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.

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.

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.

Doug Robertson

Doug is a corporate/commercial lawyer with many years experience as a partner at a number of Australia’s major national law firms.

Raised on a rural property in Victoria, Doug has always retained a keen interest in rural affairs , and has been recognised in the Best Lawyers in Australia for work in agriculture, rural affairs and corporate law.

Doug has acted for some of Australia’s most significant agribusiness organisations and primary producers involved in various sectors including  dairy, viticulture, afforestation, seeds, wool and meat. He also has over 25 years’ experience acting for Australian co-operatives (pure and hybrid) on capital structuring, governance and fundraising. He has  assisted these organisations to establish offshore ventures (including in South America and Asia).

Doug has also acted for some of Australia’s largest public research organisations involved in R&D projects directed towards Australian agriculture. Doug has presented many papers at various agribusiness, wine, and co-operative forums in both Australia and New Zealand.

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.

Mark Love

Mark is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Business Law. As an experienced commercial lawyer and negotiator, his practice concentrates on the areas of contract and commercial law, corporate governance law, fundraising, insolvency and restructuring and intellectual property. Mark’s clients include a diverse array of private clients, government agencies, peak industry representative bodies, Co-operatives, chartered and CPA accountants, insolvency practitioners, corporate retailers and many others.

Mark is an expert in the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 and additional obligations of transparency and accountability of Governmental bodies, as well as the range of other legislation that governs business entities in Australia.

Mark holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics from the ANU. He was admitted to practice in the ACT in 1986 and founded the practice that is BAL Lawyers today.

Peter Cooke

Peter’ began his career farming in the Great Southern of WA in the mid ‘70s, which led to his appointment as CEO of grower-based organisation, the Kondinin Group, from 1988-97.

In 1997 Peter established an agricultural and information management consultancy Agknowledge, specialising in the development of agribusiness management. The business has a reputation for bringing clarity and depth of thinking to complex strategic situations and for identifying viable strategic pathways that will build long-term value.

Since 2000, Peter has been engaged in a range of board positions, including Landcorp, the WA government’s property development arm, and Landgate, the spatial information department. He has also served on the boards of not-for-profit agricultural industry and sporting organisations and several family farm boards.

With 20 years of consultancy work and an understanding of both the financial and regulatory sides of doing business, Peter is well equipped to deal with the challenges that come with managing agricultural projects.

Trent Bartlett

Trent has over 30 years of Board and CEO-level leadership experience​ in consumer-facing ASX listed public​ companies, large private companies, not-for-profit and for-purpose organisations.

He has worked across a wide range of industries including retail, exporting, manufacturing, automotive, banking, financial services, business services, insurance, travel, tourism, residential construction, agribusiness, packaging logistics and disability services.

His speciality is in customer-centric and member-owned and governed businesses, and he holds a number of current positions including Independent Professional Director of Co-operative​ Bulk​ Handling Group (CBH). He is also involved in the governance of a number of other co-operative and mutual organisations including Travellers Choice and Beyond Bank.

Kerry Anderson

Kerry is a businesswoman and community advocate from Central Victoria. Passionate about rural and regional Australia, she is committed to changing the conversation from job seeking to job creation.

Kerry works with industry groups and rural communities across Australia, facilitating authentic and relevant conversations focused on embracing change and seeking out new opportunities. She has worked with timber, rice, wheat and livestock producers to engage with co-operative and collaborative business models.

Since 2013 Kerry has led the highly innovative Operation Next Gen and Be Your Own Boss programs working with rural towns and secondary schools to engage with young people and encourage entrepreneurs.

As a thought leader Kerry frequently represents the region at national and international forums and is invited to present at conferences here and overseas.

In recognition of her extensive networks, knowledge, and passion for rural communities, Kerry was appointed to the Regional Development Australia Loddon Mallee Committee between 2012 and 2015.  From 2016 to 2018 she was an expert adviser to the National Farm Cooperatives Pilot Project.