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National Farmers' Federation

Our Team

Meet our Team

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) team is made up of highly-skilled and experienced professionals who are dedicated to the cause of furthering the opportunities for Australia’s farmers.

The NFF team has a strong passion for Australian Agriculture and making sure the sector continues to grow for years to come….

Rhiannon Arnold

Digital Coordinator

Rhiannon Arnold

Rhiannon joined the NFF team in June 2021 as our 'digital guru'. Growing up in regional Western Australia before heading east, Rhiannon has worked as a federal political reporter and in various communications roles in Canberra.

Stacey Davidson

Coordinator, Media and Communications

Stacey Davidson

Stacey joined the NFF team in February 2022 as communications and media coordinator. Growing up on a sheep and cattle property in outback South Australia, Stacey followed a career in regional journalism across the state. She also spent time working in a regional electorate office while also running her own copywriting business specialising in agriculture and regional Australia.

Kayla Evans

Program Manager, AgCAREERSTART

Kayla Evans

Kayla joined the team in Jan 2022 to spearhead the AgCAREERSTART program as Project Manager. Originally from a family farm in QLD, Kayla has run several agricultural careers, education, and capacity building projects in Western Australia for organisations such as the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia.

Tony Mahar

Chief Executive Officer

Tony Mahar

Tony comes from a farming background in south western Victoria and has worked in and around agriculture for the majority of his working life. He has experience in working with global food manufacturers, major Australian agribusinesses and the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture. He was appointed NFF CEO in March 2016 after holding the positions of Trade and Economics manager and Deputy CEO. He has tertiary qualification in agricultural commerce from Sydney University and a masters degree in industry policy from ANU.

Warwick Ragg

General Manager, Natural Resource Management

Warwick Ragg

Warwick was raised on a farm in the NSW Southern Highlands and has almost 30 years experience in rural and regional advocacy. Prior to joining NFF Warwick had been working in the Commonwealth Government in stakeholder engagement roles and had previously spent a decade with NSW Farmers' Association and a further decade as chief executive of Australian Forest Growers.

Ash Salardini

Chief Economist & General Manager Trade

Ash Salardini

Ash joined the NFF in July 2020 as the Chief Economist and General Manager Trade. Prior to joining the NFF, Ash was the Chief Economist at NSW Farmers’ Association and Government Affairs and Public Policy lead at Rabobank. In these roles, Ash has developed a passion for competition and energy policies for rural Australia. Ash grew up in Tasmania and Sydney, and studied economics and law at the University of Sydney.

Charles Thomas

General Manager, Corporate Affairs

Charles Thomas

Charlie helps establish partnerships with likeminded organisations to enhance our advocacy and initiatives, as well as guiding campaign strategy and online communications. Raised on a farm near Condobolin, NSW, Charlie started his working life with a prominent law firm before pursuing a career in political advocacy.

Kristy Barber

Coordinator, Leadership Projects

Kristy Barber

Kristy joined the NFF team in April 2021 as a Leadership Projects Coordinator. Prior to joining the NFF, Kristy studied at the Australian National University where she received her Master of Environmental Management and Development. Originally from Alabama in the United States, Kristy has a passion for building strong rural and regional communities.

Kade Denton

Senior Project Officer

Kade Denton

Kade joined the NFF in July 2020 as a Senior Project Officer. Prior to joining the NFF, Kade held roles in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and the Department of Agriculture where he worked across a number of areas, including environmental policy for the resources sector, water infrastructure and biosecurity. Growing up in coastal NSW, Kade comes from a tuna fishing background before studying agronomy and agricultural entomology at the University of Sydney.

Jana Farook

Manager - International Engagement

Jana Farook

Jana joined the NFF team in January 2022 to help lead and develop the NFF's international engagement strategy. Prior to joining the NFF she worked as a partnership consultant for the UNDP, and an attorney for the Government of Maldives, where she engaged with international organisations and other bilateral counterparts on behalf of the Attorney General of Maldives. She also has experience in policy development, and dispute settlement. Jana graduated from the University of Oxford Brookes in the United Kingdom with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons)

Ben Norton-Smith

Project Officer, Workforce Team

Ben Norton-Smith

Ben joined the NFF in 2020 as Project Officer for the workforce team. Originally from Dorset in the UK, Ben comes with experience in agricultural consultancy, research, agricultural development and holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management from the University of Reading.

Alkira Remaj

Policy Officer, Rural Affairs

Alkira Remaj

Alkira joined the nff team in February 2022 as our rural affairs policy officer. Alkira studied at the university of Western Australia receiving a double major in Marine Science, Political Science and International Relations. Originally from Perth, Alkira has a passion for finding practical solutions to climate change in ways that can benefit farmers.

Greta Stark

Policy Officer, Natural Resource Management

Greta Stark

Greta joined the NFF team in March 2022 as a Policy Officer. She studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Soil Science at the University of Adelaide and completed her Honours in Agriculture last year. Greta is passionate about sustainable food systems, nutrition and climate change.

Laureta Wallace

General Manager, Media & Communications

Laureta Wallace

Laureta is a public relations professional specialising in the issues impacting agriculture and rural Australia. Laureta cut her teeth in media as a regional print journalist, in NSW and later in Western Australia. While in the West, Laureta held senior roles with the renowned Kondinin Group and in the grains industry. She also spent time as a political media advisor.

Stefanie Blake

Community Engagement Officer, AgCAREERSTART

Stefanie Blake

Stef joined the NFF team in January 2022 as the Community Engagement Officer for the AgCAREERSTART program. Stef hails from a family dairy farm in Southwest Victoria and, prior to the NFF, worked as a Relationship Manager for a major dairy processor. Stef holds tertiary qualifications in agriculture and law from the University of Melbourne.

Chloe Dutschke

Training and Career Development Officer, AgCAREERSTART

Chloe Dutschke

Chloe joined the NFF team in February 2022 as part of the AgCAREERSTART program. She studied a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of Adelaide and is passionate about the future of young people in agriculture. Chloe joins the NFF after spending two years working on a merino sheep station.

Stevi Howdle

Executive Officer - Farmsafe Australia

Stevi Howdle

Stevi joined the NFF team in May 2018 following four years working in the Local Government sector. Originally from Alberta in Canada, Stevi completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Nathan Pennetta

Policy Officer, Workplace Relations and Legal Affairs

Nathan Pennetta

Nathan joined the NFF in December 2021, having studied a Bachelor of Justice Studies at the University of Canberra. Having worked in workers compensation, Nathan has experience in the WHS & Industrial Relations and the challenges that employers face in this area. He joined the NFF as it presented an opportunity to apply his skills in an industry which is crucial to Australians.

Ben Rogers

General Manager, Workplace Relations & Legal Affairs

Ben Rogers

Ben Rogers joined the NFF team in June 2017 bringing his experience in workplace relations and law to the role of General Manager, Workplace Relations and Legal Affairs. Ben comes with a wealth of experience in the Industrial Relations/Workplace Relations area as Principal Solicitor in the ACT Government, and previously with Comcare and private legal practices in New South Wales.

Amanda Tankey

General Manager, Governance and Corporate Services

Amanda Tankey

Amanda joined the NFF in 2012 and has a broad range of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in the areas of agriculture, transport, education, health, and human resources.

Chris Young

General Manager, Rural Affairs

Chris Young

Chris joined the NFF in 2022 as the General Manager of Rural Affairs. He has a background working in agriculture, with a focus in the livestock industry.

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