The Rural Business Collective was born out of a passion for rural, regional & remote communities and knowing that the untapped potential in the bush is limitless.

We know that there is a direct link between high levels of entrepreneurship, strong small businesses and the vibrancy and sustainability of local communities. Time and time again we see towns lured by the promise of the next large scale industrial project to deliver jobs, economic growth, and retain our young people - and we are constantly left disappointed. The focus needs to be on entrepreneurs and small business - they are the ones that sustainability employ locals, deliver directly back into local economies, and create new areas for the community to build upon.

We started to look into this area and what we heard from those in communities working to grow their businesses is what became the fuel for the Rural Business Collective to become a reality. Each and every person we spoke to regardless of industry or stage of business spoke about similar issues; access to professional services, keeping up with technology, finding business mentors, and connecting with others for collaboration opportunities and support.

This got us thinking about how many business plans were hidden in farm offices, how many ideas are discussed between friends at the local coffee shop, how many dreams are written off as a pipe-dream across rural Australia. Imagine if they had access to the tools and support they need to get those ideas off the ground and turn into the next business, employer, and economic contributor to their town. 

It was an idea that got us giddy with excitement and with potential impact for rural Australia that couldn't be ignored. 

The Rural Business Collective aims to be the leading community for people doing business in the bush.

Our mission is to build a culture of entrepreneurship in the rural and remote Australia. This community is a place where we can entrepreneurs, business owners, aspiring business leaders, community leaders and advocates can gather and CONNECT - LEARN - INSPIRE - CELEBRATE.  Within the Community there are training and development opportunities, mentoring programs, advocacy and promotion activities, and the support community where you can connect with like minded individuals across vast geographies. 

 

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board are an appointed group that are the key to keeping the Rural Business Collective thinking big and growing to benefit all members.  This group of business smarts and talents represent our membership base and the skills required to deliver value to the RBC community.  

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BRUCE KING

After beginnings growing up on a family beef operation in Central Queensland, Bruce spent the last 12 years working with Rabobank International in Sydney and New York.  In 2017 Bruce has relocated back to Regional Australia and is pursuing his passion for agriculture in a new path with King Agri-Consulting.  King Agri is a management consulting business targeting improved outcomes for institutional, corporate and family office clients looking to manage change. 



 

 

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JULIA TELFORD

 Julia Telford runs her own business, Engage & Create Consulting, based in Goondiwindi, working with communities and business across Australia.

With over 15 years in NRM Management and Community Development Julia is a highly skilled facilitator and brings together multiple stakeholders to lead them effectively through change.

Julia is also a Director of the Goondiwindi Business Hub a space in Goondiwindi for small businesses and visiting services to share facilities and share a few good ideas. 
 

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JO EADY

Jo Eady is an entrepreneur, leadership specialist, facilitator and educator.  As founder and director of RuralScope Pty Limited her business and leadership experience spans 25+ years.  She facilitates high end industry leadership programs resulting in enhanced capacity of the current and next generation of agricultural and rural leaders.  She has a keen interest in mentoring and has successfully matched and coordinated over 400 individual and peer mentoring partnerships across regional Australia.  Jo is excited about the Rural Business Collective as it provides a virtual platform for business development, leadership and support for people from one end of the country to the other – no barriers. 

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GINA BALDASSARRE

Gina Baldassarre is the Head of Content at Startup Daily, an online publication covering tech and startups across Australia. Nominated for an IT Journalism Award, Gina has worked to develop Startup Daily into a leading resource for Australian investors, corporates, and government looking for the latest news and analysis on the nation’s tech landscape. While at Startup Daily, Gina has also helped launch Silicon Paddock, an initiative that shines a light on regional innovators and seeks to educate SMB owners in regional areas as they enter the digital age.

 

ALISON SHAW

Originally from New Zealand, Alison dropped out of uni to experience the adventure of the Australian Outback and with a love of rural life she worked as a jillaroo before becoming a woolclasser in western Queensland.

Remaining in Australia she married and raised her with two daughters in the tiny town of Tambo, where Alison is a passionate advocate for her community and the outback in general.

For the past ten years she has worked for the local Council in a varied role of arts & culture, grant seeking, economic development and tourism. Alison completed university in 2016 receiving a BBUS in marketing, gaining skills and knowledge that she utilizes each day to promote and expand her own business partnership, Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd.

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KRISTINE ARNOLD

Based in Longreach for 19 years, Kristine undertakes a range of roles in facilitating digital inclusion, technologies and solutions and manages RAPAD Skilling, RAPADs registered training organisation. Building her own capacity and that of her work place, she has travelled to Silicon Valley on a Startup Catalyst Community Leaders mission. In her private capacity she was part of team that won QUT CEAs Creative Tech Startup Weekend earlier in 2017 and has since gone on to form a start-up that has been accepted to QUT CEAs Collider accelerator program.

 

MAURIE HILL

Maurie is an experienced executive manager and business consultant, with four decades of commercial, cross-industry experience. He has an extensive leadership career in business development, sales and marketing, general management and executive management including S&M, COO, CEO, company director and chairman positions. 

Over the last 20 years, in addition to his own companies and professional affiliations, Maurie has acted as a business consultant, a contract executive manager, a large projects manager and a business mentor to start up, challenged and rapid growth companies. These days, he particularly enjoys working with entrepreneurs and family companies up to $50.0M turnover, where he ‘fills in some gaps.

 

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KATE MARLAND

Between wrangling three boys under the age of six, Kate Marland runs her high end jewellery boutique WARNERS FINE JEWELLERY and is also the Practice Manager at her husband’s law firm, MARLAND LAW. 

Prior to launching these two businesses, Kate has spent the last 15 years in Western and Central Queensland providing rural and commercial businesses with finance.  Running two businesses and a household is a juggle, occasionally the balls drop, but Kate knows it's important to surround herself with the right tools and people as no successful business is ever a ‘one man band’.  

 

 


RBC MENTOR BANK

 

"No form of human exchange is more profitable than the exchange of ideas" - Napoleon Hill 

 

The Mentor Bank

The Mentor Bank is a team of Mentors that have offered their time and expertise for the benefit of the RBC Community and those participating in our Mastermind Groups and Sounding Board Programs.  Read more about our Mentoring Services for Members here.

There are currently over 15 Mentors that have pledged their support to Rural Business Collective members. If you would like to join this team and participate in a growing and vibrant community of stratups and small business owners please get in touch. 

 
 
 

Let's talk

We would love to hear from you and see how we can help get you, your business and your community on its way.

Contact us on email at hello@ruralbusinesscollective.com.au, Call our founder Fleur on mobile on 0409620302 or get in touch via the contact form below. 

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