Our Committee

Our Committee

The RDA NT Committee is made up of residents of the NT who have relevant experience and demonstrated networks.

Membership is drawn from across the region and members come from a variety of backgrounds to ensure the best possible understanding of the regions’ opportunities and challenges.

Steve Edgington

Steve is the Mayor of Barkly Regional Council.  He moved to the Territory in 1988 to join the NT Police Force and has worked in a variety of government roles.  From 2011 to 2017 Steve held the NT Government position of Regional Executive Director Barkly.

Steve is actively involved with the Barkly community, including participation on the Tennant Creek Regional Economic Development Committee since 2013 and contributions to the Battery Hill Mining Centre, the Tennant Creek Foundation and the Barkly Australian Football League.  He has also been instrumental in establishing the Tennant Creek Community Safety Committee and he represents LGANT on the Local Government Safe Cities Network.

Steve was admitted to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory as a Legal Practitioner in 2017.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Member of the Law Society NT.

Drew Wagner
Deputy Chair

Drew has been the Executive Director of the Minerals Council of Australia Northern Territory Division since September 2012, when he moved to the Territory with his family from Queensland.  The Minerals Council of Australia is the peak industry body for Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry.   The NT Division represents the Territory’s minerals sector and aims to advance this industries contribution to sustainable regional development.

Drew was previously in a similar role in AgForce, an agricultural sector peak organisation in Queensland.  He has an extensive background, spanning over fifteen years, in industry representation across rural and regional Australia.  Drew has worked in both the public and private sector, his focus has always been sustainability coupled with economic growth.  Drew is also a member of Greening Australia’s NT Advisory Committee.

Chris Young
Treasurer / Public Officer / Secretary

Chris began his role as Commercial Manager with Northline Freight in Darwin in 2014.  He was previously the Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce from 2006 to 2012.

Prior to this Chris worked with a number of major companies including SABCO Limited, Amoco Australia Petroleum, Bird Cameron Chartered Accountants, AWA Limited, GEC Marconi Systems and Darwin based Perkins Shipping Pty Ltd.  Chris’ primary focus has been within the areas of business systems, financial management and corporate governance in diverse and varying roles including Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary. Chris holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Macquarie University and is a CPA.  He is also a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.

Chris has served on a number of NT and Federal Government bodies, including the Defence Reserve Support Council, the Festival of Darwin Committee, the Northern Territory Cricket Association and the Darwin Military Museum Board.

Mike Reed AM

Vin Lange

Originally from South Australia, Vin has been involved in agribusiness for thirty years working in agricultural supplies and technology transfer to broad-acre agriculture, horticulture and pastoralism, along with operational management in broad-acre agriculture and horticulture, viticulture and wine-making.  Vin comes from a strong agribusiness and business development background.  He has successfully created and run small, medium and large businesses in Australia and Europe.

Vin’s enduring support for and experience with traditional remote Aboriginal people gives him an understanding and skills that are utilised daily at Centrefarm Aboriginal Horticulture Ltd.  He was a Centrefarm Director prior to entering the management team and his subsequent appointment as CEO.  He has been instrumental in developing Centrefarm to the organisation it is today.  Centrefarm is an Aboriginal-owned commercial economic development entity and the peak body for the development of viable economies on Aboriginal land in the NT.  Centrefarm works across a wide range of industries whilst retaining a significant focus on primary industry.

Damien Ryan

Damien was born in Alice Springs. He commenced his business career in 1972 working at the Alice Springs Camera Shop which he purchased in 1974. Damien was elected Mayor of Alice Springs in 2008. He is also currently the President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory and a Board Member of the Australian Local Government Association. He was previously the Chair of RDA NT for six years.

Aside from his above roles, Damien is;

  • A Northern Territory Grants Commissioner
  • Member of the Alice Springs Regional Economic Development Committee
  • Masters Games Advisory Committee Member
  • Local Government Representative Northern Territory Heritage Council
  • Chair of the Alice Springs Alcohol Reference Group
  • Co-Chair of the Outback Way Development Council

Damien is also a life member of the Finke Desert Race, Patron of Squash NT, Patron of Holyoake Alice Springs Inc. amongst many other current and previous community roles.

Denise Fincham

Denise Fincham

Denise is a long-term resident of Nhulunbuy. She founded an East Arnhem building supplies company, Gorrkbuy Industrial Supplies Pty Ltd, which she owned and managed from 1983 to 2008. An advocate for community led regional development, Denise was the inaugural President of the East Arnhem Business Development Association, represented the region on the NT Area Consultative Committee, and is currently a member of the East Arnhem Regional Economic Development Committee.

For over thirty years Denise has worked with Aboriginal organisations, assisting in the development of economic opportunities. During her association with the Rirratjingu Denise established relationships which, along with her business experience, led to her becoming a Director of both Bunuwal Investments and Bunuwal Fuel Pty Ltd.

Denise has been a Director of a number of companies throughout the Northern Territory, including the Territory Insurance Office between 2001 and 2010. She has also served on numerous sporting and community organisations in the Arnhem region.  Denise is a former “NT Business Woman of the Year”.

Suzanne Cavanagh

Suzanne came to the Territory in 1953 with her parents and brother.  Following a move to Darwin she met and married her husband. They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren, all of whom continue to live in Darwin.

Suzanne and Bob’s eldest son has an intellectual disability, brought about by an Acquired Brain Injury at 9 years of age. Suzanne has been a strong disability services advocate. She was on the Board of Total Recreation and is now a Life Member. Suzanne is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council for Disability, which has a focus on the roll out of the NDIS.

Suzanne is an active community member with interests across sport, education and politics. She was President of St John’s College Parents and Friends, a member of the Isolated Children’s and Parents Association, and appointed to the NT Board of Studies for 2 years. She was also President of the Country Liberal Party for 7 years and has continuing party involvement and membership.


Robert Jennings

Robert Jennings

Robert is the CEO of Alice Springs Town Council, and prior to this appointment was the CEO of Katherine Town Council for almost four years. He has now served as an executive officer in local government across three states and territories. He has a personal commitment to integrity, excellence and service to the Council and to the Alice Springs community and its region. He is also a member of the Northern Territory Planning Commission 

Robert has over twenty two years’ experience across a wide range of fields including government, infrastructure, project management, sustainability and alternative energy, emergency management, land development, urban planning and architecture, construction and community and economic development. Robert specialises in the development and implementation of common strategic visions, he has delivered diverse and complex projects and also has extensive overseas experience.

Kym Cairns

Kym is a finance manager of a successful construction company. Cairns Industries specialises in mobile concrete batch plants, but cover all areas of construction including building, maintenance, concrete supply, hydraulic hose and fittings and machinery hire.

Based in Borroloola for 11 years with an administration office in Darwin, Cairns Industries proudly won the 2013 Telstra Business Awards for Medium and Regional Business for the Northern Territory.

Personally, Kym has a passion for social responsibility and believes that all businesses have a responsibility to give back to their communities. Kym has previously sat on a variety of committees including Business & Professional Women Darwin and National Association of Women in Construction NT.

Justin O’Brien

Justin O’Brien is currently employed as Executive Officer, Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation. He was appointed Executive Officer in October 2008, returning to the Corporation after a three‐year period away.

He was previously the Senior Policy Adviser to the Northern Land Council and a Senior Policy Adviser with the Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Monash University. From 2000 to 2005 he was the Communications Manager for the Corporation. Justin has worked extensively with Aboriginal communities and has experience in advocacy and media relations, and as a journalist.



Rick Fletcher



Government sponsored