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 rein your business back in hand.
Rural Financial Counsellors
WINGECARRIBEE, WOLLONGONG, GOULBURN MULWAREE, EUROBODALLA, KIAMA, SHELLHARBOUR
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.
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. 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.
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.
COOTAMUNDRA-GUNDAGAI, JUNEE, TEMORA
Jessica has been with RFCS 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.
EDWARD RIVER, MURRAY RIVER
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 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.
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.
COWRA, UPPER LACHLAN
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Peter initially joined the RFCS 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 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
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 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.
COOLAMON, LOCKHART, WAGGA WAGGA
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.
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.
OBERON, LITHGOW, BLAYNEY, BATHURST
Glen has been around Farming all of his life, with many of his family involved in sheep, cattle and dairy farming, all across NSW.
Glen has lived in Oberon for 22 years on a small property just out of town with his wife and two children. He was the Oberon Citizen of the Year in 2019 and is heavily involved in the local community, having facilitated Financial workshops for young adults. Glen is the President of the Oberon Show Society and Treasurer of the Oberon Rotary club, High school P&C and Sports centre and is on the Board of Land Mangers for the Oberon Showground. Glen wants to utilise his financial and business experience to assist farmers in his area to assess and improve their farm business and help advocate for Farmers.
Warren, Narromine, BOGAN
I have lived in the Nyngan district all my life and together with my husband we run dryland farming and grazing business.
I started with the RFCS CW in 2007 as an RFC covering the Bogan, Cobar and Warren LGA’s and receive strong support from these communities.
I enjoy developing strategies with clients and looking at preferred future pathways. Having been through the challenging times I have the empathy and the skills necessary to support primary producers in financial difficulty.
I completed my Associate Diploma in Rural Business Administration, studied Business, completed Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling), Advanced Diploma of Rural Business Management and other industry related courses.
My community involvement includes being an elected Bogan Shire Councillor and this position allows me to give back to the community by involving me in the local decision making process and has provided opportunities for my professional development.
My husband and I volunteer our time for meals on wheels as a way to help those in the community who need support. I am also a Justice of the Peace.
Julie originally joined the Rural Financial Counselling Service in 2011 and lives on a grazing property between Walgett & Lightning Ridge.
Julie has been in the northwest of NSW for 16 years originally coming a rural background in northern QLD later moving to the Darling Downs in QLD.
She is very familiar with the benefits on living on the land within a rural community. And of the challenges that are faced in operating both farm and rural businesses continually subject to the variabilities of climate and market fluctuations and is strong proponent for sustainable agricultural into the future.
Before obtaining her Diploma in Financial Counselling in 2012 she previously held roles within the small business. banking, business management, local government and employment service sectors giving her a broad business & financial management base to draw on when assisting the rural community in her role as Rural Financial Counsellor.
Julie has always enjoyed her role assisting farming families to navigate their way through the seasons and beyond.
She is based in Walgett servicing both Walgett & surrounding shires and welcomes you to contact her.
WEDDIN, Forbes, BLAND
John grew up in a rural area in the South-West of the UK where he worked in retail and agribusiness banking for 12 years.
John has numerous UK banking and financial planning qualifications and various Australian agribusiness qualifications including the Diploma of Agriculture and Advanced Diploma in Rural Business Management. He also completed the Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management in 2016. John enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others, whether that is assisting farmers improve viability or mentoring work colleagues. John and his wife Emma have two grown-up children and currently care for two young foster boys.
Queanbeyan-PALERANG, YASS VALLEY
Fiona is an experienced Rural Financial Counsellor, working in the RFCS Northern region, Central Region and also Southern Queensland.
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.
Jaime joined the Rural Financial Counselling team in January 2021. She has a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and previously worked as an External Auditor, Logistics Officer and Administration Support Officer.
Having grown up in a small rural town Jaime enjoys actively being involved with the wider rural community. She has two teenage children who share in her love for the great outdoors and relish any opportunity to go camping and fishing.
PARKES, CABONNE, ORANGE
Sharon commenced with RFCS as a Business Analyst in October 2020, more recently promoted to Rural Financial Counsellor at the beginning of 2021. Sharon serves the shires of Parkes and Calonne.
Sharon also has approximately 7 years of finance experience which she gained through her banking career. Sharon is currently studying the Diploma of Financial Counselling.
Sharon also has five children and six Grandchildren who she loves spending time with. In her spare time Sharon also enjoys playing Polo Cross.
Allison has spent most of her life living and working in the agricultural sector in NSW. Having grown up on her family’s mixed farming operation in NW NSW, she is familiar with the unique issues…
Allison has been working as a Rural Financial Counsellor in Coonamble since October 2019 and, prior to that, has worked in a variety of roles including banking, ag marketing and sales and best management practice.
She now covers the Coonamble and Gilgandra LGA’s and is looking forward to helping farmers in the area to access the support and assistance that they need to strengthen their businesses.
My wife and I operate a mixed farming enterprise in the Mendooran and Albert districts, merino sheep, trade cattle and fodder cropping.
Prior to joining RFCS I worked as an accountant in Dubbo. I initially joined RFCS in 2007 and worked across all areas of the central west. In 2012 I left RFCS and worked for several years as an Agribusiness Banker in Dubbo. In January 2020 I returned to assist farmers in the Warrumbungle Shire.
I currently sit on the Board of the Central West Local Land Services and am involved in other community organisations such as the Mendooran Turf Club.
BROKEN HILL, CENTRAL DARLING, UNINCORPORATED NSW
Office: Broken Hill
Toby grew up on an irrigation and mixed livestock farm out at Bedgerabong in the Central West NSW.
He holds a Bachelor of Accounting and prior to joining the RFCS, worked in public practice servicing individuals and small business around the Bathurst community.
Living and working in Broken Hill, Toby is an avid volunteer and sportsman; hoping to bring his skillset and financial acumen to deliver the best possible outcomes for the local community.
MURRUMBIDGEE, NARRANDERA, HAY
Alison grew up on a mixed cropping-sheep property between Jerilderie and Conargo. She’s always had a passion for agriculture and has worked predominantly within the Australian rice industry having worked on research, development,
0429 396 729 firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare has a lifelong interest in agriculture and has had many years of experience working and engaging with farming clients across Australia. Clare spent her early career working for the South Australian Department of
A move to Canberra and with two young children to care for, Clare embarked on a new career as a Financial Planner, where she helped numerous clients to achieve their goals and navigate the complex world of investments, superannuation, and insurance. A burning desire to return to agriculture, saw Clare take on a part time role as a farm succession facilitator working with farming families across Australia and the establishment of her own financial coaching business.
Clare is passionate about helping people move through the barriers that often inhibit them from achieving their goals and dreams. She has significant experience in business and financial management, financial planning, farm succession facilitation and financial coaching. She is also a trained negotiator with a keen interest in communication and human behavior. Clare has a degree in Agricultural Economics from UNE, a Diploma of Financial Planning and she is currently working towards a life coaching qualification and a diploma of financial counselling.
Clare and her partner Rick live with their two teenage sons, adult daughter and a very spoilt recue dog called Molly. In her spare time Clare loves listening to podcasts, horse riding, bushwalking and when Covid permits …exploring this amazing world we live in!!
SNOWY VALLEYS, ALBURY, GREATER HUME
Alana started her career in merchant banking working in many aspects of Treasury before developing some more transferable skills and then worked with Microsoft Services as their Financial Accountant.
After 10 years with the NAB Alana decided to move away from banking and finance and took a sabbatical to reassess. Completing studies in Neuro Linguistic Programming and as a Life Coach she realized her passion lay with working with and helping people, then enrolling in a Diploma in Financial Counselling combining both career skills and want to help others.
It was a very easy decision to move from the Central Coast to Tumut to accept the role of Rural Financial Counsellor, one that has been fully supported by her 3 boys.
Farm bred and raised on Queensland’s Western Darling Downs
Worked at home for a couple of years after leaving school then started with Queensland Dept of Primary Industries in Sheep and Wool Research and Extension
Then found myself in the Aerial Ag industry as an owner operator pilot owning a couple of Ag Planes, but 5 years of ongoing drought encouraged me to move on.
A move to Dubbo then teaching Financial Literacy and then for the last 4 years as a Rural Financial Counsellor based in Dubbo and Broken Hill.
All up, John has had a wealth of experience across a broad range of rural industries and has the ability to pass on this knowledge and assist producers where needed.
Brad started in small business as a teenager in his parent’s newsagency which operated in Wagga for over 25 years. He went on to study Economics and Commerce at ANU in Canberra and has been a Chartered Accountant for over 12 years with a mid-tier and big 4 accounting firm.
After noticing a lack of assistance available for small businesses in financial hardship while working as an accountant in the insolvency industry, the opportunity to help these small businesses was a strong motivator for Brad to join RFCS.
Assistant Program manager
Renee joins us in Wagga Wagga as a Business Analyst. Renee has worked extensively in the finance/banking industry for the past 10 years specialising in customer service and HR while coaching and leading a team of 10 staff.
Renee is looking forward to assisting our small business customers in rebuilding after a year of drought, fire and COVID and helping them set and achieve their goals.
Small Business Coach
Mick has over 20 years’ experience as a successful business owner and coach. Including as a senior business advisor on Australian Government business programs.
Importantly he is able to bring to the role the lessons and experience of not only his own business, but the hundreds businesses he’s now helped as well. Mick is passionate about regional small business and has a unique understanding of what it takes to survive and build a successful small business in a market dominated by corporate giants.
Small Business Coach
If you are enquiring from Bega Valley, Snowy Monaro and Eurobodalla. Rhys’s key strength are strategic planning, business development, product development, managing financial performance, sales and marketing. Rhy’s global experience will play an integral role in the assistance and knowledge he can share with his clients in various industries whether that be Tourism, Hospitality and or Retail. Rhys has completed a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) through the University of Canberra, Cert IV in Tourism and also has a Diploma in Management. Rhys is originally from the South Coast and is excited to be moving back home to the Bega Valley to take on this new role of Business Coach for the Rewire Project Team.
Rhys’s key strength are strategic planning, business development, product development, managing financial performance, sales and marketing. Rhy’s global experience will play an integral role in the assistance and knowledge he can share with his clients in various industries whether that be Tourism, Hospitality and or Retail. Rhys has completed a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) through the University of Canberra, Cert IV in Tourism and also has a Diploma in Management.
Rhys is originally from the South Coast and is excited to be moving back home to the Bega Valley to take on this new role of Business Coach for the Rewire Project Team.
Small Business Coach
Court has over 17 years’ experience in operations management in the food manufacturing industry within New Zealand and Australia.
In 2004, Court relocated to Leeton in the NSW Riverina, bringing his operations management expertise to SunRice for many years. Court has experienced firsthand the challenges that rural businesses face, having been through drought periods himself with both SunRice and his own businesses in Leeton, which includes small business consulting, and owner/operator of a café and catering business.
Court works closely with small businesses in building and coaching high-performing teams and individuals to meet their goals, as well as help develop business relationships with their key stakeholders through changing environments. This means helping simplify business processes and understanding finances to make informed decisions.
Court provides small business coaching in the local government areas of Leeton, Griffith and Narrandera. He can also assist with navigating the extensive range of government assistance packages presently available.
Small Business Coach
Simone is new to the organisation, and comes with a strong connection to Deniliquin and the surrounding areas, growing up in Jerilderie and attending high school in Finley prior to moving to Deniliquin for work.
In her spare time you will see her enjoying time with her husband and two little girls, or playing netball in one of the local competitions. She has found the benefits of being involved in the community from a young age, volunteering time to assist netball clubs and participate in emergency relief aid for humans and animals when needed.
Small Business Coach
Ken has 17 years of experience in running his own successful business and many more in management. Ken knows the in’s and out’s of managing business, starting up and increasing both business and consumer profitability.
Ken has many qualifications behind him including a Diploma in Structural and Chemical Engineering, Small Business Management, Winemaking and Wine Assessment to name a few. Ken is an active member of the community; he is a past board member of Macquarie Valley Food & Wine, Tourism, Development Corporation and Education. You can also find him on his bicycle or in the air as an Angel Flight Pilot helping many patients across NSW.
Ken is ready to share his expertise to small business owners and pave new ways to manage and encourage small business growth.
Small Business Coach
Office: Wagga Wagga
Flick joins us in Wagga Wagga as a Small business coach. Growing up working in her family’s small business on the south coast and eventually starting her own after completing her degree at UNSW and returning home.
Flick spends her time outside of work Riding and competing Showjumpers and cooking.
Flick is looking forward to assisting our small business customers in rebuilding and recovering after Bushfires, Drought and COVID19.
Small Business Coach
If you are enquiring from Bega,
Cooma, Merimbula, Tathra, Pambula, Bermagui and Cobargo. Simone joins us from Merimbula on the far south coast, where she lives with her family.
With a passion for business and technology as well as the region, it seemed an organic step to move into the role of Business Coaching where Simone can support local business during these challenging times. Simone has a gift of showing people how to make technology work for them, demystifying jargon and taking challenges and turning them into practical steps to work through. Simone is currently studying her Dip. Financial Counselling and can’t wait to get to work across the region.
Small Business Coach
Brittany was born and raised in regional Griffith NSW and made the big move to the South Coast in 2014, to conduct her studies in accounting at the University of Wollongong.
Brittany completed her degree in 2018 where she then joined an Insolvency firm specialising in liquidations, voluntary administrations, restructuring and advisory within a variety of industries including but not limited to hospitality, retail, construction, and manufacturing.
Brittany has also over 10 years’ experience in the hospitality industry including managing a busy restaurant located on the South Coast for the past 5 years. With a passion for helping people, Brittany’s excited to bring her experience and knowledge within these industries to help small business owners on the South Coast facing difficult times.
Brittany is also currently studying her Diploma of Financial Counselling and is excited to hit the ground round as a small business coach.
Small Business Coach
Philip Small has the expertise and personal understanding of what it takes to succeed in business. Philip has previously owned a small business advisory as a Chartered Accountant across a range of industries including rural, service, manufacturing, education and tourism.
Philip has worked with the RFCS based in Mudgee since early 2019 and values the ability to support rural and regional small businesses as they face challenging times.
At one on one client meetings and in seminars, Philip emphasizes the need for every small business to have several strategy levers that can be used to even out its cashflow. This is particularly important with the difficulties of ongoing partial and full Covid lockdowns and through the recent periods of drought and bushfires.
Outside of work Philip is on the eternal quest for a smooth golf swing and to consistently make the perfect lucerne bale on his farm.
Small Business Coach
Duncan began with RFCS in 2020. He has spent his entire career involved in the agribusiness sector and has developed an extensive network and experience as a result.
He is a strategic thinker and enjoys collaborating and working with stakeholders to the benefit of clients. Duncan is looking forward to supporting small rural businesses.