Program Leaders

David Cornish

Program Director, Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program

David has over 30 years experience in Agriculture Finance including roles such as Agricultural Economist, Agribusiness Marketing Manager and senior banking roles in regional NSW and Victoria for the National Australia Bank. He was the initial CEO of Rabo Financial Advisors and spent five years as a Farm Consultant with Mike Stephens & Associates focusing on agricultural investment opportunities for wholesale investment funds.

David has worked at Landmark as the Regional Manager for Western Victoria and then as a strategy manager for the organisation. Since 2012 David has consulted to agricultural investment companies supporting their farm investment strategy in Australia. In his spare time, he is involved in a family farming operation based at Casterton in Western Victoria.  David is a full-time lecturer at Marcus Oldham, in Marketing and Business Communications.


Mike Stephens

Director, Meridian Agriculture

Mike is the founding Director of Meridian Agriculture a major agribusiness consultancy group with a client base in southern Australia.

Mike has 20 years’ experience in human resource management and provides consulting advice to major agribusiness companies. In addition to a large number of rural clients, Meridian Agriculture provides project management and training for a wide range of agricultural organisations including Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Land and Water Australia and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Mike is one of the founding members of Working with People Pty Ltd, which is experienced in delivering the Working In Groups (WIG) workshops for Meat & Livestock Australia. Over 2,500 people have been trained by the Working with People Company and their record in delivering the WIG’s program to a standard above all expectation, speaks for itself.

Mike has been involved in the design, delivery and management of the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program since it’s commencement