Jim was born and raised in Colac, Western Victoria and currently lives in the Surf Coast region on a farming property with cattle and cropping. Over the last 21 years Jim has grown Riordan Grain Services based in Geelong, Vic, to one of the largest privately owned and operated grain networks, comprising of his own transport fleet, storage and container packing facilities and bulk ship loading terminal. Jim is formally a director of GTA (Grain Trade Australia), chair of the GTA S&H committee (Grain Trade Australia Transport, Storage and Handling Committee), President of GIAV (Grain Industry Association of Victoria), committee member of NSW L&BCA (NSW Livestock & Bulk Carriers Association) and an active member of the Victorian Transport Association. Through Jim’s connection between the grain trade and transport industries, he has played an integral role in establishing the GTA /NSW L&BCA Bulk Freight of Goods Code of Practice. Jim is also involved in one of Australia’s largest commercial goat breeding businesses spread across three properties in Western New South Wales covering more than 300,000 acres and 15,000 commercial goats. Jim was recently awarded the MOC Graduate of Excellence Award (2017).
Sam Chisholm grew up on a cattle station in the Northern Territory, 200km north west of Alice Springs. After boarding school in Sydney, Sam attained his commercial helicopter licence and headed to the Kimberley cattle mustering for the next 6 years. Becoming the company operations manager in 2011 eventually led Sam to the Marcus Oldham Diploma of Agribusiness. Since graduating from Marcus in 2012 Sam worked for Agricultural Management Company in Brisbane who specialise in farm management and agricultural investment before branching out on his own and co-founding Kadaitcha Pastoral Company (KPC) based in Alice Springs. KPC purchased their first mob of cattle in December 2014 with a mixture of luck, cunning and vendor finance. In 2016 Sam took leave of KPC and spent 2 years riding a motorbike 50,000km from Argentina to Alaska, helping to raise awareness for mental health issues in rural Australia.
Growing up in Orroroo, South Australia, Fleur always knew she wanted to be a farmer. She studied Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham College and undertook prac on a property near Esperance, WA. She would go on to live 100km from Esperance, running an 8000-acre sheep and cattle farm with her husband. While helping her son overcome a learning disability, Fleur began to write stories about life on the land and reignited her long-lost love for storytelling. Discovered through an ‘open call’ from Allen & Unwin Publishers in 2009, Fleur’s Red Dust was the highest selling novel for a debut author and was shortlisted for an Australian Book Industry Award and Ruby Award in 2010. With nine of her ten novels set in regional Australia, Fleur is often referred to as ‘the Voice of the Outback’. A champion for the voice of rural people, particularly women, Fleur has always strived to positively promote and celebrate women in agriculture. Fleur is currently involved with the Committee of Farming Champions, the Bay of Isles Community Outreach Committee and the Esperance & Districts
Agricultural Show. She’s an active member with the Rotary Club of Esperance Bay and the first female Co-Director of Prickle Farm, a 607-hectare mixed farm and a major fundraising enterprise for the club. She was a state-finalist for the prestigious RDRIC Rural Women’s Award in 2017 and is on the board for Australian Women in Agriculture. Fleur is currently starting a not-for-profit organisation to support women and children suffering from domestic violence in remote Australia.
As a ten year old boy, Andrew spent every available moment on his Grandfather’s farm. If his mother was busy or refused to take him, he simply disappeared and walked the 12km round trip to the farm to see the horses. Eleven years later he graduated from Marcus with a Certificate in Horse Business Management. From here, he worked at Windsor Park Stud, NZ, taking yearlings through to the Karaka sales. Next it was back to Australia for a job breaking in and fixing problem horses, which also included a trip back to Marcus to run the breaking in course with his boss for the equine students. For the past 23 years Andrew has built a reputation as the last resort for the worst of New Zealand’s problem horses, specialising in ones that don’t like starting gates. He also works extensively with troubled youth, using horses to achieve fantastic results. He now spends his time running personal development/leadership courses to a highly impressive client list. He is into his ninth year working with High Performance Sport NZ with their Coach Accelerator Program, which is aimed at National and International coaches. All Black coach Steve Hanson,
The Super 18 Rugby coaches, Hurricanes, The NZ Rugby Players Association, The Silver Ferns netball team and the NZ cricket coach have all passed through, to name a few. Corporate clients include the NZ Army, Crown Law, ASB Bank, Transpower, NZ Post and Downer Construction.