Northern Tablelands Local Land Services is governed by a board of local people.
Board members work closely with landholders and local communities to identify and deliver services that are relevant to local needs.
Local boards are comprised of a mix of Ministerially-appointed and elected board members who bring a wealth of skills, experience and commitment to the organisation.
The Chair and three board members are appointed by the Minister for Primary Industries – the remaining three board members are elected by Local Land Services ratepayers.
Together they focus on the strategic direction of the organisation, promoting the services offered, encouraging partnerships and building strong relationships with investors while also communicating the priorities and concerns of customers to local boards.
Section 29 of the Local Land Services Act 2013 sets out the functions of local boards. They are legally binding and should be interpreted as the definitive reference regarding the role of local boards.
Hans Hietbrink was appointed local Chair, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services on 3 October 2013. He is a high-level manager who has demonstrated the ability to facilitate, motivate and achieve results.
Hans was previously the Chair of the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority where he worked closely with Board members and the General Manager in establishing strategic plans and projects.
Hans is also a Councillor of Guyra Shire Council and has held the position of Mayor since 2008.
Appointed Board membersGrahame Marriott, Inverell
Grahame is based in Inverell and has followed a path in support of sustainable agriculture and communities throughout his life. He is on the board of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland and is a former board member of the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority.
Grahame has worked with the Commonwealth Department of Finance, the Industries Assistance Commission, has been a wool classer in the New England and North West area, project development consultant to the Aboriginal and Torres Strain Islander Commission both in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and northern NSW, a trainer and Project Manager at Inverell Skill Training Inc. and Managing Director and Company Secretary of BEST Employment Ltd.
Grahame was also an inaugural member of the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services board.
Rechelle Leahy, Armidale
Armidale based Rechelle Leahy is a principal sector specialist in governance, contract management, procurement and social policy issues. Rechelle’s passion lies with gender equality, equity, disability services, domestic violence, rural and regional workforce planning and employment and improving policy through advocacy, specifically related to the specialised issues of rural, regional and remote (RRR) women and girls in Australia. She is an Independent Director and Treasurer of the National Rural Women’s Coalition.
Rechelle’s focus on the needs of RRR women and girls of Australia is put into practice through her business RegionalCollab, as well as through her representation on numerous Boards and Committees.
Her broad knowledge and capacity to connect with people across a range of agricultural industries is a valuable asset to the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services board.
Julie Bird, Inverell
Julie Bird’s passion for the agriculture industry has provided her with a wealth of experience and knowledge, from working in the heart of government, to jointly managing a wool and beef cattle enterprise.
A rural innovator, Julie grew up on a cattle farm at Wagga and completed a Bachelor of Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, Wagga. Relocating to the Northern Territory, Julie spent the next twenty years working for the NT Government as Senior Extension Officer and finally Region Head, Katherine, of Crops, Forestry and Horticulture.
In 2007, Julie relocated to Canberra to take up the role as the Director of Agriculture, Department of Climate Change, before taking on the role as Senior Research Manager, Rural Industries R & D Corporation, overseeing the animal production programs, and leadership of several national agriculture strategies. She is currently the External Research Manager in Bioenergy for AgriFutures Australia, while concurrently running her own consultancy in rural innovation.
A move to Inverell in 2017 saw Julie and her family take up the reins of a wool and beef cattle enterprise.
Elected Board Members
Tim Norton, Walcha
Tim Norton is a fourth-generation sheep and cattle farmer from Walcha. He has skills in many areas of agriculture including biosecurity, animal welfare, pest and weed management, emergency management, natural resource management, and biodiversity conservation. He has a strong belief that farming has a great future so he will be working to see that its full potential is reached.
Ross King, Walcha
Ross King is a farmer east of Walcha who operates a commercial enterprise of self replacing merinos, merino wethers, prime lambs and EU accredited cattle.
Ross has a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics and has had continuous involvement with a number of Department of Agriculture officers in areas of abattoir feedback, supply relationships, livestock management and breeding advice. These activities have given him experience in many biosecurity programs from Brucellosis to Ovine Johnes Disease, EU accreditation to footrot and lice and wild dogs to kangaroos.
David Worsley, Nullamanna
David Worsley is a second generation farmer, running 3000 hectares in the Nullamanna district, 40km north of Inverell. David has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and is the President of the Pindaroi/Wellingrove Wild Dog Society and Wild Dog Facilitator for North East NSW. He is also the Chair of GWYMAC Landcare.
David's background and experience in farming and in a range of projects with the LHPA, National Parks, CMA and Landcare means he has a practical approach backed by a good understanding of both the current issues and those related to the separate organisations which are now combined in Local Land Services.