Industry leaders join the Redlands’ economic advisory board

Information and communications industry executive Samantha Kennedy has been appointed chair of the Redlands’ Economic Development Advisory Board.

Ms Kennedy, the director strategy and innovation for Optus Business, has extensive corporate, government and legal experience across a diverse range of industries.

She will be joined on the board by noted business leader Dr John O’Donnell, the former CEO of the Mater Misericordiae Health Service Brisbane, and Pro Vice Chancellor Partnerships and Pathways at Bond University Catherine O’Sullivan.
Samantha Kennedy








The appointments were announced at a special Council meeting today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams welcomed the appointments to the board tasked with driving the development of the City’s key industry and employment growth sectors.

“Samantha has an excellent track record and will bring a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience, as well as leadership, to the board,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Her achievements in business development speak for themselves and she comes with a reputation for being highly energetic and results-driven – just the sort of qualities we need to capitalise on the work Council has already started.’’

A former member of the Gold Coast Economic Development Advisory Board and a winner for the International Women’s Day Commemorative Award for Exceptional Leadership, Ms Kennedy will lead a board of representatives from Council and industry and employment growth sectors identified in the Redland Economic Development Framework adopted by Council this year.

Cr Williams said Council was also fortunate to acquire the services of Dr O’Donnell, a very experienced company director and advisor, as well as a member of a range of health care, superannuation and educational boards.

“As a mentor and coach for business and industry leaders, he offers local enterprises an enormous knowledge base that they can tap in to,’’ she said.

“He is a CEO of note and, at the Mater, he managed 7000-plus staff and volunteers at three public and four private tertiary hospital facilities, taking it to more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and is recognised as a national leader in patient clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and staff engagement.

“With our ageing population, I see the health and wellness sectors as providing enormous opportunities for Redland City. Dr O’Donnell’s expertise will be of tremendous value as we seek to broaden our economic base and expand into this growth sector.”

Dr O’Donnell is also an Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology’s School of Public Health and Social Work and Adjunct Professor in the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine. He also is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of the Australian Institute of Management.

Cr Williams said Ms O’Sullivan came with a track record of innovative and successful community, sport, business and academic partnerships.

“At Bond, she is responsible for the strategic development and expansion of the university’s engagement with business, community and industry groups across Australia and the Asian Region,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Her experience and expertise in this field will be vital to the board as it develops educational services as valuable industry for the Redlands.’’

Ms O’Sullivan is also a director of the Screen Queensland Board, a member of Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Board and a national judge of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, among other appointments.

Ms Kennedy will now look for experienced professionals to fill the other board positions representing the eight industry sectors dominating the Redlands economy: construction, education and training, financial and professional services, health care, manufacturing, retail trade, rural enterprises and tourism.

The board will report to Redland City Council.

For more information or to apply contact Davidson’s principal consultant Peter Murphy on 3023 1036 or