management.

Commencing work as an environmental planning consultant in 1970, Peter has carried out a large number of land use planning and environmental impact and risk assessments in all Australian States and Territories as well as overseas. Through this work Peter has become an acknowledged leader in developing integrated and holistic approaches to the environmental management of natural systems, industrial facilities and built infrastructure with a geographic focus on the coastal zone.


SEGRA 2015 local Planning Committee