Our Vision

A sustainable and prosperous future for rural and regional Tasmania.

Our Mission

To develop and deliver services and projects that foster viable and sustainable economic development within Tasmania’s rural and regional communities.

Our Story

Established in 1986, Rural Business Tasmania Inc is a not-for-profit association that primarily offers financial counselling and business support expertise to rural and regional communities.
Rural Business Tasmania’s key objective is to help rural families, businesses, and the community manage the ever-evolving demands and challenges facing the primary industry sector.
Rural Business Tasmania has assisted many hundreds of Tasmanian’s to find pathways to sustainable futures. It has extensive networks that connect quickly and deeply into rural and regional communities. Our services help clients to gain a better understanding of their financial position and identify financial and business risk and opportunities.
We assist clients to negotiate with lenders and creditors where necessary and refer to specialist service providers including accountants, family mediation and health and well being counsellors.

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Board Members

Rural Business Tasmania


Michal Frydrych


Michal (pronounced Michael) Frydrych is a highly experienced global executive and current co-owner of a commercial deer farm in Mole Creek.  Michal joined the Board in 2013 and after a number of years serving as Vice Chairman and Treasurer is sharing this experience to lead the Board of Governance.

Michal 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 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.

Geoff Fader

Emeritus 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.

Geoff provides an invaluable link to our role in supporting small businesses in rural and regional Tasmania

Keith Rice


Keith has has extensive links within the industry and has spent over 30 years representing the interests of farmers in his dual role as the 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 apart time basis with Poppy Growers Tasmania.

Tony Barker

Board Member

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 Dairy Tas Board Chair 1999 to2004 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.

Belinda Hazel

Board Member

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.

Belinda is Principal Consultant from Optimum Standard, a business management system consultancy, and recent awardee of OAM for service to the agricultural industry.
(AdvDipHort. DipOHS. GradCert Mgt.

Christopher Bishop

Board Member

Christopher Bishop joined Rural Business Tasmania in 2022 as a board member. Christopher is an experienced business advisor and retired partner of Davern Dixon Chartered Accountants, bringing a wealth of experience and skills expertise.  

Karen Robinson

Associate Director

Rural Business Tasmania board's long-term Associate Director position has also been filled by the not-for-profit’s instigator and long-standing supporter, Rural Youth Tasmania, with current Chief Executive Karen Robinson providing a valuable connect.

Rebecca Duffy

Board Member

Rebecca Duffy joined as a board member in 2022. Rebecca is owner of Holm Oak Vineyards and brings valuable links together with a new perspective as a hands-on producer in a growth phase of career.

Sophie Milic

Board Member

Sophie Milic has recently returned to Tasmania to take over the family Coaldale Walnut Farming operation. Sophie joined as a board member in 2022.

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Board Members

Rural Business Tasmania

Rural Business Tasmania’s key objective is to help rural families, businesses, and the community manage the ever-evolving demands and challenges facing the primary industry sector.

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Elizabeth Skirving

Chief Executive Officer

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Chantal Filgate

Chief Operating Officer
Financial Counsellor

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Steve Hansen

Client Support Leader
Financial Counsellor

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Vanessa Smith

Board and Executive Support Officer

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Our Team

Financial Counsellors

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Roly Chugg

Financial Counsellor (Northern Region)

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Tim Hickey

Financial Counsellor (Southern Region)

Associate Financial Counsellors

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Linda Groombridge

Associate Financial Counsellor (Southern Region)

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John Dunbar

Associate Financial Counsellor (Northern Region)

Business Programs

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Rhett McKenzie-Edwards

Business Programs Officer

Support Services

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Kim Woolley

Finance Officer

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Tania Cornwall

Payroll Officer

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Kate Cox

Support Officer

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Karen Hinds

Compliance Officer
Finance Officer