Karen is passionate about rural and remote Queensland and is inspired by the inherent potential that exists in our communities. Karen is involved in leadership at both regional and national levels and she currently serves as a director of South West Natural Resource Management and Queensland Water and Land Carers and is a Queensland Plan Council Ambassador. She is a founding committee member of an arts philanthropic fund known as the Red Ridge Public Fund. She serves her local community as President of the Charleville Arts Gallery Inc. and is a member of the Breast Cancer Association Qld - South West Qld.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Education; Master of Education; Graduate Diploma of Financial Markets; Cert IV in Business (Governance); Cert IV in Training and Assessment and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course.
Vice-Chair and Secretary
James has lived on the family property near Roma all of his life and in the last 20 years as a partner in the family operation. James is passionate about rural enterprises and industries and through this passion served as a member of the Roma Saleyards Board from 1999 - 2008. Since then he has been a part of the consultative committee.
During 2006, James became the President of the Queensland Saleyards Association. He is a past President of the Australian Livestock Markets Association.
Local government and the progression of our rural community has been another passion for James who was elected as a councillor on the Bungil Shire Council from 1994 until March, 2008.
James has an extensive knowledge of corporate governance requirements through his involvement in local government and the positions he holds on the Roma, Queensland and Australian Saleyards Boards.
During his involvement with local government, James was heavily involved with the financial decision making processes associated with works program and tenders. James has been a committee member involved with the Rural Financial Counselling Programme delivery for twelve years.
Joy has resided in the Injune area for over 50 years, living both in the township and on a remote property located over two hours’ drive from the closest township.
For many years Joy has been involved in local government serving as a Councillor on the former Bungil Shire Council and served two terms as councillor for the Maranoa Regional Council. Through her involvement with local government, Joy has gained a broad knowledge of corporate governance requirements and has participated in corporate governance training.
Joy is passionate about the progressing of rural communities and being more sustainable with the ever changing climatic conditions that challenge the region.
Andrew Schmidt has lived on the Warrego River for all of his 66 years. He lives on ‘Wallen”, Cunnamulla and has been improving this property for 31 years since he and his wife Kathy moved up the river from Baroona. His family has lived in the area since 1890. Andrew has always been interested in the environment and the sustainable grazing of the fragile hard Mulga country.
Passionate about rural industries, Andrew has been a member on several boards and committees including South West Natural Resource Management (SWNRM) board for 20 years; QMDC board for 3 years; Industry Representative for SWNRM for 7 years and on the Committee for Fodder Harvesting Guidelines for the Mulga Region. Andrew has attended many courses including an Australian Institute of Company Directors course and courses on production, breeding, industry development, fertility and mapping.
Avon comes from a long line of primary producers. He inherited his grandfather’s partnership at the age of 16 and is the fourth generation of Hamilton’s to be born in Roma. His grandparents came to the Carnarvon Ranges in the 1920’s.
Avon lives for his family and his cattle. Avon is in partnership with his wife Carol and son Nathan running their beef cattle enterprise. They have four properties in the Taroom district running 2,500 head of cattle. Avon has been a beef producer since leaving school.
As well as Avon’s property interests, he has been employed off-farm as a contract musterer, shed hand, driller and stock and station agent.
Committee Member and Honorary Treasurer
Claire Waters has been involved in the agricultural industry all of her life, being brought up on properties in the South Burnett area with her parents. And then over the last 30 years, in partnership with her husband, on properties at Durong, Mundubberra, Taroom and more recently at Bell.
Over this time, the enterprises have evolved from a breeding herd to buying stores and backgrounding them to sell into the feedlot market.
After finishing senior school, Claire attended Gatton Agricultural College for 4 years before working at a veterinary hospital and CSIRO research station. As a mature age student, Claire then undertook an external Business Degree through USQ in Toowoomba and has been a practicing accountant over the last 25 years, specializing in self-managed superannuation funds.
Claire’s on farm experience, together with her off farm business knowledge gives her an understanding of how important and difficult it can be to maintain and manage cash flows, budgets and finance commitments in the agricultural industry.
Claire is passionate about the future of the industry and in particular, what it can offer as a long-term viable career for our children and the generations to come.