29 January 2021

Yass Mayor Rowena Abbey takes the reins at Regional Development Australia Southern Inland

| Sharon Kelley
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Yass Valley Council Mayor Rowena Abbey.

Yass Valley Council Mayor Rowena Abbey is the new Chair of Regional Development Australia Southern Inland. Photo: Supplied.

Federal Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino has announced the appointment of Yass Valley Council Mayor Rowena Abbey as the new chair of Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDASI) until 30 June, 2025.

“Ms Abbey will lead RDASI under a refreshed charter that focuses their role on driving investment and local procurement opportunities, and through this creating jobs and economic growth for our regions,” said Ms Marino.

“I look forward to working with Ms Abbey and the RDASI members and staff during the coming years, and encourage the community to reach out to their RDA to discuss how it can help business succeed.”

Ms Abbey is looking forward to her new role.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the RDASI board and team, to drive opportunities for development across our whole region,” she said.

Ms Abbey takes over from fellow Yass local Hugh Cooke, who served for three years as RDASI’s chair. She thanked Mr Cooke for his leadership and dedication during his role and hopes to build on his successes.

Mr Cooke described his role as chair as a privilege, and welcomed Ms Abbey as the new chair.

“There are always challenges for each new chair and the next chapter with Rowena Abbey is no different,” he said.

“RDASI is in very good hands with Rowena, who has the experience and competence to oversee the growth of jobs and investment in our Southern Inland communities.

Rowena Abbey with RDASI board and staff.

The RDASI board and staff with Rowena Abbey (third from right) in 2020. Photo: Supplied.

“It has been rewarding under my leadership to see the uptake of RDASI recognition from the excellent work being done by a new CEO and revitalised team. We have worked hard to lobby government on their actions to help the businesses and initiatives of Southern Inland prosper.”

The 52 RDA committees across Australia have recently received confirmation of funding from the Federal Government for a further four-and-a-half years.

RDASI CEO Carisa Wells said she is looking forward to working closely with Ms Abbey during her tenure, under the updated RDA charter.

“I wish to extend my congratulations to Rowena on her appointment,” she said. “I look forward to working with Rowena and the rest of our committee to continue to be a lead advocate and promoter of growth for our region.”

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