Meet the Board

WE ARE GOVERNED BY A VOLUNTEER BOARD, ELECTED BY THE RRR NETWORK OF WA MEMBERSHIP

2020 RRR Board

Chair

Sarah Lang – Busselton

Chair

Sarah is based in Busselton and is extremely 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.

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Sarah has over 16 years’ experience in Banking and Finance. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Management & Marketing) from Swinburne University in Melbourne & Diploma of Finance & Mortgage Broking Management. Sarah has extensive experience in cash flow management & modelling, financial analytics, risk management, benchmarking and financial modelling.

Sarah now consults to regional businesses via her own business Sarah Lang Consulting, supporting them to develop robust, sustainable growth strategies, cash flow planning and provides finance broking services. Sarah is a strong supporter of regional economic prosperity and primarily works with rural and regional clients. 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 – Perth

Secretary

Cath Lyons manages the Strategy Branch in the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. Most recently, she was the Director of Strategy and Governance in the previous Department of Agriculture and Food.

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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 National Share the Dignity charity, making a real on-the-ground difference to homeless women, teenage girls and victims of domestic violence. Cath joined the RRR Board in 2018 in the role of Secretary, and has focused on both the planning for a strong, connected and influential network of rural, regional and remote women and secondly, the pathway to how we’re going to get there and sustain the network into the future.

Secretary

Treasurer

Alys McKeough – Carnarvon

Treasurer

Alys grew up in Melbourne and after travelling rural Australia – Nurse meets a Farmer – she has been here for 9 years and cannot imagine being anywhere else.

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Alys lives on and runs a beef cattle business with her husband Harry and three children (8, 9 and 12) at Carey Downs Station in the Gascoyne.

Having had a city upbringing Alys believes the opportunities for rural women abound.

She is a Registered Nurse and still practises, she also has a background in business and management.

Alys is currently a Gascoyne Development Commission Board member, Shire Councillor with the Upper Gascoyne, Secretary of the Upper Gascoyne Land Conservation District Committee, Past Vice President and current committee member of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association and hold various committee positions within our local community and region.

Having attended the RRR Entrepreneurs Program and “Stronger” Conference in the past year and seeing the amazing ideas and energy of rural people she would like to be able to share this. As a board member Alys brings past experience, she is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and most of all has a love for regional Australia and the people who live here.

Fleur Thompson – Geraldton

Board member

Fleur is a Purpose Coach based in Geraldton, Western Australia, who grew up on a mixed enterprise property in the northern wheatbelt, right on the edge of pastoral country.

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Fleur experienced the challenges of drought, family dynamics and isolation first hand on her family farm, along with the joys of farm-life, freedom and the bush.

After studying science at University and roles with the Department of Agriculture in WA she returned to the family farm. She ran a successful, national award winning, nature-based farm tourism business for six years before becoming a Rural Financial Counsellor in 2008 (following two back to back extremely dry seasons in WA) and worked with farmers and pastoralists in financial stress. Fleur experienced the resilience of rural people and the heartbreak of loss in this job and created her own life coaching business in 2010 specialising in purpose as a pathway to facilitate change.

Fleur has a Bachelor of Applied Science from JCU in North Queensland, is a qualified NLP Practitioner, and has a Diploma of Coaching and a Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling).

Fleur specialises with regional, rural and remote people (in particular women on farms and stations and living in rural communities) and finding ways to combat isolation, anxiety and overwhelm by enabling them to turn their energy into a powerful force for good in the world. She believes that women in rural communities who are connected, know how to nurture and care for themselves, and have solid foundations that allow them to move beyond survival mode, are the first to notice when anyone in their community is not okay. And when they have purpose and connection to others, can and will do great things – including having solid relationships and teamwork with their men, and everyone in their communities.

Fleur runs her own business (Fleur Porter- Purpose Coach), is married to her favourite Agronomist and is mother and stepmother to six children.

Vice Chair

Elizabeth Brennan - Perth/Boorloo, Whadjuk Noongar country

Board member

Having lived in Papua New Guinea and the WA Wheatbelt, Elizabeth has a unique insight into global food systems and extensive experience in fresh produce marketing and agricultural development programs.

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She is currently Non-Executive Director with Wide Open Agriculture, Board Director for the RRR Women’s Network of WA, a Champion for Country to Canberra, and volunteers on many agricultural advisory groups and committees. Elizabeth is also ministerially appointed to the Industry Funding Scheme Appointments Committee and as a Commissioner for the Agricultural Produce Commission.

Elizabeth is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and Fellow with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (FARLF). In 2014, Elizabeth was awarded Most Outstanding Emerging Leader 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.

Marilyn Rulyancich – Busselton

Board Member

Accepting a new role as Contracts Administrator for Platinum Strata in 2021 adds to the already busy schedule of managing her own consulting business and
managing a Holiday accommodation in bustling Busselton.

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Marilyn has recently completed writing contracts for Dr Robert Isaacs AM, OAM, PhD (Hon) and Western Australian of the Year in 2015 in the creation of the first new locality in the history of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and named after his great grandfather Samuel Yebble Isaacs for heroic deeds performed over 145 years ago.
Marilyn is an advocate for creating opportunities for women in the regions and
remote areas as well as in rural locations having worked at some stage in eight
of the nine regions in WA.


Marilyn has extensive experience and a background in the fields of economic
development, project management, grant writing, event management, tourism
and hospitality and has conducted events for the Member for Forrest and the
City of Swan in Parliament House in Canberra.


Marilyn will draw on her experience and impressive network developed during
her engagements with Regional Development Australia MWG, Austrade in
Melbourne, the Australian Institute of Export, the Australian Arab Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, the International Business Council, and governments
on all levels.

Having worked in economic development in both Victoria and Western
Australia, Marilyn also delivered the SBDC Business Local service in the
Gascoyne and Warren Blackwood regions for nearly four years.

Marilyn was a Founding Board Member of both Undalup Aboriginal Association
and RETARegional and has served on boards and committees with the
Gascoyne Heritage Group, Gascoyne Aboriginal and Heritage Cultural Centre,
Gascoyne Arts Council and currently consults governance practices to several
notforprofits. She is currently the Regional Coordinator and Board Member for
the WA Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

Marilyn is passionate about recognising small business in the regions and
started the Gascoyne Regional Business Awards, an event she has ran for five
years and set up the inaugural Collie Small Business Awards in 2021 which she
now mentors. She has owned and operated seven restaurants and catering
facilities located in the Perth city, metropolitan and regional Western Australia
and in Melbourne. Marilyn also ran a family landscaping and construction
business for ten years and is experienced at running a business from home.

Georgina Ferreira – Broadwater

Board member

Georgina is a coordinator of communications and community engagement in the South West. Born and raised in Carbunup, she returned home in 2017 after a decade working in marketing, recruitment, community outreach and youth leadership programs.

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Georgina’s previous experience includes coordinating the John Curtin Leadership Academy and Sir Charles Court Young Leaders Programs’ – working with outstanding young West Australians from across the State. She also has experience organising youth engagement in remote and Indigenous communities in the Eastern Goldfields and as the Media Coordinator for Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.

She currently works as the Future Students Coordinator at Edith Cowan Universities South West campus. Through engaging with the RRR Network she hopes to share her knowledge of marketing and communications to share stories and advocate for women in regional West Australians communities.

WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE TRADITIONAL OWNERS AND ELDERS, WHOSE CULTURES AND CUSTOMS HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO NURTURE THE LAND ON WHICH WE WALK AND LIVE – WOODITCHUP (MARGARET RIVER), WADANDI BOODJA.