Board

Natalie Sommerville

President and Board Director representing South Australia

Grain, Fodder & Livestock Producer, Spalding SA.

Natalie Sommerville has been involved in the agricultural industry all her life. She is a farmer, grazier, mother, and proud Torres Strait Islander; now calling the Mid North home on Ngadjuri country.

Natalie, together with her husband Dane, have managed their farming business Windjara Ag for 15 years and she has a great understanding of land management issues state-wide as well as decision making and practice change principles in agribusiness.

Driven by her passion for sustainable agriculture and the environment, Natalie’s focus is on influencing positive change in rural Australia and seeing greater innovation, inclusion of gender and age, and respect for diverse backgrounds. She is passionate about sharing her farming, cultural and social knowledge, and experiences to improve outcomes for both current and future generations.

Natalie has extensive connection to SA agricultural industry groups, committees and boards providing a link to important stakeholders. She also has networks on a national level through industry organisations. See voluntarily coordinated a women’s agricultural group for 10 years and was a member of the NRWC communications reference team for 5 years show a commitment to developing and empowering women in rural areas.

Natalie also has a good understanding of genuine engagement, project management, conference planning and extensive strategic planning experience.

With training in board governance, experience in social media and teleconferencing skills including chairing meetings, Natalie brings enthusiasm, diverse skills, connections, and knowledge to the AWiA board table.

 

Mikayla Keith

Acting Company Secretary and Seconded Board Director from New South Wales

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Sarah Parker GAICD

Treasurer and Board Director representing Victoria, National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) Representative

Sarah relocated from Brisbane to the Goulburn Valley, 18 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.

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.  Raymond & Sarah were Australian Dairy Farmer of the Year finalists in the 2014 and Sarah was an AgriFutures Victorian Rural Woman of the Year Finalist in 2010.

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

in 2018 Sarah completed the International Dairy Management Course  at  Madison, Wisconsin when she travelled to the USA on a Food Source Victoria Scholarship  to completed the Dairy Management Course and attend World Dairy Expo where she participated in  a number of women in agriculture events including the USA’s Dairy Girl Network.

Sarah also represented Australia at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) in 2018 as part of the National Rural Women’s Coalition Delegation.  She attended a range of events and provided input into the conclusions for the theme of “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.

Sarah’s professional roles have included Young Dairy Development Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer 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 a director for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and works as a consultant in the agriculture sector.

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 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, Company Secretary/Treasurer, Australia Dairy Collective Ltd and Treasurer, Illawarra Cattle Society, Victorian Branch.

 

Sally Murfet

Social Media Coordinator and Board Director representing Tasmania 

 

Skye Douglas

Board Director representing Queensland

Skye Douglass is a farmer and small business owner (HighBrit Beef – a paddock to plate meat business) from the South Burnett, Queensland. She lives on a beef cattle farm in the foothills of the Bunya Mountains about 2 hours west of Brisbane with her family of four young children and husband, a fourth-generation pastoralist and bentonite mine operator.

Skye is a keen community volunteer having been actively involved as an executive on a variety of local boards and committees including QRRRWN and local Landcare. She has also been a Director (Chair) of the Aussie Farmers Foundation. Board and is now a member of the FRRR Strengthening Rural Communities Committee. Skye has also recently accepted a directorship on the Heritage Bank Nanango Community Foundation Board. In 2018 Skye joined the Australian Women in Agriculture Board as the Queensland Director and Representative and also gained the role of Company Treasurer.

Skye is a dedicated advocate for rural and farming communities, the vital roles that women play and the importance of the food provenance message. Along with a group of passionate local food campaigners, Skye helped establish the South Burnett Farm 2 Fork Collective in 2020, a NFP locavore organization and is now Vice President on their founding Board.

In 2016, Skye participated in the Red Earth Foundation Community Leadership Program and has since returned as a facilitator and alumnus to further develop her skills and contribute to her community. Skye is also an alumnus of the NWRC e-Leaders Program and the inaugural (2018) National Farmers’ Federation Diversity in Agriculture Program.

Skye holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Grad. Dip. Water Resource Management and a Grad. Dip of Teaching and Learning. She also holds various sustainable farming and resource management qualifications and is currently undertaking an Australian Institute of Company Directors Governance Course. She has worked in a variety of capacities as a manager, researcher, consultant and currently teaches Science, Maths and STEM part-time at a local, regional high school.

Naina Gill

Board Director representing New South Wales. 

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Leesa Chen

General Director located in Victoria

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