Patrons, Board and Governance
FRRR is fortunate to have a number of highly respected people as our Patrons and Board, guiding our activities.
All members of the FRRR board and our staff are passionate about enhancing communities in remote, rural and regional Australia. Many members of our team have grown up in rural communities and most now live and work in regional Victoria, operating from the Bendigo office. We also spend a lot of time on the road, visiting the organisations and projects that FRRR funds so we can continue to strengthen our knowledge and understanding of the many and varied challenges that face rural and regional communities.
Our Patron in Chief His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) (Governor-General of the Commonwealth Of Australia) is joined by the Hon John Anderson AC, as well as founding retired board members the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC and Bill Kelty AC.
FRRR is fortunate to have highly respected and skilled people volunteer their time for our Board, guiding our activities. Most Directors have extensive experience in the philanthropic sector and strong connections to rural communities. Others are experienced and knowledgeable people who have strong backgrounds in government or business.
FRRR’s policies and practices provide the framework that enables the Board’s principal governance role to be achieved. FRRR’s policies ensure that its activities are conducted ethically and in accordance with the law, including well managed and transparent annual financial statements.
His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC
Patron in Chief
In accepting the Board’s request to act as FRRR’s Patron in Chief, His Excellency explained that he was pleased to accept the role as he sees the work of the Foundation as very important in supporting rural, regional and remote communities:
“In my experience, our rural and regional areas aren’t after hand outs – in fact, they’re reticent to even ask for a hand-up. That is why the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s approach of helping communities address local opportunities and challenges is so important.”
David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.
He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. Following promotion to Colonel, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attending the U.S. Army War College in 1996 and 1997. He commanded the 1st Brigade from 1999-2000 in Darwin, supporting Australian-led operations in East Timor. He was appointed the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group from 2003-07, Chief of Joint Operations Command in October 2007, and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008. Promoted to General, he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011 until his retirement on 30 June 2014. In 2010, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force.
Prior to being sworn in as Governor-General, David Hurley served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.
David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 August 1953, the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. He grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975. He is married to Linda with whom he has three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013; a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2015; made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016; and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 2017.
The Right Honourable Ian Sinclair AC
Mr Sinclair was FRRR’s inaugural Chairman, serving from inception to 30 June 2019 and following his retirement, was appointed as a Patron of FRRR.
Born in Sydney and educated firstly at Knox Grammar School and then at Sydney University (BA, LLB), Mr Sinclair was admitted to the Bar in 1952.
From 1953 to 2001 Mr Sinclair bred cattle and sheep at “Glenclair”, Bendemeer NSW and now fattens cattle on Dumaresq Island on NSW’s mid-north coast.
In 1961 Mr Sinclair was elected to the NSW Legislative Council. In 1963 he then moved to Federal Parliament as the Federal Member for New England in the House of Representatives in 1963.
Mr Sinclair served as Leader or Deputy Leader of the National Party for nearly 19 years, and held a number of senior portfolios including Social Services, Primary Industry, Shipping and Transport, Communications, Defence and Leader of the House.
He also held the honoured position of Speaker of the House, retiring as Speaker in 1998.
At the time of his retirement, he was also President of Scouts Australia (NSW) and Patron of a number of charitable and philanthropic bodies.
Bill Kelty AC
Mr Kelty was a founding board member of FRRR, serving from inception to 30 June 2019 and following his retirement, was appointed as a Patron of FRRR.
After graduating in Economics from La Trobe University, Bill Kelty began his career in the early seventies working in various positions in the trade union movement.
This involvement led to his becoming Assistant Secretary of the ACTU in 1977, a position he held until he was elected ACTU Secretary in 1983 and he remained as Secretary until February 2000.
In his role as Secretary of the ACTU, Mr Kelty was responsible for industrial relations policy and practice in all industries, especially oil, the waterfront, retail, airlines and transport.
A key part of Mr Kelty’s role was to conduct industry level negotiations to improve company competitiveness while maintaining and improving workforce wages and conditions.
Importantly he was responsible for helping to negotiate national fiscal policy, which included the introduction of compulsory superannuation for the Australian workforce.
At the time of his retirement from the FRRR board, Mr Kelty’s current activities include the following:
Non-Executive Director of the Linfox Group;
Chair of Virtual Communities
Director of the Bank of Queensland
Director of Luna Park Pty Ltd. Melbourne
Member of La Trobe University Council
Chair of Evans & Partners Advisory Board
Member of McGuire Media Advisory Board
Member of Bill Hutchinson Foundation
Chair of Ministerial Advisory Council on Regional Australia.
Recipient of the Centenary Medal – 2003
Companion of the Order of Australia – 2008
John Anderson AC is also a Patron.
FRRR has had a long history of generous people volunteering their time to serve on our Board.
We are grateful for their advice and support.
Tim Fairfax AC
Mr Tim Fairfax AC is a Company Director, Pastoralist and Philanthropist.
Tim is Chairman of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. He is the Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, and Australian Philanthropic Services.
He is President of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, a member of the National Portrait Gallery Foundation, the National Gallery of Australia Foundation and Australian Schools Plus.
Tim is Patron of the AMAQ Foundation, the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation, the Flying Arts Alliance Incorporated, the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and the Actors’ & Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund (QLD) Inc.
Tim takes an active leadership role in promoting philanthropy in Australia. He is passionate about supporting rural, remote and regional communities, particularly students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Tim has a range of business interests. He operates nine rural properties in Queensland and New South Wales involving beef cattle, fine wool and grain.
Anne is a Director with wide experience in the philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors in Australia.
She served as a trustee of the John T Reid Charitable Trusts from 1998 to 2014, with the last five years as Chairman. Through this involvement Anne developed a commitment to building resilience and sustainability in rural communities. During this time the Trusts formed a close partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal initiating funding for the CATCH program and enabling funding for natural disaster recovery.
Anne has also served on the board of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, with a particular interest in broadening philanthropic donations to help protect biodiversity through nature conservation and to enable rural communities to develop strategies for resilience in the face of climate change.
She has a great interest in promoting early years education and early intervention services, having served on the board of the Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing (Taralye) for more than ten years including time as Chairman. In 2014 Anne was appointed a life member of the Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing.
Anne graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Anne’s family has a long association with rural living in Australia. She splits her time between Melbourne and her family farm on the Goulburn River flats at Thornton, near Alexandra in central Victoria.
Patrick Myer joined the FRRR Board in September, 2013, as the representative of the Sidney Myer Fund.
Patrick has been involved with the Myer Foundation for many years and is a former Convener of the G4 Committee and former Co-convener of the Sustainability and Environment Committee. Patrick is currently a member of the Arts and Humanities Committee.
Patrick has a strong commitment to rural and regional Australia, having been involved in cropping and horticulture, particularly the emerging Australian olive industry. He has also studied in the field of Geosciences at the University of Tasmania and Monash University.
Patrick has worked as a guide in the Tasmanian bush and volunteered on the Island for 10 days during the Tasmanian Biannual Arts Festival. He is passionate about the Tasmanian wilderness, regional arts as well as social and environmental impacts of the resource industry.
Annabel F. White
Annabel was appointed to the Board of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal in 2015.
She has extensive experience in the philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and is a keen supporter of grassroots initiatives, particularly in rural and regional areas. Prior to her career in philanthropy, Annabel worked in publishing and the media.
Annabel was reappointed as a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation in 2016, after previously completing an eight-year term in 2013. VFFF and FRRR have partnered over a number of years on rural initiatives in NSW, including education and capacity building. Annabel is also a Director of Mundango Abroad and Southern Highlands Foundation.
Annabel previously worked part-time at VFFF researching, analysing and assessing grants. She moved from the city to rural properties in Glen Innes and now the Southern Highlands, and during this time worked for Landcare, Arts North West and the local council, amongst other community volunteer roles, giving her a wide understanding of community and rural needs.
Annabel holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma of Editing and Publishing from Macquarie University and a Master of Business (Social Investment and Philanthropy) at Swinburne University. She has also completed the Australian Company Institute of Director’s course.
She is passionate about philanthropy, particularly women’s empowerment, rural and regional renewal and the arts and continues to be involved on boards and committees in her areas of interest.
Bruce Scott OAM
Bruce Scott was born and bred in Western Queensland. He and his wife owned and managed Moothandella, a cattle station in the Queensland Channel Country until 2020 and now resides in Charleville. Bruce has spent 27 years in local government, public sector and not-for-profit boards, and was Mayor of the Shire of Barcoo for 16 years. He has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday Honours List for his services to local government, and to the community.
Bruce brings a breadth of experience of living and running businesses in rural communities. He currently acts as an advisor to the National Emergency Management Agency, sits on the boards of Southern Queensland Landscapes, South West Hospital and Health Service, Red Ridge Foundation, Rural Financial Counselling Service North Queensland and the Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation Finance Audit and Risk Committee.
He previously served as Chair of Desert Channels Queensland, and as a Director on the Central West Hospital and Health Service, Central West Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD), and Regional Natural Resource Management Groups Collective Board.
Bruce has completed board governance, risk management and financial acumen training with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Queensland Treasury Corporation, and has a keen interest in telecommunications, renewable energy, the environment and responsible land use practices. He is also passionate about education and taking an integrated approach to building strong rural communities.
Sue, together with her husband Michael, manages a diversified farm in the Wheatbelt of WA growing grains, oaten hay, and pork. They have also developed Moora Citrus, a 210ha citrus orchard in the new horticulture growing area near Dandaragan, also in WA.
Sue has wide reaching and deep change management experience across agricultural businesses, commodity groups and sectors, and regional and rural local communities. She is passionate about the future of rural and regional Australia and has focused her 30-year professional career in this area.
She has been actively involved in many leadership roles across industry, agriculture and rural community development.
Sue has worked across all levels of government and community decision making for the purpose of better outcomes for people in rural communities and industry. Her past roles include the Chair of the WA Regional Development Trust which oversees the Royalties for Regions program, Chair of the West Midlands Group (Grower Group), National Rural Advisory Council, COAG Reform Council, WA Agricultural Produce Commissioner, National Regional Women’s Advisory Council, Farmbis State Planning Group, Australian Research Council, and Regional Solutions Board.
For her work, Sue has been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Regional Australia in 2002, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Woman of the Year for Australia in 2010 and was inducted into the Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018.
Sue joined the FRRR Board in 2018.
- Chair of Country Arts WA
- Member, WA Telstra Regional Advisory Committee
- Board member of the Regional, Rural and Remote women’s network of WA
Andrew McKenzie JP
Born in Melbourne, Andrew now lives with his wife Nancy and four children on the North Shore of Sydney.
After school he studied agricultural science at Longerenong Agricultural College in the Victorian Wimmera. He then took on various roles in agriculture and related fields before joining the building industry.
Andrew spent 20 years working in several roles with a major Australian building product manufacturing company, culminating as a Senior Executive in Sales and Marketing Management. Here he developed skills in business strategy and management, personnel management and sales and marketing management.
Following this role, he left to work in financial and investment advice services. From 2006, Andrew provided tailored financial advice and created investment portfolios for clients at Ethinvest Pty Ltd. Andrew retired recently as a Senior Advisor, but remains as a Director.
Andrew has continued in his family’s commitment to philanthropy and has been a Trustee of the John T Reid Charitable Trusts since 2001, as well as Chair of the Finance Committee (since 2012). He has also been a Trustee of the Erica Foundation, a family PAF, since 2007.
Andrew joined the FRRR Board in 2018, and chairs the Finance & Audit Committee.
- Director, Ethinvest Pty Ltd
- Trustee, John T Reid Charitable Trusts
- Chair, Finance Committee, John T Reid Charitable Trusts
- Trustee, Erica Foundation
- Trustee, Community Impact Foundation (a PuAF set up by Australian Impact Investments in 2015)
Hon Simon Crean
Simon Crean has been a leading figure in Government, politics and industrial relations for five decades.
A graduate in economics and law from Monash University he began his career as a research officer and advocate before becoming General Secretary of the then Storemen and Packers Union (now the UWU) in 1979. He also served as Vice President of the ACTU and in 1985 became its President. He played a key role in the development and implementation of the Accord under the Hawke Government.
Mr Crean was elected to Federal Parliament as Member for Hotham in 1990, successfully contesting the seat eight times over 23 years, on the front bench in all of them and going immediately into the Ministry as Minister for Science and Technology and Minister assisting the Treasurer (1990-91). In the former role, he established the Co-operative Research Centre program (CRC’s).
He served in the Cabinets of four Prime Ministers (Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard) over 12 years.
He held the portfolios of Primary Industries and Energy (1991-1993), developing the first national drought and natural disasters policy. He was Minister for Employment, Education and Training (1993-1996) where he implemented the Working Nation program.
In Opposition, he was Leader (2001-2003) and held the Shadow Ministries of Treasury, Industry Trade and Regional Development. He was also Leader of the House.
With the Labor election in 1997, he returned to Cabinet as Minister for Trade (1997-2010), where he was heavily involved in the Doha Round in the WTO and the successful ANZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and Chile FTA’s. He was also involved in commencing the FTA’s with China, Korea, Japan and Indonesia and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
He was Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion (2010) and Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government (2010-2013) developing an inclusive partnership model for regional development.
He was also Minister for the Arts in this period developing the Creative Australia policy.
Mr Crean has served as Former Chair of ALEC, LiveCorp and RMAC.
- Co-Chair Cornerstone Group Advisory Board
- Current Chair EABC
- Chair AKBC
- Director of Linfox International Group
- Deputy Chancellor Monash University
- Member of the Monash University Council
- Chair and Associate Professor, Deakin University
Hon John Sharp AM
John Sharp AM has a farming and business background. His political career commenced in 1980 at the age of 25 when he was elected to the Young Shire Council. In 1984, he was elected to the Federal Parliament as the National Party member for Gilmore. Following redistribution in 1993, he represented the seat of Hume. Mr Sharp served 14 years in the Federal Parliament, and from 1987 to the end of 1997 was a member of the Coalition’s front bench as Shadow Minister, and then Minister for Transport and Regional Development and Federal Treasurer of the National Party.
During his parliamentary career, Mr Sharp became well known and respected for his role in promoting aviation safety and was responsible for numerous reforms, including a complete rewrite of the aviation regulations. He was also responsible for the reform of Australia’s railways, creating the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
From 2001-15, Mr Sharp served as director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific. He was a director of Skytraders, operating aircraft for the Australian Antarctic Division, from 2005-13 and the French / Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a Director of Eurocopter Australia Pacific.
Mr Sharp has been involved in a number of voluntary organisations and is a former Co-Chair of the Cancer Council of NSW, Southern Highlands Branch, former Chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation, and former Chairman of the Winifred West Schools Foundation from 2001-2008. He was also a Member of the Climate Change Authority, and a Member of the University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Board.
Mr Sharp was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018 for significant service to the people and Parliament of Australia, to the aviation industry, and to the community.
- Founder and Director, Thenford Consulting
- Deputy Chairman, Regional Express (Rex)
- Chairman of Pel Air
- Director, Luerssen Australia
- Director, Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group
- Director, John McEwen House
- Director, Tudor House Foundation
David Mackay is the Acting Deputy Secretary for Regional, Cities, and Territories in the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, after serving as First Assistant Secretary of Infrastructure Investment Division, and, earlier, of Cities Division. Before joining the Department, David held division and branch head roles across the Australian public sector, in the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Finance (where he was responsible for Budget coordination and policy), and the Department of Health (in health system and funding reform, and in youth mental health and suicide prevention).
David is a graduate of the University of Sydney and Monash University, and is an alumnus of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s Executive Fellows Program.
James Flintoft has substantial private sector and government executive leadership and governance experience, including in regional development and agriculture policy and service delivery. He has served on various private sector, government and not-for-profit boards.
He spent 10 years in the public service including as Chief Executive of Regional Development Victoria facilitating infrastructure development, jobs facilitation and regional partnerships; Deputy Secretary, Agriculture Victoria; and First Assistant Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Before joining the public service, James spent 20 years working in the private sector. He was a senior executive at ANZ Bank – including Managing Director, Business Banking; a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in the firm’s Australian, London and Washington offices advising across many industries; and a commercial lawyer at Allens Arthur Robinson.
He was formerly Treasurer of the Mirabel Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that provides support and counselling services to children orphaned or abandoned due to parental drug abuse.
He has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, an MBA from the Wharton School (US), and is a Graduate of the AICD.
- Director, Transport Accident Commission
- Director, Development Victoria
- Director, Epworth Healthcare Group
- Chair, Sapia Pty Ltd
- Director, Social Traders
- Director, Foundation House (Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture)
Georgie Somerset AM
Georgie Somerset AM is an industry leader and strategist with boundless energy for regional development across Australia. Based on her family’s cattle property in Queensland’s South Burnett, she is actively involved in the operation of the multigenerational family beef business. For three decades Georgie has juggled the challenges associated with living regional and remote and has advocated in this space tirelessly.
Georgie was a founder, and later president, of the Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network–QRRRWN and held roles with the National Foundation for Australian Women as well as a founding member and Chair of the Red Earth Community Foundation.
In addition to her Philanthropic callings, Georgie uses her resilience and forward-thinking out of the square approach across multiple boards in the not-for-profit, government and industry sectors.
Georgie is currently the General President of AgForce Queensland, Chair of the Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett, Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland section), the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Eastern Operations) Limited, Mediflight, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the National Farmers Federation and the RFDS Foundation. Georgie also serves on a number of advisory committees for regional development, tertiary institutions, industry and community groups, including the Telstra QLD Regional Advisory Council, USQ’s Rural Economies Centre of Excellence and a number of government review panels. Georgie is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Institute for Resilient Regions.
The Role of the Board
FRRR’s Board of Directors exercises the powers vested in it by the Corporations Law and the Company’s Constitution. The Board is directly responsible to its members for the long-term health and prosperity of the Company.
FRRR’s policies and practices provide the framework which enables the Board’s principal role to be achieved while ensuring that FRRR activities are conducted ethically and in accordance with the law, including well managed and transparent annual financial statements.
The Board charts the direction of FRRR and monitors management’s performance. Its responsibilities include:
The Board has a Nominations and Appointments Committee, which meets as required, and a Finance and Audit (F&A) committee, which meets quarterly. The F&A Committee oversees all aspects of financial investment and management of the Foundation. Our financial reports are independently audited by BDO to confirm our financial processes meet all statutory requirements.
Explore our most recent Financial Statements lodged with ACNC