WHO WE ARE
Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West Inc. (RFCS-CW) was established in 2006.
Currently RFCS-CW receives funding through the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment (DAWE) under the Rural Financial Counselling Program and the Drought Communities Small Business Support Program.
These programs enable our service to provide Rural Financial Counselling and Small Business Financial Counselling across a service area known as the RFCS NSW CENTRAL REGION, which covered approximately 50% of NSW. The area spans from Cowra to the Blue Mountains, north to Lightning Ridge and the Qld border including Bourke and Brewarrina Shires, west to Cameron’s Corner.
To facilitate the delivery of RFCS services within the NSW CENTRAL REGION the registered trading name of Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW Central Region (RFCSCR) was established under the ABN: 54 606 039 416.
Rod Cooke - Chair
Rod Cooke has been the Chair of Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West Inc (RFCS-CW). since its inception in 2006, and was the chair of Macquarie Rural Advisory Service from 2003 until it amalgamated with RFCS-CW in 2006.
Rod has sound governance, leadership, stakeholder management and strategic planning skills developed through his experience in the Army, as a Manager and as a Chief Executive Officer of organisations including Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council and Orana Education and Training Co-operative Ltd (OEC).
Rod has been a director of over 20 not for profit boards over the past 25 years. Rod is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.
Jessica Brown - Vice Chair
Jessica Brown has been the Vice Chair of Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West Inc (RFCS-CW) since its inception in 2006. Jessica is also Chair of the RFCS-CW Governance, Policy and Nomination Sub Committee.
Jessica is a degree qualified Marketing and Public Relations professional. Her prior professional experience includes advisory and strategic planning, communication and stakeholder engagement roles with corporate, government and non-government entities. Jessica currently holds the position of General Manager – Strategy and Growth at Marathon Health.
Jessica’s previous board experience includes the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 2002-2005, which included two years as the Vice Chair.
Jessica is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.
Rae Craft - Secretary / Treasurer
Rae Craft has been a Board member of Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West Inc. (RFCS-CW) since 2006 and was also a committee member of Macquarie Rural Advisory Service from 2001, until its amalgamation with RFCS-CW. Rae has held the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the Board since 2006 and is also Chair of the RFCS-CW Audit and Risk Sub Committee as well as a member of the RFCS-CW Governance, Policy and Nominations Sub Committee.
Rae is a member of the Community Advisory Group for the Local Land Services Central West which provides strategic advice to the local Board around matters relating to their customers and stakeholders.
Rae is a partner in a family farm business, which has operated for over 70 years in the local district. She has also managed a local book retail business for the last 15 years. Additionally, she has also served on the Executive Committees of numerous local volunteer organisations. Rae is a Legatee with Orange Legacy, Dubbo Branch.
Rae is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.
Janice Stanford - Board Member
Janice Stanford has been a board member of Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West Inc. (RFCS-CW) since 2006 and was also a committee member of Macquarie Rural Advisory Service prior to its amalgamation with RFCS-CW.
For over 37 years Janice successfully managed a small farming enterprise with her husband outside Dubbo and was also a partner and part owner of a Financial Planning Business in Dubbo for 10 years.
Janice is an active member of the Country Women’s Association of NSW and has held numerous positions both at State and Branch levels, including Group President and Representative on the State Executive.
Janice is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Vern Hembrow - Board Member
Vern has been a Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW – Central West Inc. (RFCS-CW) board member since 2008 when the Wentworth Balranald Farm Fightback Committee Inc, of which he was a director, amalgamated into RFCS-CW.
Vern is a practicing public accountant with over 30 years’ experience. He is also a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) designated by the Tax Institute, a Fellow of the National Tax and Accountants Association (FNTAA) and B.Bus (Accounting) from Warnambool College of Advanced Education.
He is the principal and director of Professional Business Solutions Pty Ltd, which provides business advisory and tax agent services, mainly to primary producers in Western NSW and SA.
Vern has previously been the Treasurer of SIDS and KIDS Association, as well as both the President and Chair of Port Adelaide Basketball Club.
Vern is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.