Small Business

The primary role of the Small Business Rural Financial Counselling Service Program is to support Small Businesses in drought impacted areas who are experiencing hardship associated with the long standing drought conditions, and have no alternative source of impartial support.


The Queensland Government and Financial Counselling Foundation provide funding to deliver the program throughout Southern Queensland.

Head office is based in Roma, and employs Small Business 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.

Small Business 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 impacted and would like to discuss your financial position and become better prepared to manage future challenges, contact one of our Small Business Rural Financial Counsellors today.

Cunnamulla (Bulloo and Paroo Regional Council Areas)

Lauren Schmidt

0448 021 253

“I’m looking forward to working with local businesses and helping the people of our country communities”.

Lauren joined SBRFCS in April 2019 to assist Small Businesses in the South Western shires of Queensland. Lauren has spent the majority of her upbringing and working career in these areas and understands the issues they face both short and long term.

Prior to joining SBRFCS Lauren’s background was primarily in Agribusiness. Lauren also recently completed a Diploma in Accounting. Lauren, her husband and three young children live in rural QLD.

Charleville (Murweh, Quilpie, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council Areas)

90 Alfred Street, Charleville QLD 4470

Michelle Gordon

0448 182 161



42A Wyndham Street, Roma QLD 4455

Jo Tardent

0437 292 848


“It is gratifying to provide support to our primary producers, especially during these challenging times of ongoing drought.”

Jo joined the Roma RFC team in March 2019, she began her career in an accounting firm in Gympie where the majority of her clients were primary producers and small businesses.

Over the years Jo has worked as a Company Accountant for a variety of businesses both corporate and not-for-profit, most recently she has managed her own family business in Roma.

Jo understands the current challenges faced by primary producers and small businesses in drought affected areas and is keen to support those who are experiencing hardship.

Jo holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting & Management) and is currently studying towards her Diploma of Financial Counselling.

Brian Wippell

0447 568 971


Brian Wippell


Small Business Support Centre (Assisting other areas in Southern Queensland)

1300 732 777

Fiona Hills


Kerrianne Hebinger

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As the owner of three Small Businesses, Kerrianne understands the diverse environment they operate in, and the unique challenges and stresses of ownership. “I’ve lived the process of building a business from the ground up, along with turning around a business in distress into a profitable going concern. It’s hard enough balancing the normal demands of running a business - being impacted by an event entirely out of your control, such as drought, just makes it that much more difficult. ”


In her professional career, Kerrianne has worked across a range of businesses in roles that span mentoring individual enterprise, through to managing multi-disciplinary teams, and Board Membership of a Social Enterprise Not for Profit.


Most recently Kerrianne’s work has been focused on working with individuals and small businesses to understand their current position, the options available to them, and then supporting them to deliver their goals.


Kerrianne brings extensive experience, capacity for solving complex puzzles, and genuine interest in other people to the role of Small Business Rural Financial Counsellor.


Kerrianne holds a Bachelor of General Studies (Commerce) along with qualifications in Financial Services, Applied Tax and Mental Health First Aid.

She is a registered Tax (Financial Adviser) Agent, a SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM  ,and a Commissioner for Declarations.


Small Business Rural Financial Counsellors aim to identify options which see you, and your business better equipped to manage your circumstances.

We can:

  • Help you negotiate with lenders and creditors
  • Confidentially assess and prepare reports on your current financial position, cash flow and viability
  • Identify appropriate business options, help you develop an action plan
  • Help prepare you for meetings with financiers

Help you identify the need for advice from, and to prepare for meetings with, professional service providers from both the private and government sectors