Donna Foster

Senior Advisor - Grant Program Office

Donna Foster

About Donna

Donna is an experienced professional with a depth of experience in business and government writing, gained through over 15 years working in government at senior levels. Donna has achieved quantifiable success in securing grants and managing funding across a diverse range of sectors.

Donna has held senior level roles in the tourism, economic development, investment, and international trade environments. Donna stays actively informed and connected, participating in forums and conferences and maintaining memberships and subscriptions that provide current information on trends and industry developments.

Donna is an advocate for regional Australia and the importance of a strong economy for Australia. Her greatest success comes from working collaboratively with open communication and a commitment to ethics and strong governance principles. Donna is a curious individual who embraces change.

Core Capability

  • Communication Skills
  • Grant Writing, Advocacy & Stakeholder Engagement
  • Relationship Management
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Financial Management


  • MBA - Finance, Economics & Marketing (AUT, Auckland)
  • NZ Institute of Directors - Corporate Governance
  • Australian Regional Tourism (former deputy Chair)
  • Institute of Community Directors (Member)
  • Economic Development Australia (Member)

Key Experience

Maven Bridge Consulting – Founder and Lead

• National Trust SA - Port Pirie and Moonta Revitalisation Projects.
• Di-Monty Training - Review of business operations.
• Limestone Connect - NFP grant application, $10K Governance framework.
• Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation - $150K successful grant application.
• TM Universe Inc - governance organizational structure.
• Australian Regional Tourism - preparation of framework for proposed programs.

Economic Development Manager - Whitsunday Regional Council

• Managing the economic development portfolio, including the grants function.
• Managed Council team in grant applications, including water and infrastructure.
• Secured access to State Government funding to develop a comprehensive program for the marine industry.

Principal Specialist, Economic Development & Tourism - Scenic Rim Regional Council

• Development and delivery of Tourism and Economic Development strategies.
• Finalisation and adoption by Council of draft Regional Prosperity strategy.
• Review and completion of Adventure and Nature-based Tourism strategy.
• Development of response projects for drought, bush fires and COVID-19.
• Representation across forums and committees (Brisbane Market Area Group).

Manager Tourism and Economic Development - City of Mount Gambier

• Managed relationship with the tourism body Tourism Mount Gambier to deliver on priority tourism initiatives, develop and implement changes recommended by the 2016 Visitor Services Review and implement relevant actions in relation the Digital Strategy and the City Growth Strategy for City of Mount Gambier.

Manager Investment Attraction - Fraser Coast Regional Council

• An initial contract transitioned into a long-term role. Reporting to the CEO with regular communication with the Mayor and Councillors and stakeholders throughout the Council and community.
• Responsibility for the development and implementation of Investment Attraction Strategy for Fraser Coast, in alignment with the Fraser Coast Regional Council Economic Development Policy.