Our Team

The RDA Team

RDA’s operations are led by the Chief Executive Officer, Wayde Chiesa and supported by our dedicated local team.

Wayde Chiesa

Chief Executive Officer

Wayde Chiesa, CEO of Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland, is a born and bred North Queenslander. He has over 25 years of experience in business and finance roles, and 15 years of experience in the media industry working in sports broadcasting with Southern Cross Austereo, including covering the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2011 and 2012 Australian Open with Yahoo7.

Wayde is passionate about ensuring regional Queensland takes full advantage of the opportunities that lay ahead.

Wayde’s expertise extends to his current role as CEO of Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland. He joined the organisation in August 2021, bringing with him local knowledge, experience, and connections. Wayde leads his team in creating new and fostering existing relationships across all levels of government, business, and industry to strengthen regional communities. The Townsville and North West Queensland RDA area spans 15 Local Government Areas (LGAs), from Palm Island in the east to Mount Isa in the west, including up to the Gulf of Carpentaria and Boulia.

Wayde is a Chartered Accountant and his previous positions include Director – Regional Development and Investment at Townsville Enterprise, as well as senior roles at BHP, Incitec Pivot, Townsville City Council, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a born and bred North Queenslander with an unwavering passion for the region. Wayde’s extensive experience in both the private and public sectors make him an invaluable asset to RDA Townsville and North West Queensland.


Louise Hayes

Communications & stakeholder Officer

Joining RDA in February 2023, Louise brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role, with a primary focus on strengthening RDA’s communications with stakeholders, developing and implementing communication strategies, and coordinating engaging activities and events. She also works closely with media to promote the key objectives of RDA and share the remarkable story of this region with the world.

Louise previously held the role of Communications and Marketing Manager at the premier private club, The Brisbane Club.

Born and raised in Townsville, Louise is dedicated to building strong relationships with stakeholders, fostering
collaboration and partnerships, and contributing to the ongoing growth of the region. 


Kate Teys

Project Manager

Kate holds over 18 years experience in International Aid and Community Development Program Management (including two years in the VET sector), both in Australia and in Asia.

Her strengths lie in network and relationship building, cross-cultural communication, community consultation and project development and management. Kate completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Asian Economic Development and Japanese at Melbourne University and a Masters in International Aid and Community Development at Deakin University. Kate has also lived and worked in China and Japan and more recently travelled to India to complete qualifications in Yoga Teaching.

Kate is very happy to be working for RDA as a part-time Project Manager for their Regional Jobs Committee and Jobs Townsville North Queensland program, where she helps to co-ordinate and deliver projects, resources and events under the Jobs Townsville North Queensland action plan. She is currently working on projects that address workforce shortages including skills attraction, career pathways and uncovering hidden talent, and is passionate about sustainable development and working towards a thriving, united community, where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and participate.


Brianna Thomas

Executive Assistant

Brianna joined RDA in February 2023 and provides executive support to the RDA office, including
diary management, office management, preparation of committee meeting papers
and agendas and other general office duties.

Brianna joins RDA with experience in administration, and is working towards gaining her degree in Physiotherapy!

07 4410 3655

Our Region

Information and Statistics about Townsville and North West QLD

Grant Finder

View the Grant Finder!

Jobs Townsville North Queensland

Jobs Townsville North Queensland (JTNQ) is one of the Regional Jobs Committee (RJCs) established in Queensland.

Community Housing Project

RDA's Community Housing Project aims to address one of the biggest issues facing rural and regional towns – housing availability.

Regions Rising

RDA’s Regions Rising was a series of events aimed at connecting and strengthening regional businesses.

Our Region

Information and Statistics about Townsville and North West QLD

Grants and Funding

For the latest information on Grants and Funding

Regional Employment Trials Program

A Local Employment Initiative Fund for employment related projects

Inland Queensland Road Actions Program (IQ-RAP)

IQ-RAP improves regional sustainability, productivity and safety on QLD’s inland road network

Aviation Industry Development Project

A project to develop the aviation industry in North and North West QLD

STEMBooster Project

A major skills and economic development initiative for a pipeline of STEM talent.