The Board

Our Board is made up of economic development industry practitioners from around Australia who volunteer their time and expertise to oversee our strategic direction.

The Board Directors

  • Mark Holdsworth ACEcD (Chairman) (WA)
  • William Barry ACEcD (WA)
  • Paula Brennan ACEcD (VIC)
  • Susie Bower (Tas)
  • Virginia Miller ACEcD (Vic)
  • Paul Martins (Qld)
  • Greg Fenwick (NSW)


Mark Holdsworth ACEcD (WA)

Manager Economic Development City of Canning after a recent move to WA, Mark was formerly located in Victoria as Head of Partnerships – Knox Central Project. Mark draws on 15 years of experience in operations, business service management and support in both the private and public sectors, Mark’s key area of expertise is managing, designing and implementing customer centric service initiatives so that organisations can efficiently provide the services that support the business purpose and the requirements of their customers. Until recently a member of the Victorian SPN (since 2010 and during that time as coordinator of the sponsorship sub-committee) Mark prepared a new sponsorship and partnership policy that has been utilised as a national template and converted as an e-booklet on the EDA website.


William Barry ACEcD (WA)

Senior Economic Development Officer at Town of Bassendean and a committee member of EDA WA. With significant experience in the Tourism and Hospitality industry in both Europe and Australia at senior management level and as an owner operator, William offers sound industry knowledge. William has a strong awareness of and enthusiasm for adaptation to dynamic environments and a capacity to draw on well-established industry networks to support initiatives that address emerging needs and build the reputation of EDA.

William trains and informs staff awareness of ED and promotes client focused procedure for all council services. William is skilful in marketing and promotion and driving Town Centre activation programs including street markets, street art, infrastructure planning and assisting individual operators to increase their business acumen. William holds an MBA from the University of Western Australia.

Paula Brennan ACEcD (VIC)

23 years Local Government experience including roles in Risk and Facility management before a move to Economic Development in 2002.
With prior experience in corporate policy developmnt, project and event management, Paula developed the most recent Local Economic & Employment Development Strategy for the City of Greater Dandenong. This was closely aligned with her previous project, “Economic Resilience for Greater Dandenong”, undertaken in collaboration with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies in Manchester.

Paula has previously been a representative on the Victorian State Practitioner Network of EDA, and looks forward to further representing the sector through her position on the National Board.

With previous roles as an estimator in a small engineering business, risk manager and facility manager with Local Government prior to the move to Economic Development, her range of skills and expertise have allowed her to connect effectively with both Government and business people alike.

Susie Bower (Tas)

Formerly at Dorset Council as Manager Community and Economic Development Susie’s role involves a wide range of areas including: youth, aged care, community development, tourism, emergency management and economic development. Previously Susie worked with the University of Tasmania as a Business Manager. Results driven senior manager with broad management experience gained over twenty years in Local Government and the Higher Education sector, with demonstrated expertise in Operations and Project Management, Strategy Development, Planning and Networking.

Virginia Miller ACEcD (VIC) Industry Investment & Research Officer – City of Port Phillip

Currently vice-Chair of EDA Vic SPN, Virginia has taken a leading role in the review of the Local Government Victoria Performance Reporting for economic development, resulting in an extensive survey of ED Practitioners across Victoria informing a revised reporting model. Virginia previously held the role of Manager, Business Advisory Services at the Northern Adelaide Business Enterprise Centre and maintains an international Business Counsellor accreditation through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. As a current business owner she values the importance of key agencies and organisations that foster business development and resources that enhance the capacity of business and economic growth. Virginia is taking a leading role in developing and implementing a range of economic development related projects that focus on industry investment, business engagement and enhancing core industry sectors in the City of Port Phillip. Building on a recent study into the Creative Industries sector, the findings have paved an appetite to undertake a study in Urban Manufacturers within the five Inner Melbourne Councils (IMAP) and surrounds. The project will inform decisions about rezoning of urban commercial and industrial zoned land and aims to examine the competing needs for industrial and commercial land in central cities.

Paul Martins (QLD) Manager of Economic Development – Sunshine Coast Council

Charged with the implementation of the Regional Economic Development Strategy, the Major and Regional Events Strategy and Investment Attraction for the Sunshine Coast.

Paul was previously Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei and the Head of the South East Asian Infrastructure, Mining and Oil and Gas Units, managing some 30 plus staff spread across seven countries. Paul also held posts as Trade Commissioner for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean as well as Trade Commissioner for Indonesia. Paul has also enjoyed a number of roles in the private sector including as CEO of a large manufacturing business with offices across five locations in Australia and as Director of Sales and Marketing for an international manufacturing business.Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Asia Studies and an MBA in Entrepreneurship.

Greg Fenwick (NSW) Economic Development Coordinator – Newcastle City Council

A personal background in business development, hospitality and small business has assisted in the ongoing involvement in ED activities over the past 10+ years. Growing up in Newcastle and seeing the changes to the local commercial landscape also helps in understanding the way things have continually changed in our part of the world as it has moved away from being a steel city. Diversification has definitely been the key and is the message that we try to deliver when others are seeking advice on change.

Personal interests include staying active and participating in Masters Games (Basketball) as often as possible; this has led to a position on the board of the local basketball association

Greg holds a Diploma in Metallurgy along with an Advanced Diploma in Business Management