Mal Peters (Chairman)

Mal Peters

Mal is a beef producer, former Mayor of Inverell in Northern NSW, Chair of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland and former NSW Farmers’ Association President. Mal is a passionate advocate for regional Australian issues, with a particular focus on improving the opportunities and services for people in regional areas.

Christian Zahra


Christian is a Principal at leading advisory firm, Impact Partners Australia. He is former Chairman of the Federal Government’s $1B Regional Development Australia Fund Advisory Panel and a former Member of the Ministerial Council on Regional Australia (MACRA). Christian has twice served as the CEO of major regional Indigenous organisations, leading significant reforms in both roles. Christian represented a country electorate in the Federal Parliament between 1998 and 2004 during which time he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development. He is widely regarded for his ability to link rural and regional issues to national policy debates. Christian holds a Bachelor of Economics (La Trobe), a Master of Assessment and Evaluation (Melb.) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Rt Hon Ian Sinclair

Ian Sinclair

Ian is a former Leader of the National Party and retired as Speaker in October 1998. The long-time advocate for regional Australia has extensive Ministerial experience in portfolios including Defence, Communications, Special Trade Negotiations, Primary Industry, Shipping and Transport, and Social Services.

Grahame Morris


Grahame is the Federal Director of Barton Deakin Government Relations based in Canberra. Grahame’s career has focused on shaping public policy; notable roles include Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister John Howard, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, CEO of leading issues management firm Jackson Wells Morris and Strategy Policy Director for News Ltd. He has previously worked as a journalist at The Australian and regional newspapers The Daily Advertiser and The Irrigator.

Tim Shackleton

Tim Shackleton

Tim is a Director of health services consulting firm Virtual Health, Chair of the Western Australian Regional Development Council and Wheatbelt Development Commission and a non-executive director of medical education provider, Western Australian General Practice Education and Training Limited. He was previously the CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (Western Operations) and Regional Director of the WA Country Health Service’s Wheatbelt and Pilbara-Gascoyne Regions.