Trevor John
Director of Regional Development and Executive Officer

Since November 2011, Trevor has written RDA Hunter’s reports, discussion papers, submissions to government inquiries and opinion pieces on issues and opportunities for the region’s economic development.

Before joining RDA Hunter, he was a lecturer at Wagga Wagga for 3 years and Newcastle for 16 years. While at Newcastle University, Trevor was the inaugural Chair of NUsport, serving for five years. He is a Life Member of NUsport. He was a Faculty representative on University Academic Senate, Visiting Fellow at London University (Goldsmiths) and served on the boards for community radio station 2NUR, the Sports Union and the Hunter Academy of Sport.

He has owned and operated an audio production business and been employed in Marketing by the Newcastle Permanent Building Society. Trevor is a member, and former Secretary/Treasurer, of the international cricket charity, The Lord’s Taverners Australia, Hunter Branch.

In February 2018, Trevor was appointed to the dual roles of Director of Regional Development and Executive Officer for RDA Hunter.

Rick Evans
STEM Workforce Manager

Rick is an Industry Development Officer for RDA Hunter’s ME Program. He coordinates RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Initiative and comprise miniME, ME Program, iSTEM and STEMship. They are life-stage specific, education programs that together create a pipeline of opportunities and activities for students from eight years of age to 18.

Rick has a strong employment history in vocational education and training, formerly employed by the Department of Industry (Training Services NSW). Training Services NSW is responsible for the implementation of funded programs, including Smart and Skilled, apprenticeships and traineeships and adult and community education in NSW. Prior to this, Rick worked for an Australian Apprenticeship Centre in Adelaide and Sydney.

Completing both University and VET qualifications in Newcastle, Rick is passionate about developing skills for the Hunter region’s future workforce. He is active in initiatives such as the HunterNet Future Leaders program and innovation projects in the region. Outside of work, Rick is a devoted family man and enjoys developing the surfing skills of his two young children.

Sarah Kane
Regional Development Coordinator

Sarah started with RDA Hunter in December 2017 as the Regional Development Coordinator for a variety of RDA Hunter initiatives such as the ME Program, STEMship and miniME projects.

Before starting with RDA Hunter, Sarah worked for Northern NSW Football as the Executive Administration and Venue Services Coordinator at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility. Whilst working at Northern NSW Football, Sarah completed a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) from the University of Newcastle in 2017.

Throughout her time at Northern NSW Football, Sarah gained experience in a variety of business operations from administration, finance, event management and marketing. Sarah is looking forward to developing these skills further with RDA Hunter and is passionate about working in projects that benefit the Hunter region.

Alana Plowright
Coordinator of Office Operations

Alana Plowright has lived in Newcastle her whole life. She has recently been employed as the Coordinator of Office Operations for RDA Hunter.

In 2014 she completed the Bachelor of Primary Education, specialising in Indigenous Education at the University Of Newcastle. Throughout her university study and post study, she worked for Newcastle Racecourse. Over the course of six and a half years employed with the Racecourse, she developed a repertoire of various positions within the organisation. A basic progression of her business career involved Bartender, Logistics, Payroll, Reception, Membership & Customer Services, Marketing, Executive & Administrative Assistant.

You’ve heard of the ‘crazy cat lady’, well she’s the ‘crazy horse lady’. She considers her animals as her ‘children’ and she currently has two beautiful dogs and three gorgeous horses. She enjoys an eclectic taste in music, playing piano, spending time with her family, watching movies & TV series, and travel.

Alana believes that collaborative, challenging and engaging work environments are great places to succeed. She is very excited to work with RDA Hunter and looks forward to seizing all networking and development opportunities possible.