RBS welcomes new board appointment

Rural Business Support (RBS) is pleased to welcome Simon Venus as a new appointment to the board at our Annual General Meeting.

Mr Venus brings a wealth of experience to the role, being a partner at national law firm Piper Alderman and Head of the firm’s Agribusiness Practice Group.

He has been a Director of Agribusiness Australia and an inaugural member of the SA Agribusiness Council. Mr Venus is currently a member of the Agribusiness Advisory Board at the University of Adelaide as well as a trustee of several charitable organisations.

“It’s an honour to be selected to join the board,” Mr Venus said.

“RBS have always had a very good reputation in equipping farmers and farming families with the tools they need to meet the challenges thrown up by stressful events such as drought.

“The team at RBS help farming businesses develop resilience as well as be sustainable and responsive in times of hardship. They help people to respond to challenges but equally as important, they also focus on positioning for future opportunities.”

Mr Venus has extensive experience acting on corporate and commercial transactions in the Australian agribusiness sector and has represented a wide range of clients from family businesses and not-for-profits to corporate enterprises and institutional investors.

He also boasts hands-on agricultural industry experience, having worked as a jackaroo and overseer on station properties before becoming a lawyer.

“I’ve been in a law firm for 20 years now but maintain a strong interest in rural, regional and agri-political affairs,” Mr Venus said.

“I’m exposed to all sorts of agricultural-related issues and I am attuned to the factors impacting on farming enterprises including commodity prices, water access and pricing, access to capital and succession planning.”

“I hope to bring that corporate knowledge and governance skill in the agribusiness sector and apply that to my role on the board.”

He remains passionate and actively interested in agriculture, part-owning a vineyard at Barmera and being actively involved in a family farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

RBS chair Sharon Starick says Mr Venus’ knowledge of agribusiness, involvement in a range of agriculture-related organisations and working background makes him a valuable addition to the board.

“Simon’s background in law will bring a different perspective to the board table,” Mrs Starick said.

“The board is a team so we do need people who bring different perspectives to the table to make sure we’re able to make the best decisions we can as a board.”

“Simon is also highly respected. It’s important that all of the board members that sit around the board table are respected and have strong connections to or understanding of primary industries and agribusiness.”

Mr Venus will replace Damian Fitzgerald, who has served the maximum term as a board member.

“We will be farewelling Damian and we really appreciate his commitment to RBS and the skills and experience he bought – it has been invaluable,” Mrs Starick said.

The board of RBS provides strategic leadership and governance to the organisation.

Mr Venus joins current board members Sharon Starick, Malcolm Pridham, Peter Walker, John Harvey, Caroline Rhodes and Claudia Goldsmith.

Media inquiries:
Simon Venus, Rural Business Support, Board Member, on 0404 095 059 or email svenus@piperalderman.com.au
Sharon Starick, Rural Business Support, Chair, on 08 8569 4001, 0417 883 659 or email s.starick@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au