About Us

WRI's team of experts, associates, researchers are all based in the regions, and bring unique knowledge and insight into the dynamics of regional economies, businesses and communities. They are backed by a trusted and influential brand gained from over 20 years experience.

Kathy Woolley

CEO - Economics, Local Government, Change Management, Governance - Bathurst

Kathy joined the WRI team in February 2018 having previously worked on a variety of boards and senior management roles across sectors including media, health, education, regional development, government, event management, research and sales.


For a number of years Kathy also ran a consultancy specialising in services for not for profit entities, focusing on best practice techniques in management and governance.


With formal qualifications in change management, company directorship, community engagement, economics and training, and well developed skills in human resources, information technology, finance and economic development, Kathy offers a unique skill set to assist with most business needs.


Kathy is a member of the Australian Institute of Internal Auditors and has developed internal audit and process improvement frameworks for a number of organisations. 

Dale Curran

Senior Research Officer - Finances - Marketing - Research - Bathurst

Dale is the senior researcher at WRI and has worked with the organisation across many roles and projects over the past 10 years.  Her expertise in research centres around consultation processes, her keen eye for detail and quality assurance.  She has also managed the executive support, finance, management of the Board of Directors and maintenance of policies functions in the organisation and understands how businesses work.


Dale has extensive experience in administration, financial management, corporate governance and design. Dale brings a high level of organisational skill and efficiency to her role.

Chris Mullen

Research Officer - Economics, Data Analysis, Benefit Cost Analysis - Bathurst

Chris is an Economics graduate from the University of New England and is currently undertaking a Master of Economics course.  Chris has a great interest and passion for macroeconomics and microeconomics, policy analysis and regional development economics. Throughout his undergraduate degree Chris has gained skills in benefit cost analysis, business statistics and economic modelling.  Having grown up on a property on the mid-north coast, Chris has a strong understanding of life in regional Australia and the issues rural communities face.

Heather Waters

Administration Officer - Customer Service, Reception, Bathurst

Heather brings strong skills in customer service from her experience working in the retail industry. She provides all the administrative support and is responsible for the creation of desktop published reports where required. Heather is currently enrolled in Certificate IV Business. Heather is passionate about building strong rural communities.

Juliet Duffy, MSMngt (USyd) MAICD

Chair - Environmental Science and Management - Dubbo

Juliet is an expert in environmental management and science.  She holds a Master of Sustainable Management from Sydney University and is the Managing Director of Regional EnviroScience with offices in Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.  Regional Envirosciences was recognised by the Australian Financial Review in the "Fast 100" list for 2017 - the fastest growing businesses in Australia for 2017.

Jo-Anne Strader, BComm (Hon) (Queens)

Board - Finance - Wagga Wagga

Jo-Anne is an accountant with senior level executive experience and is the Financial Controller for the global company DSM Nutritional Products Australia Pty Ltd.

Gavin Priestley

Board - Regional Development and Infrastructure - Bathurst/Orange

Gavin has an intimate knowledge of the issues confronting regional Australia has enabled him to contribute in both the Government (Federal and State) levels and commercial arena. Extensive experience and qualifications in management has assisted in developing remote teams ensuring professional service delivery of complex technical solutions.

Gavin set up the first Telstra Country Wide region. He has extensive experience in the political environment aligning commercial realities with Government direction.  Gavin served 5 years (pro bono) as Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia, a jointly Federal and State funded organisation based in the NSW Central West. He also served a term as an elected representative on a large regional council.

Gavin is passionate about bringing education and employment opportunities to the smaller towns in NSW. He has  particular focus on training and employment for aboriginal youth in remote communities. His expertise in agriculture, regional development, education, information technology, quality processes, marketing, business management and construction in regional NSW communities are  beneficial to WRI. Gavin looks forward to the future alongside the Board and staff of WRI.

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We'd love to help you

(02) 6333 4000

0428 628 583

133 Piper St,

Bathurst NSW 2795

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Copyright 2017 Western Research Institute Limited ABN 76 090 089 991 

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