Our Staff

Matt Linnegar

Chief Executive

Matt Linnegar joined the Foundation in 2014, becoming the first program alumnus to lead the organisation. He is responsible for ensuring the Foundation achieves its aims for capacity-building in rural, regional and remote Australia. He knows first-hand the power of collaboration and connection to achieve great things and empower leaders to achieve their goal.

Matt has worked for over 25 years in for-purpose, representative and commercial roles focused on leadership, agriculture, water, natural resource management, trade and marketing. He is passionate about building capacity in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Before joining the Foundation, Matt was CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation, working on some of the most complex challenges facing the rural sector. Past leadership roles include working as general manager, corporate and customer operations at Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited; executive director at Ricegrower’s Association of Australia; and marketing coordinator, South-East Asia, for the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation (now MLA).

Matt is a director of the Telstra Foundation, Agribusiness Australia, and The Leadership Network. He is also president of the Carwoola Community Association and serves on the Charles Sturt University Strategic Advisory Committee, Bush Summit Advisory Panel, and Investing in Rural Communities Reference Panel.

Matt is a graduate of Course 7 of the ARLP and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Andrea Hogg

Director of Learning

Andrea Hogg first came to work with the Foundation in 2012, and leads the body of work related to the curriculum and educative frameworks used by the organisation. Her combined experiences growing up and working in regional Queensland, as well as internationally, mean she has considerable insight into the factors that consistently drive successful collaboration, across differing contexts.

Andrea has a background in adult education and community development, and has honed her skills around the globe, including in the Pacific and the United Kingdom. She has considerable experience in the management, design and facilitation of place-based programs and learning. She applies these to develop the collaborative capacity of leadership in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Andrea has developed the current curriculum for the Foundation, based on evidence of the power of network leadership to impact awareness of self and systems. She has worked on community-led capacity building programs in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, as well as disaster response programs internationally. She designed and delivered the Leadership for Our Regions Program; a regional collaboration developed to strengthen the economic, environment and social prosperity of regional Australia through leadership networks.

Philippa Woodhill

Director, Partnerships

Philippa Woodhill joined the Foundation in 2006, and has a deep understanding of its ethos and the diverse people it serves and develops. In her current role, she is developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to grow and enhance the organisation’s relationship with its partners and stakeholders. She oversees the fundraising and communication strategy, and supports business development. Philippa excels at connecting individuals and organisations with productive natural synergies, and has prior experience working as an Australian Volunteer in the Pacific.

She is a trained mediator and specialises in supporting people from diverse sectors to contribute to social change. Most recently, responding to and leading collaborations with Government, industry, philanthropists, indigenous and community organisations in the design and delivery of capacity-building initiatives.

Philippa’s family history is strongly connected with rural Queensland, and her working life has been committed to supporting rural and regional communities to thrive through education, health and her work with the Foundation.

Philippa is an alumna of Cranlana and the Commonwealth Study Conference, of which she is also a Board Director.

David Brouwer

Manager, Finance

David Brouwer joined the Foundation in 2019 , and is responsible for financial administration and strategic business guidance. He is a Chartered Accountant with over 15 years’ experience in the accounting industry. He combines a keen analytical eye with an affinity for the people and values that lie behind specific industries and businesses.

David grew up in Canberra, and recently returned to the nation’s capital after working for five years in a small accounting practice in rural New South Wales. During this time, he experienced first-hand the impact environmental change has had on rural communities, as well as the leadership required to plan for the future. David has worked with a wide variety of clients including multinational companies, private family groups, small business, individuals and not-for-profits. He is passionate about football (the World Game) which he continues to play, as well as volunteering his time coaching his children’s sporting teams.

Matilda Ferguson

Manager, Partnerships

Matilda joined the ARLF at the end of 2016, and is responsible for managing a range of key partnerships for the organisation. Matilda grew up on a station near Wanaaring in far north-west NSW, and has a strong history within the Agricultural sector.

Holding a Graduate Diploma of International Affairs from the Australian National University, Matilda is passionate about agricultural development and food security throughout both Australia and our wider region.

Karen Freer

Manager, Communications 

Karen Freer has worked with the Foundation since February, and is responsible for promoting and communicating the work and achievements of the organisation, as well as keeping stakeholders informed and engaged.

She is a marketing and communications professional with over 20 years’ experience developing strategic plans, campaigns and events for brands including Canberra Milk, Questacon, Westfield, Mirvac, Capital Chemist and Master Builders.

Karen has strong rural roots, having grown up at “Watervale”, Walla Walla, located in the Greater Hume Shire, where three generations of her family have farmed for over 100 years. She is passionate about telling the stories of the energy, vitality and determination that characterise so many rural and regional communities and industries.

Karen is active in her local community as a volunteer with various sporting clubs and the school fundraising committee.

Vivienne Johnson

Development Manager, Philanthropy

Vivienne’s role is to help the Foundation realise its mission by asking people who share her commitment and passion for its work to invest in its programs and services. In seeking philanthropic support from alumni and the wider community, she draws upon her 10 years’ experience as a fundraiser.

Based in Brisbane, Vivienne’s interest in rural and regional Australia was sparked by her involvement with the Vision Splendid Outback Festival held annually in Winton, Queensland. Her focus is on building the Foundation’s community of supporters and strengthening relationships with current donors. Vivienne is a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a non-executive director with MS Queensland.

Lockie McDonald

Manager, Leadership Programs

Lockie has over 25 years experience delivering training and providing facilitation services to a diverse range of audiences and industries. These include, construction and mining crews, railway workers, tertiary education staff and students, Aboriginal health workers, disability professionals and firefighters.

Lockie has a warm and generous interest in people and has the ability to engage with audiences.

Originally completing his nursing training he combines his experience in health, business and the arts with a commitment to develop leadership capacity in Australia and across the Indo-pacific region. Lockie has a BA in English majoring in Journalism and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program course 17.

He is a popular key note speaker and has contributed to many boards, funding bodies and advisory councils across Australia. Lockie is based in our Perth office.

Charlie Morrice

Manager, Leadership Programs

Charlie manages and facilitates some of the Foundation’s leadership programs, including the Australian Rural Leadership Program. He has worked in the education sector for 29 years and his experience in educational leadership includes working with all ages, from preschool to adult.

Charlie was a member of the Leadership Development Advisory Group for ACT school leaders and before joining the ARLF was Principal of a school with 700 students ranging from preschool to Year 10. In earlier days, Charlie worked in the building industry and lived in Captain’s Flat, Ulladulla and Tuross Heads.

He recently spent five years in Rome, Italy, working as a workshop facilitator for business associations and graduate students.

Graham Smith

Graham Smith joined the Foundation in 2013, where he managed its flagship program, the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation for six years. He now works part-time assisting the Foundation with program re-development and new projects. He is committed to developing and empowering leaders to achieve positive change in their own communities and industries.

His career experience includes roles in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service and as General Manager of Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre. Earlier roles include establishing a Plant Science Education Centre for CSIRO, as well as secondary teaching. He also worked in the Federal Department of Finance and for ACT Parks and Conservation.

Graham’s public sector work has been recognised by an Australia Day Medallion and Australian Public Service departmental award for leadership.

Graham grew up in north western NSW and has strong family and work connections with regional Australia. He also has a committed professional interest in Indonesia and its fast developing economic and cultural relationships with Australia.

 

Grant Cameron

Manager, Leadership Programs

Grant Cameron joined the Foundation team in 2020, and is a graduate of the organisation’s Milparanga leadership development program. His role involves managing leadership programs, working closely with participants to challenge and develop their communication and advocacy skills. Grant is a proud Kamilaroi man, with family ties to Tamworth, New South Wales, and is currently based in southern Sydney.

Grant previously managed the Indigenous Digital Excellence national Flint technology program at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern, NSW. He has extensive experience in network and relationship-building with a diverse range of corporates, stakeholders and indigenous and non-indigenous communities. He has personal and deep knowledge and understanding of working with indigenous youth, adults and elders.

Grant has extensive facilitation experience working within 30 remote, rural and regional indigenous communities across the country over the past five years. He values and nurtures strength in cultural traditions. Grant has established meaningful connections with a wide range of stakeholders, including schools, land councils, ranger groups, libraries, media organisations, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and youth services.

He has developed and facilitated workshops to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, adults and elders, through a unique cultural lens—designed to inspire positive change within community. Grant is passionate about working people and seeing transformative personal growth and positive behavioural changes.

Jacqui Bond

Coordinator, Leadership Programs

Jacqui is a Program Coordinator for the ARLP  and joined the team in 2018.  She grew up in regional NSW, living in towns from Cobar to Wagga. She continued her love of the country by branching out and living in the Northern Territory and later in Queensland. Jacqui studied a Bachelor of Arts (Graphic Design)(Honours) at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga and has forged a career in private and public enterprises over the past 15 years.  Jacqui is a keen sportswoman with a healthy addiction to netball and tennis, and is actively involved in coaching and mentoring.

Naomi Jeffs

Coordinator, Leadership Programs

Naomi joined the Foundation in 2020 primarily to support the delivery of the Milparanga leadership program. Since completing a Master’s in Business Administration Naomi has worked in the higher education sector in both the United Kingdom and Australia.

Naomi has a background in project coordination and business research and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, paddle boarding and swimming.

Annette McCarthy

Coordinator, Business Support

Annette joined the Foundation in September 2019 to provide governance and secretariat support to the ARLF Board of Directors and executive support to the Chief Executive. Annette is of Warumungu descent from the Barkley region of the Northern Territory and grew up in Alice Springs. Annette comes to the ARLF with diverse experience from working in government, research and Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and loves the new challenges and knowledge gained from working with a highly skilled Board of Directors.

Emily Pillow

Coordinator, Digital Projects

Emily joined the ARLF at the end of 2019 and is responsible for project coordination in various areas of the Foundation’s business, including programs, IT and partnerships. She has a background in Event Management after recently completing a Bachelor of Management with distinction at the University of Technology Sydney in 2018.

After growing up on a farm outside of Wagga Wagga, Emily’s genuine interest in regional Australia began while working at the Regional Australia Institute. Now, being part of the team at the ARLF, Emily aims to establish a career in boosting the position of rural, regional and remote Australia in a national context.

Fiona Humphris

Data Services Officer

Fiona joined the Foundation in 2018 in a part time capacity and is responsible for the ARLF CRM database and other IT platforms. In addition to this, Fiona is program coordinator for the annual ARLF Agribusiness Leadership program. She has a background in financial services, project administration and reporting and holds qualifications in mathematics, finance and software development.

Stacey Pyke

Bookkeeper

Stacey joined the Foundation in February 2018 in a part time capacity and is part of the finance team. She is responsible for payment and recording of financial transactions and supporting the Finance Manager.

After growing up in South East Queensland on a dairy farm outside of Boonah and living in both Canberra and Darwin for a number of years, Stacey is now settled in Brisbane. She has a background in both horticulture and business administration/finance.