Our Business Advocates

Deidre Willmott

Deidre Willmott | Chief Executive Officer

Deidre Willmott has been Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) since March 2014 and is a Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Deidre has many years of experience in policy and advocacy on behalf of business. From 2006 to 2008 she was the Executive Director Policy for CCI and in this role she was instrumental in driving changes in the Liquor Licencing Act to allow for more flexibility in Perth’s restaurant and bar industry. She also led the campaign for extended retail trading hours.

Her previous roles have included Chief of Staff to Premiers Richard Court and Colin Barnett, Cabinet Secretary, General Manager of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and Director External Relations at Fortescue Metals Group.

Deidre is a lawyer having studied at UWA and completed a Master of Laws at Melbourne University.

Deidre is leading CCI’s vision for Western Australia to become a world-leading place to live and do business. She believes that a robust and vital business sector is essential for a strong and vibrant community.


Cath Langmead

Cath Langmead | Director of Advocacy

Cath Langmead is Director of Advocacy at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI), where she is responsible for policy, economics, communications and external relations.

Prior to joining CCI, Cath was Director of Government Media for former West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and was previously an adviser to former Treasurer Troy Buswell.

Before politics, Cath was a reporter for The Australian where she covered politics in the Canberra Press Gallery before working as a business journalist in Sydney and Perth.

Cath is a member of the Guildford Grammar School Council.

She has a Graduate Diploma in Project Management from Curtin University (Dux), and a Bachelor of Arts from the Queensland University of Technology.


Rick Newnham

Rick Newnham | Chief Economist

Rick Newnham is passionate about making Western Australia a world leading place to live and do business.

He joined the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) as Chief Economist in January 2017. Prior to joining CCI Rick worked as an Economist for Shell around the world, including postings in Australia (Brisbane and Perth), the UK (Aberdeen) and the Middle East (Dubai).

Rick is recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper, he is an Ambassador for Australia Day and a State Advisory Council member of CEDA - The Committee for Economic Development Australia.

In 2011, Rick was awarded Young Western Australian of the Year for establishing the Left Right Think-Tank, Australia’s first non-partisan think-tank of young minds.

Rick has a keen interest in innovation and policy that will advance Western Australia’s position in the global economy. Through the economic policy, start-up and trade communities Rick stays connected to the economies of the Middle East and Asia, where his experience and interests most overlap.

Rick completed his undergraduate business studies at The University of Western Australia and post-graduate studies at Oxford University. His thesis at Oxford evaluated the economics of Uber and Airbnb’s government relations strategies worldwide for which he won the Saïd Business School prize.