Select Page

Sound advice.
Straight from the horse’s mouth.

When you’re discussing your future, it helps to know the advice isn’t just hearsay.

Our team members have strong agricultural backgrounds and vast experience in commercial-farming-related industries such as business, banking and commodities. That means they’re well placed to give you an educated steer on how best to approach situations and institutions, so you can ask the right questions and speak their language. With our experience and expertise, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to reign your business back in hand.

Meet our Counsellors

Graeme

Witte

BURONGA

Born and raised in the Sunraysia area, Graeme comes from a background in banking spanning the last thirty years.

Originally raised on a dried fruit and citrus farm in the district, Graeme has worked predominately in the Ag sector of banking during his career. Having spent many years working with farmer during good times and drought it was an easy choice to move from banking to Rural Financial Counselling in April 2018.

Graeme’s strong background in banking and finance means that he can assist you in looking at the numbers behind your business and help guide you through the often complicated assistance applications.

Tony
Flett

DENILIQUIN

Tony comes from a dairy background where he and his family milked up to 500 cows across a number of properties around Cobram and Strathmerton.

Having 5 children whilst being on the farm allowed Tony and his family to have plenty of quality time together but after 23 years it was time to try something new. After looking for where life might take him, that was different to what he had been doing, but still firmly rooted in agriculture, an opportunity came up to work with RFCS.

Tony’s strong ag and business background and having an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture and a Bachelor of Business made the move to RFCS a logical transition.

Linda lives on a sheep grazing property near Hillston. She has qualifications in business and accounting, has attained her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) and has completed a Statement of Attainment under the Financial Counselling Association NSW. Linda also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of Rural Financial Counsellor. She has also worked for a large mixed agriculture firm and as part of a farming family and has the knowledge and insight to help local farmers.

Linda covers the areas of Hillston, Lake Cargelligo, Ivanhoe and surrounding districts and welcomes you to visit her office or arrange an appointment to meet with you on farm.

Airlie
Hoskins

COLEAMBALLY

Airlie has grown up on a sheep and cattle property at Goulburn, NSW, and currently lives on an irrigated cropping farm at Carrathool. She has qualifications in Economics and Accounting, and prior work experience in Agri-banking and farm business analysis.

Airlie is covering the Coleambally area, which extends out to Carrathool, Jerilderie and Morundah. She has a passion for agriculture and helping people on the land, and can assist you with farm budgeting, business planning and understanding agri – finance.

Kevin
McCrum

WAGGA WAGGA NORTH

Kevin has strong links to the rural sector. He was born and raised on a farm at Weethalle, then attended Yanco Agricultural High School before going on to study veterinary science at university. After working as a vet for three years both here and overseas, he returned to the family farm – a dry area, mixed cereals / grazing property at Weethalle where he worked and raised his family for 23 years. Kevin has a Diploma of Community Services Financial Counselling

Having experienced the challenges of drought, fluctuating commodity prices and natural disasters and lived in a farming community, he is now ready to assist the farmers of the South-East Riverina with their financial counselling needs and to plan for a brighter future.

Kevin McCrumm

Graham has a balanced understanding of agriculture at all levels – as a former lecturer on farm management at the University of Melbourne and with hands on experience running mixed, irrigation and livestock farms in western Victoria and the Riverina.

He relates well to farmers as he knows what it is like dealing with the day-to-day issues of managing changing water allocations and watching agri political issues unfold.  Graham knows the importance of financial analysis, budgeting and planning, and he delivers these services to farming families to help them identify the best path for their future.

He has worked with the Service since October 2007 and holds a Diploma of Agricultural Science, a Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness and has also attained the Diploma of Community Service (Financial Counselling).

Elke is a strong proponent of sustainable agriculture and regional development. She has worked as a rural financial counsellor since mid 2016, servicing the Hilltops area.

Elke and her husband own & operate in a farming enterprise in Harden, NSW. The business encompasses broad acre grain & beef production. She has a strong personal understanding of the many challenges faced by rural communities, farmers and their families today. Elke knows very well that weather extremes and volatile markets affect us all.

After 25 years working in accounting, finance and banking, Elke also understands the position of a business from a financial and banking perspective. Elke is a results driven business professional with broad experience in senior management; her experience as a Fellow CPA and finance executive was gained working with small and medium enterprises and for 16 years in the customer owned banking sector. Elke completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and sits on a number of local and regional boards.

Fiona is an experienced Rural Financial Counsellor, working in the RFCS Northern region, Central Region and also Southern Queensland. She also has experience with various agricultural based companies as a Management Accountant with Clyde Agriculture in Bourke, NSW and as the Administration Manager at Oakey Abattoir, Oakey QLD.

Fiona’s qualifications include a Business Degree (USQ Toowoomba), Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In 2016 she was a finalist in NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her project and a subject she is passionate about ‘Next Rural Generation’. 

Prior to 2000 her family were farming their property in Zimbabwe. Fiona has previously owned a small property near Narrabri where she ran in partnership, a Stud Dorper sheep flock and cropping. She has moved to Yass so she can be near her family, especially her grandson, Charlie in Canberra and looks forward to helping farming families.

Kerry
Connor

Crookwell

Kerry Connor grew up on a merino sheep stud and cattle property near Bathurst NSW.  With her husband, they run a sheep and beef property at Taralga NSW and Kerry’s husband also has a shearing contract business with her father in-law.

 

Kerry has a Bachelor of Agriculture Business Management Degree from Charles Sturt University and has worked previously in Agribusiness Banking and Livestock Animal Health.  She brings a wealth of experience and diversity with her to RFCS and has first-hand experience with the unique challenges that present themselves to rural and regional producers.  Kerry’s region covers Upper Lachlan Shire Council which takes in Collector, Gunning, Taralga, Crookwell and north to Tuena.  She also covers Rugby, Rye Park and Boorowa.

Sarah
Diggleman

Griffith/Leeton

Sarah has grown up on a mixed dryland farming operation at Lake Cargelligo NSW. Sarah has come from a strong finance background with her last 15-yrs working her way up through the ranks of the some of the major banks in the Riverina. Sarah has a thorough understanding of credit analysis, preparation of loan submissions and strong relationship management skills.

 

Sarah is covering the Griffith and Leeton areas. She has a strong passion for agriculture and places farmers front of mind to ensure they are receiving the best outcome.

Joel
Fletcher

ULLADULLA

Joel has a strong background in financial advice, with 15 years providing advice in the public and private sector as both a business owner / director and as an employee. This experience has enabled Joel to develop the skill to provide sound financial counsel, along with the ability to effectively liaise and advocate for his clients with banks, accountants and government departments. As a local, Joel understands the needs of the area and has witnessed the strains events such as drought, bushfire and flood can have on primary producers. Joel has degree qualifications in both Financial Advice and Psychology. Born and Raised in Kangaroo Valley, Joel has settled in Croobyar on the South Coast with his wife and two daughters.

Bill
Schulz

WAGGA WAGGA

Bill has been heavily involved in agri-business management in Southern NSW since moving from a family farm and the South Australia ag industry in 1994. Bill studied Agriculture at Urrbrae Agricultural High School and then completed a Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness through Monash University. Bill is well versed in agricultural systems & financial disciplines which gives him good working knowledge as a Rural Financial Counsellor. A real passion of Bill’s is assisting with de-mystifying the process of selling a farm and that it can be a positive step. Bill enjoys assisting within the community, running his farm & spending time with his family.

Jess
Keemink

WAGGA WAGGA

Jessica, has been with The Rural Financial Counselling since February 2020. She hit the ground running commencing as the first point of contact after the bushfires, during the COVID-19 outbreak and of course ongoing concerns regarding drought conditions.

Jess has 10 year’s experience within the Financial Planning sector.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma of Financial Counselling and has held roles as a Paraplanner, an Insurance Specialist and as an Associate Advisor. In her spare time, she plays netball for the Pacers and is a keen umpire for various netball associations all while running after a gorgeous two year old. Jessica grew up on a sheep, beef and cropping enterprise near Uranquinty and enjoys the rural lifestyle but she has also travelled and lived overseas. She is a horse lover, competing in gymkhanas, local shows and eventing competitions. Jessica understands the devastation drought can have on the family finances and wellbeing.  Her past experiences give her a great determination to help farmers and their families in need.

Steve
Jarick

HUSKISSON

Steve was born in Wagga and grew up on a farm at Mangoplah and in Victoria. Due to difficult seasons and significant fluctuations in commodity prices, Steve decided it was time to look at alternative occupations. He chose accounting, and after completing a Degree in Commerce he became a CPA.

With farming in his blood, Steve specialised in the business analysis of individual clients during his time working, many years, for a Rural Bank in Tasmania. Clients were spread across the dairy, grazing, vegetable growing, aquaculture, fishing and forestry industries.

A RFCS position was an ideal match for Steve’s personal objective of assisting rural business people make the most of their circumstances, as are his qualifications and experience.

Peter initially joined the service in September 2007.  He brought with him significant knowledge of various agricultural industries through over 25 years’ experience in the finance industry as a Risk Executive and also managing his own farming operation for over 20 years.

Peter has a strong financial background with a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance (UTS Sydney) and recently commenced a Diploma in Agriculture. He has also attained a Diploma in Community Services.

Peter left the service in 2010 but has returned in 2013 stating that he missed assisting people within the agriculture industry and providing the best options for their future.

Kyle grew up in rural Virginia in the United States before moving to Australia in 2008. He joins RFCS with considerable experience in the Financial Services sector and more recently, as a Management Accountant in the Bega Valley.  Kyle holds a Degree in Finance and has attained the Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) Designation.  Kyle understands the importance of agriculture in our society and is eager to apply his financial management expertise to the industry. He has a strong interest in local food supply and volunteers with local community organisations.

He is currently developing a small property for food production while balancing his family life with two young children. 

Louise
Fletcher

COOMA

Louise grew up on her family’s sheep and cattle property on the Monaro and has recently returned to the region as a Rural Financial Counsellor after completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree in Wagga.  

Louise has a strong passion and background for agriculture and helping rural communities. She is a registered wool classer and has worked on farms and in shearing sheds all over Australia and even spent 5 months working in the Falkland Islands.  

Louise Fletcher

Richard 
Dowsett

CROOKWELL

Richard joined the RFCS after relocating to Goulburn. After completing his degree in Agricultural Economics (USYD), Richard worked in the USA & UK developing skills in dairying, confinement feeding of sheep & cattle, cropping and fodder harvesting. 

In Australia, Richard has mainly worked, managing corporate & large family broadacre farming enterprises in Northern NSW & Southern Queensland. Here, the use of financial analysis, cash flow budgeting & capital gain initiatives have played an important part of the day to day activities of modern farming. These strategies can be used by all primary producers to develop sustainable farming systems and help mitigate the risks that are associated with exposure to seasonal fluctuations in climate & commodity prices. For a number of years, Richard also worked in agribusiness for a major bank.   Richard understands the vagaries associated with agriculture, financial and rural family commitments & the processes involved in dealing with leading institutions. Combining his knowledge of working on farm with agribusiness, Richard looks to utilise these skills to help RFCS clients moving forward. 

Richard Dowsett

Rowena
Jackson

DENILIQUIN

Rowena and her partner run a mixed farming business west of Deniliquin.  The operation includes both broadacre and irrigated cereal cropping, as well as sheep and cattle production. Rowena holds a Bachelor of Business and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).  She is very conscious of the challenges that farmers face on a daily, short term and long term basis

She has a strong background in business and finance having run her own printing and publishing company for 10 years, and later holding senior management positions in large national publishing and charitable organisations.  More recently she was a Business Advisor for BEC Business Advice (Deniliquin Business Enterprise Centre Ltd) for 3 years, before joining the Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW Southern Region in Deniliquin. 

She has a strong sense of community having been on many boards and committees around Victoria and NSW, currently holding the position of Chair of South West Arts, an organisation that provides strategic direction for sustainable arts and cultural development in the south-west of New South Wales.

Rowena Jackson

Graeme Witte

BURONGA

Born and raised in the Sunraysia area, Graeme comes from a background in banking spanning the last thirty years.

Originally raised on a dried fruit and citrus farm in the district, Graeme has worked predominately in the Ag sector of banking during his career. Having spent many years working with farmer during good times and drought it was an easy choice to move from banking to Rural Financial Counselling in April 2018.

Graeme’s strong background in banking and finance means that he can assist you in looking at the numbers behind your business and help guide you through the often complicated assistance applications.

Tony Flett

DENILIQUIN

Tony comes from a dairy background where he and his family milked up to 500 cows across a number of properties around Cobram and Strathmerton.

Having 5 children whilst being on the farm allowed Tony and his family to have plenty of quality time together but after 23 years it was time to try something new. After looking for where life might take him, that was different to what he had been doing, but still firmly rooted in agriculture, an opportunity came up to work with RFCS.

Tony’s strong ag and business background and having an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture and a Bachelor of Business made the move to RFCS a logical transition.

Linda McLean

HILLSTON

Linda lives on a sheep grazing property near Hillston. She has qualifications in business and accounting, has attained her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) and has completed a Statement of Attainment under the Financial Counselling Association NSW. Linda also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role of Rural Financial Counsellor. She has also worked for a large mixed agriculture firm and as part of a farming family and has the knowledge and insight to help local farmers.

Linda covers the areas of Hillston, Lake Cargelligo, Ivanhoe and surrounding districts and welcomes you to visit her office or arrange an appointment to meet with you on farm.

Airlie Hoskins

COLEAMBALLY

Airlie has grown up on a sheep and cattle property at Goulburn, NSW, and currently lives on an irrigated cropping farm at Carrathool. She has qualifications in Economics and Accounting, and prior work experience in Agri-banking and farm business analysis.

Airlie is covering the Coleambally area, which extends out to Carrathool, Jerilderie and Morundah. She has a passion for agriculture and helping people on the land, and specialises in farm budgeting and business planning.

Kevin McCrum

WAGGA WAGGA NORTH

Kevin has strong links to the rural sector. He was born and raised on a farm at Weethalle, then attended Yanco Agricultural High School before going on to study veterinary science at university. After working as a vet for three years both here and overseas, he returned to the family farm – a dry area, mixed cereals / grazing property at Weethalle where he worked and raised his family for 23 years. Kevin has a Diploma of Community Services Financial Counselling

Having experienced the challenges of drought, fluctuating commodity prices and natural disasters and lived in a farming community, he is now ready to assist the farmers of the South-East Riverina with their financial counselling needs and to plan for a brighter future.

Graham Christie

ALBURY

Graham has a balanced understanding of agriculture at all levels – as a former lecturer on farm management at the University of Melbourne and with hands on experience running mixed, irrigation and livestock farms in western Victoria and the Riverina.

He relates well to farmers as he knows what it is like dealing with the day-to-day issues of managing changing water allocations and watching agri political issues unfold.  Graham knows the importance of financial analysis, budgeting and planning, and he delivers these services to farming families to help them identify the best path for their future.

He has worked with the Service since October 2007 and holds a Diploma of Agricultural Science, a Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness and has also attained the Diploma of Community Service (Financial Counselling).

Elke Cleverdon

YOUNG

Elke is a strong proponent of sustainable agriculture and regional development. She has worked as a rural financial counsellor since mid 2016, servicing the Hilltops area.

Elke and her husband own & operate in a farming enterprise in Harden, NSW. The business encompasses broad acre grain & beef production. She has a strong personal understanding of the many challenges faced by rural communities, farmers and their families today. Elke knows very well that weather extremes and volatile markets affect us all.

After 25 years working in accounting, finance and banking, Elke also understands the position of a business from a financial and banking perspective. Elke is a results driven business professional with broad experience in senior management; her experience as a Fellow CPA and finance executive was gained working with small and medium enterprises and for 16 years in the customer owned banking sector. Elke completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and sits on a number of local and regional boards.

Fiona Taylor

YASS

Fiona is an experienced Rural Financial Counsellor, working in the RFCS Northern region, Central Region and also Southern Queensland. She also has experience with various agricultural based companies as a Management Accountant with Clyde Agriculture in Bourke, NSW and as the Administration Manager at Oakey Abattoir, Oakey QLD.

Fiona’s qualifications include a Business Degree (USQ Toowoomba), Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In 2016 she was a finalist in NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her project and a subject she is passionate about ‘Next Rural Generation’. 

Prior to 2000 her family were farming their property in Zimbabwe. Fiona has previously owned a small property near Narrabri where she ran in partnership, a Stud Dorper sheep flock and cropping. She has moved to Yass so she can be near her family, especially her grandson, Charlie in Canberra and looks forward to helping farming families.

Kerry Connor

CROOKWELL

Kerry Connor grew up on a merino sheep stud and cattle property near Bathurst NSW.  With her husband, they run a sheep and beef property at Taralga NSW and Kerry’s husband also has a shearing contract business with her father in-law.

 

Kerry has a Bachelor of Agriculture Business Management Degree from Charles Sturt University and has worked previously in Agribusiness Banking and Livestock Animal Health.  She brings a wealth of experience and diversity with her to RFCS and has first-hand experience with the unique challenges that present themselves to rural and regional producers.  Kerry’s region covers Upper Lachlan Shire Council which takes in Collector, Gunning, Taralga, Crookwell and north to Tuena.  She also covers Rugby, Rye Park and Boorowa.

 

Sarah Diggelmann 

GRIFFITH/LEETON

Sarah has grown up on a mixed dryland farming operation at Lake Cargelligo NSW. Sarah has come from a strong finance background with her last 15-yrs working her way up through the ranks of the some of the major banks in the Riverina. Sarah has a thorough understanding of credit analysis, preparation of loan submissions and strong relationship management skills.

 

Sarah is covering the Griffith and Leeton areas. She has a strong passion for agriculture and places farmers front of mind to ensure they are receiving the best outcome.

 

Joel Fletcher

ULLADULLA

Joel has a strong background in financial advice, with 15 years providing advice in the public and private sector as both a business owner / director and as an employee. This experience has enabled Joel to develop the skill to provide sound financial counsel, along with the ability to effectively liaise and advocate for his clients with banks, accountants and government departments. As a local, Joel understands the needs of the area and has witnessed the strains events such as drought, bushfire and flood can have on primary producers. Joel has degree qualifications in both Financial Advice and Psychology. Born and Raised in Kangaroo Valley, Joel has settled in Croobyar on the South Coast with his wife and two daughters.

 

Bill Schulz

WAGGA WAGGA

Bill has been heavily involved in agri-business management in Southern NSW since moving from a family farm and the South Australia ag industry in 1994. Bill studied Agriculture at Urrbrae Agricultural High School and then completed a Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness through Monash University. Bill is well versed in agricultural systems & financial disciplines which gives him good working knowledge as a Rural Financial Counsellor. A real passion of Bill’s is assisting with de-mystifying the process of selling a farm and that it can be a positive step. Bill enjoys assisting within the community, running his farm & spending time with his family.

 

Jess Keemink

WAGGA WAGGA

Jessica, has been with The Rural Financial Counselling since February 2020. She hit the ground running commencing as the first point of contact after the bushfires, during the COVID-19 outbreak and of course ongoing concerns regarding drought conditions.

Jess has 10 year’s experience within the Financial Planning sector.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma of Financial Counselling and has held roles as a Paraplanner, an Insurance Specialist and as an Associate Advisor. In her spare time, she plays netball for the Pacers and is a keen umpire for various netball associations all while running after a gorgeous two year old. Jessica grew up on a sheep, beef and cropping enterprise near Uranquinty and enjoys the rural lifestyle but she has also travelled and lived overseas. She is a horse lover, competing in gymkhanas, local shows and eventing competitions. Jessica understands the devastation drought can have on the family finances and wellbeing.  Her past experiences give her a great determination to help farmers and their families in need.  

 

Steve Jarick

HUSKISSON

Steve was born in Wagga and grew up on a farm at Mangoplah and in Victoria. Due to difficult seasons and significant fluctuations in commodity prices, Steve decided it was time to look at alternative occupations. He chose accounting, and after completing a Degree in Commerce he became a CPA.

With farming in his blood, Steve specialised in the business analysis of individual clients during his time working, many years, for a Rural Bank in Tasmania. Clients were spread across the dairy, grazing, vegetable growing, aquaculture, fishing and forestry industries.

A RFCS position was an ideal match for Steve’s personal objective of assisting rural business people make the most of their circumstances, as are his qualifications and experience.

Peter Muirhead

BEGA

Peter initially joined the service in September 2007.  He brought with him significant knowledge of various agricultural industries through over 25 years’ experience in the finance industry as a Risk Executive and also managing his own farming operation for over 20 years.

Peter has a strong financial background with a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance (UTS Sydney) and recently commenced a Diploma in Agriculture. He has also attained a Diploma in Community Services.

Peter left the service in 2010 but has returned in 2013 stating that he missed assisting people within the agriculture industry and providing the best options for their future.

Kyle Shook

BEGA

Kyle grew up in rural Virginia in the United States before moving to Australia in 2008. He joins RFCS with considerable experience in the Financial Services sector and more recently, as a Management Accountant in the Bega Valley.  Kyle holds a Degree in Finance and has attained the Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) Designation.  Kyle understands the importance of agriculture in our society and is eager to apply his financial management expertise to the industry. He has a strong interest in local food supply and volunteers with local community organisations.

He is currently developing a small property for food production while balancing his family life with two young children. 

Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher

COOMA

Louise grew up on her family’s sheep and cattle property on the Monaro and has recently returned to the region as a Rural Financial Counsellor after completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree in Wagga.  

Louise has a strong passion and background for agriculture and helping rural communities. She is a registered wool classer and has worked on farms and in shearing sheds all over Australia and even spent 5 months working in the Falkland Islands.  

Richard Dowsett

Richard Dowsett

CROOKWELL

Richard joined the RFCS after relocating to Goulburn. After completing his degree in Agricultural Economics (USYD), Richard worked in the USA & UK developing skills in dairying, confinement feeding of sheep & cattle, cropping and fodder harvesting. 

In Australia, Richard has mainly worked, managing corporate & large family broadacre farming enterprises in Northern NSW & Southern Queensland. Here, the use of financial analysis, cash flow budgeting & capital gain initiatives have played an important part of the day to day activities of modern farming. These strategies can be used by all primary producers to develop sustainable farming systems and help mitigate the risks that are associated with exposure to seasonal fluctuations in climate & commodity prices. For a number of years, Richard also worked in agribusiness for a major bank.   Richard understands the vagaries associated with agriculture, financial and rural family commitments & the processes involved in dealing with leading institutions. Combining his knowledge of working on farm with agribusiness, Richard looks to utilise these skills to help RFCS clients moving forward. 

Rowena Jackson

Rowena Jackson

DENILIQUIN

Rowena and her partner run a mixed farming business west of Deniliquin.  The operation includes both broadacre and irrigated cereal cropping, as well as sheep and cattle production. Rowena holds a Bachelor of Business and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).  She is very conscious of the challenges that farmers face on a daily, short term and long term basis

She has a strong background in business and finance having run her own printing and publishing company for 10 years, and later holding senior management positions in large national publishing and charitable organisations.  More recently she was a Business Advisor for BEC Business Advice (Deniliquin Business Enterprise Centre Ltd) for 3 years, before joining the Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW Southern Region in Deniliquin. 

She has a strong sense of community having been on many boards and committees around Victoria and NSW, currently holding the position of Chair of South West Arts, an organisation that provides strategic direction for sustainable arts and cultural development in the south-west of New South Wales.