Board

Sarah Parker GAICD

President and General Board Director, located in Victoria and National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) Representative

Sarah relocated from Brisbane to the Goulburn Valley, 10 years ago, to commence dairy farming with her husband Raymond. Within 2 years, they purchased an irrigated dairy farm “Glencliffe”, where they run a stud registered Illawarra and Holstein herd supplying milk to a boutique Italian Cheese Company, FRESH CHEESE.

They also enjoy showing their Illawarra Cows, winning Intermediate and Reserve Intermediate Champion Illawarra Cow at International Dairy Week in 2012, and Reserve Champion in the 2013  All World Red Photographic Competition.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Leisure Management, Certificate IV in Work Place Assessment Training and a Masters in Agriculture and Rural Development. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course.

Sarah’s professional roles have included Young Dairy Development Coordinator and Chief Executive at Murray Dairy; Projects and Development Coordinator at University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus, and Rural Entrepreneur Developer for Marcus Oldham College. She is currently employed as an Industry Trainer in Certificate II and III Agriculture and Horticulture and as a consultant in the dairy industry.

Sarah and her husband Raymond are both very committed to their industry, agriculture and community. They strongly believe in giving back to the industry and community that provided an opportunity to follow a dream.

Sarah’s current involvement in Agriculture includes the VFF Work Place Relations and Education and Farm Business and Regional Development Committees; Industry Advocate and Farmer Representative for Cows Create Careers; Board Member for Food and Primary Skills Victoria, Publicity Officer for Illawarra Cattle Society of Australia, Victorian Branch and Member of the Murray Dairy Industry Steering Group.

Charlotte Aves

Vice President, Membership Coordinator and General Board Director, located in Victoria

Charlotte (known as Charlie) is a remote PhD candidate with Adelaide University investigating glyphosate resistance in fleabane and its management in mixed systems. Charlie is a 2017 participant of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program.

Originally from the UK she gained a BSc(Hons) in agriculture and had an agricultural career which has spanned three countries in research, financial and farm based roles. A common thread has been working closely with the agricultural community to provide information and options to help farmers be successful. Charlie is a previous committee member for the Riverine Plains Inc.

Charlotte is passionate about Australian agriculture and she feels a thriving agricultural industry is the backbone of vibrant and sustainable rural communities.

Aileen O’Sullivan

Company Secretary and General Board Director, located in Victoria

Aileen lives and works on a farm in rural Victoria. She is married to Greg. Together with two of their five adult sons, they operate a Primary Production and Hay contracting business. Her role is supporting the administration and production of cereal crops, hay, lucerne, prime lambs and wool at their properties in Victoria and New South Wales.

She completed a Bachelor of Education and taught in Melbourne before returning to central Victoria. She has volunteered on Boards of Community Groups for over thirty years, whilst raising a family and working as the administration officer for the family farming business. She has practical experience in Agriculture and a vested interest in the secure future of Australian Agriculture.

Maria Brown-Shepherd

Treasurer and Board Director representing Victoria

Maria has been a member of AWIA since 2008 after her invitation to attend the National Rural Women Summit 2008 – Canberra. Maria lives and works on a farm in rural Victoria on an irrigated property just north of Shepparton. She is married to George and together they have two daughters and one granddaughter.

Maria is a Primary Producer and holds a certificate in Horticulture production.  Maria is a small business owner and recently completed a Small Business Management Course with RMIT. Maria has a homebased business being Longhaven Orchard where she produces a sophisticated range of jams, jellies and preserves all made from produce from her extensive orchard and garden. Maria was a Scholarship Recipient in 2015 for an Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. Maria in an active participant in her local community being on various committees.  Maria is President of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District since 2011. Shepparton has a large immigrant community. Maria works off the farm as a Family Day Care in Home Care and is currently studying Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Maria is a third generation agriculturalist and active community member with a passion for the land and heritage food values. Maria is nonetheless a passionate communicator  and training provider, willing to share her experience and deep knowledge of fruit growing, seasonal food production and marketing.

Caitlin Boucher

Marketing Coordinator and General Board Director

Caitlin Boucher has worked in marketing and communications for over six years and after spending time working both in Australia and overseas, she firmly set her sights on working in agriculture. She loves telling the story of farmers from across the country and ensuring female farmers are represented in the story of Ag. Caitlin has worked across many aspects of ag including, the Department of Agriculture, AgForce Queensland and Cattle Council of Australia. She also served as Secretary for the National Rural Press Club for over a year.

Simone Kain

Assistant Secretary and Board Director representing South Australia

Simone is the director of Hello Friday, a creative agency located in the Limestone Coast of South Australia that services businesses and organisations nationwide, predominantly associated with primary industries or education. She is also the director, co-creator and author of George the Farmer, an award-winning educational brand which teaches children about farming practices along with how food and fibre is produced through picture books, music, videos, apps, performance and curriculum-aligned educator guides.

Simone has received a number of awards including the 2017 RIDRC National Rural Woman of the Year Runner-up; 2016 Google Australia Regional Online Hero; 2015 NAB Women’s Agenda Regional Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2015 Flinders University Education Award and the 2015 Arts Award winner for SA Women in Innovation.

She is passionate about regional and rural Australia, farming, food, children and education.

 Maureen Holland

Assistant Treasurer and Board Director representing Tasmania

Maureen and her husband, Bruce have a sheep and beef cattle property in Northern Tasmania, and she is a firm believer in females being recognised for the role they play on farms.

Maureen is a Past President of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, current President of Tasmanian Breast Cancer Network, Community Liaison for Breast Cancer Network Australia, participant of the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program and has a background in Banking, Enterprise Centre – Small Business Startup, Stock & Station Agency and currently works part time in Administration for an Aged Care Facility.

She has two children and five grandchildren, loves being with them, as well as enjoying all forms of sport.

Donna Digby

Board Director representing the Northern Territory

Donna has been living and working in rural and regional communities in Victoria and in the Northern Territory for the past twelve years, where her work has focused on working with land managers to deliver sustainable land management programs. She currently lives in Alice Springs, NT with her husband Matt.

Donna was first introduced to AWiA through her participation in the Next Gen Program in September 2010 and has been an active member for the past five years and Director (General Member, 2012) and NT Director since 2013. Donna was a Board Director with the National Rural Women’s Coalition representing AWiA. Donna brings strong skills in program management and reporting, corporate governance, community engagement, fostering resilient partnerships and enthusiasm to Australian Women in Agriculture.