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.

Trent Bagnall (Chairman) – Founder, Slingshot Accelerator

Trent founded Slingshot to encourage innovation, by providing seed funding and a mentoring program to new high-tech businesses. He has been involved in the growth of a number of companies including as Managing Director of ASX listed QMASTOR Ltd, which grew to over 100 employees based in Australian and international offices. Trent has lived in Lake Macquarie since childhood and now resides in Speers Point with his wife and three children. His success in establishing and growing several strong and profitable businesses, particularly in the technology field, and his sound entrepreneurial vision will ensure Trent can benefit Lake Macquarie businesses and the Board.

Sandra Hutton (Deputy Chairman) – Senior Town Planner/Associate, ADW Johnson

Sandra has extensive experience in land-use planning, balancing development with strong urban design principles and social outcomes. She has been involved in a range of key development projects throughout the city including Caves Beachside Resort, Murrays Beach, and numerous mixed use and multi-storey developments. Sandra has lived in Lake Macquarie for 13 years and enjoys the lifestyle opportunities available by raising her family here. She is excited to now be able to contribute to the continued success of business in Lake Macquarie. Sandra is the Lake Macquarie representative on the Joint Regional Planning Panel and her town planning and land use skills will be invaluable to the new Board.

Darren Glover (Company Secretary) – Director and Client Service Partner, Evolution Advisers

Having achieved notable success with the establishment of his own innovative, high performing business, Darren is recognised for his ability to advise on and implement strategies that promote effective business development. Darren has lived in Lake Macquarie since childhood and now resides in Belmont with his wife and three children. He is a Director on the inaugural Trustee Board for the Lake Macquarie Foundation, which benefits charities and non-profit organisations in our City. Darren’s experience in financial services, as a Chartered Accountant enabling businesses to achieve sustainable growth, combined with his understanding of investment strategies, will bring valuable skills to the new Board.

Wayne Lowe – National Executive Strategic Partnerships, The Link Group

Wayne has founded and run a number of successful financial services companies using his skills as a qualified accountant and experienced superannuation executive professional. He has lived in Lake Macquarie for 13 years and enjoys a sporting lifestyle that includes bike riding, kayaking, boating and jet skiing on the lake. Wayne is also involved with the Lake Macquarie Foundation, Hunter Founders Forum and the Hunter Angels Trust, supporting local businesses and charitable causes in the greater Hunter Region. The Board will benefit from Wayne’s strategic vision and strong stakeholder management skills as well as his experience in establishing and growing strong and successful businesses.

Councillor Kay Fraser – Mayor of Lake Macquarie City

26_9_16 Mayor Kay Fraser_edited 16As a resident of Lake Macquarie for more than 40 years and popularly elected as Mayor of Lake Macquarie City in September 2016, Kay understands that our City offers an incredible lifestyle, with world-class infrastructure, engaged and connected communities, a strong and diversified local economy, and superb natural beauty. Having had the privilege of representing the residents of East Ward for the past 12 years, Kay remains committed to making Lake Macquarie a great place to live, work and visit and she’s delighted to be building on the successes of previous councils. Kay is passionate about social justice and ensuring that everybody has access to necessary services, a cause close to her heart that she also pursued throughout her working life, prior to the Mayoral election. She believes that the people of Lake Macquarie City should have a quality of life that meets their needs, increased opportunities for education, employment and a lifestyle that promotes a strong connection to the community and the environment.

Dianne Allen

23_11_16 Dantia Dianne Allen

Scott Williams – CEO Belmont 16s

23_11_16 Dantia Scott Williams

Scott is a hospitality management specialist with over 25 years of experience in senior management positions across that sector. He was raised in Lake Macquarie and undertook his schooling in the Eastlakes area before studying commerce at Newcastle University. 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 his roles as State Councillor for the Newcastle and Hunter Region of ClubsNSW and Chairman of the Lake Macquarie Liquor Accord.

As the CEO of Belmont 16s Scott has overseen numerous developments during his tenure and brings a different perspective to the Board as we strive to encourage economic development in Lake Macquarie.


General Manager of Lake Macquarie City Council

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.

Deb Aitchison -Operations and Administration Coordinator

As Dantia’s Operations & Administration Coordinator, Deb Aitchison actively contributes to the achievement of our strategic objectives by anticipating and actioning the operational, research and reporting needs of the business, executives and cross functional team. Deb has extensive career experience in office, event and project management with the ability to work intuitively and to proactively build effective business relationships. Prior to joining the Dantia team in December 2017, Deb held a contract with the NSW Department of Industry as an Executive Assistant. Previous roles also include eight years at Wyong Shire Council working directly for the Chief Executive Officer and Operations Coordinator/PA at Mirvac. Deb is also a business owner, providing social media and virtual business solutions. Deb has a passion for business and continuous improvement and is very much looking forward to helping facilitate growth in the Lake Macquarie area by connecting business, community, industry and government.

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).

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  Dantia Four Year Strategy 2014-2018-1