Alana Johnson is a fifth generation farmer involved in cattle production and farm forestry near Benalla. She is recognised nationally and internationally for her work in Change Management, Leadership Training and Farm Succession Planning. Alana was the Victorian Rural Women’s Award winner for 2010 and Australian runner up and has spoken for rural Australia on the ABC television Q+A panel. Alana is a Director of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and the Victorian Women’s Trust. She is a qualified social worker and family therapist, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is currently researching the future of agriculture in Australia at Monash University. She is a founding member of V4I. www.alanajohnson.com.au
Denis Ginnivan has been a resident of Indi for more than 50 years. A farmer, social worker, founding member of the Border Trust and Yackandandah Folk Festival, Denis is passionate about our local area and wants to see a respectful and active debate on the issues that matter to Indi residents. Denis has a work background in development of programs in rural counseling for farm families, farm debt mediation, support for people with acquired brain injury, and strategies for improving services for people with a disability for people living in rural and remote areas, on a regional and national level. He is a founding member of V4I.
Anne Shaw 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 has been a local resident for over 30 years, mostly at their Wangandary property raising cattle and agisting sheep (plus the occasional kangaroo). Tony and his better half Donna have raised 3 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 a regulatory and performance monitoring role working with public health and aged care services in this region. A great passion has been the education and community area and Tony has served on school boards in Wangaratta for many years, including the past 6 years as Board Chair at Galen Catholic College. Tony has also been involved in landcare and sustainability issues locally and was the inaugural Chair of the Wangaratta Sustainability Network. It is a combination of these community interests and experiences that has provided Tony with the motivation to be involved in V4I at this critical period. He is a founding member of V4I.
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 at the grass roots level in community economic development, small business 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 Voice for Indi and the sustainability movement across the region. She is a founding member of V4I.
Diane Shepheard grew up in Melbourne working in her family’s small businesses and has spent the last thirty years in Corowa then Indigo Valley as a mother of four, a farmer and teacher. Diane has involved herself in many aspects of her local community and was a co-founder and Artistic Director of the Yackandandah Folk Festival, a Director of the Mount Buffalo Community Enterprise Group, a committee member of the Corowa Concerned Citizens, Friends of the Arts leader at Catholic College Wodonga, committee member and school councillor of her children’s various educational institutions, a past President and Secretary of Indigo Valley Landcare Group and member of Australian Women in Agriculture and YWCA. Diane’s life experiences have led her to be involved as a community representative on the Melbourne Melanoma Project and the Hume Regional Intergrated Cancer Services. Normally more active in the grass roots sector of community change, her son Ben encouraged her to pay attention to the state of political disengagement in party politics in Australia, especially among youth, and so she become involved in V4I. She has never been a member of a political party and votes for candidates whose platform is based on local issues and concerns. 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 co-ordinator 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.
Susan Benedyka holds qualifications in business and financial management, and has completed the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. She has extensive experience in community engagement, regional and strategic planning and is ManagingDirector of The Regional Development Company. She is a founding member of V4I. www.regionaldevelopment.com.au
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.
Cathy Bucolo lives in the Kiewa Valley, Alpine Shire of Indi. She has a background in health, disability, advocacy and creating events. She ran the headquarters of the beautiful Folk, Rhythm, and Life music festival in Eldorado for many years and has volunteered at Typo Station for many work parties. She spent a year working at Mittagundi Outdoor Education Centre and continued on as Staff Liaison for 3 years. Cathy has a passion for talking/teaching/ learning about communication, and facilitating groups of people to solve their own issues. She joined the V4I committee in 2014.
Tammy Atkins lives on a dairy farm in Milawa with her husband Paul and young daughter. She works as a consultant, has a personal interest in politics and volunteers for a number of local groups including the NESAY board and the Milawa Markwood Development Association. She is a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Appin Park Wangaratta, a graduate of the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program and a former Councillor for the Rural City of Wangaratta. At the moment she's also completing the Australian Rural Leadership Program (Course 22). She is a founding member of V4I. www.tammyatkins.com.au