The Regional Australia Institute team have a wealth of experience in regional research, policy-making and community consultation.
Meet the team below.
Chief Executive Officer
Jack has led the Regional Australia Institute as its CEO since July 2015.
Prior to being appointed CEO Jack developed the RAI’s policy and research program. In previous roles as a consultant and public servant, Jack contributed to major regional reform in water, climate change, indigenous issues and industry.
Jack is originally from Paterson in the lower Hunter Valley of NSW
Dr Kim Houghton
General Manager Policy and Research
Kim manages the RAI’s policy and research portfolio to ensure the Institute’s work has practical application and supports a better policy environment and more vibrant regional economies.
Julie provides executive support to the CEO, Board and committees, and assists with event management, governance and financial matters.
DR LEONIE PEARSON
Leader, Major Research Projects (Economist)
BSc(Hons), PhD, GAICD
Leonie leads the RAI’s major research projects.
DR KYLIE BOURNE
BA, MAE, PhD (with Distinction)
Kylie is a researcher with extensive experience in knowledge brokering and research communication.
She has worked in the policy space across the public, not-for-profit and higher education sectors.
Kylie has published academic research and media commentary on a variety of social and public policy related issues.Kylie is passionate about regional issues. She lives in regional Australia and volunteers as an Ethics teacher and coordinator in NSW schools in the Yass Valley region.
Senior Data Analyst
Richard administers our research database and brings a creative approach to data analysis.
BSc(EnvBio) (Hons), BInterdis(Sust), GradCert(PA)
Hayley uses her experience in government and research to deliver a broad range of applied research projects which inform national, state and local government policies.
Leader, Corporate and Regional Partnerships
Steve’s background includes agribusiness and innovation startups, with experience in private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Originally from the Western Districts of Victoria, he is now based in Geelong and continues to activate economic development in regional Australia.
As a Researcher, Ben contributes to the delivery of high profile projects across RAI’s research agenda.
DR EMILY LONGSTAFF
BA(Hons), PhD (Socy)
Emily helps coordinate and produce the broad range of the RAI’s policy and research outputs.
BBus (Major in Journalism)
Amanda is a media professional with more than 20 years industry experience across Australia. Having worked for media organisations, government, industry groups and agri-political organisations, Amanda has a true passion for, and understands, regional Australia.
BComm, BSc(Hons), MEnv
As a Research Assistant, Geraldyne provides research support and contributes to work across a range of RAI’s research and policy projects.
DR JUDE WALKER
Leader, Future Regional Jobs
Dr. Jude Walker leads the Regional Australia Institute’s Future of Jobs and Workforce Development in Regional Australia Inquiry Program. As well, she runs her own consultancy business, FutureWorking, which specialises in demography, labour market research and analysis, and strategic foresight.
Graphic Designer & Communications Assistant
Nina creates visual material to complement the work of the RAI and ensures all content is presented in a memorable and easily digestible format.
Researcher – Data Analytics
Kevin does economic analysis using traditional and new data analytics techniques and contributes to work across a range of RAI’s research and policy projects.