The Rural Press Club of Queensland is a voluntary, not for profit organisation managed by an Executive Committee that is elected by members annually.

Trent Thorne, President

Trent has over twelve years’ experience acting for food and agribusiness clients in a wide range of commercial matters, including complex commercial disputes, financial, corporate and regulatory matters, negotiations, alternative dispute resolution and major pastoral property transactions. His skills in alternative dispute resolution, and as an advocate, are widely acknowledged. He has conducted international arbitrations, lengthy trials in Queensland and acted for the resources sector, large property developers, major Government Owned Corporations, large corporate entities and major agribusiness entities. He is a member of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association and the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association

Neroli Roocke, Vice President

.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.

Wendy Brownscombe, Secretary

Hailing from central western NSW, Wendy’s family have had a long involvement in the merino industry. During her career, Wendy has held various roles with farm industry organisations, including the Wool Council of Australia, United Graziers’ Association of Queensland and AgForce Queensland. Wendy also has extensive event management experience, and whilst with AgForce, initiated a series of Nature Refuge field days which showcased outstanding examples of Queensland grazing properties combining agricultural production with sustainable environmental management. Wendy has held positions of office with several community organisations, and presently works with the GasFields Commission Queensland.

Peta Ward, Treasurer

Peta joined Westpac in 2007 and is currently the Regional General Manager for Westpac’s Agribusiness in QLD. Since 2010 she has been responsible for the Commercial and Agribusiness segment across various regions in Victoria. In October 2014 Peta was appointed to the role in QLD after spending 11 years in Victoria. She has been in banking since 2002 with a variety of roles in both QLD and Victoria. She is very passionate about regional and rural Australia and ensuring that Agribusiness has a sustainable future. Peta is a graduate of the University of Queensland (St Lucia) where she studied Bachelor of Agricultural Science.

Penelope Arthur

Penelope Arthur is based in Roma and has more than 15 years' experience in rural print and digital media. She was appointed editor of Queensland Country Life earlier this year - becoming the first female in the role in the paper’s 80 year history. Penelope lives on a sheep and cattle property south of Roma with her husband and their three sons and is passionate about telling the stories that matter to rural Queenslanders.

Bernard Milford

Bernard Milford has Chemical Engineering, Economics and Agribusiness qualifications and is now using these skills in a photographic business. Bernard grew up at Gatton College (formerly QAHS&C), where his father ran the CSIRO station. After graduation and a couple of years as an Australian Volunteer Abroad, he commenced his association with the sugar industry with 15 years at Mossman Mill. He then moved to CANEGROWERS in Brisbane, and was there 24 years, latterly as Chief Policy Officer, covering such topics as ethanol, grower contracts and research reform. In 2013 he established Bernard Milford Photography, which aims to specialise in rural images, combining Bernard’s love of people, rural industry and photography.

Mark Neville

Mark is the Communications and Policy Officer for the Queensland Farmers Federation. He is a passionate believer in the power of effective advocacy through traditional print and digital media in forwarding the welfare and agendas of Rural Queensland. Prior to joining QFF in 2015, Mark worked in communications and policy for State and Federal Members of Parliament.

Andrea Crothers

Andrea is a freelance journalist and photographer. Formerly section editor and journalist with the Queensland Country Life and acting editor of the North West Star in Mt Isa. She was a finalist in the PANPAS 2015 Australian Newspaper of the Year Awards – Photography Award. Andrea has returned to the family property near Dirranbandi and is balancing work on ­‐farm with freelance media. Booligar’s operations comprise irrigated cotton, as well as broad acre dryland cropping and beef cattle in more favourable conditions.

Kallee Buchanan

Kallee Buchanan has worked as a journalist and presenter at the ABC since 2009 working in stations in Orange, Rockhampton and Bundaberg. In 2010 she won a Queensland Media Award (Clarion) for Best Radio News Report. She is currently the rural reporter for ABC Wide Bay.

Roger Desailly

Roger is currently the Queensland General Manager – Campuses and Operations for the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). Roger has over 25 years’ experience in a range of senior management roles across education, business, sport and community sectors. He was CEO of “Beef Week 2012” - Australia’s National Triennial Beef Industry Expo held in Rockhampton. He has a strong affinity with and commitment to rural and remote communities having grown up on a Droughtmaster stud in northwest Queensland and worked in a number of rural towns across the State. He is currently involved in a start-up family farm fresh food supply / demand linkage business.