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Board Directors

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Chris Warrick, Chair

 Growing up on a farm near Horsham, Victoria, Chris has pursued a career in agriculture focusing on helping farmers make informed decisions.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Business from Marcus Oldham Collage Chris worked for Kondinin Group as a research officer based in Wagga Wagga, NSW and later Toowoomba, QLD. During his time with Kondinin Group Chris broadened his experience of different farming systems around Australia and gained an insight into various drivers for key business decisions.

 

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Delwyn Seebeck, Deputy Chair

Delwyn Seebeck has lived in the Colac region her entire life and grew up on a grazing property south of Birregurra. She moved into the dairying industry in 1971 and owned a dairy farming business at Gerangamete 25kms south east of Colac, which is now managed by her son and his wife. Delwyn has more than 20 years advocacy experience in agriculture, particularly dairying, and farmer health and education. She was a farmer representative to the Victorian Farmers Federation, United Dairy farmers Victoria, the Australian Dairy Farmers and associated groups and committees.  She has represented the Rural Financial Counselling Service of Wimmera South West and the Victorian & Tasmanian Association of Rural Financial Counselling Groups for over 20 years, including several terms as Chairperson of both organisations.

Delwyn has been involved in various community groups for over 50 years and is currently actively involved as a member of Lions International through the Lions Club of Forrest & District.  She is currently Cabinet Secretary of Australian Lions District 201V2. Delwyn has chaired over 5 different bodies for a period in excess of 10 years. 

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Colin Lynch

Colin Lynch is a dairy farmer from Framlingham 30 kms North East of Warrnambool.  He took over the family farm after the Ash Wednesday fires devastated the region, destroying half of their stock, all fencing and outbuildings, machinery and leaving his parents with only the clothes that they wore. Colin has been an active member of his community for many years – serving his local CFA as both Captain and brigade member, and local Recreation Reserve and Hall Committee member.  He has also been active in the UDV, both as a member and as Branch Chair. Colin is currently Deputy Chair at Terang Resources Inc., who oversaw the operation of Corangamite Rural Financial Counselling Service, until the amalgamation with South West Rural Financial Counselling

Gayle Styles

Gayle has worked in the Finance Industry for some 40 years working for various banks and lender institutions. She moved to Hamilton 20 years ago with her husband and 3 children to assist in setting up an agriculture industry focussed leasing business.  That business was sold to the Bendigo Bank in 2013 and she commenced a Finance Broking business with Ashley Lambert.  She deals with a wide range of people involved in Agriculture and has always had an interest in the Rural sector.   Gayle has been a member of Rural Financial Counselling Service WSW since 2015.

Matthias Weiss

Matthias was born, raised, and educated (farming apprentice and agricultural science degree) in Switzerland. He continued working around the world in agriculture and speaks multiple languages. He arrived 37 years ago in Australia and bought an empty bush block at Irrewillipe.

Without a livable dwelling, useful farm building, electricity or running water to begin with, ‘Kookaburra’s Rest ‘was formed to what it is today. Pig production is the main farming activity with grazing cattle, effluent contracting, small scale manufacturing and accommodation for tourists complementing the business. The farm became the home of their three, now adult and living away, children.

Matthias sits on the local Irrewillipe Hall committee, is an active Irrewillipe CFA brigade member and participates in church working bees. For some years he has been a member of the RFC Colac Regional Advisory Group, recently being elected Chair.

For an introduction to our counsellors, visit our Team page

Ashleigh Brooks

Joining the board in 2021, Ashleigh is a Wimmera grain grower and agribusiness professional with extensive broadacre farming systems and industry knowledge, experience and networks. Ashleigh is the Senior Marketing Lead (National) at InterGrain, and a Partner at Bartlett Farms Partnership.

An advocate for sustainable farming systems and grower-driven industry solutions and opportunities, Ashleigh is passionate about leadership, development and building diverse capacity in regional Australia. She is an experienced manager focused on effective business strategy, risk mitigation and planning, innovative business culture and strategic organisational growth.

Ashleigh has an agricultural science degree, B. Sc (Hons), and was a scholarship recipient for placements within the 2019 NFF 2030 Leaders and 2020 NFF Broader Networks programs. She is a Longerenong Agricultural College Advisory Panel Member and is the South-East Australian Barley Advisory Council (SEABAC) Treasurer.

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Lindsay Ferguson

Regional Manager, Dairy Australia, and Executive Officer, WestVic Dairy, Lindsay’s agricultural career has spanned consulting, accounting, academic and government roles. Lindsay was senior lecturer and head of business management at University of Melbourne – Glenormiston Campus for 14 years. Later Lindsay managed Regional Development Victoria’s business development team in the Barwon South West Region before a return to the dairy industry.

Lindsay joins the RFCS WSW board in 2021 as an experienced board member of several regional organisations, and a member of our Terang Regional Advisory Group since 2016. He is Deputy Chair of the Corangamite CMA’s sustainable agriculture steering committee and has been a member of the Wangoom Rural Fire Brigade for over 20 years.

Lindsay’s qualifications and affiliations include MAgrSc, GradDipFinMan, GradDipBusiness, BSc (Agr), CA, GAICD and Cert IV Assessment & Workplace Training.

Profile pic coming soon!

Noel Austin, retiring/advisory

Noel lives at Kaniva and operates a family farm, mainly grain with some sheep for wool. He also operates a transport business carrying feed grains to the dairy industry in South West Victoria and South East South Australia though which he meets many farm families involved in the grain, dairy and grazing industries.

He is a current volunteer with the CFA with over 56 years of service and recently received a National Medal for his services. Noel has a certificate IV TAE40110 in Training and Assessment. He delivers on and off road driver training and minimum skills training for the CFA.

Noel serves the community as a Justice of the Peace (JP) He has been involved with Wimmera Rural Counselling Service Inc. for over 20 years being Chair from 2005 to 2006. He became a Board Member of Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria –Wimmera South West Inc. when the Services amalgamated in 2006.

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Terry O'Keefe, retiring/advisory

Terry lives in Warrnambool.  He spent several years as a senior Business Manager with Centrelink, before leaving to take up a managerial position with a Job Network Agency.  He left there to open a small family run retail business in Warrnambool until 2010.  He currently works for the Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Co-operative in Warrnambool as the executive officer. He grew up on a family dairy farm at Winslow, and lived there until 2009.  He has held executive positions in many community based organisations and committees.  He has been a contributor to Rural Financial Counselling Service as a voluntary committee or Board member since 1992. 

 

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