President – Lucy Barbour

Lucy is the ABC’s National Regional Affairs reporter at Parliament House in Canberra. Her reporting takes her off the beaten track to cover issues affecting people living in rural and regional Australia. She was a federal political reporter in the ABC’s parliament bureau and worked for the flagship radio current affairs programs, AM, The World Today and PM. She was also the political producer for 730. Lucy started with the ABC as a rural reporter in Shepparton, Horsham and Mildura and has won national awards for her reporting. 

Vice President – Tim Lester

Tim began his career as a journalist in Narrabri, north west New South Wales. He is now an experienced stakeholder engagement, corporate communications and policy specialist who has worked across national issues including natural resource management, sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, biosecurity and rural innovation. He is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and has been awarded a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership from James Cook University. He currently works as a Senior Policy Manager for the Australian Forest Products Association.

Secretary – Emily Mackintosh

Emily has worked in rural journalism most of her professional career. She started out as a reporter and went on to work in media advisory roles for several agricultural organisations, including Australian Pork Limited. Emily completed an agricultural science degree at Hawkesbury Agricultural College, at the University of Western Sydney. She is passionate about farming and food production, and is a keen horse rider. 

Treasurer – Sarah Paradice

Sarah has been involved in the agricultural, not-for-profit sector for many years and currently works for the Crawford Fund, an organisation that promotes the benefits of Australia’s investment in international agricultural research for global food nutrition security. Previously she was CEO of Forestry Australia and CEO of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council. Sarah runs a small farm outside Canberra growing out Angus weaner steers. 

Sponsorship officer – Simon Troeth

Simon grew up on a farm in Western Victoria. He has worked in rural and regional journalism and for the Victorian Farmers Federation during a career spanning journalism, the public service, government relations and communications consultancy, industry groups and politics. Simon has been Manager – Government and Industry Relations for Australia’s largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining, since September 2021. Simon is also on the board of the Centre for Perinatal Excellence which works to promote better mental and emotional health for Australian families.

Committee members

Mike Foley

Mike is the climate change, environment and energy correspondent for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald at Parliament House in Canberra. He was previously the national political reporter for Rural Press, writing for a flock of publications like The Land, Queensland Country Life and Stock Journal. Mike’s main goal is to work more fishing time into his working week, but when he’s not wetting a line his current role gives him a ringside seat to the energy transition and the sweeping changes it brings, from the global economy right down to daily life.

Kath Sullivan

As national rural reporter, Kath reports for the ABC across television, radio and online from Parliament House in Canberra. Kath has spent more than a decade reporting on rural and regional affairs across Australia. After a four-year stint working for rural newspaper The Weekly Times, Kath returned to the ABC in 2018 where she first began her career as a rural reporter in Victoria’s Gippsland. She loves a cold chop and in 2022 was a Walkley finalist.

Andrew Henderson

Andrew is a dedicated to securing the sustainability and prosperity of the Australian agriculture sector through Agsecure; a specialised consultancy working across agriculture, trade, biosecurity and energy. Andrew also holds various independent chair positions on forums and policy committees with a strong focus on biosecurity, traceability and agricultural and agrifood integrity systems. He and his wife Kate run a small mixed livestock farm near Yass in New South Wales with their young family.

Laureta Wallace

Laureta is a public relations professional specialising in the issues impacting agriculture and rural Australia. Laureta cut her teeth in media as a regional print journalist, in New South Wales and later in Western Australia. While in the West, Laureta held senior roles with the renowned Kondinin Group and in the grains industry. She also spent time as a political media advisor. She is currently the General Manager of Communications for the National Farmers Federation.