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Economic Growth

Graeme Martin

Presiding Member

Graeme Martin

Graeme is a director and partner of Grange Advisors providing specialist business services. He also provides Executive Officer Services to Southern & Hills Local Government Association. This is a regional subsidiary under the SA Local Government Act and consists of 6 Council members around the Adelaide Hills,Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Graeme is a past Chairman of the Sunraysia Mallee Economic Development Board, a past member of; MADEC Audit Committee, Mildura Tourism Board, Mallee Family Care Board/Audit Committee and La Trobe University Regional Advisory Board (Mildura) and is presently a director of Mildura Airport Pty Ltd.


Jayne Bates OAM

Jayne Bates

Jayne Bates has an extensive background in areas of Local Government, regional and community development, planning and public infrastructure development and natural resource management.

Jayne has lived on Kangaroo Island for most of her life and with her husband and son operate a farming enterprise, now covering 6 generations. She also operates a coastal tourist accommodation business in Penneshaw.

Jayne held the position of Mayor Kangaroo Island for 8 years, until she stepped down in November 2014. She has fulfilled many roles, both local and state and was a Board member of the Kangaroo Island Futures Authority.

Currently Jayne is a Board Member of South Australian Tourism Commission, an inaugural member of the Kangaroo Island Industry and Brand Alliance, a Board member of Tourism Kangaroo Island and the Independent Chair of the Kangaroo Island Development Assessment Panel.


Lana Blazujevic

Lana Blazujevic

Lana Blazujevic has worked in the area of economic development for over 10 years. Her experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors has focused on the international work in developing countries, regional development and small business development. In addition, she has provided guidance and support to small-to-medium size enterprises develop export opportunities. 

In her roles with the State Government, she has worked on developing strategies and actions to support regional economic growth and of particular note should be her involvement in leading a number of initiatives that supported the economic development of Kangaroo Island through advancement of the food, wine and tourism industry sectors. Lana has also been responsible for the provision of policy advice for small and family businesses, producing an evidence-based small business strategy, aimed at improving the state-wide business capability and capacity.

In her current role with the Department of State Development, Lana is project managing the development and implementation of a long-term economic transition plan for the Upper Spencer Gulf region in partnership with the three levels of government and industry. The plan will have a specific focus on economic diversification, workforce development and the region’s image and perception.

Carly Buttrose

Carly Buttrose

Carly is a third generation Kangaroo Island farmer and now farms with her Husband Adam near Parndana. Carly previously managed her family’s 2000 Ha grazing property for seven years, and in that time reinvigorated property using modern technologies and genetics as well as applying her agronomic knowledge. Carly is also the current Chairperson of Agriculture Kangaroo Island.

After graduating from Adelaide University with an Honours degree in Agricultural Science, Carly worked as a broad acre agronomist in the South East of South Australia as well as an extended time on the Yorke Peninsula for independent agribusiness, YPAG. In this role she worked in a consultancy capacity for broad acre cropping clients as well as managed the R&D programme which consisted of two extensive trial sites and hosted a successful and very well attended field day for YPAG clients as well as other extension activities.

In 2013 Carly was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship where she travelled to 13 countries getting a global perspective of Agriculture and international markets as well as researching her sheep industry topic of improving lamb survival and optimising the ewes’ reproductive potential. Carly is the current Secretary for Nuffield South Australia. Carly is a Mum to two young children and is passionate about creating a vibrant, economically sustainable community on Kangaroo Island where there is an opportunity for people to succeed and thrive into the future.


Jo Collins

Jo Collins

As Executive Director of Agriculture, Food and Wine within Primary Industries and Regions SA, Jo drives the strategic direction of the agency and leads the development of the State Government’s strategic and economic priorities of Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment.

Jo brings to PIRSA extensive skills in strategy development, organisational performance and reform, communications and community engagement and positioning government agency effort to best deliver strategic policy outcomes. Jo has held leadership positions with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the Premier’s Murray- Darling Basin Taskforce and the Department for Water.

Jo spearheaded the Fight for the Murray campaign, a cornerstone of the state’s ultimately successful strategy to secure an extra 450 gigalitres of water, and led the communications and engagement underpinning Water for Good – SA’s plan to ensure water security to 2050 and beyond.


Damien Cooke

Damien Cooke

Damien Cooke was appointed and joined as Chief Executive Officer for Regional Development Australia Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island in September of 2013.

Throughout his career gained knowledge and interest of business development, exporting, sales and marketing.

Prior to joining Regional Development Australia he has worked in various roles, both in the public and private sectors, predominantly in the area of international business. This included both onshore and offshore roles with the Australian Trade Commission and as Director of Sales and Marketing with Le Cordon Bleu, an International Hospitality Training School.  Damien holds a degree in Accounting with Swinburne.

Damien has been a long-term resident, local business owner and primary producer of the region and has a literal understanding and passion for the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island region.

  • Member of the Adelaide Hills Tourism Board
  • Member of the Kangaroo Island Industry & Brand Alliance
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Export
  • Past Chairman of the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SA)
  • Kangaroo Island Local Advisory Board
  • Member of Australia China Friendship Society SA


Robert Demarco

Robert Demarco

Robert’s current role is Director, Minerals and Energy, and Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Future Industries in Investment Attraction South Australia

Investment Attraction South Australia is South Australia’s lead agency for all major investment activity.

Its mission is to expose the world to the rich investment opportunities that exist in our State.

Our agency reports to Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith and our Advisory Board is Chaired by prominent South Australian business executive Rob Chapman. Our Chief Executive, Mike Hnyda, is the former head of the Welsh Government’s trade and investment body and has an unrivalled track-record in delivering major investments.

Robert and his team also work closely with Austrade to manage foreign investment leads. He is currently South Australia’s representative on the National Investment Advisory Board, chaired by the Commonwealth Government


Mark Gill

Mark Gill

Mark has worked in the tourism industry since 1988. He began in private enterprise, building a sightseeing day tour company, then joined the South Australian Tourism Commission in 2000 where he has been involved in a wide range of tourism development initiatives.

Mark’s current role with the SATC is to develop opportunities that provide better access to South Australia for visitors. His main priority is developing international airline growth. This includes developing business cases for new airlines and providing support for existing airlines. He has been involved in aviation projects including the pitch for Kangaroo Island Airport and subsequent work to attract airlines to Kangaroo Island.

More recently, Mark led the successful pitch to host a major aviation trade event called World Routes in 2019. This event will bring 3000 airline and airport delegates to Adelaide.

Mark has been a member of the TKI Board since 2012.

Mark has been involved with the following boards and committees:

  • Tourism Access Working Group
  • Register of Business Consultants
  • ExHMAS Hobart Management Committee
  • Judge for the Telstra Australian Small Business Awards
  • Judge for the South Australian Tourism Awards
  • National Visitor Safety Committee
  • National Tourism Incident Response Committee
  • Board member South Australian Tourism Industry Council
  • Board member Tourism Kangaroo Island


Pierre Gregor

Pierre Gregor

Pierre has had an association with the Island since 1975 and has been a resident of Kangaroo Island for the past 16 years. He previously had a distinguished career as a senior Army officer, including operational service in Vietnam and the Middle East.  Pierre is very active member of the community and has had significant and ongoing involvement with government agencies, local businesses and community organisations. Past involvement includes being the Deputy Chairman and Board Member of the Kangaroo Island Development Board for approximately seven years, with over two and half as it's Chief Executive Officer. He is intimately involved in, and is a strong advocate for, the island's tourism industry and has been Chairman of Tourism Kangaroo Island for the past 6 years. 

Pierre is genuinely committed to the island and is familiar with it's challenges and opportunities.  He is conscious of the need to maintain a balance between economic development and retaining what it is that attracts visitors to the Island and has a focus on ensuring that visitor expectations of KI are met. Pierre is a passionate and tenacious advocate for measures to address matters of access, infrastructure development and sustainable economic prosperity. He is personally involved in the tourism industry and with his artist wife Branka runs Adagio B&B at Island Beach. He has had extensive experience on Boards and committees and is past Member of the Institute of Company Directors. 

His commitment to local industry and community organisations includes being an active member of the KI Country Education Fund Committee,  Chairman of KI Legacy, Chair of the Tourism Employment Plan Steering Group, Penneshaw Community Business Centre management committee member, Chairman of the KI Tourism Optimisation Management Model committee, Chair of the KI Cruise Ship Visits Steering Group, Board member of the KI Industry and Brand Alliance, KI representative on the Industry Leaders Group, past Independent Member and Chair of the KI Council Development Assessment Panel and past Chairman (4 years) of the Island Beach Ratepayers Association and KI Food and Wine Industry Development Working Group.  Pierre is also the Chair of the South Australian Regional Tourism Chairs' forum.


Megan Harvie

Megan Harvie

Megan Harvie is a born and bred Kangaroo Islander with a small young family now based in Penneshaw.

Megan is the Secretary and Public Officer for the Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Association.  Her role as an executive specifically centers on capacity and capability development, event management, website and social media management, and product distribution.  Megan also works as a private project management consultant in assisting with projects, currently in the Food and Beverage Industry. Megan’s qualification include an Advanced Diploma in Accounting.

Before joining the KI Food and Wine Association, Megan was involved in regional administration, finance and systems implementation for leading Rural Livestock agency Landmark.  She has extensive experience in working with regional agricultural businesses, specifically livestock, merchandise, insurance, and finance.  She was intricately involved in systems development, implementation and training.


Mike Holden

Mike Holden

Mike Holden has been living on Kangaroo Island for five years. Prior to that he grew up in the Adelaide Hills and Mclaren Vale region.  He is the owner and operator of Kangaroo Island Brewery, the island’s first microbrewery cellar door and has been running a successful construction business on both the island and mainland since the age of 19.

Mike has worked with local government to assist development in his construction business and furthermore worked with state and federal governments to obtain sanction for Kangaroo Island Brewery. Building two businesses from the ground up has provided Mike with the experience and understanding of how to sustainably grow enterprise but also to think outside the box and embrace new ideas and concepts.


Maxine McSherry

Maxine McSherry has an extensive background in education with a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Educational Studies.

Maxine’s career as an educator  has spanned over 30 years, 20 of those years have been spent in school leadership at both complex metropolitan and rural / isolated locations. As part of her career she has also provided training and development to educators state-wide, been selected on the DECD Education Review Team and also supported clusters of schools to develop literacy, numeracy and social justice initiatives.  In her current role as Principal of Kangaroo Island Community Education Maxine leads a complex, multi-campus school (Penneshaw, Parndana and Kingscote) with over 680 students from pre-school to Year 12 and over 100 staff.

Maxine has lived in Kingscote, on the island for the past 8 years but her close connection with the island extends   far longer as her husband’s family were Soldier Settlers on Kangaroo Island.  She is the mother of two sons who now reside in Adelaide.

Last year Maxine was awarded the Fleurieu and KI Educator of the Year in the Women’s Community Awards.


Damian Miley

Damian Miley

Damian Miley is the Regional Director, Kangaroo Island, providing strategic leadership at the whole-of-government, inter-jurisdictional and partnership level for the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources on Kangaroo Island. Damian is also the Executive Officer for the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board.

Damian has extensive experience in conservation and natural resource management at national and state level.  In particular Damian has a long experience in investigating and developing sustainable economic opportunities around the terrestrial and marine environs for Indigenous communities around Northern Australia, particularly Cape York, the Gulf and Torres Strait.

Damian will represent a whole of DEWNR interest in the Local Advisory Board.

DEWNR seeks to support economic growth and regional development by unlocking opportunities for investment and innovation through enabling the sustainable use of our natural resources.


Tony Nolan

Tony Nolan

Tony Nolan has lived on Kangaroo Island since 1986 after moving from Adelaide to complete his commercial cook’s apprenticeship at the Ozone Hotel Kingscote.  Tony married Beverley Clifford in 1992.  Tony and Bev have 4 children, with eldest son Jake working as a qualified builder on Kangaroo Island after starting and completing his apprenticeship on Kangaroo Island. Eldest daughter Alana is studying teaching at Flinders University.  Toby and Tash attend Kingscote area school. 

Tony is the current chair of Kangaroo Island Industry and Brand Alliance, Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Association, President Western Districts Football Club, Vice President Kangaroo Island Race Club. Tony and his wife Bev have a food manufacturing business on Kangaroo Island where they predominately sell their wares through the family business Cliffords Honey Farm.  Tony, Bev and Family run Cattle on their family farm.  Tony has a desire to create opportunities for our youth who reside on Kangaroo Island.


Geoff Rischbieth

Geoff Rischbieth

Geoff Rischbieth has more than 30 years’ experience as a pharmacy owner and has operated in export industries including Wine & Seafood.

As the owner of Island Pure sheep dairy on Kangaroo Island, Geoff brings to the table a number of business skills.  Geoff also owns property at Penneshaw and has redeveloped several properties in the past.

Holding a Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree, Geoff is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  In the past, Geoff has been a member of the Kangaroo Island Development Board, State Councillor Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Board of Terry White Management and approximately 20 Private Company Boards. Geoff is passionate about Kangaroo Island and looks forward to working on the Local Advisory Board for Economic Growth on Kangaroo Island.


Robin MurtRobin Murt

Robin has a wealth of experience in South Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) and health sectors, and has led senior teams responsible for major strategic initiatives within TAFE SA and South Australian Government departments.

Robin spent over 10 years working in the health sector, culminating in his appointment to the role of Chief Operating Officer for the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, where he was responsible for managing clinical and support services across a broad range of facilities and communities, including the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals and the South Australian Dental Service.

After 6 years in senior appointments in the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, Robin was tasked with establishing the inaugural Board as TAFE SA became a statutory corporation in late 2012.

After a short return to the health sector, Robin was appointed to the TAFE SA Chief Executive role in February 2015 and, since then, has been leading a significant reform initiative to ensure that TAFE SA:

  • delivers training that leads to employment, higher education and workforce development
  • operates successfully in a competitive environment 
  • maintains and builds upon its status as Australia’s largest training provider.

Sharon KauppilaSharon Kauppila

Sharon Kauppila being a third generation Kangaroo Islander, with both her parents being children of soldier settlers, has a long relationship, and strong connection, with the Kangaroo Island community, businesses and the environment.

With Bachelor qualifications in Agricultural Science and Secondary Education; a Director of Kauppila Pty Ltd, a family owned commercial and residential builder; and a family with two young children, Sharon is passionate about Kangaroo Island; what our children, community, businesses and services struggle with, and what they thrive upon.

Sharon is an elected member to the Kangaroo Island Council and sits on the Finance Committee and Development Assessment Panels.  She currently holds the position of Chairperson of Business Kangaroo Island, a peak body representing business on the Island, seeking to further the economic development and prosperity of Kangaroo Island business.

She recognises the importance of economic security, business confidence and employment opportunities and seeks to improve these through sustainable, economic business and industry development.  Sharon is also a keenly advocates the creation of networks and good communication between businesses and government to ensure quality outcomes for Kangaroo Island.