Elizabeth joined the service as Executive Officer in November 2006.  Graduating with a Bachelor of Business and as a Member of  the Institute of Chartered Accountants, she has worked with Coopers &  Lybrand, Johnson & Breward, as Group Accountant for  North Forest Products P/L group and Senior Accountant for Gunns Limited. Elizabeth has much experience with not for profit  associations including  Aust. Women in Agriculture, Royal National Agricultural and Pastoral Society Inc, National Rose Garden of  Australia, Launceston  Musical Society Inc. and Encore Theatre Company Inc.  She has been actively  involved with RFCS  Tasmania’s founding body, Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania (RYOT), for over 20 years holding many  executive positions  including President in 1997 and is an Advisory Member to the  organisation.  She has recently been awarded Life Membership of  Rural Youth.  Elizabeth, through RYOT, has served on the  board of the service (when Rural Support Tasmania).

 Elizabeth’s financial and management skills are complemented by her understanding of the Tasmanian rural community growing up on her family’s farming property at Cressy, 5th generation owning the property.


Maree joined the team in March 2009 to assist Executive Officer, Elizabeth with some short term administration work.  With Maree’s background in financial administration, this role expanded over time to an ongoing position responsible for all financial and executive administration.  Maree has worked for several not-for-profit organisations in similar roles such as Intowork Recruitment and Training, the Launceston Community Legal Centre and several others.  Along with this experience, Maree holds a Certificate IV in Business Administration, a Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training, MYOB and various other administrative qualifications.



 Jayne returned to the service in January 2016. She has worked for Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association as the Dairy  Executive Officer.  Jayne has a strong interest in the community which includes active membership of Rural Youth Tasmania f  for over 20 years, undertaking various roles including President in 2002 she has just completed a 3 year term on the Resource  Allocation Committee, is a member of the Advisory Committee and is a Service Award recipient.  Jayne has also been a  member of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, Royal National Agriculture and Pastoral Society Inc., Agricultural Show Council of  Tasmania and the Federal Council of Agricultural Societies. 






 Susan joined the team in January 2016. Susan has a strong financial and people management background, having held  many  senior management roles within her 24 year career in the banking industry.  Susan was involved in a large  transformation  project and has been recognised for her leadership and project/change management. Focusing on  building business  performance through coaching and  development along with her ability to embed herself in a business  and identify issues and  untapped opportunities are at the forefront of her professional success. Susan holds Coaching  For Excellence  certification,  Prosci Change Management Certification, Adv Dip in Client & Business Management along  with various other qualifications. 





Leigh commenced employment with Rural Support Tasmania (now Rural Business Tasmania) in August 2001, having spent the first 21 years of his working life in the banking industry. The last 11 of those years was in management roles, including manager of rural branches. It was during this time he become aware of the Rural Financial Counselling Service and the benefit of such a service. After taking an opportunity to leave the finance industry, Leigh spent a short time as Administration Manager in private enterprise before spending 2 years with a  leading Hobart accounting firm working in the area of corporate recovery and insolvency. He jumped at the chance to take on a role as Rural Financial Counsellor when his predecessor advised of her impending retirement.

Leigh holds a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).


Denis commenced employment with the Service in July 2008 following a short period in retirement and after almost 41 years in the banking and finance industry.  Having previously held managerial positions in several Tasmanian Country branches and also in the Corporate and Business Banking section of a major Australian Bank, Denis brings a wealth of experience from specialising in both the Agribusiness and Commercial sectors of the bank.  Over the years, Denis has derived a lot of satisfaction from dealing with rural clients and he is keen to  assist farmers in  the assessment  of their financial alternatives. Denis holds a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).


Wendy joined the RFCS Hobart Office after spending over 30 years in the finance industry.  she has considerable experience as a Personal Assistant to AGM, Member Services Manager, Business Administration Officer and various other positions including Loans Officer.  Wendy also knows the rural industry having grown up on an orchard which she continues to be involved with on a hobby basis





Paul (Bluey) joined the service in June 2010 and came to the Service with a lifetime of financial and accounting experience and know-how.  Paul spent his earlier years in the banking industry and followed that by 15 years working in the accountancy field with most recently being employed as a manager of a business services/taxation team for a leading NW Coast (and now national) accountancy firm.  

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants (FIPA) and an associate member of Ag Institute Australia (AIA).

With a background in the rural sector, Paul understands family farming enterprises and also the issues and pressures on farm families when they are experiencing financial difficulties.  Paul works collaboratively with his fellow counsellors to provide independent and confidential financial assessment, information and support to RFCST clients.


 Trevor commenced with Rural Business Tasmania in June 2016.  He was the Managing Director of an aviation business  based    at Wynyard airport for 18 years before entering the ministry.  He served as an ordained pastor at Westbury and  as President of  the Baptists Churches of Tasmania. Trevor grew up on a dairy farm at Burnie and currently farms a  property at Boat Harbour.  He was a top Pyrethrum producer in 2009.  In recent years he has worked with Rural Alive &  Well, providing emotional and  physical support to those in farming, forestry and mining industries.  He is a keen  bushwalker and bee-keeper. 




Roland (Roly) commenced employment in August 2013 and comes to the organisation with 26 years of experience in the Banking industry which includes 15 years of lending and managerial positions.  Since joining Roly has also completed his "Diploma of Community Services - Financial Counselling" as well as the "Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management". Roly also owned and managed a farm for more than 25 years mainly growing crossbred fat lambs for market and cropping on a small scale, holds a real estate license, develops property, managed the RSPCA site at Mowbray for a time and has a Certificate in Financial Services.  Roly also has community involvement at the local footy club being on the football department committee looking after player contracts and has been on a sub-committee for local government assessing small sporting grants applications.  With a combination of various pursuits and experiences mentioned above, Roly enjoys working with his fellow counsellors providing clients with the best possible service and outcome.


 Susan commenced as a Rural Financial Counsellor in July 2016 for the Northern region and is currently undertaking the Diploma of Community Service (Financial Counsellor). Susan has 24 years of banking  experience and has held many senior management positions. 


 Kim joined the team in April 2016 to assist Maree in finance and general admin.  Coming from an Accounting & Finance position in the banking industry, Kim has many skills to assist the team and clients as  much as possible.  She does not have a farming background but does manage a small livestock holding of 11 guinea pigs. 

Board of Governance

Rural Business Tasmania is governed by a seven member Executive, supported by the Reference Group who provides advice and assistance as required. Members are invited to the Board as a representative of community, industry or member group.


Mr Geoff Fader - Chair 

Geoff is a marketeer by profession.  He has previously held senior positions with one of Australia’s largest automobile manufacturers, managing director of Tasmania’s largest accredited advertising agency and principal of a marketing consultancy.  Geoff is currently a director and former chair of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia, chair of the Tasmanian Small Business Council and chair of the family owned business, Australian Shipping Supplies.  He is a past national president and life member of both the Australian Marketing Institute and Group Training Australia.  He was the founding chair of the Hospitality Group Apprenticeship Scheme in Tasmania.  Geoff has been a voluntary business mentor for 30 years.  He has an MBA, is a Certified Practicing Marketer and holds a Diploma of Advertising.

Mr Keith Rice – Treasurer.

Keith has spent the last 31 years representing the interests of farmers in his dual role as Chief Executive, Primary Employers  Tasmania and Chief Executive, Poppy Growers Tasmania.  The knowledge gained over that time has been particularly insightful as to the stresses and strains placed on rural industry employers, their families and their staff.  Keith has also represented Tasmanian poppy growers at all levels of governance and industry - state, national and international.  Keith is a Director of the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group and continues an active involvement on a part time basis with Poppy Growers Tasmania..

Mr Bernie Harrington – Immediate Past Chair

Bernie retired from his position with Centrelink after 36 years as State Retirement & Rural Manager with experience on a State and National Administrative level.  He joined the Board in 1993, and has been on Executive for thirteen years.  Bernie was invited to remain on the Board in his own right and elected Chairman in September 2003.  He stepped down as Chair in September 2009.

Mr Tony Barker 

Tony is a graduate of Lincoln University NZ with a Diploma in Agriculture and Diploma of Farm Management, a 2006 Nuffield Farming Scholar, a Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming and TimeLine Therapy, and a Master Practitioner of NLP Coaching and Hypnosis.  For 2012 he has been travelling all over Australia with the Australian Year of the Farmer Roadshow.  He has held many roles in agriculture including DairyTas Board Chair 1999 to 2004 and Nuffield Australia Tasmania Branch Chair 2009 to 2011.  After many years of dairy farming, with both cow and goat enterprises at South Riana, Tony now farms a grazing property with mostly beef cattle and a few sheep.  He also runs a coaching and training business called Moving Mind Mountains.

Mr Michal Frydrych

Michal (pronounced Michael) brings vast business strategy and development experience to the Board having been involved in project management, strategic planning, marketing, and operational management roles at a senior executive level. Michal is now a practising farmer at Springfield Deer Farm in Mole Creek, quickly getting acquainted with manual skills but wanting to keep his business skills active. Michal recently stated “As you see per my attached CV I have spent the last twenty year in international logistic business mostly at CEO or Member of the Board level.  Whilst I am looking forward to the farm life I would like to get involved in other activities where my experience would be of benefit to the community”.

Michal’s CV reads like a travel log with various CEO and Technical positions with companies such as Port Vladivostok, P & O Ports Russia, South African Stevedores and Esperance Ports Sea and Land Australia.

Prof. Paula Swatman

Paula brings 25 years of successful academic teaching, research and supervision experience as a Professor of Information Systems to the Board and is an internationally-recognised expert in eCommerce/eBusiness and social networking. She has wide experience of government boards and advisory committees since 1991 and currently chairs the Swinburne University Human Research Ethics Committee, in addition to active community service in the Huon Valley. In her spare time, Paula and her husband Professor Paul Swatman run a small Santa Gertrudis stud. 

Belinda Hazell (AdvDipHort. DipOHS. GradCert Mgt. Cert IVTAA

Chances are that Belinda has worked with clients that are delivering goods and services you are experiencing right now.  Belinda brings over 25 years' experience across a range of clients and industries. Directly involved in family business, Belinda's skills span businesses in a multitude of sectors. Belinda's leadership is demonstrated through her active participation at executive level on national/state boards and committees.  She is the current Board  Chair of Freshcare Limited , Director of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre and Acting Chair of Tasmanian women in agriculture.  


Call us on 1300 88 FARM to arrange a yarn at your kitchen table about how we can support your rural enterprise to become a great Rural Business

Rural Business Tasmania Inc is a not for profit organization, established by Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania and is based in Tasmania.

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