Who we are
Our department is made up of 5,000 highly skilled and experienced people. We have over 200 offices across regional NSW and Sydney.
Almost 80 per cent of our staff live in regional NSW. We contribute to life in regional communities. We work on rural farms, with regional businesses and in regional industries.
Our approach is collaborative and evidence based. We form partnerships across communities, industry and government to ensure the best possible outcomes for people in regional areas.
We value strategic thinking and problem-solving. We aim to build thriving communities for generations to come.
Visit Careers if you’d like to be part of our regional NSW team.
Visit What we do for more about our department's functions.
See our organisation chart (PDF 63.41KB)
- Minister for Agriculture
- Minister for Regional New South Wales
- Minister for Western New South Wales
Our leadership team
The Department of Regional NSW's leadership team works to achieve the best outcomes for people in regional NSW. Our team is:
collectively responsible for leading the organisation
individually accountable for their (section’s) strategic and operational activities.
Meet our leadership team
Rebecca Fox, Secretary, Department of Regional NSW
See our message from Rebecca Fox on our What we do page.
Scott Hansen, Director-General, Department of Primary Industries
Scott Hansen joined NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as Director General on 17 March 2014.
Before this, he held senior management positions in both the public and private sectors with a defined interest in the areas of agriculture, innovation and productivity.
This includes work as:
- Managing Director of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA)
- Executive Director of Sheepmeat Council of Australia
- Executive Director of Victorian Farmers Federation Pastoral Group
Scott has been associated with the agricultural sector his entire life.
James Bolton, Deputy Secretary, Regional Precincts
James joined the Regional Precincts Group when it was formed in 2021 and is responsible for the delivery of several key infrastructure projects across the State.
Since joining the NSW Government in 2018, James has demonstrated his ability to provide strategic leadership, work collaboratively across Government and manage complex projects including the Special Activation Precincts program funded by the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.
Prior to working with the NSW Government, James worked in a variety of senior roles in local government over an 11-year period including economic development, major projects, strategy, community and commercial developments.
Before returning to his hometown of Wagga Wagga in 2007, James studied and worked in Canberra, Sydney and London.
James is passionate about driving whole of government approaches to regional issues and ensuring the people of regional NSW have the appropriate support, services, and infrastructure to live a great quality of life.
Jonathan Wheaton, A/Deputy Secretary, Regional Development and Programs
Jonathan leads more than 300 staff based across regional NSW. His teams are the eyes and ears on the ground and at the centre of government for regional development, program design and infrastructure delivery. The teams provide multi-agency coordination, program, and grant funding, community planning, diversification and coordination and emergency recovery.
Regional Development and Programs plays a crucial leadership and community facing role to support improved outcomes in economic development and community wellbeing for regional NSW.
The teams deliver significant funding to disaster impacted communities and have led the design and delivery of the $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund. The team also provide a whole-of-government approach to regional youth issues through the Office for Regional Youth and champions Aboriginal economic outcomes through the work of the Aboriginal Partnerships team.
Steve Orr, CEO, Local Land Services
Steve commenced in his current role as Chief Executive Officer of Local Lands Services in early 2022, where he leads over 900 staff members who work alongside landowners, helping to secure the future of agriculture and the environment for NSW communities.
Steve was previously responsible for overseeing the Regional NSW corporate functions which include People, Finance, ICT, Legal and Governance. Prior to this Steve was responsible for the Regional Coordination and Regional Development functions within the former Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) which also included a significant role in the economic recovery efforts surrounding bushfires and the response to drought focusing on small communities, young people and businesses.
Before moving into DPIE Steve was the Executive Director, Regional NSW in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and prior to this he was the Executive Director, Local Government Reform responsible for the Government’s program of consolidating the number of councils in NSW.
Steve has also held roles as the Deputy Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government and the Chief Executive of the NSW Livestock Health and Pest Authorities. In 2018/19 he participated in the nine month Leadership Academy for senior executives run by the Public Service Commission, Steve holds a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University, Bachelor or Applied Science with Honours from the University of Western Sydney, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Steve lives in Berry on the south coast with his wife Leanne, sons Sam and Patrick and daughter Rachael and is mastering the art of growing his own vegetables.
Georgina Beattie, CEO, Mining, Exploration and Geoscience
With a strong background in Public Sector leadership, strategy, reform and industry development, Georgina brings a wealth of leadership experience to the Mining, Exploration and Geoscience (MEG) group.
As leader of the MEG group, Ms Beattie oversees decisions about the State’s mineral and petroleum resources, investment in the sector, the policy and strategic framework for exploration and mining in NSW, effective regulation and the acquisition and analysis of geoscientific data
Georgina joined MEG in early 2021 after a broad career driving economic development in NSW. Prior to joining MEG she held leadership roles in regional economic development in the NSW Government and has strong relationships with industry and community stakeholders.
Georgina is committed to deliver reform and initiatives that will boost exploration and mining investment safely and sustainably, with a strong focus on customer service
James McTavish, NSW Cross-Border Commissioner
James McTavish has been NSW Cross-Border Commissioner since July 2014 and he has been advocating for border communities and addressing cross-border anomalies to support the 2.16 million Australians who live close to a NSW border.
James has held appointments as Infantry Officer in the Australian Regular Army and the Murrumbidgee Region Controller for the NSW State Emergency Service. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for outstanding service as the Chief of Staff Army Recruit Training Centre (Kapooka) in 2010 and the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) for outstanding service as Murrumbidgee Region Controller in 2013.
Fiona Dewar, Deputy Secretary, Corporate & Performance
Fiona is a senior public sector executive with a depth of leadership experience in operations, policy and communications.
As Deputy Secretary of Corporate and Performance, Fiona works across all groups in the Department of Regional NSW and with other Government agencies to provide strategic leadership and delivery of critical enabling services.
Fiona has worked across the public and private sector in a range of fields including the arts and creative industries, agriculture, vocational education, natural resources management, regional development and Indigenous Affairs.
Fiona previously held Deputy Secretary Strategy, Corporate and Performance and Executive Director roles within the Department of Regional NSW, the Office of Drought Response and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Fiona has strong experience engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities having spent five years working at a specialist Indigenous affairs consulting firm.
Fiona grew up on a wheat and beef cattle property in Moree NSW and is passionate about rural and regional issues.