Ms Rebecca Tomkinson, Chair

Representing Ministerial

Term of Office to 30 June 2020

Rebecca brings a highly strategic and broad sector lens to her role as Chair. Rebecca's professional experience includes government relations, strategic policy development, social advocacy and stakeholder engagement. She has extensive experience in the delivery of transformative organisational and community development initiatives across private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Rebecca has held key advisory roles in strategic policy both at a state and national level. Raised and educated in the Wheatbelt, Rebecca has a passion for the regions and their importance to our economic future and our community wellbeing.



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Mr David Lantzke, Deputy Chair

Representing Ministerial

Term of Office to 30 June 2019

David Lantzke is the CEO of the Ardross Group and has been intricately involved in land and property development in Jurien Bay, Bunbury, Manjimup and Albany over many years.  David has been the Secretary/Treasurer of the Jurien Bay Chamber of Commerce for five years and is Chair of the Turquoise Coast Chambers Alliance (a joint venture between Jurien Bay and Cervantes Chamber of Commerce). He has been Secretary of the Indian Ocean festival organising committee for 4 years, a member of the executive committee for the Regional Chambers of Commerce for 2 years and is an active member of the “Activate Jurien Bay” Committee.

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Ms Heidi Cowcher

Representing Community

Term of Office to 30 June 2018

Heidi Cowcher and husband John run a beef cattle stud in Williams in the Wheatbelt South. She is employed by Shire of Williams as their Economic Development Officer and has predominantly worked in local government for the last 20 years, with a short stint in state government. Recent qualifications include Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Diploma in Project Management. Heidi was Deputy Chair of the Regional Development Australia Wheatbelt Board. She has a strong level of involvement in various community and sporting organisations in Williams and particular interest in regional and economic development, education and small business.


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Mr Ross Ainsworth

Representing Community

Term of Office to 30 June 2019

Ross Ainsworth has a background in Agriculture and lives in York. He was the Chair of the Farmer’s Federation Grains Council and held the Seat of Roe for the Nationals WA. He served on the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Health and Education and chaired the Select Committee on Road Safety. His interests include regional development, education and training, health and tourism. He was the Chair of the York Visitor Centre Management Committee and served on the CY O’Connor Institute Governing Council.


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Ms Leslee Holmes

Representing Local Government

Term of Office to 31 December 2020

Leslee is Shire President of Dandaragan and is a member of the Joint Chambers Alliance Cervantes/Jurien Bay as Tourism Leader. Leslee has held leadership roles at a State level, is Business Manager of Total Tennis Reabold and received the Margaret Court Award for Outstanding Service to Tennis in Western Australia. Leslee is currently involved in tourism, small business development and marketing.


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Ms Julie Flockart

Representing Local Government

Term of Office until 31 December 2020

Julie Flockart has an agricultural, community and small business development background and has been actively involved in a range of small businesses in the retail and hospitality service industries. 

Over the past three decades, Julie has worked in many roles across the Eastern Wheatbelt and is currently a Shire of Merredin Councillor, Chairperson of the Merredin College School Board, Board member on the Merrittville Aged Care Village and is involved with the local Historical Museum and tourism working group.


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Ms Wendy Newman

Chief Executive Officer

Term of Office Ex-Officio

Wendy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, and brings to the position a range of professional experience across the areas of education, organisational development, human resource management, marketing and regional development. Wendy has been a member of numerous boards and advisory bodies for government and the not for profit sector at a national, state and local level.

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