active farmers board members
John Hewitt, Chair
Director & Shareholder, Landmark Harcourts, Tasmania
John grew up on a working farm in northern Tasmania and has worked throughout the rural industry in Victoria and southern NSW with both national and international companies in senior management positions in a range of agricultural enterprises including horticulture, forestry, cropping, grazing and dairying.
John is currently a Director and shareholder of three unlisted dairy companies.
Managing Director, Delta Agribusiness Group
Gerard grew up on a family farm at Wallendbeen NSW, and has 30 years involvement in agribusiness. After 16 years operating a Joint venture farm services business in southern NSW, he established Delta Agribusiness in 2006 with several long-term colleagues.
Gerard also has interests in a telecommunications company that owns and manages a group of Telstra licensed shops across the Central West and Southern NSW.
Gerard is passionate about regional communities and the sustainability of agriculture at all levels, and constantly strives to add value to farming operations across regional Australia. Gerard enjoys the challenges of building dynamic teams, who are making a difference by challenging the status quo, being innovative, and driving a culture of shared vision, and equitable outcomes to all stakeholders.
Fred Lester LLB LLM
Solicitor & Director, Clarke & Gee Launceston, Tasmania
After growing up in Northern Tasmania, Fred studied law at ANU and was admitted to practice in 2006. He completed a Master of Law at ANU in 2008 and practised in Canberra between 2006 and 2011 before returning to Launceston.
Fred was elected to the Council of the Law Society of Tasmania in 2013 and is currently a member of the Council’s Executive Committee.
Head of HR, Delta Agribusiness
Bec grew up on a commercial sheep and cattle property on the Hay Plains. After graduation from the Australian National University, Bec worked in a range of roles for leading Australian recruitment firms. Her Delta Ag role includes travelling NSW supervising recruitment, talent management, learning and development, leadership and succession, workplace health and safety and more.
Bec is current President of the Riverina Ag Network and an RIRDC sponsored participant in the Australian Rural Leadership Program. She is also completing her HR Masters through Southern Cross University.
Media & strategic communications executive
Emma Rossi spent nearly two decades reporting for news and current affairs on national television, a job that took her overseas as a foreign correspondent, across Australia as a reporter, and into the lounge rooms across the world as a news presenter.
Since 2011, Emma has been the public face of the Federal Government’s telecommunications and media regulator. She is also a regular spokesperson for Children’s e-safety and security.
Growing up Emma's family had a farm in the Pilliga Scrub where she learnt to ride, muster, skirt a fleece and preg-test a cow.
Emma has been an Australia Day Ambassador for the NSW Premier and Cabinet since 2013, and is currently a Board Director and instrumental in the establishment of Mary’s House, a refuge in Sydney’s lower north shore for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Cert III & IV Fitness
Founder and General Manager, Active Farmers
Ginny grew up on a farm in Tasmania and has always been passionate about agriculture and keeping active. She combined these two loves when she founded Active Farmers in 2015.
Ginny jillarooed on a NT cattle station for a year before starting university.
After 7 years in agribusiness banking in southern NSW, Ginny decided to devote her energies full-time to expanding the Active Farmers network and services. She and husband Andy operate a mixed farming business at Mangoplah and spend every spare minute with twins born in July 2017.
BA, GradDipEd AAICD
Principal NEW Services Pty Ltd
After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1976, Nerida worked in education and politics before nearly two decades as a corporate communications and regulatory affairs executive with a Fortune 500 company. Nerida now works as a strategic relations and career development consultant and has volunteered as a work pathways mentor for asylum-seekers. Raised on a cattle, wheat and sheep property at Tocumwal NSW, Nerida retains strong rural connections in NSW and is actively involved in the operation of a small mixed farming partnership in western Victoria.