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.

 

Recently appointed to the role of General President of AgForce – the first woman to hold the position – she also serves on the ABC Board and is a director of RFDS in Queensland and the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

 

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, rather like the woman she admits to having an aspirational crush on, former Queensland governor, Quentin Bryce.

 

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 connections and networks between people and/or organisations, John is ideally suited to the Red Earth charter of enabling the South Burnett to grow, encourage, support and respond.  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.

 

John moved to the area with his family in 1999, and quickly displayed his community spirit.  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 best life 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 South Burnett, 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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KAREN SEILER

Director

Karen has the red soil of the South Burnett in her veins, being involved in earthmoving and farming enterprises in the region for forty years.  Bringing a quiet determination to Red Earth, she feels strongly about creating a sustainable region, where young people can choose to live and work, rather than being forced to relocate to larger centres for opportunity.

 

Karen’s approach has been very much hands on, taking the motto “be the change you want to see in the world” as a personal pledge to strengthen and build capacity on her home ground.  Her experience as a qualified counsellor, and her concern for children in crisis have been key to understanding for the need for resilience-building in the regions. 

 

Eight-year-old Karen resolved to save enough money for a bridle for a much-wanted pony.  Meeting that early goal paved the way to aiming for the bigger life challenges such as  the building of a new house, running a rural business and the long-term goal of setting up Red Earth Community Foundation as a means to raise and distribute funds for the things that are important for the region.

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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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