Board of Management

The Board of Management is the governing body of the GSDC and meets regularly to set policy directions including budgets, to approve major expenditures and to provide advice to the Minister on regional matters. Decisions of the Board direct the activities of the GSDC.

The three categories for the Board membership are:
•    Community nominations (three persons)
•    Local Government nominations (three persons)
•    Ministerial nominations (three persons)

Board members are confirmed by the Minister for Regional Development with a term ranging between one and three years.

Board members are chosen on the basis of ability at an executive level, a demonstrated involvement in either the economic or social development of the region, and the ability to work co-operatively to achieve agreed goals across a wide range of social and economic issues.

Individuals or organisations may nominate people for the GSDC Board. People nominated as prospective community members should possess interest and knowledge relevant to regional communities. Appropriate fields of involvement could include business and industry; employment, education and training; tourism and recreation.

The Board

Chair: Ross Thornton

ross thornton

Mr Thornton is a qualified town planner and registered builder, has been involved in property development and is currently farming. He is a member of the Western Australian Planning Commission. Mr Thornton is a former Councillor and President of the Shire of Denmark.

Deputy Chair: Ronnie Fleay

Ronnie Fleay

Councillor Fleay is President at the Shire of Kojonup.  She is a member of the Western Australian Planning Commission and a former Chairperson at the Gascoyne Development Commission.

Fiona Gaze

Fiona Gaze

Cr Gaze is the Principal of the Gnowangerup District High School and has a strong focus on enhancing career development and alternatives for at-risk students. She has been a member of the Gnowangerup Shire Council since 2009 and has served on a range of council committees. She has also contributed through a variety of community groups, with an emphasis on families, youth and leadership.

Margaret Gorman

Margaret Gorman

Mrs Gorman is a farmer and relief teacher from Wellstead. She has a long involvement with various community groups in Wellstead, and played a key role in the development of the Wellstead Community Resource Centre. Mrs Gorman is chairperson of the Wellstead Historical and Heritage Committee and is on the committee of the Wellstead Progress Association.

Len Handasyde

Len Handasyde

Cr Handasyde is the Deputy President of the Shire of Plantagenet and has been a member of the Council since 2009. He farms strawberries, cherries, sheep and grains in the Plantagenet district. He serves on the Regional Road Group, Southern Link Voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils, the Great Southern WALGA zone and various Plantagenet Shire committees.

Jo Iffla

Jo Iffla

Cr Iffla is a long-term resident of Bremer Bay and has been a member of the Jerramungup Shire Council since 2005. Cr Iffla was re-elected for a further four-year term in October 2013 and reappointed as Deputy Shire President on 20 November 2013. She represents the Shire on a range of committees. She has been a self-employed farmer for the past twenty years and continues to be actively involved in sports clubs at Boxwood Hill and Bremer Bay.

Cameron Taylor

Cameron Taylor

Mr Taylor is a Katanning-based partner and director of accounting firm RSM Bird Cameron, for which he manages the Great Southern zone covering Albany, Katanning and Narrogin offices.

Dennis Wellington

Dennis Wellington

Mr Wellington is the Mayor of the City of Albany, an office he has filled since 2011. Apart from a short break, he has been a member of the Council since 2000, and has also served as Deputy Mayor. Mr Wellington worked in real estate for 16 years, was in tourism for three years and ran a business in Albany for 22 years.

Bruce Manning

Mr Manning is the Chief Executive Officer of the Great Southern Development Commission and an ex-officio member of the Board. His regional development experience includes five years as the Regional Manager for WA TAFE in the Great Southern region and five years as Executive Officer of the Southern Province Projects Group. He has won several regional development awards.