Big changes are happening at FFN! We would like to welcome Jamie-Lee Oldfield to the team as our new Executive Officer. Jamie-Lee is a seasoned agri-media and communications professional who lives and works on a family-owned stud and commercial beef and sheep operation in Coolac, NSW.
“As a current and future farmer myself, I have a long held passion for informing, educating and growing rural and regional Australia. I have worked across four states developing a deep understanding of what the younger generation need to be supported in achieving their goals, and I’m excited to bring this to life as FFN‘s Executive Officer”
Richard is a Chartered Accountant and Business Valuation Specialist with experience in financial advisory prior to entering the agribusiness sector in 2015. His passion for agribusiness stemmed from his experience at Craig Mostyn Group, a leading diversified and vertically integrated agribusiness in Western Australia. In his time at Craig Mostyn Group, Richard was involved in various projects across the supply chain including farm expansion, abattoir expansion, sales contract pricing and sales contract negotiation. This experience inspired Richard to enrol in a Master of Agribusiness at the University of Melbourne.
Richard now works at Mareterram Limited, a company created through the union of Craig Mostyn Groups food service division and NorWest Seafoods, a West Australian fishing company. Mareterram aspires to become a diversified agribusiness in which Richard plays an integral role as the mergers and acquisitions manager.
His belief that there is a large network of young people looking for a way to contribute to agriculture and the opportunity to further connect city and country is what has excited Richard about the opportunity to join the FFN Board. Richard is passionate about ensuring the voice of regional Australia and their agricultural communities are both heard and understood.
Tom Rookyard is the Operations Manager at AuctionsPlus and has been with the company for 5 years. Originally from Berrima NSW, now based in Sydney, Tom has always had an interest in agriculture, mainly in the sheep and wool industry. Tom’s role leads him to managing the commercial livestock and stud livestock teams for AuctionsPlus, working closely with livestock producers, agents and buyers. In addition to this Tom also manages the wool platform for AuctionsPlus – AuctionsPlus Wool, an online bid and offer board.
Prior to starting at AuctionsPlus, Tom worked as a horse handler at William Inglis and Son, thoroughbred auctioneers at Randwick. Tom graduated from Charles Sturt University Wagga with a Bachelor of Business Studies and has just completed his Masters of Agricultural Business Management by distance through Charles Sturt University at Orange and is currently completing his NSW Stock and Station Certificate of Registration.
Caitlin McConnel is a Lawyer in the Agribusiness & Food Industry Group at Clayton Utz, with experience in restructuring and insolvency, commercial litigation and administrative law. Her interests are in international trade, water law, corporate governance and the effect of climate change on agricultural litigation and policy planning.
Caitlin’s passion for agriculture stems from her work on her family’s historical property, which produces beef cattle in Toogoolawah, Queensland. Whilst primarily based in the Brisbane office of Clayton Utz, Caitlin undertakes flexible work from her family property in Toogoolawah in order to work closely with her parents in respect of their operations at “Cressbrook”. Caitlin represents the family as an historical spokesperson and sixth-generation custodian of “Cressbrook”.
Caitlin is also a Director of the Royal Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) Foundation, and Chair of the RNA Future Directions Committee. In 2020, Caitlin will complete a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne, where she has focussed on issues pertaining to the agricultural industry in respect of corporate governance, international trade law, water law, artificial intelligence and climate change adaptation.
Lachlan is a Senior Investment Associate for Laguna Bay, a specialist funds management firm focusing on deploying institutional capital into various agricultural industries. Lachlan’s primary role involves identifying investment opportunities for Laguna Bay’s funds, as well as assisting with the management of existing assets in our portfolio. Laguna Bay currently manages several assets spanning row crop, permanent crop, sheep, cattle, and dairy sectors.
Having grown up on his family cattle station in North-west Queensland, as well as working as a station hand across QLD and NT, Lachlan has an in-depth appreciation of what it is like to be involved in production agriculture.
Lachlan has completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness from Marcus Oldham and holds a Private Pilot’s licence for fixed wing aircraft. With this variety of experience, Lachlan hopes that he can bring a different agricultural perspective to the board and the various members.
Henry grew up in the Swan Valley in Perth, Western Australia. His family are involved in beef production, viticulture and horticulture and have previously also had an interest in station in the Pilbara. His involvement in agriculture grew from involvement in these industries.
Henry attended Muresk Institute, a campus of Curtin University, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Technology with honours.
After completing University, Henry commenced working on cropping and mixed farms in Pingelly then Lake Kingand. In 2012 he was appointed as a Farm Manager on the south coast of WA, running a predominantly merino enterprise. After a change of direction Henry is now working in Lake King as an assistant farm manager on a cereal farm.
While studying at Muresk, the campus was in the process of being shut down with Henry actively involved in trying to keep it open. This led Henry to becoming involved with the WA Farmers Federation and in turn AgConnectWA, an under 35 social networking group for people involved in the agriculture industry of WA. Henry has since been elected to the AgConnectWA Committee.
Henry is passionate about increasing the connections among agribusiness professionals to improve the agricultural industry for everyone involved. Agriculture is the employer of the future and he believes the future is in our hands. We need to work proactively to ensure that the industry remains sustainable and attractive to the youth of today. Henry is passionate about the industry and promotes agriculture when ever possible
Olivia grew up working on a large, mixed-enterprise farming operation in Warren, NSW, which specialises in Merino wool, commercial sheep and cattle and mixed-cropping. Olivia has experience across the Ag industry, from farm-gate to the retail sector.
After finishing a degree in Economics (Ag Econ) at the University of Sydney and working in agri-business consulting, Olivia currently manages the Regional Portfolio for the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro – managing investment in regional infrastructure as well as programs and policies pertaining to Regional development in NSW. This role also involves working with industry to overcome constraints limiting the effective operation of commercial business in NSW.
Olivia also wants to help farmers access alternative sources of capital for growth and greater access to innovation and technology, in order to maximise production and profit. She’d also like to see a strengthening of relationships across the supply chain, from farm-gate to retail sector, so that farmers have greater transparency over their produce and better access to markets.
Whilst not growing up on a family property, Dan has a long association with agriculture spending the majority of his childhood between Wagga Wagga and Cootamundra in Southern NSW. Following a small stint in the construction industry when he finished school, Dan has been involved in agriculture with experience ranging from Head Stockmen/ Overseer roles on large cattle stations throughout Northern Territory and Queensland, to mixed cropping and sheep operations throughout NSW and Victoria and large scale feed lotting in Western Victoria.
Dan has completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness through Marcus Oldham College graduating in 2017 and now resides in Roma where he works as a Rural Manager for Rabobank. His primary role being lending finance to primary producers across the Maranoa, Warrego and out to the South Australian border.
Dan is passionate and excited about the future of the Agricultural Industry and sees it playing a pivotal role in the viability of the country as a whole over the longer term. He believes that with the current operating environment, there has never been a greater need to improve the effectiveness of what we do with our land. A position as a Non-Executive Director with the Future Farmers Network would provide a platform for Dan to help connect current and future agribusiness professionals with the tools and resources to take the industry to the next level and ensure its long term sustainability.
Oli Le Lievre has an extensive background in Agriculture with a variety of skills in mixed cropping and livestock, start-up Agtech and supply chain innovation, and corporate agribusiness. He is a current board member of the G21 Region agribusiness group, an NFF 2030 Leader, Co-founder of ‘This is Aus Ag’ an initiative to develop collaborative and interactive conversations between Australian producers and consumers, and Creator/Founder of ‘Humans of Agriculture’, a social initiative which puts a global spotlight on all facets of agriculture to have ‘more people, more often, identified in agriculture’.
With a Bachelor of Agribusiness from Marcus Oldham, Oli is also recognised by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, following successful completion of the Foundations of Directorship. Oli emphasises the need to develop a more engaged and cohesive industry to not only help in enduring the challenges, but also to capitalise on the opportunities in the ever-changing environment.
Oli is very enthusiastic and positive about the future of agriculture in Australia. Being involved as a non-Executive Director with FFN will enable him to be part of a team that leads industry engagement and community involvement for the future benefit of the agriculture sector and rural Australia.”
Simon grew up on a family sheep and cattle property in southern NSW. He has worked throughout the red meat industry in very differing locations and parts of the value chain both in Australia and overseas. After working in northern Australia, he completed a Bachelor of Agriculture Science with honors from the University of Sydney majoring in agronomy and animal production. He is currently working for AACo as the Value Chain Development Manager ensuring that the supply/value chain operates as efficiently as possible. Previously he worked as an Operations Analyst. He has a passion for education and driving efficiencies both on-farm and throughout the value chain.
Susannah is an Account Director with leading agribusiness communications agency, Cox Inall Communications. Working across a mix of large agribusiness clients, she is involved in the development and delivery of strategic and effective communication campaigns and materials, to help these organisations better communicate their work to both farming and non-farming audiences.
Through her work, Susannah is involved with some of the leading organisations driving change in Australian agriculture, be that through research and development, building financial resilience or promoting the personal development of young members of the agribusiness sector. Susannah holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New England, and a Bachelor of International & Global Studies from the University of Sydney (Government & International Relations Major).
Based with her husband on his family’s Angus cattle stud near Mudgee, NSW, Susannah has a real understanding of both the challenges and opportunities that come with being a young person in agriculture. She sees a Directorship with the Future Farmers Network as an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the agriculture industry.
Tim is currently employed as the Young Farmer Business Program Coordinator with the NSW DPI. Prior to this, Tim worked as a Lawyer in Dubbo specialising in property law.
Originally from Mudgee, Tim grew up on a sheep and cattle property and has always maintained a love of farming, particularly superfine wool. After finishing school Tim studied Agribusiness and Law at the University of New England. Tim hopes to become more involved in his family’s farming business in the next few years.
Tim is passionate about the future of Australian Agriculture and believes increasing the financial literacy and commercial acumen of the next generation of farmers will be one of the key drivers to success of the industry. Tim is also currently completing the Company Directors Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.