New RDA boss Phil Harman at the Noosa Marina during his days as CEO of Tourism Noosa.
New RDA boss Phil Harman at the Noosa Marina during his days as CEO of Tourism Noosa. chris mccormack

Former Noosa tourism CEO is back on Coast

FORMER Tourism Noosa chief executive Phil Harman, who left to pursue a career in South East Asia, has been appointed the regional director of RDA Sunshine Coast.

Mr Harman returned to the Sunshine Coast last year after almost a decade in Indonesia and Vietnam and saw his new role with Regional Development Australia as an exciting challenge.

"I am passionate about helping to create economic opportunities on the Coast and ensuring that we maintain the region as a great place to live and visit,” he said.

Mr Harman has wide experience in the public and private sector, spanning tourism, transport, agriculture and education, and has consulted to organisations including the World Bank and UNESCO.

Before moving to Asia, he was chief executive of Tourism Noosa from 2000-04. He had headed the Noosa Community Tourism Board before the two entities amalgamated.

While in Indonesia, Mr Harman established the Indonesia Country office for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, an international NGO that seeks to alleviate poverty by using market-based approaches.

He grew the team to more than 40 staff and delivered projects spanning agriculture, renewable energy, water, sanitation and climate change.

Mr Harman provided policy advice to governments in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia on green growth planning, climate change and tourism.

Earlier he headed up the marketing for the Federal Government's inward investment agency and chaired the national investment marketing committee.

Mr Harman has a strong background in tourism and has worked on some of Australia's leading tourism marketing campaigns, including the launch of Virgin Blue and "You'll Love Every Piece of Victoria”.

"I look forward to working with the chair and committee of RDA to build on the great work that has been done in facilitating business opportunities and responding to the region's infrastructure needs,” he said.

RDA Sunshine Coast chair Carol Cashman said her organisation was delighted to have secured an executive with Mr Harman's skills and experience.

RDA Sunshine Coast is part of a nationwide network of committees that work to bring together all levels of government to enhance the growth and development of regional growth areas.

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