See the faces behind RDACC
Appointed as Chair of RDACC in January 2021, Lawrie McKinna is a recognised and respected Central Coast figure, previously serving as Mayor of Gosford City, and credited with establishing the region’s first A-League sporting team, the Central Coast Mariners, who he coached to two grand finals, as well as winning a minor premiership and pre-season cup.
Boasting a celebrated sporting career, Lawrie has worked with numerous clubs both in Australia and overseas.
A passionate local resident, Lawrie is experienced in working across all levels of government and industry to achieve positive outcomes, and his campaign to #talkupthecoast is aimed at creating a collective regional identity that we can all be proud of.
Anna Cruckshank has been practising as a lawyer on the Central Coast for over 27 years, and is the Managing Director of Aubrey Brown Lawyers. Anna is an Accredited Specialist Business Lawyer, and works closely with the Central Coast business community and property developers. Anna is also the Secretary of the Urban Institute of NSW (Central Coast) and a director of the Gosford/Erina & Coastal Business Chamber.
Anna has been a proud Central Coast resident for most of her life, having grown up and attended school on the Coast, and is heavily involved in the community. Anna is committed to seeing the Central Coast maximise its opportunities and reach its full potential.
Edgar Adams is the Editor of Central Coast Business Review, which he founded over 30 years ago, and a Director of the Gosford/Erina & Coastal Business Chamber.
Originally an accountant, his career extends over 60 years. During this time, he has owned or managed a number of small and medium-sized businesses in a range of sectors including food processing, manufacturing, transport, tourism and retail.
Edgar has an extensive understanding of the Central Coast region and is a passionate advocate for economic development.
Dr Tamara Bucher is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher of Nutrition Behaviour at the University of Newcastle (UON)’s Central Coast Campus.
She heads Food Science and Human Nutrition, and is the Academic Convenor of the University’s Doctoral Training Centre in Food and Agribusiness. She holds a Doctorate in Consumer Behavior (PhD 2013) and has degrees in Biology and Human Nutrition.
Working and studying in Switzerland and Australia, Tamara’s combination of natural science and social science research skills have enabled her to develop and lead a successful nutrition and consumer behavior research program at UoN.
Her research focuses on creating healthy and sustainable food environments and products, and improving nutrition education. To achieve this, she works with various stakeholders including local food industries, organisations, schools, and community groups.
Joe Coyte is Executive Director at The Glen Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre, following many years as its CEO.
During this time, Joe was responsible for implementing a continuous improvement approach to review and restructure The Glen’s programs and services to improve operational efficiency and exceed national accreditation standards. In 2015, The Glen set a national record for the number of exceeded standards achieved.
Joe is a strong advocate of good governance. He has previously held governance positions with organisations including the Hunter Valley Financial Counselling Project, NSW Drug and Alcohol Services (NADA), Primary Health Network and the Central Coast Community Advisory Committee.
He currently sits on:
• Aboriginal Community Controlled Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centres peak body (ADARRN)
• NSW Premiers Homelessness Committee; and the
• Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, advising Federal Health Minister Hunt since January 2021.
Throughout his notable career, Mike Dowling has held a number of senior leadership, management and director positions. His experience in the property development sector includes the management and growth of property portfolios spanning the retail, commercial, residential and industrial property private and public sectors in both Australia, South East Asia and the USA.
A qualified Civil Engineer, teacher and former General Manager in the local government sector, Stephen Glen has held various positions across the Central Coast and Hunter region.
As General Manager of Cessnock City Council for 6 years, Stephen restructured the organisation to become a customer-focused council, following various roles at the former Gosford City Council (now Central Coast Council), as acting General Manager, Director of Infrastructure Services, Director of Works, and Director of Engineering Services.
Stephen has served as a board member on various boards and committees, including as Chairman of the Strategic Services Australia Ltd Board. He is currently Deputy Chair of Coastlink, the Central Coast’s leading disability and aged care provider.
Stephen has a strong and supportive community focus, in particular supporting and growing a strong regional economy for the Central Coast.
Kerry Harman is an entrepreneur, consultant and founder of successful Central Coast institution, H & H Catering.
From humble beginnings in 1995 as a small outlet in Gosford, H&H has grown to become a hospitality leader on the Central Coast and in the Hunter Valley for more than 25 years, catering for more than 1000 functions and employing over 100 local staff.
With a Business Degree and 25 years’ experience in the food service industry including functions, cafes, food service management, purchasing, sales and menu design, Kerry now consults to help other businesses in the hospitality industry.
Matt Kelly is the Head of Regional Operations – North, for Healthe Care Australia. On the Central Coast this includes Brisbane Waters Private, Gosford Private and Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospitals.
Matt has been instrumental in overseeing over $120M in health developments on the Coast. These include: a $38M Cancer Centre at Gosford Hospital, the $10M Gosford Heart Centre, a $35M expansion of Gosford Private Hospital and the $32M new Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital in Kanwal.
In 2019, Matt was named Central Coast Regional Business Leader of the Year and the NSW Business Leader of the Year by the NSW Business Chamber. Matt has also been named an Outstanding Employee for Luye Medical, an organisation of more than 7,000 employees.
Matt started his career in health as a registered nurse working in Newcastle and the UK. On returning to Australia, Matt worked in Intensive Care Units across Sydney, in both clinical and management roles, before moving into executive roles in the public and private sectors.
Dr Clare Keogh, a Central Coast resident for more than 25 years, has worked in several leadership positions, both in corporate and not-for-profit organisations. Her management skills are backed up by a PhD (Management), and reinforced by years of sound negotiating experience and a proven ability to build multi-million-dollar businesses.
Clare’s PhD research explored how NSW regional tourism operators meet the challenges of engaging with varied and diverse stakeholders and Clare is committed to ensuring people on the Central Coast can be involved in a sustainable tourism environment that supports our community.
Clare worked as Australian General Manager for the multinational Philips Electronics and as National Merchandise Manager for Woolworths. Most recently co-owned a tourism business comprising of six properties on the Central Coast, Hunter Valley and France.
Clare was formerly Chair of Bed & Breakfast and Farmstay Assoc. NSW-ACT, (a not-for-profit industry body) and also of RESULTS Australia, (a not-for-profit organisation committed to eradicating hunger and poverty) and was a committee member of Tourism NSW’s Tourism Reference Group.
Chris King has a long theatrical and television career spanning over 45 professional years, starring and appearing in over 35 television series, numerous films, theatrical productions and events.
He has been an established public figure in the Central Coast Arts & Culture community for over 30 years, running a talent school for young performers and managing his successful events and entertainment businesses.
Chris has previously chaired the Central Coast Event Alliance and was formerly Gosford City Council;s Arts and Entertainment Manager.
He is currently a Director of Mingara Recreation Club and has been an RDACC Committee member since its inception in 2009.
Ron is regarded as a successful and highly respected franchisee of one of the world’s most iconic brands, McDonalds. Employing over 1300 locals of diverse backgrounds, he has been award-recognised for both youth and disability employment.
Ron has been an ardent supporter of Ronald McDonald house charities state-wide and was a driving force behind the construction and development of the Ronald McDonald House Family Room in Gosford Hospital. Being a local and a staunch advocate of small business, Ron displays a passion for the growth and prosperity of the Central Coast region and works to ensure residents have access to the same opportunities that exist in Australia's larger economic centres.
Frank Sammut is the Executive Officer of Central Coast Industry Connect, a not-for-profit organisation representing manufacturing and related industry sectors on the Central Coast.
With an impressive management and leadership career in the food manufacturing and engineering industries, Frank is a valued advisor and consultant to our region’s business and government sectors.
Frank has been part of many boards and committees and is currently a partner in the Central Coast Food Innovation Region Initiative that is being delivered by RDACC, Central Coast Industry Connect and the University of Newcastle.
Chris Smith is the sitting Deputy Chair of the Urban Development Institute of Australia – Central Coast Chapter, Senior Town Planner and Project Development Manager.
Chris has worked directly with many of the Coast’s major land owners including our local Aboriginal Land Council to find innovative solutions to overcome substantial impediments to local land developments.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
John has formal qualifications in business administration and management and has over 20 years senior management experience including most recently, 10 years at Gosford City Council in the positions of Manager Customer Services & Communications, Manager Arts, Heritage & Culture and Council’s Executive Officer.
John has lived on the Central Coast for the past 18 years and has been actively involved with the local business, arts and sports communities.
DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL PROJECTS, FUNDING & RESEARCH
Christine is the Director of Regional Projects, Funding & Research for Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC). In this role, she supports sustainable economic growth and expands future employment opportunities.
Previously, Christine initiated the Central Coast Economic Taskforce, chaired the Central Coast Visitor Economy Working Group, collaborated to launch the Central Coast Bigger Backyard initiative to contribute an anticipated $91M to the regional economy, and facilitated an inaugural Virtual Trade Expo, connecting over 80 local businesses to trade during last year’s COVID-19 lockdown.
An active community contributor, Christine finds real, out-of-the-box solutions to grow regional pride and prosperity.
Elizabeth joined RDACC at the inception in July 2009. Previously being with the State regional organisation, Business Central Coast.
She has over 20 years experience in administration and co-ordination roles with qualifications in management, administration and accounting.
Elizabeth has been a resident on the Central Coast for over 40 years.