Meet our team:

Erin Chesney

Erin Chesney

In my role I work collaboratively as a support and point of contact to ARLF team members, program participants and stakeholders to ensure successful program delivery.  

When not at work I love spending time outdoors with family and friends enjoying gardening, walking, camping and fishing.  

Where does your passion for rural, regional and remote Australia come from?

My childhood was spent in the Snowy Mountains; living in Jindabyne 35 yrs ago was very different to what it is today. Jindabyne was just a small-town community that operated quietly until winter when for 16 weeks it became the winter hot spot with skiers, holidaymakers and seasonal workers. This period was brief but important, the opportunity for the tourist town to work hard and in some cases make money for the year before turning back into that quiet town that it usually was. This lifestyle and rhythm of the area illustrated the importance of connection and support a smaller community creates, as everyone would band together to help each other during the winter period to ensure success. My parents knew no one when we moved to Jindabyne, and essentially, we made amazing friends whom we now call family, lifelong connections. I didn’t miss out on anything as a child regarding learning and sporting opportunities, I am so grateful for this to have been my childhood as I now appreciate and understand how a rural and regional Australia can be a bustling and successful hub, even if it is exaggerated on a seasonal basis. Today, I am so grateful to work at ARLF, an organisation that resonates with my own values, working towards making a positive impact in rural, regional and remote Australia.  

What’s your favourite memory or most memorable moment in rural, regional and remote Australia?

My all-time favourite camping trip was our Cape York adventure in 2019. We travelled from Canberra to Cape York and back in 6 weeks, an epic drive! This trip was with my husband Brendon, a bucket list adventure we had been preparing for some time and were lucky enough to be able to share it with our 2 daughters, Eloise, 6, and Olivia, 8, at the time. The girls were old enough to remember, appreciate and enjoy the trip and still talk about it today and keep asking when we are going back. The scenery changed immensely during the trip, we started in the green mountainous region of the ACT, travelled up the east coast along the beautiful beaches to the rainforest of Far-North Queensland before finding the endless corrugated red dust which are the roads of the Cape York Peninsula. We loved the feeling of being in the very remote location of Cape York. It was quiet and still; you could really notice the serenity of the landscape, particularly during the evenings. The dust was so fine and red, it made its way into every crevasse of our camper and are still living with it today, a lovely constant reminder of our amazing adventure. The trip further highlighted my acknowledgement of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and diverse country, no other place quite like Australia.  

What’s your professional background?

My background is varied. I have lots of levels of experience in the hospitality industry, but more recently focused on event management.  Whilst starting a family I had a slight change of career based on an interest in gardening and went on the study horticulture and work in that field for the years following.  My roles have always been customer service-focused as I love the interaction and opportunity to help customers achieve their aspirations.     

Three things you love about working at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation?

What I enjoy most about being part of the ARLF is the opportunity to contribute to making a positive difference in rural Australia, the supportive team members and the flexible working arrangements. 

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