Who we are

ABOUT US

Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) is the lead economic and tourism development agency for the Central Highlands in Queensland, Australia.

We’re a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for a sustainable region and economic growth by:

  • Enhancing the region’s workforce
  • Promoting the Central Highlands as a ‘region of choice’
  • Supporting our region’s businesses

For more than 25 years, CHDC has partnered with industry, business, government and communities to drive growth and empower businesses.

Our rich understanding of the local economic landscape has allowed us to deliver insights and strategic action plans for the region.

In turn, this has contributed to building strong, capable businesses and industries that are supply-chain ready and optimised for expansion.

2023-2028

CORPORATE STRATEGY

CHDC has a three-year vision to drive economic opportunities to support the Central Highlands as a dynamic region of choice.

Our Corporate Strategy 2023-2028 defines CHDC’s purpose and values, and identifies seven priorities and objectives, including business growth, workforce development, and advocacy and promotion.

This important document maps out a clear direction forward for CHDC and underpins all the work we do in our role as the region’s key economic and tourism development organisation.

Staff and Board

Our Team

CHDC’s dedicated staff members are committed to facilitating a wide range of projects and initiatives across the Central Highlands and providing relevant advice, statistical information, workshops and networks to support business, industry, government and community.

Staff

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Peter’s an experienced senior leader in regional development and community relations. He has worked across urban, regional and rural settings for private, public and not-for-profit organisations. People, communities and regions are very important to Peter.
BUSINESS FACILITATOR
BOARD AND EVENTS COORDINATOR
Born with a natural flair for organisation and an unbridled enthusiasm for creating seamless events, Kylie has become a go-to professional in the events industry. She also specialises in board coordination. Her proficiency in coordinating and documenting Board meetings, drafting agendas, and ensuring compliance with governance protocols has positioned her as a trusted resource in the corporate world.
AGRIBUSINESS COORDINATOR
Noella grew up in a farming family and has always been passionate about Australian agriculture. At CHDC, she values working on projects which contribute not only to a stronger agricultural sector but more vibrant Central Highlands communities. When not at work, Noella enjoys surfing, playing the piano and hanging out with her dog.
VISITOR ECONOMY COORDINATOR
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Marketing and real estate professional Deb, a dedicated parent of two, relocated to the Central Highlands for family reasons. Committed to community growth, she collaborates with various stakeholders to uplift the region, fostering strategic investments. Passionate about connecting with others, Deb supports industry professionals, innovators, and entrepreneurs in building a prosperous future for the Central Highlands community.
FINANCE AND HR COORDINATOR
With over 25 years’ experience in admin, Kelly’s experience and best practices were strengthened serving Education QLD. Kelly is extremely passionate about yoga and mindfulness, spending her free time teaching to create community and connections as well as discovering all things yoga! Other interests include time away at the beach with her husband Michael and cattle dog Red.
RESEARCH AND COLLATERAL OFFICER
ADMINISTRATION OFFICER
Sarah is the glue that holds the CHDC office together, thanks to her 15+ years' experience as an administration and officer coordinator, and a natural ability to coordinate and lead projects that improve the flow and function of an environment. Sarah's a passionate team player who values and supports her community to build stronger partnerships to work towards a stronger future.
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
Nicky clocked than 15 years' experience as a journalist, mainly in radio, before joining CHDC when she moved to Emerald in 2013. The mum-of-two now mostly works from her home in QLD's far north but her heart and mind remain in the Central Highlands, with a passion for spreading the word about CHDC's many projects and events.
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE COORDINATOR
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE CASUAL + VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE CASUAL + VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE CASUAL + VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE VOLUNTEER
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE VOLUNTEER

BOARD

COUNCILLOR
KERRY HAYES
CHAIRMAN
Cr Hayes has an extensive local government history, serving three terms as Councillor and now his second term as Mayor of the CHRC. He is also the Managing Director of Emerald Land and Cattle Company, a business focused on livestock, rural property and water trading.
COUNCILLOR
CHRISTINE ROLFE
DEPUTY CHAIR
Cr Rolfe is Deputy Mayor of CHRC and Director of Birrong Grazing Company. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and has completed AICD's company director, risk analysis and bookkeeping courses. She also holds qualifications in rural business management and agriculture.
COUNCILLOR
MEGAN DANIELS
DIRECTOR
Cr Daniels is serving her second term with CHRC. She is a long-term resident of the Central Highlands and owns a cattle grazing business at Comet. Cr Daniels holds qualifications in agriculture and is a graduate of the AICD company directors' course.
CIARÁN HALLINAN
INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
Mr Hallinan is Chief Executive Officer of CST Hire, a specialised vehicle hire company. The experienced senior executive and company director holds qualifications in engineering and business and has a history of achievement in several public and private sector organisations.
THE HONOURABLE PAUL LUCAS
INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
Mr Lucas was a Queensland Minister for 11 years including Deputy Premier from 2007 to 2011. He is a consultant to a major eastern seaboard law firm, and a non-executive Director of Energy Queensland and several First Nations corporations. Mr Lucas holds qualifications in economics, law, business administration and urban planning.
BRONWYN ROBERTS
INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
Ms Roberts has 20 years' experience as a regional professional, with skills in livestock production, regenerative agriculture, environment, project management and governance. She is an active member of the Central Highlands community, holding board directorship roles with social enterprises, charities, and not-for-profits.
PETER DOWLING
COMPANY SECRETARY
Peter’s an experienced senior leader in regional development and community relations. He has worked across urban, regional and rural settings for private, public and not-for-profit organisations. People, communities and regions are very important to Peter.
COUNCILLOR
ANNE CARPENTER
ALTERNATE DIRECTOR
Cr Carpenter, who has lived in the Central Highlands her entire life, is serving her first term with CHRC. She currently works for Elders Rural Services and volunteers for the Springsure Working Horse Association, the Anglican Parish of Springsure, and Springsure Show; and has been part of organising committees for six campdraft national finals.
Thank you

Our Partners

Collaboration is what makes CHDC’s projects and events possible. We thank our 2023 Partners for their generous support!

Career opportunities

JOIN OUR TEAM

For more career opportunities, tap the blue button to check out our free and local job search site.

In the heart of Central Queensland

OUR REGION

The Central Highlands is a robust and diverse region situated at the heart of Australia’s resource and agricultural sectors.

Spanning almost 60,000km2, the region encompasses a significant portion of the Bowen Basin, Australia’s largest coal reserve, and is home to eight metallurgical and four thermal mines.

With the largest cattle inventory in Australia, the Central Highlands stands as a beef powerhouse. It is also characterised by thriving broadacre cropping and horticultural industries, sustained by irrigation sourced from water storage on the Nogoa and Comet Rivers

Our region is a three-hour drive west of Rockhampton and a 1.5-hour flight from Brisbane, and includes the communities of Arcadia Valley, Bauhinia, Blackwater, Bluff, Capella, Comet, Dingo, Duaringa, Emerald, Rolleston, Sapphire Gemfields, Springsure and Tieri.

2047 CENTRAL HIGHLANDS ECONOMIC MASTER PLAN – ACTION PLAN 2023-2028
CENTRAL HIGHLANDS ECONOMIC PROFILE – DYNAMIC
WATCH: WORK, PLAY, DISCOVER CENTRAL HIGHLANDS