The Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast Incorporated committee was created in June 2009 and incorporated in January 2010. It consists of up to 11 members with an executive team that includes the Chair, Deputy Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Gavin Keeley

Gavin Keeley is an experienced technologist and business leader with a career spanning nearly 40 years in international consultancy and executive corporate roles across a diverse range of industry sectors, working in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.


He has consistently supported the Sunshine Coast region having researched, then lobbied Federal, State, and Local Government for seven years, to establish an undersea fibre optic connection direct to the internet from the Sunshine Coast, with the network finally commissioned and operational in March 2020.


Gavin co-founded the Silicon Coast group in 2014, which has over 2,000 supporters, where he continues to mentor founders and support the growth of the Sunshine Coast Digital Economy, and has also served as The President of SunCoast Angels.


He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of The Sunshine Coast, serving as a current member of the Planning and Resources Committee of the University Council. In 2023 he joined Flower Group as Venture Partnerships Director at Australia’s first venture capital backed Venture Studio.

Jason Law
Deputy Chair

Jason has held a diverse range of senior roles across marketing, operations, sales and retail channels specialising in strategy development, organisational transformation and stakeholder engagement; most recently holding the position of National General Manager for Local Government and Smart Cities at Telstra.


His extensive 32 year experience in the industry coupled with 20 years working in Regional Economic Development organisations, has given Jason a unique insight into the issues facing communities across Australia. Taking these experiences and insights, Jason has worked with all levels of Government to develop initiatives and solutions for local communities.


His passion for regional development and leadership in this space resulted in the formation of Telstra’s Local Government and Smart Cities team in 2016. Jason is a graduate of the AGSM’s General Manager Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and also holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration from USC. He lives on the Sunshine Coast and is a proud father of six who loves to spend his time with family, exercising, playing cricket and guitar.

Marc Robinson

Marc is a Partner with BDO on the Sunshine Coast, one of the largest full service accounting and advisory firms in Australia, and globally.


Drawing from his 20 plus years experience, from assisting clients across all industries, Marc has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the challenges affecting local small and medium sized businesses and is a big believer in providing exceptional personal service that results in strong relationships.


Marc is a member with the Taxation Institute of Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. 

Leanne Layfield
Committee Member

Leanne retired as Executive Officer of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce in 2018 after leading the organisation to new heights and strengths over a six year tenure. During that time she increased the membership to over 500 members and implemented signifcant and impactful activity that supported and engaged the business community. The Caloundra Chamber of Commerce is widely regarded as one of the leading business associations in Queensland.


Prior to the Chamber role, Leanne’s career was in the tourism industry leading Caloundra Tourism and prior to that she held senior roles in Tourism Sunshine Coast and Tourism Queensland.


She has a wealth of experience in the not for profit sector and with incorporated associations. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Leanne currently sits on the Fisher Electorate Business Council working with Andrew Wallace MP. Leanne is the Secretary of the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance and is on the committee of the 4556 Chamber of Commerce. She lends a hand to the annual Buderim9 cycling event that fundraises for charity. What she loves most of all is helping SME businesses at the grassroots level connect and advance.

Jenny Broderick
Committee Member

Jenny is the co-founder of Hillside Tractors Australia located in the Glass House Mountains. Since 2004, they continue to distribute hillside machinery nationally with several patented solutions, with products manufactured both in Australia and in Europe.


With a passion for small business and her local community, Jenny is the President of the Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce, an organisation growing in strength as it continues its focus on Agritourism and industry through networking, collaboration, engagement and advocacy.


Jenny comes with significant experience in Community event coordination, is a committee member of Celebrate Glasshouse Country, assists in the coordination of the Glasshouse Country Disaster Management Network and is a member of various local committees.


Jenny holds an MBA and a B.Psyc.Sc and is passionate about our businesses and communities working together to recognise our potential as a united region.

Murray McCarthy
Committee Member

Murray McCarthy is the Project Director for Walker Corporation on the Maroochydore City Centre development – a $3 billion project between Walker Corporation, SunCentral and Sunshine Coast City Council to create a new city heart for the region.


Murray has held development positions at a range of major property developers in the UK and Australia, including Stockland and Multiplex. During this time he was responsible for the design and delivery of numerous built form projects including Strata SE1 – one of London’s tallest and most iconic residential towers.


He has also worked in a corporate and legal capacity at QGC and Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens Linklaters) in Brisbane.

Amanda Wilson
Committee Member

Amanda Wilson is the sole Director of Kings Lane Architects, a small though dynamic architectural firm located in Noosaville, which she established in 2016.


Amanda is an A+ Member with the Australian Institute of Architects and a member of the Design Institute of Australia.


After completing her Bachelor of Built Environments and Bachelor of Architecture at Queensland University of Technology, Amanda relocated to the Middle East to expand her career. This cross-discipline experience led the way to further opportunities in Singapore, her role as Regional Project Manager within the LVMH Group she lead new retail and commercial projects and construction work to emerging markets throughout South East Asia. Her position as a leader entailed social and environmental responsibilities and achieving high standards of integrity to stakeholders and governing bodies.


Amanda also currently holds a position within a local working group committed to the betterment of the community and positive social impact through building and design.

Helen Bartlett
Committee Member

Professor Helen Bartlett is an experienced leader and passionate advocate for regional education.


As Vice-Chancellor and President of USC, Professor Bartlett is leading the university during a time of unprecedented growth and expansion across the South-East Queensland corridor – a period that is expected to bring a wealth of opportunities for the university to increase its impact and engagement across the region.


Prior to starting as USC’s third Vice-Chancellor and President in August 2020, Professor Bartlett led a period of transformation at Federation University Australia, enhancing its profile as a multi-campus institution, its innovative approach to regional higher education and focus on responding to the needs of its communities.


During Professor Bartlett’s time as Vice-Chancellor and President of Federation University from 2017 to 2020, she was also Chair of the Regional Universities Network – a role in which she was able to use her experience to successfully advocate for regional universities when it came to issues of funding, research and policy development. Professor Bartlett was also Chair of the Victorian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee in the year prior to her move to Queensland and worked closely with the Victorian Government as universities shaped their response to the COVID-91 pandemic.


She is passionate about the role regional universities play in helping shape communities and enhancing economic, social and environmental outcomes through education, research and community engagement.
On the international stage, Professor Bartlett has held leadership roles in universities across Australia, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Malaysia – where she was President and Chief Executive of Monash University Malaysia from 2013 to 2017.


Professor Bartlett’s diverse experience and expertise are sought after when it comes to higher education policy and development, having contributed to several key advisory bodies such as the Higher Education Standards Panel, the Australian Government Council for International Education, and the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund Working Group.

Emma Thomas
Ex Officio Member

Emma  is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sunshine Coast Council – one of the largest local governments in Queensland serving a population in excess of 320,000 residents and one of Australia’s fastest growing regions. The Sunshine Coast Council is pursuing a transformational agenda to strengthen the region’s economy, improving the region’s liveability, enabling community connectedness and inclusion and maintaining an outstanding natural environment and landscape.


Prior to joining Council, Emma has held a range of chief executive and senior executive leadership roles with the Australian Capital Territory, South Australian and Queensland governments. She is a values based leader with a passion for, and commitment to, sustainable regional economic development and fostering social inclusion, community diversity, connectivity and accessibility. These elements are an integral part of her focus and leadership as Sunshine Coast Council CEO.


As the CEO, Emma is responsible for an organisation with a budget in excess of $860 million, more than $5 billion in assets, over 1800 people and is overseeing one of the most innovative policy, program and infrastructure delivery agendas that seek to position Council as a national leader in local government excellence and the Sunshine Coast as the most liveable and sustainable region in Australia.