Appointment of new Regional Development Organisation members

Number: A27/2020

Date: 10 July 2020

I am pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to fill the community representative vacancies in the Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation (IOTRDO) from 1 July 2020.

The RDO supports economic development in the IOT and has been very active in its contributions to our progress. The Australian Government has provided funding to the RDO to implement a range of important local initiatives including community infrastructure grants awarded last year.

In line with the RDO constitution, membership applications were invited and assessed under an Expression of Interest process. I was delighted with the interest shown by community members in these voluntary positions.

These latest appointments bring greater diversity in the RDO team. For the first time in the RDO's history, we have equal representation of male and female members. In addition, we have a mix of cultural backgrounds on the RDO as well as representatives from the public and private sectors including local government on both Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI).

The new members of the RDO representing the CI community are:

  • Marnie Bell, a teacher at Christmas Island District High School and the Chair of Christmas Island Daycare, who has also been a WA local government planning officer.
  • Patricia Power, a long-term CI resident, retail business proprietor and Chair of Arts & Culture Christmas Island.

The new members of the RDO representing CKI are:

  • Kenneth (Zak) Lakina, the Cocos Cooperative's Infrastructure Development Officer, Captain of Fire & Rescue on Home Island and volunteer with other Cocos community organisations.
  • Bradley Waugh, director of IOT Telecommunications and volunteer with the Cocos Island Yacht Club and the Christmas Island Domain Administration.

The continuing community representative members are Eric Chong, Gee Foo and Farzian Zainal from CI and Dave McKinney, Isa Minkom and Andrea Selvey from CKI.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the retiring members Mark Bennett and Chris Su on CI and Levi Fowler and Rik Soderlund on CKI Islands for their valued contributions to the work of the RDO and our communities over the past few years.

I wish the new members all the best for their terms on the RDO and look forward to working with all members as we continue to progress a range of significant projects for the sustainable economic future of the IOT.

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