Our Staff

Matt Linnegar

Chief Executive

Matt Linnegar joined the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation as Chief Executive in June, 2014. It is the first time in the 25-year history of the Foundation that a member of its alumni has stepped into the Chief Executive’s role.

Matt completed Course 7 of the Foundation’s prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program in 2001. Matt’s prior leadership roles include CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation, General Manager, Corporate and Customer Operations with Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited and Executive Director of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia.

Matt is committed to the advancement of rural, regional and remote Australia and has strong linkages through the farming, agribusiness and regional Australia sectors. He is a strong supporter of leadership development as a critical factor to the success of rural, regional and remote Australia.

Matt holds a degree in Applied Science (Systems Agriculture) from the University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury), is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Andrea Hogg

Director of Learning

Andrea has a background in adult education and international development and has honed her skills around the globe. She grew up and worked in regional Queensland as well as the Pacific and England.  She enjoys the opportunity to meet and work with many amazing people across Australia and to be part of a great team devoted to leadership behaviour, thinking and collaboration.

In this role, Andrea is leading the body of work related to the curriculum and educative frameworks utilised by the Foundation.

Philippa Woodhill

Director, Partnerships

Philippa Woodhill works across all the areas of the Foundation to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to grow and enhance the Foundation’s relationship with its partners and stakeholders. She has oversight of the fundraising and communications strategy and supports business development.

Philippa is a Board Director of the Commonwealth Study Conference Inc., of which she is an alumnus of the 2007 Study Conference to India. Prior to joining the ARLF in 2006, Philippa was an Australian Volunteer in the Pacific. Her background includes education, sports and network development and she has served on a number of community boards.

David Brouwer

Manager, Finance

David is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years’ experience in public practice. Having grown up in Canberra, he has only recently returned to the Nation’s Capital after working for five years in a small accounting practice in rural NSW. Over the years, David has worked on a wide variety of clients including multinational companies, private family groups, small business, individuals and not-for-profit entities. He possesses a keen interest in many sports, but his passion lies in football (The World Game) which he continues to play, and he also volunteers his time coaching his children’s teams.

Matilda Ferguson

Manager, Partnerships

Matilda joined the ARLF at the end of 2016, and is responsible for managing the ARLF’s key partnerships. She grew up on her family’s station near Wanaaring in far north-west NSW, and has a strong history within the Agricultural sector. Holding postgraduate qualifications in International Affairs through ANU, Matilda is passionate about agricultural development throughout remote Australia and our wider region. Continuing to hold a close connection to rural Australia, Matilda often heads back to the family farm in her spare time.

Karen Freer

Manager, Communications 

Karen is a Marketing & 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 grew up at “Watervale”, Walla Walla, located in the Greater Hume Shire, where three generations of the Thomas family have farmed for over 100 years.

Karen is active in her local community as a volunteer with various sporting clubs & 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

Manager, Leadership Programs

Graham Smith coordinates the Australian Rural Leadership Program. His recent career included roles in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service and General Manager of Questacon –The National Science and Technology Centre. His earlier career included establishing a Plant Science Education Centre for CSIRO and secondary teaching. He also worked in the Federal Department of Finance and ACT Parks and Conservation.

Graham grew up in north western NSW and has strong family connections with rural Australia. He has also had a long work history with rural, regional and remote Australian communities. His public sector work has been recognised by an Australia Day Medallion and Australian Public Service departmental award for leadership. Graham has a committed professional interest in Indonesia and its fast developing economic and cultural relationships with Australia.

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.

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.

Kellie Sydlarczuk

Coordinator: Network Engagement

Kellie is an events expert with extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector. She joined the Foundation in July 2018, in a varied role working on Alumni Engagement, Programs & Events. The diverse role enables Kellie to share her expertise in running events of all sizes, managing projects and cultivating engagement.

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