Dr Elena Limnios

Dr Elena Limnios is an expert in Cooperative and Mutual Enterprise (CME) business models, governance, member engagement and finance. She has also co-developed and delivered Executive Leadership courses for CMEs through the Australian Institute of Management WA.

Elena holds a Masters in Engineering, an MBA and a PhD in organisational resilience metrics, the latter from UWA, where she served as Assistant Professor until 2017.

She is an experienced consultant in Strategy and Organisational change, and is a co-founder of a boutique property development and project management consulting business. She has business interests in diverse industries including real estate and property development, medical tourism, mining and education. And is an experienced board member and board advisor for member-owned enterprises, government entities and social enterprises.

Graeme Hay

Graeme has around 20 years of experience in risk management advisory and insurance consultancy. One of his areas of specialisation is the design and creation of discretionary mutuals as well as associated risk management strategies and insurance arrangements for co-operatives and member-based organisations.

Graeme has a strong commitment to building long term relationships founded upon trust, quality service, and, professional advice. He strives to be an advocate for the organisations he is working with in seeking the best possible insurance arrangements and also representing the organisations’ interests in the event of a claim.

Agriculture and regional business are key focus areas for Barrack Broking, which has worked with a range of businesses involved in poultry, livestock, fruit growing, agricultural investment, meat processing and exports, grain and milling, and wineries, to name a few. The organisation also has a strong regional focus and is currently completing an expansion into Central Western NSW.

Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward was raised in and around Moree (NSW) and now lives on the NSW Central Coast. Andrew has worked on various agriculture projects involving regenerative agriculture, holistic management / lanned grazing, co-operative brewing facilities, high tech vegetable processing and agricultural robotics.

He is also the treasurer of the New Economy Network of Australian (NENA) and co-founder and Director of Incubator.coop. He is also an independent director of the Crowd Funding Institute of Australia (CFIA).

Andrew is available to assist you with forming your co-operative, inluding communicating the business model and benefits to potential stakeholders, engaging members, business planning, financial management and reporting and performance measurement. He can also provide guidence on fundraising and farm advocacy, including supporting co-operatives to access capital.

Michael Pilbrow

Michael Pilbrow lives and works in the Yass Valley, NSW. Michael is a passionate advocate for rural and regional Australia, having served as President of the Yass Valley Business Chamber and his Yass-based business winning Outstanding Employer of Choice Award for the Far South Coast Region in the NSW Business Awards.

Michael has 16 years’ experience in supporting cooperative development. Michael co-founded the National Health Cooperative, Australia’s largest primary health-care co-operative, with around 32,000 active members. Michael has supported co-operative development and advised consumer and producer groups across a range of sectors in regional Australia, including aged care, childcare, sport and agriculture.

Through his consultancy business, Michael helps clients develop strategies, engage with communities and members, prepare for adverse events and strengthen governance. Recent clients include a rural council, a rural village association, a regional business group and the CSIRO.

Antony McMullen

Antony is an expert co-operative developer committed to building local prosperity for the common good. His passion for good governance is recognised through his designation as Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

He has worked with a range of rural, regional and farming communities in diverse areas including economic development (including Indigenous), food trails, orchards, beef and organics across Australia.

Antony co-drafted the BCCM Co-operative and Mutual Enterprise best-practice governance framework and he holds qualifications in social impact (social entrepreneurship), community development and co-operative leadership.

Through Co-operative Bonds, Antony provides education and development services to start-up co-operative and mutual enterprises designed to facilitate informed decision-making and self-reliance.

Antony has helped develop and co-found several co-operatives, serving on co-operatives boards as both Secretary and Chair, so he understands the benefits and challenges of the co-operative business model first hard.

Kevin Franey

Kevin is an audit and assurance partner at TNR with over 30 years’ experience in the provision of professional services to co-operatives and mutuals. During this time Kevin has played an active role servicing and supporting the co-operatives and mutuals sector.

Kevin provides a range of accounting, audit, risk management and advisory services, and is a member of the BCCM Accounting Advisory Group responsible for liaising with the Australian Accounting Standards Board on matters impacting co-operatives and mutuals.

He has expertise in the formation of co-operatives, risk management, financial and internal auditing, accounting, financial reporting and performance measurement.

Kevin is a chartered accountant, registered company auditor, certified internal auditor and risk management specialist.

Mark Ellem

Mark is a business services partner with over 20 years’ experience in the provision of professional services to co-operatives and mutuals. Mark services and supports a number of co-operatives and mutual, including through providing a range of accounting, business and taxation advisory services to co-operatives and mutuals. His specialist areas include business advisory and management, taxation advisory and planning, accounting and financial advisory, and co-operative formation.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and is a qualified chartered accountant and registered tax agent.

Peter Wells

Since 2004, Peter has served as the CEO of Co-operatives WA, the state peak body for co-operative entities. In this role he has advised and assisted steering committees through processes of business planning, writing rules and registering start-up co-operatives across various sectors including farming enterprises.

As the principal industry lead on the Industry Reference Group he advised the Western Australian government on drafting and the subsequent proclamation of the Co-operatives Act 2009. He also represented the industry in dealings with the government on amendments to the Act that enabled the WA legislation to be recognised as “corresponding co-operatives law” within the Co-operative National Law regime.

He has assisted established co-operatives in areas of director/executive education, measuring and communicating member value propositions, legislative compliance and corporate governance.

Peter also provided advisory services via the federal government funded Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Farming Together Pilot Program.

Trish Ridsdale

Trish Ridsdale is an experienced Chair, director, director educator and consultant to boards and executive teams in the areas of strategy, risk, corporate governance, organisation performance and executive coaching.

She has extensive experience in the co-operative sector having served on co-operative boards for the past fifteen years and over the past twenty years, consulted for both start-up and established co-operatives in the areas of corporate governance, strategy development and risk management. Many of these were farming co-operatives.

She is serving on two co-operative Boards: as an independent NED of the Rapid Group Ltd, a leading cleaning and hygiene distribution business operating throughout Australia and New Zealand,  and as interim Chair of Go Vita Group Ltd, the largest health food group in Australia.

She has previously been on the Board of Travellers Choice Ltd, a significant player in the retail travel sector, for thirteen years and served as Chairman for eleven of those.

Trish is the founder and managing director of consultancy firm Board Business, which provides strategy, risk, corporate governance, and executive coaching services to organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

She has been an Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) education facilitator since 1996 and a Fellow since 2010.

She has also served on boards in the mining, manufacturing, civil construction, arts, tourism and health research sectors.

Clare Fountain

Based in Bendigo, Clare works with businesses and community groups to support them to be successful, providing practical and achievable solutions that deliver real change and real results.

Clare believes in the resilience of strong communities, and that building stronger businesses helps to build stronger communities. She co-founded the Synergize Hub, a co-working space for social entrepreneurs and micro-business owners in Bendigo. She is also an active volunteer in leadership positions with a number of local organisations in the Central Victorian community.

She is also a founding director and present Board Member of bHive Bendigo Co-operative. bHive is building a cooperatively-owned, peer-to-peer sharing economy platform for local towns that will begin in Bendigo.