Meet our team:

Suzi Daley


Suzi Daley

I support the learning team, program managers, facilitators and participants in the National Mentoring Program. 

I’m what one would call a ‘Jack of all Trades’ and ‘Master of Some’, having worked in several different industries in four states over the past 30 years often relocating to take on a new opportunity. I have worked in retail, telecommunications, hospitality, construction and local government authorities such as water management.

I’m a bit of a ‘gun’ at organising logistics and supporting teams so I’m definitely in the right role. Having the right people placed in the right position for their skillset is extremely important not just for efficient and effective internal operations, but also for fostering positive experiences for every participant, and supporting them to build lasting relationships and networks along the way.

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

My passion for rural, regional and remote Australia is inherited from my parents and also comes from growing up in the outback. I spent my infancy, childhood and early teens in the Simpson and Strzelecki Deserts, along the Dingo Fence and red sandhills of Merti Merti before my family settled at Moomba Gasfields in South Australia’s Cooper Basin.

My dad, Joe, was a rouse-about, horse-breaker, ringer and stockman for most of his working life and had a great affinity and spiritual connection to the land. He was also a bush balladeer, writing songs for Slim Dusty for over 40 years. His most famous song is ‘Trumby’ which was his comment on literacy among the Indigenous stockmen he knew and worked alongside. This song brought government attention to illiteracy levels of Indigenous children when it was released in 1966. 

My mum was born and raised on a sheep farm in the high country near Yass, New South Wales. She was riding horses and assisting my grandad on the farm from the age of 12. Both of my parents instilled in us a love and deep respect for the land from which we come.

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

My favourite memories of rural, regional and remote Australia are of travelling throughout the country growing up. Every year, mum and dad would take us on a holiday. From travelling through the Simpson Desert to Cameron’s Corner on the way to Tibooburra, to the snow of Jindabyne, we would see so many contrasts. 

From dry deserts to lush, green fertile lands, from the stars we could see while camping overnight on a dry lakebed, to those same stars disappearing from the glare of city lights. From drinking out of a hessian waterbag filled with rainwater, watching great flocks of galahs and cockatoos take flight to red dust billowing behind big Mack semi-trailers. 

There was always a different character to meet along the way, from ‘Talc Alf’ also known as Cornelius Alferink, a Dutch born, self-taught talc sculptor, artist, poet, and bush philosopher to painter Clifton Pugh and naturalist and author Harry Butler. 

What do you do when you’re not working?

Nowadays, my favourite past-time is spending time with my 17-year-old daughter when she ‘allows’ me to. I also love spending time with my cats, reading, drawing, playing guitar, and keeping my intuition in top gear by meditating and practicing oracle card readings for friends and family. I still ponder whether, one day, I might go ‘pro’. And while I’m also into bohemian things like crystals, candles and the metaphysical, I’m not into ghosts or haunted houses.

I spend some of my spare time raising money and volunteering for a local self-funded animal rehoming group. I love to travel when I can and consider myself a bit of nomad at heart, having lived and worked in four different states and being raised in a caravan in the middle of the desert. I’m passionate about mental health and wellbeing, empathetic leadership and championing First Nations Peoples, their culture, traditions, ancient knowledge and wisdom.

What are three things you love about working at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation?

I love working here because I feel I’m helping a dedicated team of down-to-earth, genuine people make a difference by bringing quality, relevant programs to remote, rural and regional communities. It’s a psychologically safe, innovative, creative place to work and the organisation’s values match my own. Meeting new people from all walks of life and connecting them to networks all across our Great Southern Land is an added bonus. I’ve found my dream job. 

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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