Manager, Naracoorte and Bordertown Migrant Resource Centres
grew up in the Limestone coast and comes from a background of community
engagement, development, and finance. She holds a Bachelor of Business
Administration from Griffith University and a Master’s in Management of
Development from the International Training Centre of the ILO and the
University of Turin, Italy.
Frances’ career has swung from accounting & finance to English language teaching, to development work. This work has taken Frances around the world, to Canada, Mexico, East Timor and home again. Frances’ current role at the MRC is working with migrants and refugees to connect with the necessary services, to foster integration and to create a more inclusive community. The multi-faceted role keeps Frances busy, however you can still see her running in the park in the mornings most days.
Nathaniel grew up on a Beef property at Western Flat. After completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide he took up a role as a Technical Sales Specialist, specialising in ruminant nutrition with Animal Innovations and management covering the South Eastern Region of South Australia and Western Victoria. Nathaniel Is focused on increasing productivity in livestock enterprises.
Nathaniel was able to start an Agricultural contracting business
with his brother, Josh in 2016 providing seed and hay contracting plus
specialising in claymate clay spreading.
Returning to Western Flat has also allowed Nathaniel to contribute
to the family enterprise which is focused on breeding top quality Limousin
genetics and supplying customers with a paddock to plate experience through the
brand Modra Meats. Nathaniel is also involved with the local hockey club and
enjoys seeing players excel and grow in their skills.
Nathaniel hopes this program will allow him to develop his leadership
characteristics which will help him better relate to issues in the local
community and his role inside various companies.
Administration Officer/ Cold Storage and Harvest Supervisor - J & FL Buckley & Sons
been with J & FL Buckley & Sons, a family owned business specialising
in potato growing and prime lamb production, for 2 years.
Kat works in two roles on the farm; as an Administration Officer and also managing the potato grading operation supplying 7,000 tonnes for crisping potatoes to Smith’s Chips annually, as well as the seed cutting operation and administering the cold storage facility that is used to store 2,500 tonnes of seed potatoes for the following year.
With the opportunity of having variety in her job Kat enjoys adding new knowledge to the skills that she has brought to the farm as a qualified bookkeeper.
Kat is managing seasonal farm staff ensuring all employees feel included and part of the team to maintain a positive progressive atmosphere.
Kat has previously volunteered at the SEAWL where she adopted Charlie the Labrador cross.
Her life outside of work is kept busy, together with her partner Luke. Walks with Charlie, dining out or jobs around the new home.
Director of Integrated Services – McKay Children’s Centre
Olivia Thomas is an educator with a background across child care, kindergarten and school settings. She currently works at McKay Children’s Centre, Penola coordinating programs across long day care, out of school hours’ care and preschool.
Olivia is passionate about developmentally appropriate practice and allowing children time to construct their understanding of the world, particularly through play.
A Bachelor of Early Childhood graduate, Olivia has 20 years’ experience in rural, remote and urban regions. With a combination of classroom and leadership experience, Olivia has developed a broad understanding of early childhood ideals and is a passionate advocate for children being active participants in their educational journey.
Olivia grew up in the Adelaide Hills on a small farm and after living in locations all over Australia, Olivia, husband Toby and children Isobel and Eliza have been in the Limestone Coast for almost 10 years.
Olivia is looking forward to the opportunities for self-development the program has to offer and to building networks beyond the education sector.
Travel Designer and Luxury Specialist, Argyle Travel and Cruise
Naome’s passion for the Limestone Coast, was galvanized during her childhood, on her family’s sheep and cropping property near Millicent. After primary school in Millicent, she enjoyed 7 years in Adelaide, completing year 12 at Walford and working in hospitality and travel.
Following her return home at 21, Naome opened her own travel centre, Argyle Travel and Cruise, in Millicent. The agency continues today and operates as a boutique travel advisory and reservation service, in a work-from-home business model. This successful enterprise has undergone recent changes through the COVID period and as such, Naome remains enjoying the fun of travel, combining this with the Limestone Coast Leadership Program and studying Kundalini; the yoga of awareness and consciousness.
Naome has resided on a vineyard property with her partner and family, just outside of Naracoorte for the past 6 years. They also enjoy time at their beach house near Robe. Naome has two children and three step-children, ranging from 10 to 18 years, making for a very rewarding family life.
Naome is excitedly anticipating the 2021 leadership program and the skills this will provide, for a positive influence to the community.
Owner, Blackstone Dog Training Warehouse Supervisor
Roger is a father of two and an active member of the Limestone coast community. During business hours he’s a warehouse supervisor, for a supplier in Mount Gambier.
Owner of Blackstone Dog Training, Roger works closely with people to overcome their fear of dogs, a person with cynophobia experiences a fear of dogs that’s both irrational and persistent, commonly caused by a negative experience, additionally he assists in managing problem behaviours in handlers and animals.
In his spare time, he is a CFS volunteer and coaches badminton but his passion lays with supporting and assisting people in their dog training.
Owner/Manager Frances Strawberries
Sam was born in Naracoorte, with her family moving to Central Queensland to a cattle station when she was only 6 weeks old. During her childhood she was schooled by Distance Education and then completing her studies at boarding school from the age of 11 in Brisbane.
Upon completing school, she had a passion for beef cattle and pursued this area for a number of years, working on Brahman cattle studs, backgrounding stations for a prominent cattle company and family owned stations.
In 2009, her husband and herself moved down to the southern states where they purchased an earthmoving business which they ran very successfully for around 7 years. During this time they were looking to pursue an area of farming outside of earthmoving - which is where their business Frances Strawberries was born.
During her time in Frances, Sam has been the President of the Ladies Auxiliary, she has been a member on parent groups at her children’s schools and play centres and she was a member of the founding committee of the Frances Progress Association.
Project Officer and Administrative Officer - Australian Red Cross, Mount Gambier
Vincent completed a Bachelor degree of Business Management at Southern New Hampshire University through Kepler program in January 2019.
Starting as a volunteer with Red Cross in June 2019, to enhance his skills and experience in a management career. Successfully gaining the position of Project Officer, School Engagement, Project Officer, Participation & Inclusion and Administrative Officer in the Migration Support Program in January of 2020.
In addition to day-to-day admin work at Red Cross Mount Gambier Office, he runs In Search of Safety education program that aims to build awareness and understanding of the situations faced by refuges and people seeking asylum, in order to cultivate an informed and welcoming community. Delivering free workshops in primary schools, high schools and to community groups to create awareness and encourage community attitudes that better support the humanitarian rights and needs of migrants.
Vincent also runs a Red Cross Employment Program “Connect Match Support” where he provides help and support to refugees, asylum seekers and other people who are vulnerable as a result of migration to find suitable job opportunities in the South East.
He is passionate about the community improvement and personal development; he always thinks of how he can make positive changes in the community and the world as a whole. Outside out work, Vincent likes playing basketball and soccer.
Livestock Assistant - LOCMARIA FARMS PTY LTD
Jacqui grew up on a sheep property at Apsley, Victoria. Her love for Agriculture led her to complete a Bachelor of Agriculture and post graduate study majoring in Agricultural Consulting. She is also qualified Wool Classer.
After university Jacqui moved to Coonalpyn in the Upper South East where she worked in the grain industry before working as a Wool Classer in a contract shearing team working throughout SA and working seasonally on a Broad acre cropping farm in between classing work. Whilst living at Coonalpyn Jacqui was heavily involved in the local community including the Coonalpyn Show, Coonalpyn Pool Committee, Coonalpyn SA Ambulance Service and Coonalpyn CFS Brigade. Jacqui and her partner Luke and son Alex moved to Struan in 2019 before welcoming their second child Madeline.
Jacqui currently works part time at LOCMARIA FARMS PTY LTD a progressive sheep cell grazing business located on the SA/VIC border as a Livestock Assistant and is involved in sheep husbandry and farm operations. Jacqui is a fifth generation farmer and along with partner Luke run LUJAC Farming breeding Australian White sheep on the family property at Apsley.
Jacqui’s hobbies including spending time with her family, playing football for the Kyby Football club Women’s Team, long distance running, horse riding and photography.
Health Coach / Manager In2Health
Kerrie started her business in the natural health and fitness industry 12 years ago. Since then, Kerrie has helped her clients change and improve their natural health in many different ways.
Starting out as a Personal Trainer, Kerrie soon realised that there was far more to health and wellness than fitness and began her study as a Health Coach.
7 years into her business, she expanded into a large property to include a gym and health shop. Kerrie’s dream was always to offer a one stop shop for natural health and today 12 years on, her passion is still as alive as ever. Adding another string to her bow, Kerrie became a Keto practitioner.
Kerrie originally started her business to help others and show them there is a natural alternative to suit everyone. Kerrie believes in the importance of continually learning and has recently graduated from the Business SA entrepreneur program, and is already studying another business course.
Actively sharing her knowledge, she writes a regular health Column in a local newspaper and founded and runs ‘the shop local save local’ social media campaign for the Tatiara.
Disability and Inclusion Training Facilitator - Purple Orange
Tessa (she/her) is a proud Mount Gambier local and disability advocate with lived experience.
Tessa’s aspirations changed in year 9 when she acquired a chronic illness (ME/CFS) which later forced her to leave school during year 12. After learning how to better manage her disease, and learning more about her condition, her mum influneced her to co-host an ME/CFS awareness night which sparked her passion for advocacy, education, and support.
While unable to physically meet most job requirements for local jobs and meet a sustainable study load, she got involved within her community in a volunteer capacity. This led to starting a peer support group called the Chronic Illness Support Limestone Coast, becoming a headspace Youth Ambassador, chairing Wellness and Wellbeing Festivals, and getting involved with the Limestone Coast Inclusion Reference Group.
Following her passion, she, with other young locals with disability experience, won an FRRR ABC Youth Innovation Grant with the Stand Like Stone Foundation to create and deliver a schools disability awareness and education project, and has just been hired as a Regional Training Facilitator for Purple Orange to deliver disability and inclusion trainings.
Tessa loves any opportunity to expand her skill set, connect with people, challenge herself, and grow as a person. When she isn’t working or resting, she enjoys being creative, baking, learning how to use her new camera, singing loudly to her favourite songs, and spending time with her loved ones.
Owner Moana Dairies
Jen, alongside her husband, 4.5 year-old daughter and ‘soon to be’ one more farm hand, have run a 650-cow dairy farm in Kongorong SA since 2017.
Day to day life can change one day to the next on farm but her main rolls involve calf rearing during calving, managing 3 staff, doing accounts, pays and now getting all the SOPS created and updated for our farm.
Jen is involved with many Dairy SA events and activities and advocates for the younger ones in the community to become involved in the dairy industry. She is passionate about making farming appeal to the younger generations and believes that is necessary for the industries future. Jen contributes to the Dairy SA innovation and has recently become a member of the WIBRD (Women in Business and Regional Development) where she is looking forward to the places it may take her.
Jen and her family, try to get away from the farm as often as possible in the quite times and river life is the choice of the moment, as her young daughter has taken to showing her parents up with her knee boarding skills.
Environmental Sustainability Officer – City of Mount Gambier
Aaron has been working in the environmental field for almost 15 years, 12 of those in local government. His role at the City of Mount Gambier covers a wide range of environmental sustainability areas including waste & recycling, sustainable travel, local food, renewable energy, water management and more.
Working in local government enables Aaron to work with a wide range of people, and on projects and programs that directly benefit the local community – aspects of the job that Aaron finds thoroughly rewarding. Two recent projects that Aaron has worked on are the Mount Gambier Rail Trail and the Mount Gambier ReUse Market. It has been incredibly satisfying to see the community embrace these initiatives.
Outside of work Aaron enjoys spending time outdoors with his family bushwalking, cycling and in the vegie garden.
Senior Project Firefighter – National Parks and Wildlife Services SA
Chelsea is originally from rural New Zealand and after travelling throughout South East Asia and North America for 12 months she eventually settled in Australia 4 years ago after meeting her partner, they currently reside in Mundulla in the Upper South East on a small block of land with their many pets.
After being in the Agriculture industry for the past 10 years in various on farm and rural supply roles she has recently had a change to the Environmental sector which has always been an area of interest. Working full time as a Senior Project Firefighter for National Parks and Wildlife Services SA she leads a small team involved in all aspects of fire prevention management, active firefighting, park maintenance and protection of native Flora and Fauna. In addition to this she is working on her Diploma of Conservation and Land Management through TAFE SA where she is gaining the skills to enable her to secure a role as a Park Ranger in the future.
Chelsea is rarely seen indoors and is always busy with her hobbies which include hiking, horses, perfecting the paddocks on her block and of course hanging out with all the pets!
Since firefighting for a job isn’t quite enough she also actively volunteers with the ‘Willalooka Country Fire Service’ as well as participates with the ‘Friends of Mount Monster’ and hopes to be involved in the ‘Mundulla Show Committee’ with the livestock or horses going forward.
Chelsea lives by the saying ‘If you do nothing, nothing happens’ so is always keen to grab new opportunities that arise and see what will happen!
Small Business Financial Counsellor – Rural Business Support
Commercial & Agriculture Business Consultant – Infinity Centre
Darrel grew up on the Mid North Coast of NSW, moving to Armidale NSW to study at the University of New England to study Agricultural Science. Whilst studying Darrel had the opportunity to work with a Veterinary practice managing the large animal facility and part time farm hand work when available.
Over 10 years ago Darrel was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work within the Commercial and Agribusiness Lending space with ANZ. This is where he realised, he could blend his two passions - Agriculture and Finance.
2013 was a big move for Darrel and his family, to South Australia and saw him rejoin ANZ Small Business Banking in Mount Gambier. In moving to a new town meant new networks and meeting new people, over time working with Small Business & Primary Production businesses.
Since relocating to the South East, Darrel & his wife Sam have started their own companies focusing on Lending to consumer and commercial clients as well as recently expanding to offer their clients business set up and maintenance consultations and budgeting programs for both consumer and commercial clients.
His current role with Rural Business Support, is in support of COVID-19 effected Small Businesses outside the farm gate offering Small Business Financial Counselling. Darrel also continues to support Sam in her Finance Brokerage and Business Consulting companies.
Darrel has a passion for getting to know his clients and their business to be able to support their goals and aspirations now, and in the future, Darrel is always keen to learn about business and what drives a business owner, everyone is different with different aspirations and getting to really know his clients he is then able to support them specifically to their individual needs.