Chief Executive Officer,
Australia Tropical North (RDATS)
1. Over the years what is the one thing you have come to appreciate about the city of Cairns?
The people. It was people that brought me back to Cairns in 2015. My friends here are “the family I choose”. There’s a real sense of community in Cairns which has never been more evident than it is right now, and there’s a resilience that is unique to our town. I am extremely proud of the way our city has come together.
2. The region has experienced many tough times throughout the years, but none quite like we are experiencing now. What is one message you would like to give to the people of Cairns at this uncertain time?
We will get through this. Far North Queensland has the opportunity to come out of this crisis in a better position than how we went in. Our governments are listening and there is funding available. Now is our chance to look at what we want for our region, our businesses and our families. It’s time to reshape our vision and to think outside the box. I believe we have a bright future ahead.
3. Leaders like yourself have united to fight for the region in what are unprecedented times – what role are you and your organisation playing in all of this?
RDA Tropical North has been advocating for our region since 2009. We represent a vast area from Cardwell to Papua New Guinea and from the east coast, west through to Croydon. With our strong stakeholder relations locally and regionally and working with our colleagues across Northern Australia and around the nation, RDA is working hard to provide concise, real-time facts, data and projections directly to our ministers in Canberra on a weekly basis. Myself and the RDA Tropical North Board, drawn from leaders and experts from across the region, have a clear focus to not only see FNQ through this crisis, but to ensure we leverage every opportunity to strengthen and grow our economy through the development of appropriate infrastructure and industry.
4. While there are many negatives about the current situation, we all find ourselves in – what is one thing you are looking forward to doing while in isolation?
While I will miss my loved ones, it will be nice to just stop for a while. This is a rare chance to take stock and spend some quality time at home. Also, my parents have just discovered Zoom, so I am guessing there will be many family “meetings” ahead!