Tributes flow for much-loved Peel identity David Waddell

David Waddell and his wife, Professor Jo Barker.
David Waddell and his wife, Professor Jo Barker.

PEEL Development Commission chair Paddi Creevey has paid tribute to the late David Waddell who served on the board of the Commission and held many senior roles in the Peel region.

“Mr Waddell was able to bring both a community and business development focus to the board during his tenure from 2004 to 2011,’’ she said.

“He made an immense contribution and played a key role in the Peel 2020 Vision led by the Commission as part of its sustainable agenda.”

Ms Creevey said that together with his wife, Professor Jo Barker, Mr Waddell was a major patron of the Mandurah performing arts scene.

“David thoroughly enjoyed his role as a lecturer at the WA Academy of Performing Arts and he and Jo Barker were fantastic supporters of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre,’’ she said.

“On behalf of the Commission, we extend our very best wishes to Jo Barker and the extended family – David was an outstanding human being – kind, gentle with a really fantastic sense of humour.”

Former South West MLC John Cowdell was chair of Peel Development Commission during David Waddell’s tenure and said he had supported and mentored a great many people in the Peel.

“David Waddell chaired and facilitated a number of significant seminars, workshops and conferences here, including one for 700 delegates for the Bendigo Bank’s national meeting while he was chair of the board,’’ he said.

Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams also paid tribute.

“David Waddell was one of those people with a big brain and a big heart who made everyone around him feel special,’’ he said.

“His contribution to Mandurah along with his contribution to WA was significant and we will miss him.

“Our thoughts and best wishes are with Jo and the family.”

Mr Waddell was passionate about the Peel region and developing its tourism sector because he believed “tourism benefits everybody” and was chair of Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation from 2014 t0 2015.

Mr Waddell had been a resident of Mandurah for 18 years and had a background in senior corporate management, education and business development.

Since moving to Mandurah, he was actively involved in roles including chair of Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation, Halls Head Community branch Bendigo Bank, a member of the Bendigo Community Bank National Advisory Board, the Peel Development Commission Board and Peel Health Campus Committee.

A celebration of Mr Waddell’s life will be held at the John Curtin Centre on Friday January 19 at 4.30pm.

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