The ACAJ is administered by an executive committee, which incorporates representatives from each affiliate and Australia’s national delegate to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.
Click on each name to learn more about the Committee.
- President: Genevieve McAulay
- Vice President: Peter Lewis
- Secretary: Rebecca Jennings
- Treasurer: Gordon Collie
- IFAJ Delegate: Leigh Radford
- Rural Press Club of Qld: Neroli Roocke
- Rural Media of WA: Rueben Hale
- Rural Press Club of Victoria: Jeannette Severs
- Rural Media South Australia: Dale Manson
- Farm Writer’s Association of NSW: Ben Waters
- National Rural Press Club (ACT): Laureta Wallace
Meet the Committee
President / ACAJ Public Officer
Genevieve is former President of the Queensland Rural Press Club – she was made a Life Member in recognition of her significant contribution as the creator and driving force behind many of the club’s most successful and innovative programs. Genevieve began her career as a journalist at the Dalby Herald before joining the staff of Rural Press (now Fairfax Agricultural Media) where she was an award winning feature writer and editor of the specialist publication Cotton Outlook which circulated to the industry throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Genevieve is now State Marketing Manager Qld/NT for Rabobank.
Phone: 0428 279 576 Email: email@example.com
Pete has spent the past 35 years covering the people, the events and the issues that make the bush tick. He has travelled extensively on assignment throughout Australia and overseas in an award-winning career that began in newspapers but mainly focussed on radio and television news and current affairs. Pete is a former president of the Rural Press Club of Queensland and former national president of the journalists’ union – the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Since retiring from the ABC’s Landline team, Pete can be found clocking up the miles across Australia still telling the stories of the people he meets.
Phone: 0408 722 113 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca was raised on a commercial beef property in Queensland, and currently lives on a cropping and sheep farm in the mid-north of South Australia with her husband Dave. Her career spans journalism, agri-politics and corporate communications with positions including Livestock editor for Queensland Country Life; Media manager at AgForce Queensland; and Communication Advisor with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). She now works from home in regional South Australia as a specialist writer for R&D journalism and communications company Coretext. Rebecca is a past secretary of the Rural Press Club of Queensland. She was a committee member of the Rural Press Club of Victoria and the ACAJ’s Victorian representative until she stepped down in September 2016, to go on maternity leave. She continues to participate in the ACAJ as website manager. In 2014, Rebecca received an international IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism Award –one of just 10 awarded globally.
Phone: 0427 279 421 Email: email@example.com
Gordon Collie was president of the ACAJ for three years and his award-winning career in rural journalism spans more than 35 years. Gordon completed a journalism cadetship in his native New Zealand, before moving to Australia in 1974. He worked for the leading farm weekly Queensland Country Life for 11 years, including a stint as the paper’s North Queensland representative based in Townsville. Gordon was then invited to become Rural Editor with Queensland’s major daily The Courier Mail, a post he held until setting up his own media consultancy Agri-Prose Ltd in 1999.
A three-time winner of the Queensland Dalgety Award for Excellence in Rural Journalism, Gordon also reported extensively from South East Asia on an ASEAN scholarship. He is a long-term supporter of the Rural Press Club of Queensland, including serving terms as treasurer and president.
Phone: 07 3856 3614 / 0409 473 343 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leigh joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in February 1987 as a trainee rural reporter, and by his own admission “knew five-eighths of very little” about rural issues. After a baptism of fire and a very rapid learning curve, he quickly realised that rural radio was both a unique and fascinating area of broadcasting. Every day since has been a learning experience and chance to meet some of the nation’s most interesting leaders, farmers and characters. Leigh worked as a rural reporter at ABC regional stations in Victoria and South Australia. He was the voice of the Country Hour in South Australia from the early 1990s until January 2005, and served as the State’s Executive Producer of ABC Rural programs from 1997 until being appointed National Editor of all ABC Rural programs and online content in 2005. Leigh became Head of Rural and National programs for the ABC’s new Regional Division in July 2015, adding TV programs ‘Landline’ and ‘Back Roads’ and National Radio programs ‘Australia all Over’ and ‘Saturday Night Country’ to his portfolio. A multi-award winning broadcaster, he has a number of Dalgety Awards for Excellence in Rural Journalism to his credit and several Landcare awards. He was the inaugural winner of the Telstra Rural Journalist of the Year award in South Australia in 1996. He is a long serving member of Rural Media South Australia and has been ACAJ’s delegate to IFAJ for the last six years.
Phone: 0409 678 323 Email: email@example.com
Queensland Rural Press Club Representative
Neroli Roocke is the Communications Manager for sugarcane industry body CANEGROWERS. She has more than 20 years of experience as a broadcast journalist with commercial radio in South Australia and with the ABC in Queensland. Eight years were spent presenting the Queensland Country Hour, covering a wide range of rural industries and issues on the ABC Local Radio network and travelling to all corners of the state. In 2013 she represented ABC Rural at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in Argentina.
Phone: 0418 871 881 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm Writers’ Association of NSW
Ben is an experienced agribusiness advisor who has worked with a broad range of clients for more than 15 years. He combines practical farming experience with advisory and corporate finance experience to provide a range of solutions to various clients and situations.
Ben grew up in northern New South Wales and took over the family farm 10 years ago. He is passionate about the agricultural industry and the exciting times it has ahead.
Ben is responsible for coordinating the awards for the Farm Writers Association of NSW and believes that the great stories of rural Australia need a strong platform to be told from.
Phone: 0411 462 378 Email: email@example.com
Rural Media of Western Australia representative
A journalist for Countryman newspaper, Rueben reports on farming and agripolitical life in Western Australia, which currently exports about $8 billion in agrifood each year. In 2014, he won the Rural Media Association’s award for best print news coverage and in 2015 was placed runner-up for his story on the ongoing and contentious Steve Marsh versus Michael Baxter GMO case. Rueben is currently acting president for the Rural Media Association WA.
Rural Media South Australia Representative
Dale Manson spent a 34 year career with the South Australian Government, primarily in the area of community capacity development in the livestock industry. He produced and presented a daily rural program on a commercial regional radio station for 28 years. Dale is a Life Member and Director on the Board of Rural Media South Australia, a position he has held for 27 years, and also chaired the Judging Panel of the South Australia Rural Journalist of the Year Awards for the past seven years. Having an interest in tertiary education of agriculturalists, he serves as a member of the University of Adelaide Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Council representing the Roseworthy and Waite agricultural campuses.
Phone: 0418 811 233 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Rural Press Club (ACT) Representative
Laureta started her career as a regional journalist working for Rural Press and then West Australian Newspapers. In 2006, she joined agriculture information and publishing organisation, the Kondinin Group. As Managing Editor Laureta managed national magazines and developed communication strategies for State and Federal Government bodies as well as large private sector companies including Elders. In the lead-up to the 2013 Western Australian State election Laureta provided media advice to current and prospective members of parliament, and has also worked as Communications Manager at AEGIC before taking up a role with GrainGrowers, based in Canberra. Laureta is a former President of the Rural Media Association of WA.