The primary role of the Rural Financial Counselling Service Program is to support farmers, beef producers, grain growers, forestry workers and harvesters, horticulture growers and other primary producers who are experiencing hardship associated with drought, flood or fire conditions and have no alternative source of impartial suuport.
The Australian and Queensland Governments provide funding to deliver the program throughout Southern Queensland throught the Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland.
Head office is based in Roma, and employs Rural Financial Counsellors who provide rural ﬁnancial counselling assistance across the region.
Our services are:
- Free of charge, conﬁdential, impartial and independent.
- Delivered by skilled, local professionals who know your area and industry.
Rural Financial Counsellors are unable to provide advice, but can provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to make informed ﬁnancial and business decisions.
If you are drought, flood or fire impacted and would like to discuss your ﬁnancial position and become better prepared to manage future challenges, contact one of our Rural Financial Counsellors (listed below) today or call 07 4622 5500.
"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.
“I was born on the land and believe agriculture is Australia’s most sustainable and important industry. The opportunity to assist anyone in this industry to maintain their business, productivity and way of life gives me great pride.”
Bronwyn joined RFCS in December 2018 and works out of the DAFF office in Biloela servicing the Banana Shire and upper end of the North Burnett. Clients in this region are predominately producers of Beef Cattle, Cotton, Lucerne and Cereal Cropping. There are also the diversity of Herbs and Squab Pigeons.
Prior to this role Bronwyn’s background was in banking and she owned an insurance broking and financial planning practice for 15 years. Her client base was predominately clients from farming and rural enterprises, helping them to put in place financial and insurance structures to protect their businesses and families.
Bronwyn has an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.
“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 has completed her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).
“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.
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 has completed her Diploma in Counselling.
I live in the Lockyer Valley and I am pleased to be able to assist our primary producers throughout the South East regions to access services and improve business practices.
My background is taxation and project management accounting, I have a passion for helping people to have financial understanding in their businesses, compliance and identifying processes to improve business methods and knowledge.
Bachelor of Commerce Accounting (Major) and Human Resource (minor)
Currently studying towards a Diploma in Financial Counselling
Currently studying towards a Masters in Business Innovation, with majors in Enterprise Leadership and Digital Transformation.
Our new Gatton based RFCSSQ counsellor, Vicki Franklin moved from Charleville this year to her new home just outside Gatton.
Formerly an AgForce Regional Manager and ABARES Field Data Collection officer, Vicki and her husband, Matt had been operating their own cattle station near Charleville for the past 21 years before the big move to Gatton.
With a strong retail banking background and an Agriculture, Agribusiness and Financial Services diploma, Vicki’s unique life story gives her a clear understanding of the decision, challenges and issues faced by rural producers.
“I have a great passion for agriculture and sustainable rural communities and I’m really looking forward to using my acquired skills and knowledge to give support and assistance to rural producers as they manage their businesses through the difficult times and setting and achieving future goals.”
Nicole grew up mainly in Toowoomba where she completed school and her university degree.
Raised with a rural background, Nicole's extended family were beef producers in South West Queensland.
Nicole is a former financial advisor who was working for an accountant and financial planning firm in Toowoomba prior to joining the RFCSSQ.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning and is a Commissioner for Declarations.
“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.
"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 has completed her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).
Hilary joined the RFC service in 2018 and covers the Chinchilla and Miles areas working in a part time capacity. Hilary has had experience previously with Drought assistance on a federal and state level. Hilary runs a cattle grazing property in partnership her husband and understands and appreciates the effects that climatic and commodity price fluctuations have on businesses and individuals. Hilary is also involved in her local community.
Hilary holds a Diploma of Agriculture and Rural Business Management as well as being a Justice of the Peace (Qualified). Hilary has applied for her Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling).
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.
"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.
"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).
"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).
"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 is based in Toowoomba and together with another Rural Financial Counsellor, Jen Turner, is responsible for most of the Toowoomba Regional Council area. 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 completed his Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).
“Working as a Rural Financial Counsellor is such a rewarding job. I love being able to support clients in making informed business decisions that will improve their financial position.”
Jen joined the Rural Financial Counselling Service in February 2019 Toowoomba office having previously worked for the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority for 12 years. Having grown up on a farm in a rural community and now owning a small beef cattle enterprise with her husband, Jen has both an understanding of the challenges of the agricultural industry and an empathy for those making a living off the land.
Jen has a Bachelor of Rural Science, Diploma in Agriculture, a Certificate in Business and Financial Analysis and is currently studying for her Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling).
"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 completed his Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling).
Kim has a rural background as she was raised on a sheep and cattle property west of Charleville. After completing university, Kim became an Accountant and obtained her CPA status. She made the move to Warwick in 1999 where she became the Farm Financial Counsellor with the DPI for a number of years. Kim has also operated her own Agribusiness consultancy business and worked as a Financial Planner before moving to the RFCS SQ.