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Our Board

The Board sets the strategic direction of the Commission which is aligned with the needs of community and business.  Membership comprises the CEO and six regional representatives who are appointed by the Minister for Regional Development. The Board meets 5 times per year in various locations throughout the Peel region. Any person or group wishing to make a presentation to the Board should telephone the Commission on 9535 4140 and ask to speak with the Executive Officer.

Board Members

 

David Doepel
Chair
Ministerial Representative

David Doepel is well known in the Peel region through his work with Murdoch University and the Future Food Cooperative Research Centre. Mr Doepel has more than 40 years of experience as an innovator and entrepreneur and has held senior positions in industry, academia and government in Australia and the USA. He is currently co-custodian of the Historic Melville Park Farm in Brunswick, WA focusing on horticulture ag-tech (soil microbiome), value-added foods (cheesemaking) and beverages (cider, brandy and whisky). He also serves as part of the management team for Food Science Research Strategy at Murdoch University. He was formerly the inaugural Trade Commissioner for WA in the Americas, a policy adviser and speechwriter to Premier Alan Carpenter and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at Murdoch University and is first author of The Murdoch University Third Commission on Africa. David holds degrees from Murdoch University, the Melbourne College of Divinity and Boston University. Mr Doepel has been on the PDC Board since January 2020 and has been Chair since July 2021.

                                      

Michelle Sidebottom
Deputy Chair
Community Representative

Michelle Sidebottom’s professional experience has seen her design, develop, and implement local to major State-wide business and workforce developmental projects with the private sector, non-profits, peak industry associations, and local, State and Federal government agencies. A graduate of Harvard University’s ‘Harvard Kennedy School – Leading Economic Growth Executive Program’, Michelle is the Director of Breakaway Tourism Pty Ltd and Avocet Island Pty Ltd. Key roles include facility management of hospitality and tourism properties in Mandurah, Rockingham, and Geraldton; project management; Aboriginal tourism development services; and consultancy in the sectors of tourism, hospitality, accommodation, recreation, business, and workforce development. Additional roles include Board Member – Peel Development Commission, Deputy Chair – Coolibah Care Inc, and Chair – Hospitality Industry Advisory Group South Metropolitan TAFE (Peel Campus). Michelle has worked extensively across Australia, Japan and Malaysia and is a former Board Member of Visit Mandurah and Judge for the Australian and WA Tourism Awards, Australian Hotels Association (WA) Awards, and Clubs WA Awards for Excellence. Michelle was appointed Deputy Chair in February 2024.


Cr Mike WalmsleyMike Walmsley headshot
Local Government Representative

Cr Walmsley has resided in Waroona since birth and continues to work and live with his wife on their farming property. They have enjoyed raising four children on their farm in Waroona. Agriculture and beef production has been the foundation of his career which has also stemmed into transport and retail opportunities in the region. He has served on the Waroona Shire Council for over 16 years and held the position of President for 9 years and Deputy President for 2 years. He is the current Chair of the board of Quambie Park Waroona, which is an organisation that provides aged care services across the Peel. He has served on this not-for-profit organisation for 21 years and has held the boards support to chair it for over 15 years.  Cr Walmsley has held ministerially appointed positions on the Peel Region Planning committee for the WAPC and holds the position of the WALGA Local Government representative on the Local Government Grants Scheme for Bush Fire Services through DFES since 2021. He is the current Chair of the Peel Alliance and Deputy Chair of the WALGA Peel Zone. Apart from farming, Cr Walmsley is also an active volunteer bush fire brigade member and has volunteered at WA’s premium agricultural show in Waroona for over 40 years. The Peel region has an abundance of potential and Cr Walmsley is grateful for the opportunity to see sustainable growth and development through his role on the Peel Development Commission Board.

 

Cr Bob Pond
Local Government Representative

Qualified in environmental management, Bob Pond has worked in Water and Land Use Planning for the now Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in the Peel region for 25 years. He has contributed to the community with over 20 years with the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and he was elected to the City of Mandurah Council in October 2021. A Falcon resident for 22 years, Cr Pond raised his family in Mandurah, and operates a successful bed and breakfast in Falcon with his partner through which  he has gained significant knowledge in the effort required to operate a small business. Cr Pond was appointed to the PDC Board in April 2024.

 

 

Sue Daley
Community Representative

Sue Daley was appointed to the Board in December 2021. Sue is a successful business owner, specialising in the management of residential and commercial property transformations. She has extensive facilitation and project management skills along with significant experience in analytical roles within varied business environments. Sue is the co-founder/owner of Maiolo Constructions Pty Ltd, specialising in renovations and alternative construction methods and has started a new business venture called Pocket Condos – Tiny Homes in WA, which she sees as a solid solution for the current housing crisis. Sue is community focused, an advocate of the local supporting local ideal and a champion for women in business. This is evidenced by her position as Secretary of the South Yunderup/Ravenswood Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade and her previous role as Chapter leader for Business Women Australia Mandurah/Murray.

 

Sharon James
Ministerial Representative

Sharon James was appointed to the Board in February 2024. Sharon is a highly experienced senior executive in the community services sector incorporating both aged and disability care. She has been CEO of Quambie Park since 2018 and in this role Sharon has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting communities to be the best they can be. This commitment has involved investing in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and social services to ensure equitable access and opportunities for all members of the community. She has a proven ability to seamlessly manage organisational and service transitions, introduce cultural change and lead organisations to new levels of operational effectiveness and efficiency. She is also experienced in formulating and managing operating and capital budgets; providing leadership to teams of professionals and service delivery managers.

 

If you wish to contact any of the Commission’s Board members, telephone the Commission on (08) 9535 4140 and ask for the Executive Officer or email eo@peel.wa.gov.au. Board member positions are advertised in the newspaper and on the Board Vacancies section of this website.