Coffs Harbour's Most Influential - Part 1

Coffs Coast Advocate


Many desire it, only a select few command it and measuring it is a precarious task.

The Coffs Coast Advocate is doing exactly that, naming the men and women who in 2018 are influencing the future of Coffs Harbour.

It is, of course, highly subjective and will be debated in households from Bonville to Sawtell, Park Beach to West Coffs and right through to Woolgoolga.

Chins will wag, glass jaws will shatter and the only certainty is that no one will agree.

This online series will provide a unique snapshot of the way power is wielded in our great area.

And it comes in all sectors, business, politics, the arts, sport and health.

The one thing everyone on the list invariably share is a passion for our city and a drive to effect change in Coffs Harbour.

Indeed many are on the list on the strength of the work they have done to better the community and the wider Coffs Coast.

Much of this work is done without expectation of kudos or a "return on investment".

It's about civic pride and the desire to give back.

Here's the start of the list as nominated by our committee.


Catchment Management authority Launch: Rod Mckelvey, chairman of the CMA. Photo: Rob Wright / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Rod McKelvey. Rob Wright

34. Rod McKelvey - former councillor/deputy mayor, Landcare, Rivercare, formerly chair of the Coffs City Masterplan Committee

Rod McKelvey has been an integral part of the Coffs community for decades.

The former Coffs Harbour councillor has 45 years' experience in business and over 25 years as a community advocate.

Before coming to Coffs, Rod was a partner in Sydney-based advertising, packaging and production companies, with a special interest in sustainability, which eventually led him to a career in sustainable primary production on the NSW North West Slopes.

He is an experienced community representative, particularly regarding environmental, planning, and Aboriginal issues, and has served on federal, state and local boards and committees since 1992.

As a Coffs Harbour City Councillor and Deputy Mayor, he pursued his interest in the principles of good governance and ethical behaviour, especially concerning accountability, transparency and conflicts of interest in government.

He still maintains close links with governments and representatives throughout the region, and continues to consult with them on behalf of the community.

He is a strong advocate for professional development and responsible risk management.

Rod has served on several committees and community-based advisory groups including Chair of the NSW NPWS North Coast Region Advisory Committee, Chair of Coffs Harbour City Council's CBD MasterPlan Committee, and a Member of Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area Community Advisory Committee and ETC.

A state Coalition deal will stop Cr John Arkan running as a Liberal should be decide to make a run at the Federal seat of Cowper.
Councillor John Arkan, a leader in Woolgoolga's Sikh community.

33. John Arkan, Woolgoolga-based Coffs Harbour City Councillor and former political candidate

Eccentric farmer, and Coffs Harbour councillor John Arkan/Jorahvar Singh and his family have become instrumental in the growth of Woolgoolga and the Coffs Coast Sikh community.

An often controversial figure, John grew up in Woolgoolga.

Australia's first Sikh councillor, John's family migrated to Australia from India in 1890, initially coming here to pave a career in the farming industry.

In his role as the regional representation for Sikh Council of Australia, John and the council have achieved many milestones such as bringing a Sikh military band to Sydney to march in the 100 years ANZAC parade in recognition of the Sikhs who fought and died in Gallipoli.

John was also instrumental in creating a program that highlights domestic violence issues in the Sikh community.

General Manager, Brad Daymond, at Bonville Golf Resort. 29 January 2018
Bonville Golf Resort and Pacific Bay Resort General Manager Brad Daymond. Trevor Veale

32. Brad Daymond, Bonville Golf Resort, Novotel Pacific Bay General Manager

As General Manager of Bonville Golf Resort and the newly attained Pacific Bay, Brad Daymond is responsible for the management and future path of two of the region's most acclaimed and celebrated tourism locations.

Bonville Golf Resort is considered by many to be the jewel in the region's tourist industry crown and is rated among Australia's greatest golf courses.

Maintaining the reputation of the property requires innovative thinking and strategic planning.

In addition to Bonville Golf Resort, Brad is now responsible for creating a viable plan for the future of the Pacific Bay Resort.

Brad was also instrumental in bringing Australian women's golf newest professional golf tournament, The Australian Ladies Classic to Bonville this year.

This event comes with enormous tourism potential and is also a feather in the cap of the region's most celebrated golf club.

See the next three personalities on our list tomorrow night.