SEGRA is back on the 22–25 October 2018
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Upper Spencer Gulf, South Australia
24–27 October 2017


SEGRA National Steering Committee

View the SEGRA Strategic Plan

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Kate Charters AGIA, ACIS

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

Kate is a Director of Management Solutions (Qld), a professional development and training company with particular focus on regional public policy issues and their implementation. She is a founding member of Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia, (SEGRA), recognised as the most credible independent voice on issues affecting regional Australia.

Kate is the principal author of the annual SEGRA communiqué “Speaking up for Regional Australia“and co-editor of "Regional Advantage and Innovation: achieving Australia 's national outcomes,"Springer, Germany; Kinnear, S. Charters, K. Vitartas, P (Eds.) 2013.

Kate has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Institute of Land Water and Society, Charles Sturt University.

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.

Regional Development and Public Policy Expertise

Kate's expertise in regional development and public policy is evidenced by opportunities to deliver presentations at national events with high standing delegates, these include:

  • addressed Senior Federal Public Servants across multiple departments regarding key issues affecting regional Australia as a respondent to a presentation by head of OECD Regional Development Policy Division, Dr. Joaquim Olivera Martins. 2017 (
  • opening address at the Heart 2020 Highfields briefing session that included the elected representatives for each of the Federal, State and local electorates associated with the region. (2017)
  • Keynote Speaker at the Etheridge Shire Council Regional Economic Development Forum. Senator Matt Canavan opened the forum (2016)
  • opening address on Regional Australia and Public Policy at the RDA South West and Darling Downs 2016
  • speaker at the RDA National Forum Canberra (2015)
  • Keynote speaker at the Regional Economic Development Forum (WA) on advocacy in regional Australia (2014)
  • address the national EIDOS ( conference as a speaker on Dynamic Capabilities in Regional Australia (2011)
  • address the national EIDOS conference (2012) on the outcomes of the National Regional Summit which Kate chaired in 2009.

Visit the following link to view Kate's CV:

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Simon Boughey

Consultant, Boughey and Associates

Simon was the Chief Executive Officer for Cherry Growers Australia until June 2016 and is now consulting. He 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 an Honorary Associate at University of Tasmania.

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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.

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Dr. Jen Cleary

Centre for Global Food and Resources, University of Adelaide and Chair, RDA Far North SA

Dr. Jen Cleary is currently Chair of RDA Far North in South Australia, and holds an honorary position as Associate Professor in the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide.She is the CEO of Centacare Catholic Country SA, a social services agency providing services across regional, rural and remote South Australia.

Jen is recognised for her leadership in regional Australia and joined the SEGRA National Steering Committee in 2013.

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Cassandra Hughes

Regional Manager, St John Ambulance, Great Southern

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.

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Rod Macdonald

Partner, Community Broadband Networks

Rod is a Partner at Community Broadband Networks, based in Geelong. Over the past decade Rod has been interested in innovation and the application of new technology and has worked to assist the establishment of new industries within the Geelong region. In particular, he is working to encourage the growth of technology based employment, digital inclusion and digital literacy, across the community. He holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Southern Queensland.

Rod served as a councillor at the City of Greater Geelong from 2004 - 2016. In that time he served a term as Deputy Mayor and has held a range of Portfolios including - Planning, Economic Development, Knowledge Economy & Education, Major Projects and Veterans Affairs. Rod served in the RAAF for over 12 years and after completion of his military service worked in manufacturing management within the Geelong region. Rod was the City of Greater Geelong representative on the board of the Australian Smart Communities Association for 5 years and a member of local cluster organisation, ICT Geelong.

Rod has been a member of the SEGRA National Steering Committee since January 2011.

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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.

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2017 Local Planning Committee

  • Ann Barclay, Primary Industries and Regions SA
  • Anita Crisp, Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group
  • Andrew Christiansen, Regions SA
  • John Banks, Port Augusta City Council
  • Brooke Mundy, Port Augusta City Council
  • Craig Dearlove, Port Augusta City Council
  • Glen Christie, Port Pirie Regional Council
  • Genevieve Pontikinas, Port Pirie Regional Council
  • Migelle Hiscock, Whyalla City Council
  • Andre Stuyt, Whyalla City Council
  • Liz McNeill, Whyalla City Council
  • Claire Wiseman, Regional Development Australia Far North
  • Ben Boothby, Regional Development Australia Far North
  • Dion Dorward, Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula
  • Jade Ballantine, Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula
  • Besemina Abdic, Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula
  • Kelly-Anne Saffin, Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North
  • Carly Archer, Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North
  • Amanda Redden, Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North
  • Paul Havelberg, University of South Australia, Whyalla Campus
  • Emily Chatfield, University of South Australia, Whyalla Campus
  • Tracey Watson, University of South Australia, Whyalla Campus
  • Lisa Pearson, Pure Outback