Meet Our Team


Elizabeth Skirving

Chief Executive Officer

Elizabeth is Chief Executive Officer of Rural Business Tasmania.  At the helm of the organisation for over 14 years; she has during this time been a key advocate for rural Tasmanian business. 

Elizabeth has significant local community involvement including board experience with various not-for-profit associations. Graduating with a Bachelor of Business in 1993 and as a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Institute of Company Directors, Elizabeth worked for many years in accounting firms and holding senior positions in large commercial enterprises.  Consulting as a Financial Accountant for multiple businesses during expansions and take-overs. Elizabeth’s financial and management skills are complemented by her understanding of the Tasmanian rural community.

Vanessa Smith

Executive Assistant

Vanessa Smith joined Rural Business Tasmania in November 2019, as the Executive Assistant to our CEO. Vanessa comes from a business management, financial background and is passionate about the agricultural sector here in Tasmania having worked for a local honey producer for several years.


Roly Chugg

Financial Counsellor (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.

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

Financial Counsellor (Sourthern 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

Financial Counsellor (North Western Region)

Paul (Bluey) joined the RFCST in June 2010 and came to the Service with a lifetime of financial and accounting experience and knowledge. 

Paul spent his earlier years in the banking industry and followed that by 15 years working in the accountancy field with his past position 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).

Paul has completed a graduate certificate in professional accounting, the diploma of community services (financial counselling) as well as the advanced diploma of agribusiness management.

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.

Paul has also been involved with community sports as both a player and administrator for many, many years and continues to enjoy both aspects of this involvement.

Stephen Hansen

Small Business Financial Counsellor

Steve joined Rural Business Tasmania in Feb 2020, as a small business financial counsellor.

By working one on one with his clients Stephen provides a personalised service to help small businesses take stock of where things sit at present, identify where they would like to get to and then develop a plan of attack on how to get there.? Stephen then provides ongoing support to make sure things stay on track and to provide assistance where needed.

Stephen enjoys 30 plus years? experience in banking and also holds qualifications in business management and accounting.

Outside of work, Stephen is addicted to gold and keen photographer, with his main activity being a taxi driver for his teenage children.

Chantal Filgate

Financial Counsellor – Small & Rural Business Counselling Team

Chantal joined Rural Business Tasmania in May 2020 as a Financial Counsellor for the Small Business Unit and Rural Financial Counselling Unit.

Chantal has worked in the banking industry for the past 30 years, most recently as the Tasmanian Regional

Chantal joined Rural Business Tasmania in May 2020 as a Financial Counsellor for the Small Business Unit and Rural Financial Counselling Unit.

Chantal has worked in the banking industry for the past 30 years, most recently as the Tasmanian Regional Manager for a local bank. In 2018 Chantal lead an integration project, responsible for merging the bank’s databases, policies and procedures.

Chantal has completed a Diploma in Financial Services, Diploma in Frontline Management and an Advanced Diploma in Leadership & Management. Over the years, Chantal has volunteered for the Tasmanian Ambulance Service and had held numerous positions as a player, coach and administrator for local sporting clubs, both junior and senior groups.

Chantal enjoys helping people and is focused in this role to work with small businesses and the rural community to overcome the challenges that they face each day and assist in developing plans that will see them achieve their goals in the future.


Rhett Mckenzie-Edwards

Associate Small Business Financial Counsellor

Rhett is currently studying applied science in Agriculture and Business after spending the last 12 years in hospitality on the mainland and overseas.

Rhett has run and managed large Hotels & Restaurant chains as well as opening his cocktail and tapas bar in Port Melbourne. Working within the business has given Rhett a sound knowledge in budgeting and implementing strategies to increase revenue as well as local marketing, Rhett also understands the pressures that owning and running your own small business can come with, and is here to share that load as much as he can.

Linda Groombridge

Client Support Officer

Linda joined the team at RBT part time in December 2019, working out of the office in Glenorchy (near Hobart). Linda started her working life as a Nurse, and upon completion of her training has worked in both public and private hospitals as an RN.

Linda married a Farmer (Apple Grower and Packer) in 1987, and has been involved in the business for over 30 years, from picking and packing apples to Quality compliance to office administration and everything in between. Linda understands the challenges that farmers face firsthand, and is looking forward to working with the rest of the team to give our clients the best outcome possible.

Kate Cox

Client Support Officer

Kate joined the RBT team part time in December 2019 in the position of CSO Client Support Officer.

Kate grew up on a number of different dairy farms across the north of the state from Smithton to Scottsdale. Kate has previously worked on a large beef property while living in Canada.

Kate enjoys traveling, playing field hockey, spending time with family and has recently completed a Diploma in Remedial Massage Therapy.

Sam Wedgwood

Business Programs Coordinator

Sam joined Rural Business Tasmania in 2019. Sam is originally from South-East New South Wales, where his family had a mixed farm. 

After extensive world travel and work experience in a variety of fields, it was this background that led him to tertiary studies in agriculture.

Sam studied a Bachelor of Agriculture, with a major in agricultural systems at the University of Tasmania in Hobart.

Sam has since held roles in agricultural advocacy, policy development and project management, both in the public and private sector. As a member of the Launceston and Northern Tasmanian community, Sam has been a volunteer Director on various boards, including that of the Launceston Harvest Market.

Sam has now been in Tasmania since 2011 and is looking forward to making the most of the many opportunities that his role at Rural Business Tasmania will offer.

Erin Hughes

Business Programs Coordinator

Erin is new to Rural Business Tasmania and brings a wealth of knowledge from her time at the Department of Agriculture and The Australian Public Service Commission.


Erin can assist you with applications to any of the government funded programs that Rural Business Tasmania delivers. From business training and development to assistance for forestry harvest and haulage contractors. For more information, please call Erin on 1300 88 3276.

Karlie Johnston

Admin & Reception

Karlie joined the RBT team in April 2017 in the role of admin/reception, Karlie had previously worked in the Hospitality Industry. Karlie enjoys to spend time adventuring with her family and friends in her down time.

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.

Tania Cornwall

Payroll HR Admin and Support

Tania joined Rural Busines Tasmania in February 2020. Tania previously owned a retail store and has been working in the bath and body manufacturing industry for over 17 years. Tania’s spare time is gladly spent with family and friends.