About Dantia

Dantia’s ultimate aim is to increase jobs and attract investment in Lake Macquarie.


Lake Macquarie City is recognised as a competitive, prosperous and dynamic regional economy where innovation, investment and business enterprises thrive and are welcome.


Dantia will work with business, government, the community and partners to advance the sustainable economic prosperity of Lake Macquarie City.

Values and principles

  • Strive for economic growth
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders
  • Embrace innovation and change
  • Lead the conversation on economic development
  • Be inclusive and transparent
  • Provide networks and pathways for success
  • Comply with best practice in corporate governance


  • develop and implement a range of initiatives to attract investment and new businesses to Lake Macquarie City;
  • market and promote the City as a regional city, as a regional business centre and its attractions for investment;
  • represent and promote the interests of local businesses, commercial and industrial landowners and developers, the community and social infrastructure establishments as they relate to employment growth and new investment;
  • develop and facilitate implementation of a range of initiatives to support the growth of local businesses;
  • facilitate partnerships with State and Commonwealth agencies, business and learning organisations and attract investment in the City by them; and
  • encourage support and assist government and industry in the adoption of policies which enhance the competitiveness of the businesses in the City and create employment opportunities.

Dantia has identified four strategic drivers that will help shape and drive the City’s future local economy: identity, investment, infrastructure and innovation.

Dianne Allen, Chairperson

Deputy Chancellor, University of Newcastle’s Council

Dianne is a lifelong resident of Lake Macquarie and has spent most of her career working as a chartered accountant in public practice including operating her own firm for more than 15 years.

Dianne has over 20 years’ boardroom experience with government owned corporations and not-for-profit entities. She currently holds a number of board and advisory positions with organisations throughout the Hunter region including the roles of Deputy Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Chair of Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee at Lake Macquarie City Council and member of Audit and Risk Committee with Hunter New England Local Health District.

Dianne’s extensive financial experience and capacity to navigate and lead change means she is a key asset to the Dantia Board.

Sandra Hutton, Deputy Chair

Senior Town Planner/Associate, ADW Johnson

Sandra is Senior Town Planner/Associate with urban planning consultancy ADW Johnson and was the Lake Macquarie representative on the Joint Regional Planning Panel for six years.

Sandra, with a Bachelor of Urban & Regional Planning (Hons 1), has 20+ years’ experience in land use planning, balancing development with strong urban design principles and social outcomes. She has a reputation of being able to interpret and give practical application to understanding sites, their capabilities and land use opportunities. She has been involved in a range of key development projects in Lake Macquarie including Caves Beachside Resort, Murrays Beach, Trinity Point, Lake Macquarie Airport and numerous mixed-use and multi-storey developments in Charlestown, Warners Bay, Belmont and Cardiff town centres.

Sandra joined Dantia to be part of and contribute towards the positive initiative shown by Lake Macquarie City to give economic development an independent voice with a city-wide perspective.

Darren Glover, Company Secretary

Director and Client Service Partner, Evolution Advisers

Darren is a Director and Client Service Partner of innovative, high-performing business, Evolution Advisers. His experience in financial services, as a Chartered Accountant enabling businesses to achieve sustainable growth, combined with his understanding of investment strategies, brings valuable skills to the Board.

Darren is also a Director on the inaugural Trustee Board for the Lake Macquarie Foundation, which benefits charities and not-for-profit organisations in the City.

Darren joined Dantia as a board member in 2014 to help realise Lake Macquarie’s enormous potential.

Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Director

Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Newcastle

Professor Zelinsky’s career spans innovation, science and technology, education, research and development, and commercial start-ups. He holds a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Honours), a Doctor of Philosophy, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science, all from the University of Wollongong.

He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the Advanced Management Program from Harvard University.

Professor Zelinsky has held the position of Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist since March 2012 and prior to that was Group Executive of Information Sciences at the CSIRO from 2004-2012. He was also CEO and co-founder of Seeing Machines, a technology company focused on computer vision. Seeing Machines was a start-up from Australian National University where he was a Professor of Systems Engineering.

As computer scientist, roboticist and systems engineer, Professor Zelinsky joined the Dantia Board to support the increase of technology-based jobs in the region and drive digital innovation.

Councillor Kay Fraser, Director

Mayor of Lake Macquarie City

26_9_16 Mayor Kay Fraser_edited 16

Kay Fraser was popularly elected as Mayor of Lake Macquarie City in September 2016. She has lived in Lake Macquarie for more than 40 years and is serving her fourth term on Lake Macquarie City Council.

Kay is committed to making Lake Macquarie a great place to live, work and visit, building on its superb natural assets of lake, mountains, bushland and sea, its unique sense of community and its growing, fast-evolving regional economy.

In her role as a Director on the Dantia board, Kay is focused on building a strong local economy with diverse employment opportunities for the citizens of Lake Macquarie.

Morven Cameron, Director

Chief Executive Officer, Lake Macquarie City Council

As the CEO of Lake Macquarie City Council, Morven is passionate about local government and finding new ways to lead and progress one of the largest regional cities in NSW.

Fundamental to Morven’s success is her ability to think strategically and look for innovative solutions. Recognising that economic development needed a unique approach and commercial expertise, Morven was instrumental in the creation of Dantia in 2014, setting up the company to rapidly accurate growth, drive investment and increase jobs in the region.

Scott Williams, Director

Chief Executive Officer, Belmont 16s

Scott is a hospitality management specialist with over 25 years of experience in senior management positions within the hospitality and service sector. He was raised in Lake Macquarie and undertook his schooling in the Eastlakes area before studying commerce at the University of Newcastle. Scott also holds post graduate qualifications from CPA Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He has a broad network to draw on from in his roles as State President – Newcastle and Hunter Region for ClubsNSW and Chairman of the Lake Macquarie Liquor Accord.

As the CEO of Belmont 16s, Scott has overseen numerous developments during his tenure and watched Lake Macquarie diversify and grow. Scott sees the huge potential of Lake Macquarie and is keen to continue to play a role in the City’s transformation.


Wayne Lowe,  Director

Managing Director, FNZ Australia


Wayne has founded and run a number of successful financial services companies using his skills as a qualified accountant and experienced superannuation professional, and is currently Managing Director of FNZ Australia.

Wayne is also a Director of the Lake Macquarie Foundation, Hunter Founders Forum and the Hunter Angels Trust, supporting local businesses and charitable causes in Lake Macquarie and the greater Hunter Region.

A local resident and business owner, Wayne has lived in Lake Macquarie with his family for 18 years, is an avid sports follower, enjoys supporting his daughters with their sporting and lifestyle passions and boating on Lake Macquarie with family and friends.

As a founding member of the Dantia Board, Wayne is passionate about building a dynamic city which capitalises on Lake Macquarie’s strategic and natural assets enabling business and families to thrive.

Peter Francis – Chief Executive Officer

Peter Francis commenced as Lake Macquarie Economic Development Company’s CEO in April 2017.

Peter most recently worked at Port of Newcastle. As Executive Manager Trade and Business Development he was a member of the executive team that delivered the 27x earnings sale of the asset. He oversaw the diversification of port business introducing new capabilities for fuel, grain and project cargo, defence and commercial ship building, secured funding for a cruise terminal, completed transactions for a container terminal and over 100 other commercial leases.

He was General Manager of GPT’s Charlestown Square from 2003 to 2011, where he successfully led the tenants, customers and community throughout the 2010, award winning $470m redevelopment. From 2011-12 he managed GPT’s Rouse Hill Town Centre. He held executive positions at Blacktown Olympic Park and Centennial Park and Moore Park, two of Sydney’s premier sport and recreation asserts. Peter is a consistent performer who has delivered results based on the triple bottom line philosophy.

Peter holds a Master of Business General Management, a Graduate Diploma of Management and BA. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and NSW Real Estate Licensee.

Peter is an accomplished executive who has spent the last 17 years managing and facilitating the development of complex commercial and community property assets to create positive economic, social and environmental change for the mutual and sustainable benefit of community, customers and shareholders.

Derrek Lush – Development Executive

Lush Bio pic copy Derrek joined Dantia in 2015 direct from the private sector where he held senior strategy, business improvement, and program management appointments in both the private and public sectors, working closely with senior stakeholders across Australasia, Europe, the United States, and United Kingdom. Before his successful transition to the private sector Derrek served for over a decade as an Officer in the Australian Defence Force, leading organisations on operations and in disaster relief. Choosing to focus on technology and transformational projects Derrek was posted to the ADFs Capability Development Group successfully managing a $3.5 billion portfolio of programs across infrastructure, facilities, weapons systems, communication technology, training systems and vehicles. Derrek holds a Master of Management Studies from the University of New South Wales School of Business and is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon. With a breadth of private and public sector experience, and as a local resident Derrek is highly dedicated, motivated, and uniquely equipped to help Dantia facilitate a platform for sustainable economic growth in Lake Macquarie City.

Dantia Story

Prosperity means different things to different people, but it is universally defined as ‘doing well’. The normal context is financial, but prosperity can be interpreted more broadly as ‘living well’. We have chosen the name Dantia, a derivative of Abundantia, the Roman goddess of abundance and prosperity, to represent what is required for economic growth: access to and protection of resources (abundance) and satisfactory financial returns coupled with the pleasurable attributes and sustainable lifestyle of the City (prosperity).