Rural Financial Counsellors

Rural Financial Counsellors

Our professional Rural Financial Counsellors can be trusted to respect you and your business,  act independently and remain confidential. 

They know and understand the business of agriculture and they’re skilled in providing step by step financial coaching. 

When you’re ready to plan for your future and improve your financial position, these are the people you need.

JOHN BEER – PARKES, WEDDIN & COWRA SHIRES

John came to Australia from UK, with his family in 2007 to work as a Rural Financial Counsellor in Bourke during the latter stages of the millennium drought. In UK John had spent 12 years working in UK retail banking followed by 12 years as a financial planner, working in rural communities. John has since relocated to Forbes where he covers a large region incorporating Weddin, Parkes and Cowra Shires.

John is committed to continually improving his knowledge and skills to provide clients with the best possible service, completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management in 2016. John loves to be involved in the local community, and has really enjoyed getting to know the Forbes community and the region he covers. John is married to Emma and they have two adult children, Josh and Jessica, along with their two foster children.

LIZ BROWN – MID WESTERN REGIONAL COUNCIL AREA

Liz has worked as a Rural Financial Counsellor since 1998. She has qualifications in Rural Business Administration from the University of Sydney, a Diploma in Community Services (Financial Counselling) as well as having undertaken numerous short courses and training opportunities relevant to her role in working with primary producers. Along with her credentials, Liz brings experience as a primary producer and years of experience in the sector.

VICTORIA BOAG – BOGAN, WARREN & PART COBAR SHIRES

Victoria initially joined the Rural Financial Counselling team in April 2007 as a part time Administration Support Officer (ASO) and from September 2007 she commenced as the Counsellor in the Nyngan Office. Prior to joining the RFCSCR she had approximately 17 years experience in Local Government. Victoria has qualifications in Rural Business Administration from UNE-OAC, and has successfully completed the Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) in April 2009.  She has been a primary producer all of her adult life and brings an extensive knowledge of her region to her clients.

JULIE CASEY – WALGETT SHIRE & PART COONAMBLE SHIRE

Julie joined the RFCSCR team in June 2012 as a Rural Financial Counsellor. Julie is a local Walgett resident who has an extensive background in case management and administration management which stands her in good stead to support the local rural communities in and around Walgett. Julie also has a rural background and is looking enjoys working directly with rural clients.

SUSAN KELLEY – LACHLAN SHIRE, PART BLAND & COBAR SHIRES REGIONS

Susan Kelley commenced working for RFCSCR in 2016 following over 8 years working for WaterNSW (and its predecessors) as the Management Accountant and Program Coordinator for Major Projects. Susan has a joint Bachelor Degree in Business, Accounting and Agribusiness through Charles Sturt University and is also a commercial wool classer. Susan also holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Certificate IV in Project Management & Coordination. She is from a 5th generation farming family and remains actively involved in the operation of the family’s properties at Premer NSW.

JOHN EDWARDS – NARROMINE SHIRE & DUBBO REGIONAL COUNCIL AREA

John joined the RFCSCR team in August 2017 as a Rural Financial Counsellor.  John was raised on the family farm at the edge of the Darling Downs.  He has accumulated an extensive rural background covering many different industries including 13 years with the Queensland DPI, 7 years as a pilot and small business owner in the aerial agricultural industry and 7 years with a Financial Literacy program helping people to improve their finances.  This experience stands him in good stead to be able to support the local rural communities in which he works.

JUNE SAINT – BOURKE SHIRE & UPPER COBAR SHIRE

June Saint joined the RFCSCR Team in November 2018 and brings ‘boots on the ground’ experience to the role at Bourke having farmed in her own right in South Australia and Western Australia up until the late 90’s.

Over the past 20 years June has worked as a Rural Financial Counsellor in the MidWest Region of WA, and as a Financial Counsellor for the Salvation Army Money Care Program in remote rural South Australia.

More broadly, June has lived and worked in remote areas of Australia, servicing agricultural, mining and aboriginal communities. Her experience also covers business banking and she has a Diploma in Community Service (Financial Counselling).

June brings to her role at Bourke, an existing passion for remote rural agribusiness and the communities that exist because of these businesses. She has four sons, the eldest of whom is farming in Western Australia and the remaining three are working in the mining sector,  based in Kalgoorlie.

MARK FITZPATRICK – BROKEN HILL SHIRE & UNINCORPORATED NSW

Mark Fitzpatrick joined the RFCSCR in November 2018.  Originally from Broken Hill, Mark now lives in Bendigo, Vic with his wife and three adult children.

Prior to living in Bendigo, Mark had lived in a number of towns throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory with his role in regional banking – roles that were both administrative and branch based. 

Over 30 years experience in regional banking (with ANZ, Esanda Finance and Bendigo Bank) living in towns such as Alice Springs, Katherine, Berri (SA) and Mildura (VIC) led to Mark establishing his own importing and distribution business in Bendigo. 

A successful sale of this business in 2002, saw Mark back in his regional banking roles.

Mark brings a wealth of experience in the rural sector, combined with the unique perspective of having lived remotely within small communities. He has family in Broken Hill and relishes being involved with his community.

DUNCAN MILLING – GILGANDRA SHIRE COUNCIL AREA

Duncan began with RFCS Central Region midway through 2020. He has spent his entire career involved in the agribusiness sector and has developed an extensive network as a result.  He understands the business of primary production, and is keenly aware of the challenges faced by business owners.  Duncan was raised on the land and brings his knowledge of farming along with his diverse experience in rural agribusiness to the role. He is a strategic thinker and enjoys collaborating with external stakeholders, and to the benefit of clients. Duncan is looking forward to supporting farmers in the Gilgandra Shire to improve their position.

ALLISON DAVIS – COONAMBLE SHIRE COUNCIL REGION

Allison began with the Service in October 2019 and brings with her a great deal of experience in the rural assistance and banking sectors. Having grown up in a farming family in North Western NSW, Allison pursued a career in agribusiness, holding a variety roles in the agricultural sector including marketing, finance, development and sales. Allison is passionate about helping rural people overcome the challenges they face on a daily basis and is looking forward to working with farming families in developing strategies and accessing assistance to help their businesses.

NASIR KHAN - FORBES SHIRE REGION

Nasir joined RFCS Central Region as a Business Analyst at the end of 2019. He has a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and has been working in business management and administration over the past 6 years. He has a passion for working with rural businesses, disadvantaged communities and vulnerable youth having held the position of Youth Activities Officer in remote parts of Western NSW. 

MELISSA PURNELL – WEST WYALONG

Melissa began with RFCS Central Region midway through 2020. She has a lifelong passion for agriculture and proudly recalls achieving Grand Champion at various shows leading Braford and Limousine cattle.  Melissa brings to the role extensive qualifications and experience in the Financial Planning sector, and recognises that this supports her in guiding primary producers in managing their own financial practices. She holds a Diploma in Financial Planning, Certificate in Self Managed Superannuation Fund specialisation, and a Certificate in Australian Taxation Law & Commercial Law for Financial Advisors.  Melissa and her family operate a rural business in West Wyalong and she welcomes the opportunity to support primary producers and rural small business owners.

DAVID WATERS – WARRUMBUNGES SHIRE REGION

David Commenced with RFCSCR at the beginning of 2020, having previously worked for the service as a Rural Financial Counsellor from 2007 until 2012. He is a 5th generation farmer in the Central West. He and his wife own and operate mixed farming properties in the Mendooran and Tottenham districts.

David has previously worked for Boyce Accountants in Dubbo and with the Commonwealth Bank as an Agribusiness Manager dealing primarily with farming clients. His experience in accounting, banking and farming gives him insight into the difficulties facing by people involved in agriculture in Central West NSW.

David holds a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from the University of Sydney as well as Diplomas in Agribusiness Management and Community Services (Financial Counselling).

DEV TAHAL – BUSHFIRE RECOVERY COUNSELLOR, GREATER SYDNEY REGION & LITHGOW

Dev Tahal was born and bred to a farming  family in the South Pacific islands of Fiji. He retains strong ties and interest to the agricultural sector though his work and his family. Dev Joined the RFCS Central Region in mid 2020  and is keen  to assist primary producers, and rural small business with a personalised action plan which is focused, effective, and initiates timely interaction, referrals and ongoing support.

Dev has over 25 years’ experience in Accounting, Taxation, HR , Business Management and Vocational Training . His experience and  qualifications include , Bachelor of Arts (Accounting) (CA),Graduate Studies in Accounting, Diploma in Vocational Training and Advanced  Diploma in Mortgage Broking and is a Member of Institute of Public Accountants (IPA). He is currently studying towards  his Diploma of  Financial Counselling.

BADAR MASUD – BUSHFIRE RECOVERY COUNSELLOR, GREATER SYDNEY REGION & LITHGOW

Badar joined the RFCS Central Region midway through 2020 as a Bushfire Recovery Counsellor having lived regionally for a number of years. She has certainly gained perspective around the issues faced by primary producers and small rural business owners as a result of natural disasters and drought.  Badar brings extensive financial acumen to the role, having attained her Masters in Professional Accounting, Masters in Commerce and is currently completing his CPA.  Over the past decade she has worked as a Financial Analyst, Internal Auditor, Finance Manager and Accountant for corporates including the Commonwealth Bank, City of Sydney Council and DRC Drilling Pty Ltd.  She is looking forward to providing expert financial assistance to those in need.

MATHEW NICHOLSON – BUSHFIRE RECOVERY COUNSELLOR, GREATER SYDNEY REGION & LITHGOW

Matthew joined the RFCS in 2020 after spending the previous 10 years in the Financial Services industry servicing clients and assisting them to meet their goals and objectives.  He has qualifications in Business from Charles Sturt University and working towards completing the Diploma of Financial Counselling.  Growing up in the country, he wants to help those people from rural areas improve their financial situation.

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