AUBREY Pellett is the new chair of Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria – Gippsland (‘RFCSV-G’), elected at the recent AGM at the South Gippsland Shire Council Chambers in Leongatha.
Outgoing chair Richard Habgood addressed the AGM and highlighted some key changes, challenges and highlights from the 2016-17 financial year before announcing his retirement from the position.
Richard has held the position of chairman since 2011, and decided that the “time was right to step aside”.
“I will still see out my final term on the board until November 2019 so I can continue to provide support to the new chair.”
Nominations for chair, deputy chair, treasurer and secretary board were received at the AGM.
Aubrey Pellett was appointed the chair, Richard Habgood as deputy chair, existing board member Robin Lowe continuing as treasurer, and returning for another 12 months, Leonie Coleman was appointed secretary.
Aubrey Pellett has been on the RFCSV-G board since 2012 and is a dairy farmer at Hill End in West Gippsland.
Aubrey is also deputy chair at Bonlac Supply Company and is on the board of Agribusiness Gippsland.
“Our board continues to have a good mix of skills and background, but most of all we have a passion and advocacy for making farming communities stronger and increasing capabilities to deal with change and plan for the future,” he said.
RFCSV-G is a government-funded program that provides support to farming communities through free, confidential and independent assistance for primary producers, farms and small rural businesses at risk of financial hardship
The RFCSV-G website was launched at the AGM.
“The new website will increase our online presence and allow [potential] clients to contact us at a time that is convenient for them and to see what our service can offer clients.”
Executive officer, Kylie Holmes, encourages farmers to contact the RFCSV-G if they begin to feel overwhelmed by their financial situation.
“Sometimes it can help to have someone look at a situation objectively and to identify options. Early planning and negotiation may assist in the management of creditor and loan repayments, but it can be difficult to do this alone. That’s where we can help.
“The Rural Financial Counselling Service has been supporting farmers for over 30 years.
“Our experienced counsellors can help you to understand and manage your financial position as well as assist with the development of financial plans.
“We can also assist by providing referrals and access to government programs.
“We want to let our farmers and small [rural related] business owners know that there is support available for them.”
Interested farmers and small rural business owners are encouraged to phone 5662 2566 for more information, or log onto ruralfinancialcounselling.org.au