NRRC Executive and Advisory Board

View information about NRRC Executive and Advisory Board members.

David Witherdin
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NRRC Chief Executive

David is a well-respected civil engineer and senior leader, with more than 21 years’ experience in operational leadership roles across the mining, utility, transport, local government and NSW public sector areas.

David heads the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation team of approximately 35 personnel, leading the long-term reconstruction of flood impacted areas across the Northern Rivers. 

David is based in Newcastle and loves to mountain bike and spend time with his wife and three daughters in his spare time.

Rebecca Fox
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NRRC Advisory Board Chair, Acting Secretary Department Regional NSW

Rebecca joined Property NSW’s Strategy team in 2015 and became the first female leader of Public Works in early 2019. She was then appointed Deputy Secretary, Regional NSW within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and moved to lead the newly formed Strategy, Delivery and Performance Group on the creation of the Department of Regional NSW. At the end of 2020 Rebecca led a procurement reform initiative in NSW Treasury, then returned to Regional NSW to establish and lead the Regional Precincts Group which includes the Regional Growth NSW Development Corporation. She is currently responsible for the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.

With academic qualifications in economics, law and bioethics, Rebecca has a diverse background covering first tier corporate environments, the public sector and small business. Hailing from Condobolin, her rural background is also valuable in her Regional NSW role.

Michael Cassel
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, Secretary Department of Planning and Environment

Michael is the Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, which specialises in urban and regional planning, natural resources, environment, heritage, Aboriginal and social housing. 

The Department of Planning and Environment is implementing a range of changes to make planning rules easier for people to rebuild following the floods.

Michael has more than 30 years of experience as a senior executive in real estate, construction and government.

Peter Duncan AM
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, Commissioner and Deputy Chair of the Independent Planning Commission

Peter Duncan has over 40 years’ experience in government and infrastructure, working at local, state and national levels. He has held various senior public sector roles with local government, Premier and Cabinet, Transport for NSW, Primary Industries and for the Olympic Coordination Authority. 

His current appointments include Chair of Water NSW, Deputy Chair and Commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission, non-executive director of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, and board member of the Office of Projects Victoria.

He is the principal of an advisory business, chairs the Northern Rivers Regional Advisory Committee of the Rescue Helicopter Service and shares his time between work in Sydney and his property at Corndale. 

Andrew Hall
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, CEO Insurance Council of Australia

Andrew joined the Insurance Council of Australia in September 2020 from the Commonwealth Bank, where he served as Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs, for seven years. 

A former journalist, Federal Government Ministerial media advisor and Director of Corporate and Public Affairs for Woolworths Ltd, Andrew has extensive governance experience in the public, private sectors and not-for-profit sectors.

The Insurance Council of Australia is the representative body for the country’s general insurance industry.

Darren Kershaw
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, Executive Chair North Coast Aboriginal Development Alliance

Darren is a Bundjalung man who has dedicated his career to facilitating the delivery of Aboriginal health services, social support and community development programs from Coffs Harbour to Tweed Heads.

He is currently the Executive Chairperson of the North Coast Aboriginal Development Alliance, a representative body established to advocate on the delivery of NSW Government services such as Aboriginal health, education and housing.

Darren lives at Grafton.

Jane Laverty
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, Regional Director Business NSW

Jane is the Regional Director Northern Rivers with Business NSW (previously NSW Business Chamber).

Jane has worked extensively with business and industry clients across the Northern Rivers, with Local and State Government and the not-for-profit sector. Her work has focussed on projects which encourage employment growth, build community capacity and generate investment.

Jane lives at Alstonville.

Sharon Cadwallader
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, Chair Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, Chair of the Australian Coastal Councils Association

With a career spanning almost twenty years in local government, as Mayor of Ballina Shire Council Sharon was appointed Chair of the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) in 2022.

NRJO is the peak representative group for the local government areas of Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Councils.

Sharon has extensive leadership experience, having sat on multiple Northern Rivers community and corporate boards throughout her career including Rous County Council (current), Summerland Credit Union (past) and Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber (past).

Sharon lives at Ballina.

Mike Rayner
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NRRC Advisory Board Member, Former General Manager Tweed Shire Council, Tweed community member

Mike is a highly regarded member of the Tweed community, having spent 30 years with the Tweed Shire Council.

Mike retired as Tweed Shire Council General Manager in 2012. He brings a wealth of local and expert hydrological knowledge to the NRRC Advisory Board, having held appointments on several prominent water and industry advisory boards.

Mike lives at Murwillumbah.

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