RDA Eyre Peninsula Board Members

The Board of Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula (RDAEP) is comprised of high-profile local people representing business, industry, education, local government, finance, natural resources and the community, with members selected for experience and relevant skills.

Bryan Trigg AFSM JP (Chair)

Mr Bryan Trigg commenced as a Board Member of Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula in March 2012. Bryan was Deputy Chair for one short term, while the late Mayor Jim Pollick was Chair. Bryan was appointed Chair in late 2016 is currently the appointed Chair of Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula. Bryan is an Elected Member of the District Council of Cleve and is the current SA CFS Group Officer for the Eastern Eyre Group and the Eyre Peninsula representative on the CFS COAC State committee. Bryan holds Life Memberships for multiple organisations including the Eastern Eyre Football league for which he has been a long time delegate and President. Bryan’s work with the league has been recognised in being granted Merit awards by both the SANFL and the AFL.

Bryan is currently Managing Director of two local companies and has been a National Director for Rural Co, an Australia wide Rural Merchandise Company. In 1998, Bryan was awarded the National Member of the Year for all of Australia, as the Business based in Cleve on Eyre Peninsula was judged to be the best in Australia. At present Bryan is a retired small business owner and has lived and worked in Cleve since 1973 and previous to that he lived in Cummins. Bryan was awarded by the Federal Australian Government the Australian Fire Service Medal and invested at Government house in Adelaide. He has also been reappointed as Justice of the Peace by the South Australian Government.

Malcolm Catt (Deputy Chair)

Mr Malcolm Catt was a Member of the previous Eyre Regional Development Board for four years and Executive Member and Deputy Chair of the Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula Board since its formation by amalgamation with the Whyalla Economic Development Board in 2009. Malcolm is also Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula and a member of the Executive.

He has lived in Port Lincoln since 1977 and was a Councillor of the City of Port Lincoln from 2001 until 2014.

Malcolm is currently Chief Pilot of Lincoln Air Charter (1997 to present) and a Graduate of Adelaide University (Science) and SAIT (Business Administration). He has formerly worked as a Research and Consultant Agronomist and was Chief Pilot/Owner of Lincoln Airlines (1987-1997).

Heather Baldock (Executive Member)

Heather Baldock joined the Board in early 2016, is currently on the Board’s Executive, and is chair of the Board’s EP Ag Advisory Group. Heather held the role of Presiding Member of the EP NRM Board from 2011-2015 and is a past member of the SA Advisory Board of Agriculture where she represented Eastern Eyre for six years and held positions of State Treasurer and Vice Chair. She has also served on other regional, state and national bodies linked to rural communities and agriculture and in 2011 represented Australian farmers at the Global Farmer Roundtable Discussions and World Food Prize Events in Iowa, USA.

Heather has farmed with her husband in the Kimba District for over 40 years and is heavily involved in local community development and tourism. Heather holds a Diploma in the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, and a Cert 4 in Tourism Sales & Marketing. In 2006 Heather was awarded the SA Rural Women’s Award.

Tom Antonio (Board Member)

Mr Tom Antonio was appointed on the Board in 2018.  Tom is married with 4 children and has 4 grandchildren, who are all well entrenched and living in Whyalla, with three generations having worked/still working at the steelworks.  He himself, is a founding Co-Director of Electrical Discounters which has been in operation since 1980 and is now the largest electrical retailer in regional South Australia.  Tom’s companies have invested heavily across four major regional towns and have won numerous national awards, including the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, in addition to being inducted into the Hall of Fame as Whyalla’s inaugural business icon.

With the community at heart, Tom has served on the Whyalla City Council for 12 years (6 years as Deputy Mayor and 1 year as Acting Mayor); been a member of the Whyalla Hospital Board and later on the Health Advisory Council Board.  Tom played a critical part and has been highly commended in assisting the administrators Korda Mentha in the successful voluntary administration process associated with Arrium, which resulted in a positive outcome for the employees and the City of Whyalla.  His passion and commitment for the entire region is welcomed by the Board, along with his willingness to look at all options regarding its growth and prosperity into the future.

Sue Chase AM (Board Member)

Sue Chase was appointed to the RDAEP Board in May 2020. Sue is the recently retired owner and Managing Director of Cowell Electric Supply. She sold to another well-respected regional business, The Ahrens Group in 2018 after 40 years with the business and 17 years as the major shareholder. During that time, Cowell Electric, based at Cowell on Eyre Peninsula, grew to over 100 employees with turnover exceeding $30M, with branches in Olympic Dam, Adelaide and Umuwa in the APY Lands.

Sue has lived almost all her life at Cowell. She is passionate about regional and remote areas of Australia and this is where Cowell Electric has specialised to provide its expertise in power generation, transmission and retailing, construction of powerlines and provision of ad-hoc mining services, principally for the mining, oil and gas industries, renewable energy sector and remote townships and Aboriginal communities in outback South Australia.

Whilst Sue is planning to spend more time with her family following her retirement from Cowell Electric, and to spend some time travelling, she remains on several boards and committees which she hopes will keep her “grey matter” working whilst also contributing to the broader community. Sue has a solid understanding of and experience in business management, strategy development, corporate governance and financial management.

During her working life, Sue has won several awards and scholarships, including a 2003 Churchill Fellowship, 2009 Telstra South Australian Business Woman of the Year Award and 2014 AICD Mastering the Boardroom Scholarship. Cowell Electric has won several awards, including the 2018 Brand South Australia Regional Showcase Business Award and 2011 Telstra Regional SA Business Award. Sue is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Neville Starke (Board Member)

Mr Neville Starke commenced as a Board Member of Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula in May 2020. Neville was an Elected Member of the Port Lincoln City Council for 12 years (2006-2018) including nearly 10 years as Deputy Mayor. During this time he chaired many sub committees including Bushfire Prevention, Marina Maintenance, Centrex Community Consultation Committee and was a member of the Audit Committee and CEO selection and review committee. He was also a proxy and then delegate to the EPLGA on behalf of Council.

Neville is also a practicing Justice of the Peace.

Neville completed his schooling at Cummins Area School and farmed in the Cummins area for 50 years at first with his father, then in his own right and still has an interest in land there. He has served on the Cummins Hospital Board for 14 years between 1978 and 1995 including two years as Chairman. During this time, there was difficulty obtaining a Doctor and the Board had to fight very hard to keep the Hospital. He has held leadership positions in Agriculture Bureau, Silo Committee, Rural Youth, football, basketball and table tennis clubs in and around Cummins.

Neville is now retired and hopes to do some volunteer Red Cross driving and continue serving the community in some way

Allan Suter OAM (Board Member)

Mr Allan Suter was a Board Member of the former Eyre Regional Development Board from 2007 until 2009 and has continued as a Board Member of RDAWEP since the amalgamation in 2010 and now RDAEP.  Allan is a former Mayor of the District Council of Ceduna, and was an Elected Member for 15 years.

He has lived in Ceduna since 1979 and is a retired business operator. Allan has held various other Board memberships in the motel chain, fishing industries and in other business interests. In 2018, Allan was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) honours. In common with all members of the Board, he is passionate about the future of this lovely region.

Jack Velthuizen (Board Member)

Mr Jack Velthuizen has been a Board member since 2010. He was Deputy Chair of the previous Flinders Region Area Consultative Committee before being amalgamated with the functions of RDA. Jack has been an Elected Member of the Whyalla City Council since 2000 and is now Retired Senior Educational Manager for the Manufacturing, Engineering and Transport Program with TAFE SA Regional and represented our region on various State committees.

Jack has lived in Whyalla since 1960 when he arrived with his family from Holland and his father obtained work with BHP. Before commencing with TAFE, Jack worked at BHP as a Boilermaker apprentice and spent 10 years as a draftsman in the Shipyard drawing office.

Juanita Walker (Board Member)

Mrs Walker joined the Board in May 2020. Juanita is the Chief Executive Officer at Kindred Living in Whyalla and has over forty years’ experience working in the Health & Aged Care industries in rural and remote communities across South Australia.

Juanita serves on a number of local, regional and state committees including the SA Aged & Community Services Divisional Council, South Australian Training and Skills Commission and is currently the Chair of South Australian Industry Skills Council Health, Disability, Aged Care, and Community Services.

Juanita is from a farming family in the South East of SA but has lived in Whyalla for the last thirty five years.  Originally starting her career in the horticulture and floriculture industries, Juanita went on to  develop a diverse and rewarding career in the Health and Aged Care sectors which later resulted in her being named Whyalla Business Women of the year for 2012/2013.

Juanita is passionate about creating opportunities for economic diversification that support rural and remote communities to grow and prosper.