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Members announced for new South Gippsland Advisory Groups

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council would like to congratulate the newly appointed members of the Economic Development Strategy Advisory Group (EDSAG) and the Visitor Economy Strategy Advisory Group (VESAG). These recently formed groups will support the development and implementation of Council’s Economic Development and Visitor Economy strategies and members have been chosen for their high level of specialist skills, knowledge and expertise.

South Gippsland Shire’s Chair Administrator Julie Eisenbise is pleased with the diverse skills of the selected representatives.

“We were very fortunate to have a large number of people interested in joining both strategic advisory groups. The field was very competitive and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply. 

“We have selected representatives from a broad cross-section of industries with a unique set of backgrounds and experiences. We are confident that they will do a wonderful job helping to create foundation documents that will help drive further investment, visitation and economic growth for South Gippsland,” Ms Eisenbise said. 

The successful members of the Economic Development Strategy Advisory Group are:

Ian Munro: Ian is one of the most experienced and well-known Economic Development professionals in the state. He headed the Victorian Government’s Investment Facilitation function for almost 20 years and he was awarded the Public Service Medal for his service to Victoria. Ian is a former Deputy Secretary and CEO of Invest Assist for the Victorian Government.

Jenny O’Sullivan: Jenny has extensive experience in agricultural and grazing industries, and natural resource management. She is a member of the Cattle Council of Australia, a member of the Australian Beef Sustainability Steering Group, and has had extensive board experience. 

Nicola Pero: Nicola is the current CEO of Food and Fibre Gippsland and has a strong background in events management. Nicola was previously CEO of Lardner Park and was Senior Manager at Isaac Regional Council in Queensland in Strategic and Commercial Outcomes.

Stephen Sully: Stephen is one of the leading practitioners in main street development in Victoria and is currently the secretary of Mainstreet Australia. Stephen has specific skills in urban planning, economic development, urban advocacy, investment and development attraction, and place management.

Leigh Kennedy: Leigh is the Head of Campus at Federation University in Churchill and is a board member of the Committee for Gippsland. She was previously the Gippsland Director for Regional Development Victoria and has nearly 20 years in international leadership experience spanning five continents. 

Scott McArdle: Scott brings extensive experience in Agriculture, Waste, Energy, and Emergency Management and Recovery. He has previously held positions as Senior Program Officer Economic Development Energy and Waste at the Latrobe Valley Authority, and has been the Regional Leader South East for Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Area.

Stewart Carson: Stewart is the CEO of Burra Foods, one of South Gippsland’s largest businesses. He has over 20 years of management experience in the dairy industry in a range of major companies with expertise in operations, supply chain and technical matters. He has wide experience in strategy, planning and marketing.

The successful members of the Visitor Economy Strategy Advisory Group are:

Dr. Gabby Walters: Gabby holds a PhD in tourist psychology and tourism marketing, and is an expert in tourist profiling and effective destination promotion. A specialist in disaster recovery, Gabby’s 30 years of experience in the industry affords her a broad understanding of tourism on an international, state, regional and local level.

Renae Hanvin: Renae has a strong marketing and strategic planning background. She has over 10 years of experience in disaster recovery with a strong focus on disaster resilience in small businesses and communities. 

Angela Moseley: Angela operates Australian Cycling Holidays and her business also builds app-based navigation for cyclists and hikers. Angela has an extensive knowledge of the broader international and domestic market, and a thorough understanding of the region’s visitor profiles.

Andrew Davies: Andrew has over 30 years of experience in park management, regional tourism, commercial management, and joint management with Aboriginal traditional owners in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Rhett McLaren: Rhett has extensive experience in the music and events industry. Rhett operates South Gippsland’s largest commercial event and has strong industry networks. He has a thorough knowledge of the region.

Greg Harrison: Greg has extensive experience in strategic and infrastructure planning, and economic development. Greg is currently working to assist the Department of Transport (DoT) in the planning and procurement of COVID-19 response initiatives. Greg is board member of Destination Phillip Island and has experience in investment attraction and industry development.

Bridget Crowe: Bridget has strong connections with regional arts networks and extensive experience in strategic and regional planning. Bridget has owned and managed tourism businesses which include accommodation and food, and has a strong understanding of the visitor market and consumer expectations.The spokesperson for both groups will be Bryan Sword, Director Economic and Community Development until such time that a Chair for both groups is selected.

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