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Our board

Riverina Local Land Services is governed by a board of local people.

Board members work closely with landholders and local communities to identify and deliver services that are relevant to local needs.

Local boards are comprised of a mix of Ministerially-appointed and elected board members who bring a wealth of skills, experience and commitment to the organisation.

The Chair and three board members are appointed by the Minister for Primary Industries – the remaining three board members are elected by Local Land Services ratepayers.

Together they focus on the strategic direction of the organisation, promoting the services offered, encouraging partnerships and building strong relationships with investors while also communicating the priorities and concerns of customers to local boards.

Section 29 of the Local Land Services Act 2013 sets out the functions of local boards. They are legally binding and should be interpreted as the definitive reference regarding the role of local boards.


Barney Hyams, Batlow

Barney has more than 30 years of involvement in both agriculture and horticulture and has represented the Australian apple and pear industry for many years. He was a Ministerially-appointed member of the inaugural Board of Riverina Local Land Services.

Appointed Board members

Elke Cleverdon, Young

Elke is a results-oriented business professional and partner in a family farm at Harden. The farm enterprise encompasses broad acre grain and Angus beef production.

Elke brings a wealth of financial and governance experience. Elke’s experience as a CPA accountant was gained over the last 25 years in small & medium enterprises, 16 years as a management and finance executive in the customer owned banking sector and recently as a business consultant and part time Rural Financial Counsellor.

“As a Rural Financial Counsellor, I work with farmers on a day to day basis improving financial outcomes and addressing long term sustainability.”

Elke is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), a fellow of CPA Australia and recently completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Elke has experience in sitting on local and regional committees over recent years. She has served on a number of charitable, community and 'not for profit' organisations including Lambing Flat Enterprises (LFE disability provider), Regional Development Australia - Southern Inland Committee, Board of the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority (now Local Land Services), NSW State Council for Women (2013-2014), and currently chairing the Board of the Young and Regional Conservatorium of Music as well as the Hilltops Council Economic Development Committee.

“I look forward to connecting with landholders over the coming years to further drive LLS outcomes and liaise with community across this broad region.”

Diana Gibbs, Eunanoreenya

Diana is a resource economist with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Agriculture with Economics, and a Master’s in Environmental Studies. She has worked as a strategic planner and economic development analyst throughout Australia as well as in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She is currently Chair of Regional Development Australia – Riverina, and is a Director of the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, a member of the NSW Climate Change Council, and a member of the Industry Advisory Panel for the Graham Centre at CSU.

She was awarded the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award for NSW, for her involvement in the wool industry, and in particular for projects undertaken on behalf of Riverina Wool Growers P/L. She is currently Executive Director (part-time) of this company, which manufactures pure wool fashion accessories in Italy for sale in Australia and overseas. She has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Graduate Diploma (residential) course (and graduated with the Order of Merit).

As a result numerous strategic planning and project evaluation consulting assignments in regional Australia, Diana has developed a particular ability to represent regional interests. In particular, her experience with regional issues was the basis for her appointment to two Inquiries –she was a member of the Wilkinson Inquiry, appointed by the Prime Minister to inquire into “The Impact of the Trade Practices Act on the recruitment and retention of medical practitioners in rural and regional Australia”, and was also appointed to a three-member Panel (led by Prof Percy Allan) conducting an Independent Inquiry into the “Financial Sustainability of Local Government in NSW”.

Diana is also a Director, Whyte Pastoral Company (family farming enterprise), and farms with her husband on the Murrumbidgee River near Wagga Wagga where they raise beef cattle on dryland and irrigated pastures.

Tony Wallace, Murringo

With qualifications in economics and law, Tony practised as a solicitor in Sydney prior to moving to Murringo in 1999. Since that time he has been on the executive of a number of industry, commercial and local government organisations as well as managing a mixed farm focussing on wool and lamb production. He is keen to ensure proper governance and economic efficiency in his role with Riverina Local Land Services and primarily hopes to provide value to ratepayers.

Elected Board members

Peter Speirs OAM, Temora

Peter has lived his whole life on the family farm 'Langi', Temora.  Peter and his wife Helen have raised their four children on their sheep, cattle and cropping farm.

Peter has a lifetime of experience in dryland mixed farming and 36 years as an elected representative in Local Government. The farming enterprise mix has included oil seeds, cereal grains and pulses, as well as a self-replacing merino sheep flock and self-replacing Wagyu/Angus cattle venture. Peter's involvement in the merino industry included establishing and running the Kal Kal merino stud for 25 years until 1995.

John Davey, Ariah Park

Sheep and grain farmer, and a private veterinarian, from Ariah Park. John has been involved in Local and state biosecurity and animal health services since 1986. John is passionate about maintaining a strong biosecurity and animal health focus in the Local Land Services model.  John is strongly committed to representing local farmers and ensuring that the issues of importance to farmers are voiced.

John is also very interested in the extension services previously provided by the DPI and will encourage the continuation of these functions.   He would like to ensure the services offered are relevant, effective and delivered according to the farmers needs and that they involve contributions from local farmers in decision making.

Helen Dalton, Binya

Helen holds a Diploma of Education, Horticulture and Advanced Diploma of Agriculture. In 2006, Helen was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, and is passionate about promoting regional and rural agricultural issues.

Helen was elected on the Board of NSW Farmers in 2012 and holds a position on the Conservation and Natural Resource Management Committee. Helen and her husband Nayce own and manage their properties which consist of irrigation and dry land farming in Griffith district. Farming activities include rice, corn and canola production, cattle and sheep breeding, winter cereals production such as wheat, barley and oats.

Enrol to vote – 2017 board elections

Ratepayers must enrol before being eligible to vote in the Local Land Services Board elections

In May 2017 enrolled ratepayers will vote to elect three local board members (or four in the Western region) to join 11 regional Local Land Services boards.

Enrol online or complete an enrolment form at your nearest Local Land Services office.