Biographies of the governance group

Denis Ginnivan, President of Voices for Indi 

Denis was raised on farms near Benalla where his family had been farming for five generations.He has been a resident of Indi for 54 years. He has lived and worked professionally at Horsham, Armidale (NSW) Wangaratta, Wodonga - Albury and Yackandandah for over 36 years. He and his partner now live on a small beef property in the Indigo Valley near Yackandandah, where they raised their three daughters. He has extensive experience as school council president of primary and secondary schools, and as a CFA volunteer for over 25 years.

Denis is a 1991 Churchill Fellow and has lead important national and state rural organisations and projects focused on rural counselling for farmers in financial difficulties, farm debt mediation law reform, and rural-based neuro-trauma rehabilitation. He has qualifications in social work, agricultural economics, conflict resolution and facilitation. He has a long term role as a consultant policy researcher and adviser with the National Rural Health Alliance.

Denis is a founding member of the Border Trust, Yackandandah Folk Festival and Totally Renewable Yackandandah. He is Director of Events That Matter, an emerging commercial business organising and managing rural events of social, economic and cultural importance.

Denis is passionate about our local region and rural Australia. He has an extensive experience presenting the Voices for Indi community politics message to major national and international conferences and forums. He has never been a member of a political party, and is a founding member of Voices For Indi.

Anne Shaw, Secretary of Voices for Indi grew up on a farm near Mansfield in North East Victoria and now lives and works in Wangaratta.  Anne is self-employed and provides project management services for regional and community development projects for business, government and community organisations.  Anne has extensive experience, local knowledge and networks in the areas of agribusiness, drought services, community leadership, small business, governance, regional planning, education and community foundations.  Anne has diplomas in community development, project management and community education.  Anne’s current community involvement is with Carevan and the Wangaratta Business Women’s Network and was previously a community representative for The Centre Community College, North East Health and Anglicare. She is a founding member of V4I.

Tony Lane, Treasurer of Voices for Indi has been a local resident for over 30 years  and his better half Donna have raised three kids, all of whom have now flown the nest.  During this period Tony has worked in the public sector, initially in the employment and training arena and in recent years in health and aged care.   A great passion has been the education and community area and Tony has served on school boards in Wangaratta for many years, including 6 years as Board Chair at Galen Catholic College.   Tony has also been involved in landcare and sustainability issues locally and asChair of the Wangaratta Sustainability Network and also land care.  It is a combination of these community interests and experiences that have provided Tony with the motivation to be involved in V4I.

Alana Johnson, Past President of Voices for Indi is a fifth generation farmer involved in cattle production and farm forestry near Benalla. She is recognised nationally and internationally for her work in Rural Development and Leadership Training.  Alana was the Victorian Rural Women’s Award winner for 2010 and Australian runner-up and represented rural Australia on the ABC television Q+A panel. Alana has served on many Boards and Committees including the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, advisory bodies to State and Federal Ministers and the Victorian Women’s Trust. Alana is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently researching the future of agriculture in Australia at Monash University. She is a founding member of V4I.

Chris Hazell was raised on a farm near Griffith (NSW) and has worked in senior positions with the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Victorian AIDS Council, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Women’s Health Victoria. Chris is a graduate of Victoria College’s Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Development and was awarded the prize for the outstanding student in 1989. She also attained a Masters of Business in Change Management from RMIT in 1998.

Chris specialised in action learning providing ways for organisations and community groups to create a shared vision, think differently about work, explore the “how to” rather than “why to” that makes the workplace work differently, less daunting, involving everybody in improving the whole system.

Since moving to the King Valley in 2006, Chris has created a two-acre Lavender farm, along with a small herd of Alpacas and Dorper sheep. Chris has undertaken various strategic projects and business planning for Dal Zotto Wines since 2009, along with chairing their Advisory Board. Community involvement includes; chairing the Whitfield Action Group, coordinating the King Valley Art Show for 6 years, being a member of the Steering Committee for the King Valley Master Plan and board member/chair for Women’s Health Goulburn North East from 2011-2016. She joined the V4I Committee early in 2016.

Rowan O'Hagan grew up in regional Victoria and has lived in the North East and Southern Riverina since 1989. Rowan has a background in agricultural science and a doctorate in regional economics. During the last decade, Rowan has researched the impact of drought and changes in water availability on rural communities and worked in community economic development, small business, education and the health sector. Her belief in the power of rural communities to shape their own economic and cultural futures has led to her commitment to Voices for Indi and the sustainability movement across the region. She is a founding member of V4I.

John Davis: priest, historian, retiring type, bit of a political junkie. More seriously, South Australian born and raised, John is based in Wangaratta NE Victoria and is moving into that interesting stage between work and retirement. He has served as an Anglican priest for over 35 years, is a trained teacher and has a doctorate in Australian church history. He has long-term connections to the north-east and border including 10 years in Albury in the 1990s. He concludes this year as Vicar General of the Diocese of Wangaratta, serves on the Council of Cathedral College Wangaratta and has responsibility for St Paul’s Milawa. For the past three years he was the regional coordinator for Hume for the Victorian Council of Churches Emergencies Ministry network of community support workers and chaplains. He is the current president of the Milawa Oxley Rotary Club. John is part of the Voices for Indi process bringing people together to identify and articulate issues of concern or interest; talking things through and across differences, working to make things better than they are. He joined the committee in early 2014.

Phil Haines has lived and worked in Wangaratta, Rutherglen and Chiltern for over 30 years. He is an agricultural scientist who works in research and development to increase sustainable food production and farm profitability. Phil and his wife own a small farm outside Wangaratta where they run beef cattle and previously operated a B & B business. Phil has been involved in various community activities especially in sport and education. Holding leadership roles as school council president of Wangaratta High School and Primary School has furthered his belief that education is critical for the development of rural communities. Phil believes that the disadvantage that many country students face must be addressed and fixed. He is a founding member of V4I.