Meet the Board
Lyn Farrell (Chair) – Bunbury
Lyn lived on a farm for a number of years, where she raised her children and enjoyed being part of the local rural community. While living on the farm she studied by distance education to obtain her Bachelor Degree.
Her formal qualifications now include a Masters in Professional Education and Training from Deakin University, a Graduate Diploma (Higher Education) from Murdoch University, a Diploma in Human Services from Central West College and an Australian Institute of Company Directors Diploma. Lyn is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education; her research is focused on participation by Aboriginal Australians in Higher Education.
Lyn has a passion for the benefits of higher education and has focused on providing learning pathways for people from diverse backgrounds. As a TAFE lecturer in Albany, Lyn was involved with the New Opportunities for Women (NOW) course from its inception. She spent ten years as a facilitator of NOW and had the privilege of watching women take up employment, education and community work opportunities.
Lyn has spent most of her adult life living and working in regional WA. She has been involved in community and industry committees, and forums focused on improving the economic and social capacity of the community.
In recent years Lyn was the Managing Director of the Pilbara Institute, and she is now the Dean of the Faculty Regional Professional Studies at Edith Cowan University’s South West Campus in Bunbury.
Lyn was appointed to the RRR Network Reference Group in February 2015; transitioned to the newly incorporated entity and was elected Chair of the new RRR Network Board in 2016.
Anna Dixon (Deputy Chair)- Northam
Anna has always lived in the regions, and loves it. She has spent her adult life in regional and remote Australia, first Queensland’s Central Coast and Far North West, then shifting to the Western Australian Wheatbelt in 2009. Living in small towns, especially when they are thousands of kilometres from anywhere vaguely city-like, isn’t always easy or convenient. But it’s the friendships and experiences that made them home for Anna, and now, she can’t imagine life in a major city. After being a bit of a nomad for most of her life, her husband and herself have been settled in Northam for over eight years and love living here.
To Anna, the RRR Network represents the opportunity to build a powerful organisation to respond to equity and access issues for women and their families in the regions – whether through delivering access to services and opportunities, or actions in advocacy and influence. She is excited to be a part of the evolution of the Network.
As a board member, in any capacity, Anna brings the ability to listen (and understand), and to translate ideas into reality – she thrives on making things happen. Anna offers a business-like mindset, combined with an understanding of how to get traction on a government and political level. This is a unique window of opportunity and Anna considers a board committed to thinking creatively, taking some calculated risks and doing things a bit differently will be critical to the RRR Network determining its place and long-term viability.
Anna is the founder of CreativeIQ & Anna Dixon Consulting
Sarah Lang (Treasurer) – Busselton
Sarah has over 13 years’ experience in Banking and Finance. She has extensive experience in cash flow management, financial analytics, risk management and financial modelling. Sarah currently leads a team of 16 regional commercial and agribusiness Relationship Managers for ANZ in WA South to deliver holistic banking solutions and insights to Customers. Sarah manages a portfolio of $750M in funds under management for Customers in a variety of industries with turnover $1M to $100M.
Sarah was selected to participate in the inaugural Accelerating Banking Experience for Women program. Five Women were selected across ANZ to participate in the program which aims to develop future Senior Leaders by broadening their skills and provide leadership and accelerated learning opportunities across difference divisions within ANZ.
Sarah has exceptional written and verbal communication skills and has been quoted in local South West newspapers on economic drivers for South West WA and has also contributed opinion editorials. Sarah is passionate about growing rural and regional communities and understands the importance of driving economic prosperity in regional towns having grown up on a beef and sheep farm in regional Victoria.
Sarah is actively involved in the local community and recently stepped up from Treasurer to President of the Busselton Triathlon Club. Sarah is passionate about raising money for charity having participated in the Smiling for Smiddy charity bike ride from Adelaide to Uluru in June 2016. Sarah cycled 1,600kms over 9 days and personally raised over $4,500 for cancer research.
Sarah was instrumental in developing ‘Introduction to Financial Markets for Rural Women’ program in WA which aims to increase the financial knowledge of rural women to enable them to make better business decisions. She was featured in a previous issue of RRR Network news.
Cath Lyons (Secretary) – Perth
Cath Lyons is a Director in the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, with a focus on agribusiness development across Western Australia
Most recently, she was the Director of Strategy and Governance in the previous Department of Agriculture and Food.
Her career encompasses 30 years of professional experience in roles within government, not-for profit organisations, the mining industry and universities. These roles have involved designing strategies, plans and strategic policy, delivering cultural and organisational change, developing and implementing state legislation, running natural resource management organisations, developing programs and projects, and holding research and teaching roles.
Cath has worked in the Peel-Harvey, and the Avon catchment in the wheatbelt in the not-for-profit sector, liaising between the community, local, state and federal governments.
Cath went to university in Townsville, and spent 12 years as a scientist in the fields of botany and marine biology, doing her PhD research in Mount Isa.
She grew up in WA and had family farming ties to Dowerin.
Cath is a volunteer with the Share the Dignity charity, making a real on-the-ground difference to homeless women, teenage girls and victims of domestic violence.
She is also the WA State Coordinator for Activities for All, a program that provides free activities, classes and sports lessons to children and young people as they recover from long-term exposure to family and/or domestic violence. Activities for All aims to empower vulnerable children to feel loved and a sense of belonging to a communityElizabeth
Nicole Batten- Yuna
Nicole is a Director in her family farm business in Yuna and has a background in community development and project management. Formerly National and WA Chair of Partners in Grain (PinG), not for profit governance and Ag business skill development is important to Nicole. During almost 20 years of farming in broad acre agriculture and an expanding Dorper Stud, Nicole has worked both as a Natural Resource Management Officer and Community Development Officer for the Shire of Chapman Valley, while taking the opportunity to study a Diploma of Project Management and Business Governance.
Nicole is a mum of two and enjoys the energy and enthusiasm working in both a professional and volunteer capacity, through roles which strengthen people, industry and communities that reply upon it. Aside from local community roles, Nicole is currently PinG WA Secretary, National Centre for Farmer Health Advisory Group Member, Rabobank Client Council member and eConnected Local Project Coordinator.
Nicole was recently elected as Shire Councillor and welcomes the challenges, learning opportunities and experience this new role brings.
Jo Barret- Lennard- Dunsborough
Jo grew up in Bindi Bindi in the northern Wheatbelt, and have a broadacre farming background. Jo currently resides in the South West, with strong connections to the Pilbara. Jo is a Funeral Celebrant, has qualifications in Business and Journalism, and is currently completing a BLaw/BA (Politics) degree remotely.
Jo is a Justice of the Peace, a councillor on both the Royal Association of Justices of Western Australia State Council and the South West sub-branch, the editor of the “JP Journal” (a bi-monthly magazine for WA JPs), and has recently launched a strategic growth and succession planning committee to ensure the future of regional and rural Justices in WA.
As a mother in rural WA, Jo is aware of the shortcomings lack of community and affinity can create, and endeavour to assist in generating a sense of value and connection to those who feel isolated- and the RRR Network does exactly that. The RRR Network is in a unique position to create lasting and relevant growth and awareness for WA women.
Jo’s experience in strategic growth and succession planning, in marketing and also as a rural woman all intertwine well and believes it would be a solid asset to the RRR Network.
Elizabeth Brennan- Wongan Hills
Elizabeth has facilitated a number of community and agricultural development programs in her home WA Wheatbelt region, across Australia and Papua New Guinea. She currently coordinates a multidisciplinary agricultural research program in PNG on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Elizabeth has also led the marketing strategy development and implementation for one of the largest citrus operations in WA, Moora Citrus.
Elizabeth was a Board Director with Australian Women in Agriculture for five years, being elected as Vice President, President and Company Secretary during her tenure. She is a Commissioner for the Agricultural Produce Commission, chairs the Farmers for Climate Action ‘Rural Futures Taskforce’, is a mentor for the Australia Awards Women’s Leadership Initiative and volunteers on many agricultural advisory groups and committees.
Elizabeth is a Fellow with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation having won a scholarship from Fairfax Agricultural Media to undertake the intensive 18-month leadership program. She has completed a Bachelor of Business and is currently studying a Masters in Sustainable Systems. In 2014, Elizabeth was awarded the Most Outstanding Emerging Leader Award at the inaugural Women in Australian Agribusiness 100 and in 2016 was awarded WA Young Achiever of the Year for her voluntary and community contributions.
Sue Middelton- Wongan Hills
Sue Middleton is a farmer and community development practitioner from Wongan Hills.
Sue has close to 3 decades of experience managing change processes in community and regional groups. She has held successive board and leadership roles across all levels of industry and government. Her specialty is creating value through building business models that articulate value and ensure RRR groups are paid for delivering that value.
Sue is passionate about the future of regional and rural Western Australia and its growth potential.
Sue comes to the RRR with years of work in the rural women’s space. From her appointment to the first national Regional Women’s Council in 1998, Sue has worked across a range of organisations to ensure rural women are creating opportunities to fulfil their potential.
Sue would like to assist RRR to achieve some key goals for women. They include:
• Bringing in new sponsors and growing the reach and impact of the Rural Women’s Awards for WA
• Connecting the RRR women’s networks to ensure maximum impact of everyone’s effort
• Expanding the magazine content and format to grow the audience and reach of RRR stories
• Investment in building leadership and influencing capacity of RRR women
• Linking women to leadership and board opportunities in their fields of endeavour/passion
• Achieving a sustainable business model for the organisation so it can be sustained for decades to come