Harry Rijs

Member of Finance, Audit and Risk Sub-Committee
Member of Nominations and Membership Sub-Committee

Harry is a non-executive Director with Patties Foods, which is based in Bairnsdale, and are makers of iconic Australian brands including  Patties, Four’n’Twenty, Herbert Adams and Nannas.

Son of the founders of Patties Foods and a founding member, Harry commenced his career as a pastry cook at Patties in 1972 and over four decades gained broad experience in manufacturing, selling, marketing and distribution.

Harry has served as a Director of Patties since 1989 and Deputy Managing Director from 2005 – 2009

Jon McNaught

Deputy Chair
Member of Finance, Audit and Risk Sub-Committee

Jon is a Gippsland born and bred mechanical engineer, beginning his career at Australian Paper, Maryvale, before joining GHD in Melbourne in 2002 as Gippsland Manager and Principal Mechanical Engineer. Jon has recently been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of ViPlus Dairy Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s leading nutritional milk developers and manufacturers located in Toora, South Gippsland.

Jon has worked on projects across Australia, Asia and the Middle East, including defence facilities, large agricultural ventures, as well as transport and energy developments.

Jon is also a member of the Gippsland Regional Plan Leadership Group.

Toni Wakefield

Chair of Nominations and Membership Sub-Committee

A lifelong and passionate Gippslander, Toni is the Commercial Services Manager and co-founder of the 2006 Telstra Australian Business of the Year, Safetech Pty Ltd – an award winning business employing more than 100 around the country.

Safetech is the largest Materials Handling Company in Australia. It is internationally recognised for its designing and manufacturing lifting products that are manufactured in Gippsland and sought after around the globe.

Headquartered in regional Victoria with its base in Moe, Safetech has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. It has a strong track record of training and employing people from a diverse range of backgrounds, particularly in regional Victoria.

Toni is nationally recognized for her commitment to raising the profile of small business and her support for education. Toni actively contributes to a range of business and education initiatives, including as a member of the Regional Development Australia Gippsland Committee. Toni is a current Telstra National Business Awards judge and also a past member of the Victorian Small Business Advisory Council.

Tim Weight


With a degree in Agricultural Science from Melbourne University over the years Tim’s career has shifted from living and working on the land to being instrumental in its development.

Tim now runs his consulting business Tim Weight Consulting from East Gippsland and has been involved in agricultural systems and economics, regional economic development and property development.

Tim also has extensive experience in the management and governance of property development and property investment ventures.

Tim is currently Deputy Chair Regional Development Australia – Gippsland and Chairman of Kings Cove Club.

Professor Leigh Sullivan


Professor Leigh Sullivan is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at Federation University Australia, where he is responsible for the University-wide research portfolio. Prior to commencing at Federation University Australia in early 2016, Professor Sullivan held appointments at Southern Cross University including Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Development), and Dean, Graduate Studies.

Professor Sullivan has an international reputation for his research in acid sulfate soils and carbon biosequestration. He has obtained over $17m in competitive funding to support his research activities and has published over 300 articles, books and chapters. Professor Sullivan has also secured several international patents arising from his research activities and is currently a Director of two R&D companies involved in the development and commercialisation of these discoveries. Professor Sullivan has been Deputy Chair of the Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences Panel for the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts for the Discovery and Linkage programs and has served on other advisory panel and research evaluation committees for the Australian Research Council.

Sean Dignum

Chair of Finance, Audit and Risk Sub-Committee

Sean is Principal of the advisory firm SDA Strategic and is a strategic communication adviser and issues manager with extensive experience in corporate affairs projects and public education campaigns.

His strategic perspective is informed by extensive experience at the senior level in mainstream media and on diverse boards.

Sean is a former Director of Latrobe Regional Hospital and currently President of Neerim and District Health Service. He has a dairy farm in Neerim South and is an active member of Landcare and environmental advisory committees within Baw Baw Shire.

Rohan Hubbard


Rohan is a Director at Warren Graham Murphy Solicitors, in Bairnsdale. Rohan has an LLB, and was admitted to practice in 2001.

Areas of specialisation include property law, commercial law – sale and purchase of business, franchising, company and trust advice, business structuring, joint venturing, leasing and business transactions.

David Mawer


Having held senior management roles internationally within the electricity and gas industries, both in the public and private sectors, David is a former Managing Director of Gippsland Water and is currently of The Performance Attitude.

Previously David has been the Managing Director of Westernport Water as well as a former State Manager for BHP Billiton.

David was also a director of the gas market regulator of NSW for four years, as well as a former Director of the Savewater! Alliance.

Rochelle Wrigglesworth


Rochelle is a Chartered Accountant and Registered Company Auditor. Rochelle is also a member of the Institute of Company Directors with experience across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

After working at PricewaterhouseCoopers and then at Crowe Horwath for many years, Rochelle was the founding Director of DMG Audit and Advisory, part of DMG Financial.

Rochelle is experienced in risk management, internal and external audit, financial management and strategic planning.