With a broad range of qualifications and experience our staff are knowledgeable and ready to provide practical support to our clients.

Our Rural financial counsellors are qualified and experienced in working with rural clients to achieve positive outcomes.

Our Rural Financial Counsellors:
Warwick Philpott  Rural Financial Counsellor

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Warwick is has been engaged in the delivery of professional services for the past 30 years across Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. He has a farming and small business background in addition to holding qualifications in business, finance, property and agricultural economics. Warwick is located in our Benalla office.

Jim Moll – Rural Financial Counsellor

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Jim is an agricultural scientist/economist with over 20 years of experience in agricultural research and extension. He specialises in working with landholders to assist them with running profitable and sustainable businesses. His knowledge and skills cover a wide range of agricultural industries including broadacre grazing and cropping, irrigated grain, horticulture and viticulture. He specialises in farm economics and agribusiness appraisal. Jim is based in our Benalla office.

Carl Fraser – Rural Financial Counsellor

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Carl has a wide range of specialist knowledge from years of practical farming as a wool classer, shearer and farmer. He has applied this knowledge to serve AgBiz Assist clients. Carl specialises in sheep, beef, broadacre and horticultural farming services and is based in our Benalla office.

Andrew Hipwell  Rural Financial Counsellor
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Andrew’s vast experience in dairy farming and cropping positions him well to understand all aspects of farming operations. He has worked in the dairy industry in customer liaison roles for many years. As a strong advocate of community volunteering, Andrew has also held many related positions which saw him win the Shire of Campaspe 2016 Citizen of the Year. Andrew is based in the Shepparton office.

Maryanne Black  Rural Financial Counsellor

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Maryanne has dedicated her career to agriculture and holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. Maryanne's area of expertise is dairy and she provides a broad knowledge of livestock, broadacre and horticultural enterprises. She is currently based in our Numurkah office.

Edith Nicholls  Rural Financial Counsellor

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Edith has worked in the agricultural industry for the previous 15 years, holding positions in Biosecurity, Animal Health and Emergency Management in both the Victoria and Queensland state governments. Edith has extensive experience in the Dairy industry, having grown up on a dairy farm and worked as a Dairy Field Officer in South East Queensland, Central New South Wales, Northern Victoria and covering parts of South Australia. These positions have given Edith a broad skillset in dairy business management, marketing and logistics. She has been actively involved in the Young Dairy Network and other industry development groups across all regions. Edith achieved a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Honours majoring in Animal Health. Edith is based in our Wodonga office.

Brian Hinneberg  Rural Financial Counsellor

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With more than 25 years of experience as a Business Advisor in Central Victoria, Brian has worked closely with agri-businesses and small businesses to improve business capacity, promote business diversification and assist with disaster recovery and succession planning. Brian is passionate about assisting rural businesses to become financially empowered by working with them to develop ideas, make good business decisions and plan for the future. Brian is based in Shepparton office.

Kate Chynoweth  Rural Financial Counsellor

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Kate brings extensive banking knowledge and experience to the team. As a former business banking relationship manager, Kate has solid experience in dealing with a diverse array of business owners including agribusiness and small business. She is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and has completed an array of related certificates. Kate moved to the Goulburn Valley in 2018 and lives on a dairy farm in the Kyabram area. Kate is based in the Shepparton office.

Serge Minicozzi  Rural Financial Counsellor

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With 25 years of dairy farming experience, Serge brings extensive knowledge and a personal understanding of the difficulties faced by farmers. Serge commenced with AgBiz Assist in August 2016 and has previously worked with rural communities in North Central Victoria providing business management services and training. Serge is based in our Shepparton office.

Lyn Shannon  Rural Financial Counsellor

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With a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Agronomy), Lyn has 18 years experience in irrigated cropping and pasture operations. Lyn has extensive knowledge in budgeting and bookkeeping having ran her own irrigation farm business and provided bookkeeping services for corporate and large family farm businesses. Lyn is passionate about assisting people to understand their financial position and supporting them to make well informed business decisions. Lyn is located in our Wodonga office.

Colin Rawnsley – Rural Financial Counsellor


With over 25 years of experience in the Rural Banking sector and a further 15 years in Business, Economic and Regional Development throughout the Northern Territory and South Australia, Colin has accumulated excellent skills and a knowledge base of agribusiness and the issues faced. He has had experience in dealing with Horticulturalists, Graziers, Cattle Station operators and Broad acre farmers. In 2006 he was one of the first in South Australia to gain the APEC Business Counsellor accreditation, a worldwide accepted qualification.

Our management and administration staff:


Nerida Kerr – Executive Officer

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Nerida has been involved with Rural Financial Counselling Services since 1992 commencing with North East AgCare Inc. Nerida was a founding member of Goulburn Murray Hume Agcare Ltd and remained a Director until she resigned to take up the Executive Officer position in July 2012. Nerida studied Business Management, Social Work and Dairy Farm Management. She has wealth of experience and long commitment to agriculture, economic and community development and community services. Nerida is also dedicated community volunteer and was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Role in 2013 for services to the community, of which rural financial counselling was a major component.

Chris Howard – Rural Financial Counsellor Co-ordinator

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Chris has worked in the agricultural sector for over twenty five years. He is a passionate advocate for the rural communities of North East Victoria and member of a number of industry and community bodies in the area. Chris commenced with AgBiz Assist in 2008, initially as a Rural Financial Counsellor before taking on the role of Program Manager. Chris holds various qualifications in accounting, business administration and training and assessment. Chris based in the Shepparton office.

Pam Shephard – Finance Officer
Lynda Wilson – Executive Assistant
Albert Zito – Client Support Officer
Vacant – Administration Officer