Meet The Board

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GEORGIE SOMERSET

Chair

A rural leader and beef farmer, Georgie established her first business at the age of seventeen, setting off on a career path that has focused on the rural sector.  A connector of ideas, networks and people, she’s as comfortable mustering cattle on horseback as she is in the board room, using her well-honed strategic talents to navigate her way.

Georgie is General President of AgForce Qld, is deputy chair of RFDS Qld, and a director on the ABC Board, the National Farmers Federation and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

 

Georgie’s goal for Red Earth – a $1M corpus and the region’s leading funding organisation - is borne out of a genuine love of community and people.  Empowering people to reach their goals and potential comes naturally to Georgie, and our region’s community leadership program grew from her experience on the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

 

Champagne, laughter, family and time for a good book appear high on Georgie’s leisure list, and as those fortunate to be invited to share a home cooked meal at the Somerset house can attest, her skills in the kitchen match her business acumen.

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JOHN CAREY

Director

As someone whose day-to-day job involves building long term relationships and networks between people and organisations, John is ideally suited to the Red Earth charter of enabling the Burnett Inland to grow, encourage, support and respond to opportunities and challenges. 

 

He played a key role in bringing Red Pitch to the region – a live crowd-funding event which raised close to $10,000 for two not-for-profit projects in its first outing. After moving to the South Burnett in 1999 he established the South Burnett Youth Investment Program and held leadership positions in the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry for several years.

 

A sought-after marriage celebrant in his “spare time”, John has worked with hundreds of couples helping them prepare for their special day.

A creative thinker with big picture vision, John is happiest when helping to enable people to achieve their potential and is known for his eye-catching sunset photographs.  His vision for Red Earth is a substantial corpus that’s able to fund projects to build a sustainable and resilient Burnett Inland, and a network of community leaders to drive the region to its best potential.

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CARL RACKEMANN

Director

Carl knows a thing or two about harnessing the power of community through his role as patron of the annual South Burnett Relay for Life fundraising event.  While the rest of Australia knows him as a handy cricketer, Carl’s local reputation is based around his agricultural business and his outstanding commitment to the local branch of Relay for Life, which has raised over $1M for the Queensland Cancer Council to date under his patronage.

 

He cites his decision to return to his childhood farming roots over a potential coaching career in international sport as the only rational choice.  That decision allowed him to share time with his family and friends in a rural community setting, where he began creating the connections and networks that would lead him to Red Earth.

 

Carl understands the long-term value of Red Earth Community Foundation to the region and sees a future where the South Burnett has developed a healthy community confidence and high level of self-reliance.

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FLEUR ANDERSON

Director

Fleur Anderson is a cotton grower and self confessed rural communities addict based in Theodore, Central Qld. Fleur grew up on her family property at Dalby on the Darling Downs and gets great enjoyment in being a part of her family’s operation there. She now lives in Theodore with her husband Kirk on his family farm with their two ‘farm kids’ Tilly 10 and Munro 6. Fleur enjoys juggling multiple interests in particular her love of business at Cahoots Communications, her love of Cotton on the Board of Cotton Australia, and her love of community in the Rural Business Collective. Fleur also is the Founder of Cahoots Radio that creates podcasts with rural and regional audiences in mind. 

 

Fleur is a great believer in the power of local leadership. She has completed Young rural leaders and future cotton leaders when she was 'younger' and is currently participating in the Australian Rural  Leaders Program and working towards her Masters in Governance and Leadership.

 

A strong advocate for community resilience and assisting communities to find their own community led social and economic strategies, Fleur is postive about the vibrant future ahead for rural and remote Australia. 

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BELINDA GANGEMI

Director

Belinda’s memories of growing up on a farm in the South Burnett highlight the value of connections made from community engagement whilst displaying an understanding of both the challenges and rewards of rural life and primary production enterprises.

After a 25-year career in rural and remote education Belinda seized the opportunity to remain in Kingaroy to develop her knowledge and utilise her skills to lead the expansion of an agricultural company.

 

During this experience she has realised the value of inter-generational weaving and is committed to building supportive, strong, and resilient teams Belinda believes the greatest outcomes are achieved if we harness strengths and provide opportunities to develop weaknesses.

 

She views Red Earth Community Foundation as a driver to foster vibrant communities providing an investment in Burnett Inland for generations to come. As an alumnus of the Red Earth Community Leadership program Belinda is passionate about providing such opportunities to allow individuals to embrace leadership within their own lives – at individual, family, community, or corporate governance level.

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BOBBY-LEIGH REDGARD

Director

Bobby has always had a passion for helping people, this passion was enriched when she met her husband and his family. They have been great advocates for their community of Mundubbera for many years, they taught her the importance of everyone having equal opportunities and rolling up your sleeves to lend a hand is not for praise or recognition but just to lend a hand.

If you are counting the hours of community service you do, you might just be in it for the wrong reason. Bobby has carried this in personal and professional life. Bobby’s own family taught her hard work and education is the key for moving forward.

 

​All these attributes makes Bobby passionate about the Red Earth Leadership program, because a good leader, no matter what level or title, is able to bring out the best in people working together to achieve the same goal.

 

As a Community Service Coordinator, Bobby is usually on the front of seeing people at their worst, whether it be during financial struggles, grief or a surprise change in circumstance. She takes great pride in being able to navigate people through these times with empathy and respect but most of all allowing them to choose the right path for themselves.

 

Bobby is a strong advocate and believe projects need to be community driven to allow our communities to have greater ownership within the project. She likes to remind the community during all events, the Monto Neighbourhood Centre isn’t hers, it is theirs, and if they want to see something, come in to discuss as she has an open-door policy to all.

Bobby has seen this with events such as flood and drought within the North Burnett, all communities come together to pick up the pieces and start again. The resilience of the Burnett communities is unlike any other, they work well to achieve their goals and are passionate about their small communities.

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STEPHANIE WHITAKER

Director

Stephanie grew up in the Top End and came to Queensland to study at Emerald Agricultural College. Since then she has lived in the Wide Bay Burnett region, with over twenty years in the inland Burnett.

She has recently sold a livestock and property agency and a livestock selling centre in the North Burnett, and currently, with husband Lance, operates a commercial beef cattle enterprise near Murgon. Stephanie has also worked in the health and community development sector, and has held board positions on local, regional and national organisations.

Her skills and experience include leading teams, project management and communications and marketing. Most recently Stephanie has been involved in research into the social value of saleyards through the Australian Livestock Markets Association.


She is passionate about giving every day people a go at knowledge and skill development, fostering self leadership and building communities by building individuals. Stephanie sees the Red Earth Community Foundation as an organisation that can support Burnett communities and bring leadership, knowledge and skills development to all of our community; building strong communities for the future.

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SCOTT MCLENNAN

Director

Born and spending his early years in the South Burnett, Scott has always had a distinct passion for all things related to life in regional and rural Queensland. Once university life in Brisbane was completed Scott began a 12-year journey working throughout the entire state, in relieving and education roles in every major (and many minor) hospitals in regional Queensland.

 

Scott has now over 35 years experience in the Medical Imaging field. In more recent times he has focussed on the delivery of Radiology services both in his own business interests, as a consultant and mento for other like-minded professionals in the regional Australia private and public sector.

An enthusiastic proponent for espousing the benefits if professional health careers (or any careers for that matter) Scott has very recently collaborated with a number of universities to provide positive career pathways for high school and university students who hail from the country. He sees the untold potential in many bush kids, who often possess hard work ethics and community values.

Scott has a love of his young family, and enjoys his precious spare time with them, on a golf course (sometimes in different parts of the world) and on a push bike. The French and Italian Alps and the wines and champagnes from those countries are a particular delight.

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ANDREW ZERNER

Director

After completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Rural Management through the University of Queensland, Andrew returned to the family farm where he ran a successful dairy operation with his parents near Murgon.  Later, this operation was converted to a beef enterprise allowing Andrew to work both on and off farm, where he worked part-time for local agribusinesses including developing and implementing Quality Assurance programs.

 

Today, Andrew and his wife Katie continue to live on the family property and run a commercial beef trading enterprise, where Andrew follows his passion for Regenerative Agriculture by profitably increasing soil carbon with cattle via grazing principles. This first-hand experience is valuable in Andrew’s role as a consultant for RCS Australia, working with farming clients across Australia, using knowledge and appropriate management to reduce inputs and improve profitability and balance in people’s lives.

 

Andrew sees Red Earth as a critical component in building vibrant farms and communities; where people are happy, healthy, secure and at peace; where people feel supported and connected and the next generation has wonderful opportunities to create wealth and then pay it forward themselves.

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