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 NOLAN - Rural Business Programs Manager/Deputy Chief Executive Officer

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 Change Management Certification, Adv Dip in Client & Business Management along  with various other qualifications. 

Susan is currently studying for the Diploma of Community Services - Financial Counselling and the Diploma of Agribusiness Management.  Susan brings a wealth of experience to the Executive Team. 

 

MARK GAETANI - Corporate Services Manager

 Mark joined the team in September 2017. Mark has a strong financial management background, having held  many  senior lending, relationship and financial management roles with over 30 years experience in large and smaller organisations.  His focus has been within the rural and commercial sectors. 

Mark has a Master of Business Administration.  and brings a wealth of experience to the Executive Team.

 

 



JAYNE CLARK - Board/Executive Support

 Jayne returned to the service in January 2016. She has worked for Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association as the Dairy  Executive Officer.  Jayne has a strong interest in the community which includes active membership of Rural Youth Tasmania f  for over 20 years, undertaking various roles including President in 2002 she has just completed a 3 year term on the Resource  Allocation Committee, is a member of the Advisory Committee and is a Service Award recipient.  Jayne has also been a  member of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, Royal National Agriculture and Pastoral Society Inc., Agricultural Show Council of  Tasmania and the Federal Council of Agricultural Societies.

 

RURAL FINANCIAL COUNSELLORS/BUSINESS COACHES

LEIGH NOYE - Southern Region

Leigh commenced employment with Rural Support Tasmania (now Rural Business Tasmania) in August 2001, having spent the first 21 years of his working life in the banking industry. The last 11 of those years was in management roles, including manager of rural branches. It was during this time he become aware of the Rural Financial Counselling Service and the benefit of such a service. After taking an opportunity to leave the finance industry, Leigh spent a short time as Administration Manager in private enterprise before spending 2 years with a  leading Hobart accounting firm working in the area of corporate recovery and insolvency. He jumped at the chance to take on a role as Rural Financial Counsellor when his predecessor advised of her impending retirement.

Leigh holds a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

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.

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.


TREVOR CHALK - North Western Region 

Trevor commenced with Rural Business Tasmania in June 2016.  He was the Managing Director of an aviation business  based    at Wynyard airport for 18 years before entering the ministry.  He served as an ordained pastor at Westbury and  as President of  the Baptists Churches of Tasmania. Trevor grew up on a dairy farm at Burnie and currently farms a  property at Boat Harbour.  He was a top Pyrethrum producer in 2009.  In recent years he has worked with Rural Alive &  Well, providing emotional and  physical support to those in farming, forestry and mining industries.  He is a keen  bushwalker and bee-keeper. 

 

CORPORATE SERVICES

MAREE O'SULLIVAN - Project Officer

 Maree joined the team in March 2009 to assist Executive Officer, Elizabeth with some short term administration work.  With Maree’s background in financial administration, this role expanded over time to an ongoing position responsible for all financial and executive administration.  Maree has worked for several not-for-profit organisations in similar roles such as Intowork Recruitment and Training, the Launceston Community Legal Centre and several others.  Along with this experience, Maree holds a Certificate IV in Business Administration, a Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training, MYOB and various other administrative qualifications.

 

KIM WOOLLEY - Administration, North & North Western Region 

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. 

WENDY JAMES - Administration Southern Region

 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

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

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 Bernie Harrington – Immediate Past Chair

Bernie retired from his position with Centrelink after 36 years as State Retirement & Rural Manager with experience on a State and National Administrative level.  He joined the Board in 1993, and has been on Executive for thirteen years.  Bernie was invited to remain on the Board in his own right and elected Chairman in September 2003.  He stepped down as Chair in September 2009.

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.

Prof. Paula Swatman

Paula brings 25 years of successful academic teaching, research and supervision experience as a Professor of Information Systems to the Board and is an internationally-recognised expert in eCommerce/eBusiness and social networking. She has wide experience of government boards and advisory committees since 1991 and currently chairs the Swinburne University Human Research Ethics Committee, in addition to active community service in the Huon Valley. In her spare time, Paula and her husband Professor Paul Swatman run a small Santa Gertrudis stud. 

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. 

Call us on 1300 88 FARM to arrange a yarn at your kitchen table about how we can support your rural enterprise to become a great Rural Business


Rural Business Tasmania Inc is a not for profit organization, established by Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania and is based in Tasmania.

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