New chair at the helm of RDA Tropical North

Professor Hurriyet Babacan AM has been appointed as the new chair of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Tropical North, in Queensland.

RDA Tropical North works to drive the development of infrastructure and industry to strengthen the region’s economy, by providing leadership and supporting meaningful collaboration with all levels of government, industry, community and academia.

Professor Babacan brings extensive experience in government, higher education and research, including working with the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Queensland and the Tablelands Regional Council.

Professor Babacan is currently employed as a Professor at James Cook University and the University of Queensland at the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Cape York Natural Resource Management Board.

Professor Babacan has been recognised for her work through a number of awards including the Order of Australia 2014 for outstanding contribution, as academic and author, and for furthering multicultural community, education and social policy development.

She will serve as chair until 30 June 2025.

The national RDA network is an Australian Government initiative that brings together all levels of government to enhance the development of Australia’s regions.

For more information on the national RDA network, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, and Member for Eden-Monaro, the Hon Kristy McBain MP:

“With her extensive experience and networks across government and academia, Professor Babacan is well placed to spearhead RDA Tropical North’s work to facilitate initiatives and collaborations that grow the local economy, promote opportunities and attract investment.

“RDA committees provide critical advice to governments on issues affecting their region and are an important mechanism to assist local communities to identify and develop proposals for appropriate government and private funding sources.

“I welcome Professor Babacan to the role and look forward to continuing to work with RDA Tropical North Queensland and our national network of RDAs to keep enhancing opportunities for regional Australia.

“I also thank Deputy Chair, Cr Brett Moller for his service as the acting chair during this recruitment period.”