Our People

Head Office

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Whip

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“Managing a passionate and professional team, which provides support and life-changing assistance to Rural People, is one of the most rewarding roles I have been fortunate to hold.”

 

Jenny has lived in the Charleville and Roma regions for all of her life and with her husband has operated a small primary production property on the outskirts of Roma since 1992.

 

Since September 2006, Jenny has managed the RFCSQ-SW and since April 2017 is the Chief Executive Officer of RFCS-SQ. Previously Jenny coordinated the financial management and administration of several rural financial counselling services since 1996. Jenny has a combination of knowledge and experience across the fields of leadership, human resource management, financial and business management, project management and research and policy development.  Corporate governance training and knowledge is also a necessity for this role and Jenny has completed many governance courses including a Certificate IV in Business Corporate Governance and attended the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Course.

Biggenden

Rural Financial Counsellor

Kim Corfield

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"The best part of our role is that every day is different and every day we make a difference to farmers lives.”

 

Kim Corfield joined the RFCS in the Biggenden area in 2007.  Kim works with primary producers in the North Burnett / Wide Bay and has helped grazing, cropping, sugar cane, timber harvesters, citrus and small crops industries by completing QRAA applications, cashflows, lending proposals, Farm Debt Mediations, their associated negotiations, and natural disaster grant applications.

 

Kim’s completed studies include a Bachelor of Commerce – major Accounting, Diploma of Financial Counselling, Trainer and Assessors Certificate, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution training to just name a few.  Outside of work, Kim is involved in her family’s cattle property, and being active in the local community.

Biloela and Rockhampton

Rural Financial Counsellor

John Lacey

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John commenced initially with the Service in August 2013 and came from a background in case management of clients with Centrelink and the Queensland Corrections system after managing two small business operations for 11 years.

Having grown up on the land John completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree upon leaving school before embarking on a varied and challenging career working for private enterprise, government and own small businesses.

In late 2014, John completed the Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) whilst working for RFCS in the Biloela area. John then spent the 2017 year working for QRIDA in Rockhampton before returning to the Rural Financial Counsellor role in early 2018.

 

From the outset of working with the Rural Financial Counselling Service, John has immensely enjoyed working with people to identify options which lead to workable solutions; ones which clients take ownership for and are motivated to pursue.

Bundaberg

Rural Financial Counsellor

Kath Clarke

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It is important to me that I can help others achieve better financial knowledge and management of their business, to ensure that the rural lifestyle can be enjoyed by future generations of farming families.”

 

After working within the banking sector for a number of years as a personal lender and then moving into bookkeeping and financial management for rural business over the last few years, Kath has a good knowledge of the issues facing primary producers.  Her area will include Bundaberg, Childers, Gin Gin and surrounds, but will also extend into the Gladstone region.

 

Encouraging financial literacy and embracing technology to streamline business processes is one area that Kath specialises.  She can assist her clients to improve their understanding of the options available to them in their financial situation, assist with funding applications to Government organisations and provide practical support.

 

Kath’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Accounting, Diploma of Public Safety and she is currently working towards attaining her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Charleville

Rural Financial Counsellor

Angie Bowden

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“Having grown up up in Western Queensland, I am very passionate about seeing rural businesses succeed and rural communities prosper. I have a close understanding of the circumstances people in our rural communities quite often face. The strength, endurance and resilience that I witness is thoroughly inspiring.”

 

Angie commenced as a Rural Financial Counsellor at Charleville in 2010 following the millennium drought and the March 2010 Flood. This was followed by extensive rainfall, bushfires, another flood in 2012 and then 4 years of drought. These events suggest that producers in western Queensland operate their businesses within a very challenging environment. As a Rural Financial counsellor Angie supports producers to sustain their businesses throughout these adversities and adapt, change or retire from the industry in the long term.

Angie assists beef, sheep and wool producers in South Western Queensland including Bulloo, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie and Blackall Tambo shires.

 

Angie holds a Bachelor of Business, Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) and various certificates in Small Business Management, Workplace Training, Mental Health First Aid and Negotiation. Angie is a Justice of the Peace Qualified. Angie recently won the 2016 Mulga Award for Exceptional Support Services to South West Queensland.

Charleville

Rural Financial Counsellor

Brian Dodson

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Brian was born in Red Cliffs, a small community not far from Mildura in Victoria. He was originally appointed as a rural financial counsellor in September of 1991 with the then Wentworth/Balranald RFC Service which became part of RFC Central West. His working origins were in Banking, Horticulture, Welfare, Financial Counselling and eventually Rural Financial Counselling.

 

He acquired a Certificate of Business Studies at RMIT, Advanced Diploma in Agricultural Management and since numerous Diplomas through TAFE and other like Institutions and he is a Justice of the Peace in Vic, SA and NSW.

Emerald

Rural Financial Counsellor

Tricia Laffer

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Tricia joined the RFCS team in early January 2018. She is based in Emerald and services the Central Highlands regional area. Tricia has a strong association with the area and its people having lived and operated businesses in the district for 15 years.

 

She has a depth of business knowledge that spans across rural operations as well as other agribusiness, manufacturing, transport and mine servicing industries. She grew up in Western Qld on sheep and beef properties, and her and partner operate their own value adding cattle operation. She has also worked in Rural Economic Policy development, Agribusiness Consultancy, and for Corporate Cattle Companies. She understands the volatilities of the business environment and the difficulties imposed on rural operators to manage their risks and to reach their goals. She is inspired to impart her knowledge onto others to assist them optimize their potential.

 

Tricia has a Bachelor Business (Agribusiness) and is looking to gain an Accountancy qualification and she is currently studying the Diploma in Counselling.

Gatton/Lockyer Valley/South East QLD

Rural Financial Counsellor

Zoe Burke

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"In this role it is a privilege to be able to be ‘on the ground’ working directly with primary producers to help them overcome challenges, improve productivity and foster improvements in their financial position."

 

Zoe joined the Rural Financial Counselling Service in September 2016 Gatton office, servicing the Lockyer Valley and South East QLD. Zoe enjoys the diversity of agricultural enterprises in the region, being the ‘Salad Bowl’ of Queensland. Already, Zoe has been dealing with Asian melons, garlic and turmeric, beef cattle, fat lambs, lucerne, dairy farmers, as well all the usual horticultural produce.

 

Prior to joining the service, Zoe worked for the Queensland Government in similar roles, as well as in Agribusiness Banking.

 

Zoe holds a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Science and is also a partner in a farming enterprise, so has a thorough understanding of issues affecting farm businesses and rural communities.

Goondiwindi and St. George

Rural Financial Counsellor

Kay Barby

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"I understand the issues and difficulties that face people on the land from firsthand experience."

 

Kay joined as a RFC in March 2016, working from St George office, and servicing St George, Bollon, Dirranbandi and surrounding areas.

Kay is about to move to Goondiwindi, and operate from both St George and Goondiwindi offices on a part time basis at each site.

Kay’s rural background includes having been raised on cattle, sheep and cropping properties as well as having had worked in the rural industry, including operating her own commercial and stud cattle enterprise.

 

Kay has worked in accounting and taxation fields as well as running her own business outside of the rural industry. Kay enjoys the variety and challenge of working in the rural financial counselling service.

Kays qualifications include Bachelor of Commerce, Diploma of Agriculture, Diploma of Rural Business Management and an Office Administration Advanced Certificate. Kay has applied to study for her Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Gympie

Rural Financial Counsellor

Derk Abberfield

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“My early memories of life on the land shaped my passion for agribusiness – understanding, supporting, and encouraging all varieties of agribusinesses in my region.” 

 

Derk Abberfield has been the Rural Financial Counsellor for the Gympie and Sunshine coast region since 2013, having transferred from a similar role in St George, where we commenced as counsellor in 2006.

 

The Gympie position services north as far up as Bundaberg through to the Sunshine Coast in the South. Derk enjoys the variety, and learnings, associated with the wide range of primary producers in that area – from small crops, fruit and nuts through to cattle and dairy producers.

 

Derk obtained his education from University of Sydney, Orange Agricultural College completing an Advanced Diploma in Rural Business. He has since completed a Diploma in Financial Counselling.

Kingaroy

Rural Financial Counsellor

Belinda Clair

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"This job is such a rewarding experience watching the clients take better control of their situation and become empowered to move forward with solutions that work for them."

 

Belinda joined in June 2016 at the Kingaroy office.  Belinda’s area is the South Burnett, travelling from Goomeri, down to Bell/ Cooyar and across to Moore.  Clients include those operating in cattle, peanuts, lucerne, cropping and mixed grazing. The main areas of focus currently for Belinda’s clients are succession planning and avoiding Farm Debt Mediation.

 

Prior to the RFC, Belinda had 17 years banking experience, working in a variety of roles in rural and regional Queensland. Belinda’s background well places her to fully understand a client’s financial position and work with them to get the best outcome for them possible.  Belinda’s background also gives her the ability to assist the clients in completing individual business or succession plans to suit their needs and circumstances.

 

Belinda is currently studying for her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Mobile

Rural Financial Counsellor

Sally Ottaway

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"I love this job because it enables me to pass on my knowledge and skills to my clients free of charge and without time pressures, which improves their business acumen and financial understanding."

 

Sally commenced as Rural Financial Counsellor in February 2013. Sally’s territory covers the area surrounding Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Byfield, and Westwood. Industries include forestry, cattle, pineapple, and a range of tropical fruits. Prior to this role, Sally spent 18 years working in accounting and taxation.

 

Sally holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting, Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling), Registered Tax Agent, Registered ASIC Agent, Advanced qualifications in Microsoft software, Certificate in First Aid, Fire Warden training and Certificate in Real Estate (Property Management).

Roma

Rural Financial Counsellor

Nathan Wichlacz

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"Having grown up on a property in South-West Queensland, agriculture has always been a passion of mine. These days this passion translates into improving my skills (both practically, on the family property, and with workshop-based learning), and helping producers in my area improve their financial situation and knowledge."

 

"The service area that I cover includes Maranoa and Banana Shires. We assist a wide variety of cattle, sheep and crop producers within this region. Assistance can be provided in areas including: negotiations with banks to continue existing finance arrangements, secure additional funding for purposes of restocking or property improvements, and assistance with applications for income support."

 

Nathan has resided in the Maranoa region for 25 years and commenced as a Rural Financial Counsellor with the service in August 2014. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy), Bachelor of Mathematics, Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) and a certificate in Mental Health First Aid. Having previously worked in accounting and financial management, Nathan still enjoys assisting his family on the weekends with their mixed farming property.

Roma

Rural Financial Counsellor

Vicki Beitz

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"I am in a role that I thoroughly enjoy for its interaction with people in their everyday lives and the ability to assist them through sometimes very difficult situations!"

 

Vicki joined RFCS in August 2008 and since then has worked on a part-time basis in this role.

Previous to this role Vicki was employed in the Banking industry for over 30 years, again based in Roma.

 

Vicki works with primary producers in the Roma district, which means she has assisted clients in sheep, beef cattle and cropping operations. With a strength in banking, Vicki assists with cashflow projections, loan applications, and bank negotiations. Vicki holds a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Roma

Rural Financial Counsellor

Dale Murphy

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"I consider that the most challenging and enjoyable aspects of my work to be translating ‘producer speak’ to/from ‘professional speak’."

 

Dale joined the Service permanently in January 2014, with prior stints in 2007-08 and 2011-12. Based at Roma, Dale mainly works with primary producers across the Maranoa region. Clients are primarily beef cattle, and the work involved covers everything from cashflow forecast preparation, to bank applications, bank negotiations, succession planning, and understanding the impact of carbon contracts on property operations.

 

Dale’s family has been involved in beef production around the Yuleba district for four generations and he continues this involvement when not occupied by his role as a RFC.

Dale holds degree qualifications in accounting, finance and agribusiness and a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Toowoomba

Rural Financial Counsellor

Lewes Golden

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"I grew up on a cattle grazing property near Wandoan and have had experience in working on and managing properties. I love the variety in the job, a good mix of travelling, meeting people and seeing different country, office work etc. This is on top of the satisfaction I get out of assisting people with their issues."

 

Lewes Golden has been a Rural Financial Counsellor since August 2015. Prior to this, Lewes worked as a trainee accountant, a practice manager for an accounting firm in Roma, and been self employed as a share and derivative trader for his own business.

 

Lewes was responsible for the Southern Downs region - predominantly in the areas between Toowoomba and Warwick and south to the NSW border, west to Inglewood and North/east towards the eastern coast. With the addition of two new counsellors to the service, Lewes now focuses on areas around Toowoomba and north and west of that zone. Lewes works with a wide variety of business types including cattle and sheep/wool, grain and intensive cropping, dairy producers, orchards and other more intensive enterprises. Lewes has an Associate Diploma of Farm Management from Marcus Oldham, and has commenced his Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Warwick

Rural Financial Counsellor

Micheal Fagg

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"I am enjoying being able to solely focused on the client, and helping them work through their options. We work to the client’s timeframes, and make the time to understand their goals, or key concerns, from the outset."

 

Micheal joined the RFCS team in September 2016. Based in Warwick, Micheal services a broad area which includes the Southern Downs Region and surrounds and Scenic Rim Region area. He has a strong agricultural banking background with over twenty years’ experience, primarily assisting Agribusiness clients within the Darling Downs, South West Queensland and South Burnett Regions. Prior to working for RFCS, Micheal also worked for the Department of Human Services as a Farm Household Allowance Case Officer and is aware of various support options available to assist clients in need. Micheal is passionate in his desire to assist rural clients to overcome difficulties and maximise opportunities to achieve their goals.

 

Micheal has applied to study for his Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling).