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 was appointed to the inaugural Board of Riverina Local Land Services in January 2014 and appointed Chair in March 2017.
Barney has previously had extensive involvement in Australian agriculture, from jackerooing on the Liverpool Plains, to working as a production agronomist at an international seed company specialising in maize and sorghum. He has also worked as a domestic and international grain trader for a multi-national company and been involved in the Australian thoroughbred industry.
Currently Barney is the Managing Director of a Horticultural enterprise in the Riverina Highlands; a family owned business which has specialised in apple production for over 60 years, and includes an associated beef livestock enterprise.
Being a strong supporter of good corporate governance and transparency, Barney includes strategic planning in his experiences. He has served in various positions in a number of organisations, including NSW Farmers Association, Australian Apple and Pear Association, Apple and Pear Strategic Investment Advisory Committee, Summerfruits Australia, Batlow Fruit Cooperative, Assessment Review Committee for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, The Central Executive of NSW National Party, Tumut Shire Waste Management Committee and the Office of Labour Management Adjustment Committee.
Aware of the many challenges facing land managers on a daily basis, Barney is acutely aware of the importance of biosecurity. He firmly believes that the people on the ground, doing the work, should always be included in discussions to develop the best solutions.
Barney's contact number: 0419 414 215
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
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.
John's contact number: (02) 6974 1080
Paul Funnell - Collingullie
* Bio to be provided.
Paul's contact number: 0459 988 402
Peter Speirs - Temora
Peter has spent all of his working life on the land. With his wife Helen they raised their four children on their sheep, cropping and cattle farm at Reefton, in the Temora Shire. The farming enterprise mix included oil seeds, cereal grains and pulses, as well as a self-replacing merino sheep flock and self- replacing Wagyu/Angus cattle venture.
The farming enterprise is now in the process of an intergenerational transfer.
In addition to farming, he represented his community for forty years as an elected Local Government councillor, before retiring in 2016. Peter was also on the Riverina Local Land Services Board from 2014 to 2016, before joining again in 2019.
Peter's contact number: 0439 414 568