MEET OUR DIRECTORS
ANNETTE REED – Chair
Annette was born and raised in Tasmania’s Meander Valley. She grew up on the family’s 800ha sheep and cattle property and in 1987 she and her husband, Nevil, bought their own property, where they have had a number of enterprises. Annette is now a full-time farmer, growing heirloom tomatoes and garlic.
She spent a number of years as a language teacher, then moved into social work.
Annette is the mother of five children, two of whom have disabilities. It was following an accident that left her eldest daughter with severe and permanent spinal cord injury that Annette first recognised the need for an organisation like RH@H. Dropping everything to move to Melbourne and care for her daughter in a city hospital, she quickly came to realise that the needs of rural patients are all too often ignored and misunderstood in that environment. She came to understand that those from rural backgrounds speak and live an entirely different language to those from urban backgrounds, often leaving them feeling isolated, misunderstood and not having their needs met. Thus, she founded RH@H to help bridge that gap.
Annette was the 2014 Tasmanian winner of the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.
She is the founding Chair of RH@H. She is a former President of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and was the inaugural Chair of the Tasmanian Carer’s Advisory Council.
DIANA FOSTER – Director, Training Coordinator
Diana grew up on a sheep and cattle property at Dirranbandi in south-west Queensland doing her initial schooling by correspondence. After too many years at boarding school in Sydney she went on to Sydney University and did a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.Sc. Agr) majoring in animal husbandry.
Her initial working career was as an animal nutritionist, formulating stockfeeds and supplements but the desire to travel became imperative and several years were spent wandering the world before becoming a vocational educator, initially as a Teacher and Head Teacher of Agriculture with NSW TAFE, where she established a very successful horse industry training centre at Richmond, and then as Director of Horse Management at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong.
A large brain tumour meant an abrupt change of direction for Diana. After recovering from major surgery she went to the Solomon Islands for two years as a Vocational Training Advisor and then migrated south to St Marys in eastern Tasmania where she established Mariton House, a Bed & Breakfast and horse riding business on 50acres.
Diana’s involvement with Rural Help@Hand started when she was contracted to write the volunteer training course material and assist with the initial training of volunteers. She is now the board member responsible for this area
VICKI JORDAN – Director, Grants Projects Coordinator
Vicki grew up in Northern Tasmania farming communities outside the influence of street lights. After leaving high school, she chose life on a farm over office work or any other inside work. Early mornings and hundreds of cows was the norm for many years. Together with her husband they have raised 6 children and now have many grandchildren. Along the way life has taken different twists and turns and she has spent many, many years working with young people from different backgrounds and situations including 2 years with young refugees from Sudan and Sierra Leone. Currently she is employed in community work through the Meander Valley Council, which allows her to combine her love of people and the outdoors through adventure recreation, camps, sports and other activities. Sport has been a big part of her life. It is through this love of basketball and a chance meeting with a young lady training to represent Australia in Wheelchair basketball that led to her involvement in RH@H. Vicki’s connection with the land allowed her to grasp the vision and understand the need for such an organisation. This understanding was magnified through an accident that required her husband to spend several months in hospital in Melbourne. Vicki and her husband have recently sold their house after living in the small rural township of Westbury for 20 years and have escaped back to the mountains.
There is currently a Board vacancy. If you are interested, please contact us.