Appointment of new Regional Development Organisation members

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Number: A31/2018

Date: 28 June 2018

Relevant: Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

I am pleased to announce the appointment of three members to fill community representative vacancies in the Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation from 1 July, 2018.

The Regional Development Organisation was established to support economic development in the Indian Ocean Territories. The Australian Government has recently provided funding to the Regional Development Organisation to develop strategic plans for both Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and to engage a Regional Investment Officer to serve both Indian Ocean Territories.

These appointments follow an Expression of Interest process where membership nominations were invited from the communities of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands. I was delighted with the interest shown by community members in these voluntary positions with eleven nominations received.

The newly-elected members of the Regional Development Organisation are Rik Soderlund, Marketing Manager—Cocos (Keeling) Islands Tourism Association representing the Cocos community and Mark Bennett, Managing Director—Hidden Garden Sustainable Farms representing the Christmas Island community. They have both been elected for their first terms. Chris Su from the Shire of Christmas Island and the Indian Ocean Group Training Association was re-elected for a second term as a Christmas Island community representative. I also wish to thank the retiring member of Nek Neng on Cocos and Karenn Singer on Christmas Island for their valued contribution to the work of the Regional Development Organisation.

I wish the new members all the best for their terms on the Regional Development Organisation.

Natasha Griggs
Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands