RBS appoints new Board Chair and new NT Board Member at AGM

Former Rural Business Support (RBS) Deputy Chair Dr John Harvey has been appointed as new Chair of the RBS Board at its Annual General Meeting.  Dr Harvey replaces Ms Sharon Starick, who has retired after having served on the RBS Board for over 11 years.

Of her 11 years on the Board, Ms Starick said she was most proud of the assistance the organisation had delivered to more than 7500 farming families, at their time of greatest need, across South Australia and the Northern Territory.

“Along with my Board colleagues, I am especially proud of the way in which RBS has identified areas of need in rural communities, explored options of support and worked with our stakeholders to respond to those needs,” she said.

Dr Harvey has a broad knowledge of the Australian wine industry. He is a former Executive Director of the Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation (GWRDC) and has held Non-Executive positions with regional and state-based wine industry organisations and with the Australian Wine Research Institute.

Moving into the Chair role, Dr Harvey said he was looking forward to leading the skills-based Board through these challenging times and seeing the objectives outlined in its new Strategy 2025 pursued and achieved.

“Our Board continues to govern and lead RBS through identifying strategic priorities and monitoring performance, with diligence and a genuine interest in the work and wellbeing of our team.  In spite of the economic and environmental challenges being faced by our rural communities due to drought, bushfire and now COVID-19, the Board is confident RBS will continue to find innovative ways to help our clients to become more competitive and profitable.”

The not-for-profit organisation also welcomed a new Northern Territory-based Board Member, Dr Rebecca Mohr-Bell.

A Katherine-based agricultural economist, Dr Mohr-Bell brings invaluable insight into the NT agricultural sector to the RBS Board.  Dr Mohr-Bell leads a consulting business servicing clients in agriculture across Australia.

She has more than 10 years’ experience in the analysis of production and sustainability options, policy analysis and strategic planning for industry and regional development and Board experience with the Future Farmers Network of Australia and the Katherine Isolated Children’s Service.

Dr Mohr-Bell joins current RBS Board Members Ms Caroline Rhodes, Mr Simon Venus, Ms Claudia Goldsmith, Mr Richard Konzag and Dr Kat Giles.