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Regional engagement

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is building our presence in regional areas. Regional offices and regional staff help us develop relationships with stakeholders. They help provide us with local knowledge and the capability to build partnerships.

Regional offices

Regional offices help us in our role in managing the Murray–Darling Basin. Having offices located in regional areas supports our research, evidence and analytical capacity, and contributes to policy and decision making.

We have offices in:

  • Adelaide
  • Canberra
  • Goondiwindi
  • Griffith
  • Mildura
  • Murray Bridge
  • Wodonga

Regional engagement officers

We encourage people to talk to us about their experiences and concerns. We want everyone invested in the Basin to get in touch with the regional engagement team.

The group has an impressive range of skills, experience and strong community ties.

Our Regional Engagement Officers (REO) work part-time in their regions. We have hosting arrangements in place with 5 organisations and are working towards having 7 REOs across the Basin.

To provide feedback or keep up to date on this program, email

Meet the team

Annabelle Guest – Namoi/Gwydir (New South Wales)

Annabelle has lived and worked in the Namoi/Gwydir region for the past 25 years and has extensive connections with her local community. Her various roles in the agriculture industry include consulting, research, compliance and landholder liaison. Annabelle is a former community advisory group representative for the North West Local Land Services, and currently a part-time research coordinator with the Dryland Cotton Research Association.

Josh Kirby – Goulburn–Murray (Victoria) and Mid–Murray (New South Wales)

Josh is a local farmer with a passion for both farming and the environment. He has a background in environmental science and has held a number of roles in the Goulburn–Murray region including with local Moira Shire Council and with Goulburn–Murray Water. He has extensive networks and an understanding of local issues and communities and is a proven communicator with extensive media experience. With Josh being located near Yarrawonga/Mulwala he is well situated to link with communities across both the Goulburn–Murray Irrigation District and the New South Wales Mid–Murray.

Kate Bartlett – Lower Murray (South Australia)

Kate grew up beside River Murray with a childhood of swimming and boating fun and now is dairy farming on the river banks in Jervois, South Australia.

Kates’ great grandfather introduced citrus to the Mypolonga area of South Australia, so farming and the River Murray is really in her veins.

It is this generational river lifestyle and business involvement that saw her step outside the farm gate during the millennium drought with numerous community roles linked with water, farming, or irrigation.

Lucy Sevil – St George (south west Queensland)

Lucy is a St George local who is completing a Bachelor of Sustainability from the University of New England remotely in St George. She worked for the Balonne Shire Council in the Visitor Information Centre. She has worked as a farm hand and agronomists assistant providing crop checks and farm monitoring. She also featured in the St George Tourism 'matesong'.

Phillip Sullivan – Bourke, Barwon–Darling (New South Wales)

Phillip is a Ngemba Aboriginal man whose totem is the yellow belly and is connected through the Dreaming Stories painted on the rock art Mt Grenfell and Gundabooka, Wuttagoona and Iona. His connections run through Ngiyampaa country from Brewarrina to include the lands where the Keewong people resided. He has worked as an Aboriginal heritage officer for the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage and National Parks. He brings a passion for protecting country and a willingness to share his knowledge, skills and experience in decision making and planning processes.

Peter Thomas – Lachlan–Macquarie–Castlereagh (New South Wales)

Peter Thomas is the Regional Engagement Officer (REO) for the Lachlan–Macquarie–Castlereagh region. Peter previously worked in the REO role in the Barwon–Darling region and transferred to this current role in September 2019. He has a strong knowledge of private sector and government interaction in the areas of health, justice and transport across central and western New South Wales. With over 40 years of experience in working in regional towns, Peter has a passion for working with communities and finding opportunities for them to be active in water reform in the Basin.

Richard Unsworth – Menindee and the Lower Darling (New South Wales)

Richard is a Menindee resident and small business owner committed to the town, its people and the river. Richard moved to Menindee to work in the horticultural industry managing a table grape operation. He also has previous experience in the public sector and brings a unique range of community and management skills to the role.

Updated: 17 Mar 2023