Alumni Online

The ARLF recognises that the world has changed and we need to adapt and innovate – our programs, initiatives and the way we connect with our network.

There is a role for us in facilitating conversations and initiatives with our alumni and others focused on the greater good of RRR Australia.

As such we have extended the invitation for online forums to ARLF alumni to participate in an initial conversation – Leading Through Crisis.

We are keen to receive feedback on the longer term approach – what issues/challenges/opportunities should and can we be address? On what scale and through which platforms?

The purpose of these Zoom discussions will be to connect ARLF leaders across the country, share lived experience and the wisdom and collective support to assist our network in navigating our future.

Click here to register

Matt Linnegar, ARLF Chief Executive will facilitate a panel of ARLF graduates; Fran Freeman, Russ Taylor AM, and Kate Riddell.

Meet the panel

Facilitator – Matt Linnegar, ARLP 7 | Chief Executive ARLF

Fran Freeman ARLP Course 6

Ms Fran Freeman is the First Assistant Secretary, Exports Division at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. She is responsible for the meat, animal products, fish and dairy export certification programs as well as the National Residue Survey. She is also the Chair of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS).

Ms Freeman has previously been responsible for managing the Agricultural Policy, Agriculture Agricultural Adaptation & Forestry and Governance divisions. 

Previously Ms Freeman headed up the Secretariat of the Quarantine and Biosecurity (the Beale) Review and was responsible for managing the early implementation of the government’s response. She also has extensive experience in international agricultural trade issues including completing a 3.5 year posting as Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and running the department’s multilateral trade area with responsibility for WTO agriculture and SPS matters, OECD, FAO and APEC.

Ms Freeman was Chief Economist, Agriculture and Trade Branch, at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and was the Chair of the OECD Joint Agriculture and Trade Committee.

Ms Freeman has a bachelor degree in agricultural economics from the University of New England. Ms Freeman completed the Australian Rural Leadership Program in 2000 and has twice been named in Australia’s Top 100 Women in Agriculture.

Russ Taylor AM ARLP Course 2

Russell Taylor AM is an Aboriginal Australian who is involved in various activities which seek to improve the lives and life choices of Indigenous Australians.

In recognition of his lifelong efforts, in June 2015 Russell was honoured by being awarded Membership of the Order of Australia and the citation refers to this recognition being “For significant service to the community as a cultural leader and public sector executive in the field of Indigenous affairs”. 

In 2018 Russell was the recipient of the National NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year Award and more recently, in 2019 Russell was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of the University) by the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) for this strong contribution to that University through his long term UTS Council membership and involvement in various committees and initiatives relating to Indigenous Higher Education.

Russell was born and raised in Millers Point, an inner city Sydney waterfront suburb that today forms part of the tourist precinct area known as ‘The Rocks’. However, Russell proudly identifies as a Kamilaroi man with family connection to traditional country in the New England area of New South Wales (Walhallow) and also has family connections to La Perouse and Redfern in Sydney.

Russell is a former CEO of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and at end of his tenure at AIATSIS he was the most senior Indigenous member of the Australian Public Service.

Although semi-retired Russell remains active through various governance roles including those of Chairman of the Burbangana Group and Deputy Chair of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous. Russell is also a board member of Beyond Blue, the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

Russell is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (Course 2) and is a founding director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.

Russell’s academic qualifications include Graduate Diploma qualifications in Public Sector Management (University of Technology Sydney) and Arts Anthropology (Australian National University) and a Master of Business Administration (University of Technology, Sydney).

Kate Riddell ARLP Course 20

Kate is a Mum, teacher and past emergency services volunteer. She runs her own small consultancy and training business largely focused on community development, mental health training and disaster recovery.

After the Black Saturday bushfires decimated her community in Kinglake, Kate co-founded Firefoxes Australia, a grassroots organisation supporting women to create a ‘new normal’.  Kate was awarded the Pride of Australia medal, Minister for Health Volunteer Award, Ambulance Victoria Leadership Excellence Award, the National Emergency Medal and travelled to the US on an Emergency Services Scholarship researching Mental Health training for First Responders.