The Kimberley Development Commission Board is established under the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993 (WA) and comprises the following membership:
- 2 members representing the regional community;
- 2 members representing Local Government;
- 2 members appointed at the Minister’s discretion;
- Chief Executive.
The Board is appointed by and responsible to the Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; the HON Alannah MacTiernan MLC.
The Board is an accountable authority and advises the Minister on matters affecting the development of the region and sets the primary directions for the Commission.
Appointments to the Board are made for terms of up to three years following an appointment process in accordance with the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993 (WA).
The Members of the Board are:
Mr James Brown
Mr Brown is a long term resident of the Kimberley, based at Cygnet Bay. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology and has aquaculture, retail, business and tourism experience gained from working in the pearling industry since 2000.
He is the Managing Director of Cygnet Bay Pearls and the founder/lead field scientist of the Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS) that encourages and facilitates broad scale independent marine research on the Kimberley Coast and has contributed to the Kimberley Conservation and Science Strategy and the establishment of the Kimberley Aquaculture Zone.
He is a Board Member, Broome Shire Economic Development Advisory Committee, a member of the Broome Tourism Leadership Group, Board Member of Cruise Broome, and an active member of several Pearling and Fisheries Associations. He is also an Ambassador for WA Save the Children.
Mr Brown offers strong leadership and experience gained from his involvement in his family’s pearling business and from his active involvement in the broader pearling and tourism industries and community. He is committed to economic development in the Kimberley, driven through strategies created and embraced by the people of the Kimberley.
Mrs Kalyn Fletcher
Mrs Fletcher brings a strong business understanding and experience in both tourism and agriculture to the Board. With a background in agriculture and tourism, she has held the position of Managing Director, RB Dessert Seed Company/Hoochery Distillery in the Ord River Irrigation Area since 2005.
She has Bachelor degrees in Agribusiness and also Environmental Production Horticulture. In 2014, Kalyn received the prestigious RIRDC Rural Women’s Award WA and in 2015 was a runner up in the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award National Finals. She has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Company Director Course.
Focusing on the development of a strong regional economy based on tourism, agriculture and mining, Mrs Fletcher is keen to see a balanced approach achieved through consultation and collaboration that will benefit the entire regional community. She considers that long term strategic planning and direction is paramount to successful development which leads to strong job prospects and efficient education and health services.
Ms Kira Fong
Ms Fong (OAM) is the Chief Operations Officer at Goolarri Media Enterprises, Broome. With an overarching interest in leadership and advancing young people, Ms Fong has served as Secretary, Country Arts WA (2011-2014), Chairperson Cable Beach Primary School (2015-2019), Chairperson Broome Cluster of Independent Public Schools (2018-2019) and has a history of achievements in promoting Aboriginal well-being. Kira has also received the Order of Australia (General Division) in the 2020 Australia Day Honours List for service to the Indigenous community of the Kimberley.
Ms Fong has a background in events management and leadership development and qualifications in management and training. She owned and operated Niche Events between 1997 and 2003. Building on her early experience Ms Fong founded the high profile Kimberley Girl program in 2013 designed to build confidence and capacity in young Aboriginal women. As the program has expanded beyond the Kimberley as the Young Indigenous Women’s Pathways Project, Ms Fong continues to maintain a strong involvement in her current position with Goolarri Media.
Ms Cissy Gore-Birch
Ms Cissy Gore-Birch is a Jaru/Kija woman with connection to Balanggarra, Nyikina and Bunuba country. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Natural Resource Management and has worked in the Aboriginal land management and community development sectors for the past twenty years.
Currently, Ms Gore-Birch is employed as the National Aboriginal Engagement Manager at Bush Heritage Australia.
With a strong leadership background in the Kimberley and Australia, Ms Gore Birch’s current appointments include; Chairperson, Aarnja Pty Ltd, Chairperson of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management (NAILSMA), recently appointed member of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, Committee member of the Northern Environment Scientific Programme (NESP) – Northern & Threatened Species Recovery Hub – Indigenous Reference Group and former appointments held include: Chairperson, Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation (2010-2014), Director, Kimberley Land Council and Councillor, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley.
Ms Gore-Birch has been and continues to advocate for the social, cultural, environmental and economic advancement and well-being of Aboriginal people through a fair & equitable process.
Cr Geoff Haerewa
As a long term resident of Derby and business owner for over 20 years, Geoff has a strong understanding of the socio-economic dynamic across the Kimberley region. Geoff believes his time spent as a business owner equipped him with the tools to understand the importance of the economy as it contributes to the social outcomes for the community.
Geoff has been actively involved in organisations that complement his business activities and give him exposure to the broader view of how economic and community development must work cohesively. In the past decade, some of his involvement in the community includes contribution in a volunteer capacity to organisations such as Derby Chamber of Commerce, Derby Squash Club, and Derby District High School.
In his role as the Derby Shire President, Geoff is required to work with a wide cross-section of people and organisations to identify real needs and possibilities to progress the Kimberley region. Geoff would like to see the Kimberley region develop through structured processes of consultation that are transparent, efficient and ultimately enable development to occur within regulatory frameworks in a timely manner.
Mr Jeff Gooding
Member, Ex Officio
Mr Gooding has held the position of Chief Executive of the Kimberley Development Commission since the Commission’s establishment and is a Member of the Board of the Commission. He is a long term resident of Kununurra and the Kimberley, has qualifications in town and regional planning, is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is Justice of the Peace and former Shire Councillor.
Having participated in the negotiation process which culminated in several key Native Title Agreements, Mr Gooding continues to be substantially involved in related implementation including as a Director of the Miriuwung Gajerrong Community Foundation. He has been closely involved in the development, and initial implementation, of the Ord/East Kimberley Expansion Project and associated Land Releases.
Other regional roles include membership of a range of Regional Planning processes and Chairman or member of various regional steering and coordinating groups, including the Northwest Aboriginal Housing Steering Committee, The Kimberley Schools Project Regional Leadership Group, The Broome Growth Planning Partnership and Chinatown Revitalisation Steering Committee.
Page last updated: Wed Jun 5 2019 10:21:56 AM
Don't hesitate to call the Kimberley Development Commission with any queries or comments.
7 Ebony Street (PO Box 620)
Kununurra Western Australia 6743
T: +61 8 9148 2100
Upstairs: Cnr Napier & Dampier Terrace (PO Box 172)
Broome, Western Australia 6725
T: +61 8 9194 3000
Derby Western Australia 6728
T: +61 8 9194 3000 (Broome)