I drive the breadth and depth of the partnerships and collaborations the ARLF engages in to support our leadership work in and for rural and regional Australia. I activate, engage, and steward our networks of purpose-aligned organisations and people, which include funding partners (government, corporate and philanthropy), alumni and associates across sectors and regions.
Outside of work, you’ll find me spending time with my family and friends, walking in the mountains or on a deserted beach and watching my kids play sports and do what they love. And I know I am truly on a holiday when I’m doing a puzzle or cross stitch (which is rare).
Where does your passion for rural, regional and remote Australia come from?
Little things spark my passion for rural, regional, and remote Australia. Long drives in the country for something to do, finding the best pie or skate park in the middle of nowhere, camping under the stars, meeting locals who love where they live, and of course, that deep connection to Country each and every time that permeates your body and soul when there.
As for leadership development, investing in people and their ability to reflect, invest, learn and act beyond self is where we will always get the best value that amplifies with support. There is no doubt for me that rural, regional, and remote Australia is at the centre of the solutions to all of Australia’s greatest challenges – energy, food insecurity, climate response, waste, First Nations, and so on. For this, I am eternally committed to rural, regional, and remote Australia.
What’s your favourite memory or most memorable moment in rural, regional and remote Australia?
My grandmother grew up on a station in Nelia, Queensland. In the early 2000s, I travelled by car to Nelia with my mum and aunt for the anniversary of the local Country Women’s Association (CWA), of which my great-grandmother was the first President.
This is one of my favourite memories of regional Australia. It was a hot day, and the celebration was full of ribbon sandwiches, scones, cups of tea, stories, laughs and good conversation. I felt so deeply connected to the country and remember feeling so at home in Central Queensland. This ‘Ranclaud’ girls pilgrimage also included a visit to the (once was) station where we could see the footprint of the house, water tank, and fence and enjoyed the finds from the old property rubbish tip! Even the remnants of the sulky and some window frames were found.
What’s your professional background?
The ARLF Graduate Network Coordinator role was advertised in 2006, and it took up three lines in the jobs section of the weekend paper. I’ve covered all roles at the ARLF, excluding bookkeeper, and I continue to love my work here!
Looking back to before I began work with the ARLF, I realise all my working roles have been about building networks. After a short period as a PE teacher, I supported a network of students bonded on rural health scholarships. Just before the ARLF, I worked as an Australian Volunteer in Vanuatu – it changed my life, so much so that returning to Brisbane would have been going backward. This got me to Canberra, where I had a very short stint in government at the Australian Sports Commission, managing a network of sports for development volunteers.
Three things you love about working at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation?
Three things I love about working for the ARLF are the people I work with, the diversity of conversations and the local and personal work with an elevated, broader, national perspective.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.