EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT TEAM

Elizabeth Skirving - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 Elizabeth joined the service as Executive Officer in November 2006.  Graduating with a Bachelor of Business and as a Member of  the Institute of Chartered Accountants, she has worked with Coopers &  Lybrand, Johnson & Breward, as Group Accountant for  North Forest Products P/L group and Senior Accountant for Gunns Limited. Elizabeth has much experience with not for profit  associations including  Aust. Women in Agriculture, Royal National Agricultural and Pastoral Society Inc, National Rose Garden of  Australia, Launceston  Musical Society Inc. and Encore Theatre Company Inc.  She has been actively  involved with RFCS  Tasmania’s founding body, Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania (RYOT), for over 20 years holding many  executive positions  including President in 1997 and is an Advisory Member to the  organisation.  She has recently been awarded Life Membership of  Rural Youth.  Elizabeth, through RYOT, has served on the  board of the service (when Rural Support Tasmania).

 Elizabeth’s financial and management skills are complemented by her understanding of the Tasmanian rural community growing up on her family’s farming property at Cressy, 5th generation owning the property.

 

Susan Renton - Business Programs Manager/Deputy CEO

Susan joined the team in January 2016. Susan has a strong financial and people management background, having held  many  senior management roles within her 24 year career in the banking industry.  Susan was involved in a large  transformation  project and has been recognised for her leadership and project/change management. Focusing on  building business  performance through coaching and  development along with her ability to embed herself in a business  and identify issues and  untapped opportunities are at the forefront of her professional success. Susan holds Coaching  For Excellence certification,  Prosci Project & Change Management Certification, Adv Dip in Client & Business Management along  with various other qualifications. 

Susan has completed the Diploma of Financial Counselling and is finalising the Diploma of Agribusiness  as well as commencing a Diploma of Project Management.  Susan brings a wealth of experience to the Executive Team. 

Allison Madson - Board/Executive Support

Allison joined Rural Business Tasmania in February 2019.  Allison has a strong background in project management and the delivery of industry development activities and innovation at the Department of Agriculture in WA.  Allison was the Communications Officer for the WA Drought Pilot Program and organised workshops to help farm businesses develop strategic plans.  Allison holds a Masters in Regional Development from the University of Western Australia and has partially completed her Associate Diploma of Business (Accounting).

In WA, Allison was involved in a range of committees including the Local Emergency Management Advisory Committee, Secretary to Landcare Conservation District Committee and events management for agricultural shows and field days. Allison and her family moved to Tasmania in 2015 and is looking for opportunities to help foster the development of the region.

  

 

RURAL FINANCIAL COUNSELLORS/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Roly Chugg - Northern Region

 Roland (Roly) commenced employment in August 2013 and comes to the organisation with 26 years of experience in the Banking industry which includes 15 years of lending and managerial positions.  Since joining Roly has also completed his "Diploma of Community Services - Financial Counselling" as well as the "Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management". Roly also owned and managed a farm for more than 25 years mainly growing crossbred fat lambs for market and cropping on a small scale, holds a real estate license, develops property, managed the RSPCA site at Mowbray for a time and has a Certificate in Financial Services.  Roly also has community involvement at the local footy club being on the football department committee looking after player contracts and has been on a sub-committee for local government assessing small sporting grants applications.  With a combination of various pursuits and experiences mentioned above, Roly enjoys working with his fellow counsellors providing clients with the best possible service and outcome.

Tony Doyle - Southern Region

 

Tony Doyle joined the team on 13th March 2018.  Tony is a past Rural Financial Counsellor in Victoria and is qualified with a Diploma of Community Service (Financial Counselling).  Tony  brings a wealth of knowledge and experience having run his own dairy farm and understands small businesses having owned and managed his boutique Accounting firm as a qualified accountant.  Tony has a Bachelor of Business, is a Board member of Genetics Australia , a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation Australia and Fellow, Association Taxation and Management Accountants.

Tony is looking forward to touring the Tasmanian golf courses and the spectacular waterways in an attempt to catch the elusive record breaking fish.

Paul Briant - North Western Region 

Paul (Bluey) joined the service in June 2010 and came to the Service with a lifetime of financial and accounting experience and know-how.  Paul spent his earlier years in the banking industry and followed that by 15 years working in the accountancy field with most recently being employed as a manager of a business services/taxation team for a leading NW Coast (and now national) accountancy firm.  

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants (FIPA) and an associate member of Ag Institute Australia (AIA).

With a background in the rural sector, Paul understands family farming enterprises and also the issues and pressures on farm families when they are experiencing financial difficulties.  Paul works collaboratively with his fellow counsellors to provide independent and confidential financial assessment, information and support to RFCST clients.

 

Kylie Mackrill - BP Project Support

Kylie started with the team in July 2019 as a support within the project team.  Kylie has worked within the local banking community as well as providing finance in the motor industry. and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in financial management. Kylie has also been working with Rural Youth in supporting them during the busy Agfest process.  Kylie has not only been supporting our Rural Financial Counsellors and the overall Business Programs team, she has worked in our Finance team sharing her skills.  

 

Wendy James - Business Programs Support & Client Support Officer

Wendy joined RBT in 2009 after over 30 years in banking. Experience includes senior positions in Sales & Marketing, Lending, Deceased Estates and Insurance. Commitment to excellence was recognised during her role as State Manager of Member Services. Active involvement in her family’s orchard business gave a clear understanding of the many and complex issues faced by rural families. Volunteer roles include advocacy, Mental Health and grants. 
Qualifications include Adv. Dip. Agricultural Management, Dip. Community Services (Financial Counselling), Small Group Training, Project Management and Business Administration. Wendy enjoys using her life experience to assist others 

 

CORPORATE SERVICES

Karlie Johnston - Reception/Administration Officer

Karlie joined the RBT team in April this year after returning to the workforce from maternity leave. Karlie has had significant hospitality experience however was looking for a role that fitted into her new family life.  Karlie is completing the Certificate III in Business Administration and is a great asset to the team.  On her days off Karlie enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, cooking and going on adventures with her family that includes 2 German Shepherds

 

 

Kim Woolley - Finance & Admin Officer

Kim joined the team in April 2016 to assist Maree in finance and general admin.  Coming from an Accounting & Finance position in the banking industry, Kim has many skills to assist the team and clients as  much as possible.  She does not have a farming background but does manage a small livestock holding of 11 guinea pigs. 

 

 

 

Marguerite Smith - Finance Officer

Marguerite joined us in August to support our Corporate Services team in financial reporting.  Marguerite is a qualified Accountant for over 20 years.  Marguerite is also studying her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) and in the future working alongside the RFC's.  Married with 3 adult children and enjoys weekends away at her shack at Hawley beach.  

 

 

 

Kylie Mackrill - BP Project Support & Finance Officer

Kylie joined the team in July 2019 as a support within the Business Programs team.  here finance knowldge has enabled Kylie to work with our Rural Financial Counsellors providing Client Support but also with our Finance team.  Kylie brings with her a wealth of konwledge from her business and finance background from working in the banking and motor finance industries.

 

BOARD OF GOVERNANCE

Rural Business Tasmania is governed by a seven member Executive, supported by the Reference Group who provides advice and assistance as required. Members are invited to the Board as a representative of community, industry or member group.

Mr Geoff Fader - Chair 

Geoff is a marketeer by profession.  He has previously held senior positions with one of Australia’s largest automobile manufacturers, managing director of Tasmania’s largest accredited advertising agency and principal of a marketing consultancy.  Geoff is currently a director and former chair of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia, chair of the Tasmanian Small Business Council and chair of the family owned business, Australian Shipping Supplies.  He is a past national president and life member of both the Australian Marketing Institute and Group Training Australia.  He was the founding chair of the Hospitality Group Apprenticeship Scheme in Tasmania.  Geoff has been a voluntary business mentor for 30 years.  He has an MBA, is a Certified Practicing Marketer and holds a Diploma of Advertising.

Mr Michal Frydrych, Treasurer, Deputy Chair

Michal (pronounced Michael) brings vast business strategy and development experience to the Board having been involved in project management, strategic planning, marketing, and operational management roles at a senior executive level. Michal is now a practising farmer at Springfield Deer Farm in Mole Creek, quickly getting acquainted with manual skills but wanting to keep his business skills active. Michal recently stated “As you see per my attached CV I have spent the last twenty year in international logistic business mostly at CEO or Member of the Board level.  Whilst I am looking forward to the farm life I would like to get involved in other activities where my experience would be of benefit to the community”.

Michal’s CV reads like a travel log with various CEO and Technical positions with companies such as Port Vladivostok, P & O Ports Russia, South African Stevedores and Esperance Ports Sea and Land Australia.

Mr Keith Rice

Keith has spent the last 31 years representing the interests of farmers in his dual role as Chief Executive, Primary Employers  Tasmania and Chief Executive, Poppy Growers Tasmania.  The knowledge gained over that time has been particularly insightful as to the stresses and strains placed on rural industry employers, their families and their staff.  Keith has also represented Tasmanian poppy growers at all levels of governance and industry - state, national and international.  Keith is a Director of the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group and continues an active involvement on a part time basis with Poppy Growers Tasmania..

Mr Nathan Cox

Nathan joined the Rural Business Tasmania board in November 2018. Nathan has a strong background in farming and training for over 22 years.  Nathan is a partner in his family's 350 acre beef and cropping business and has since 2017 has been on the TFGA Vegetable Council.  Nathan has a strong interest and background in training with a focus on safety. 

Mr Tony Barker 

Tony is a graduate of Lincoln University NZ with a Diploma in Agriculture and Diploma of Farm Management, a 2006 Nuffield Farming Scholar, a Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming and TimeLine Therapy, and a Master Practitioner of NLP Coaching and Hypnosis.  For 2012 he has been travelling all over Australia with the Australian Year of the Farmer Roadshow.  He has held many roles in agriculture including DairyTas Board Chair 1999 to 2004 and Nuffield Australia Tasmania Branch Chair 2009 to 2011.  After many years of dairy farming, with both cow and goat enterprises at South Riana, Tony now farms a grazing property with mostly beef cattle and a few sheep.  He also runs a coaching and training business called Moving Mind Mountains.

Belinda Hazell (AdvDipHort. DipOHS. GradCert Mgt. Cert IVTAA)

Chances are that Belinda has worked with clients that are delivering goods and services you are experiencing right now.  Belinda brings over 25 years' experience across a range of clients and industries. Directly involved in family business, Belinda's skills span businesses in a multitude of sectors. Belinda's leadership is demonstrated through her active participation at executive level on national/state boards and committees.  She is the current Board  Chair of Freshcare Limited , Director of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre and Acting Chair of Tasmanian women in agriculture.  

Rural Youth Organisation of Tas Inc.

Rural Youth is an Associate Director of the Board.  Rural Youth members originated the financial counselling service in 1986 and to this day provide financial and in kind support to assist the valuable work of Rural Business Tasmania in the community. The position is currently held by Karen Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Rural Youth Organisation of Tas Inc.