Donna is the managing director and founder of Comacon. Whilst Comacon has grown to include a team of over 200 (nearly half of which are located overseas), Donna is a working principal consultant. Comacon is managed operationally by a team of experienced managers and Donna spends the majority of her time in the field and ‘on the tools’, and she loves nothing better. Comacon is currently undergoing a structure change and will soon be an employee owned organisation and Donna sees that as the embodiment of her work in community engagement. Moving forward she wants to stay ‘on the tools’ and further her skills in community engagement.
During her 25 year career, Donna has had experiences that she only dreamed of. She loves people, is inspired by giving a voice to the marginalised and loves that infrastructure leaves a legacy. Donna will often describe her work as her dream job. She absolutely loves working with communities, especially lower socio-economic, marginalised and Indigenous communities. With a deep respect for both communities and the technical specialists she works with, Donna seeks to build rapport, gain trust and work towards viable solutions for all. The more challenging the task, the more Donna enjoys the project.
Donna has lost count of the number of infrastructure projects she has worked on. At last count it was over 150. She has worked on roads, water projects, rail projects (both freight and passenger), ports, gas, groundwater, housing estates, parkland development, Indigenous programs and many more. Yet every project gives her a new opportunity for learning and developing. What she loves most about this industry is that there is never a blanket solution. She is always given the opportunity to try new approaches and seek new solutions.
Donna came to this industry with psychology and communications studies and proceeded to study planning, local government and literature studies. She did plan on becoming an English Professor but once entrenched in the industry; she found her calling and has passionately embraced Infrastructure and Natural Resource community relations as her field.
Donna is looking forward to meeting you at the conference, to hearing your stories and to learning from you and with you.