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The Board

Peter Long

LLB. Director-Principal RURAL LAW with Peter Long.
President of TGSS.

Peter was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1983 and has practised as a rural lawyer for almost 30 years. In 1997, Peter was awarded the National Civil Justice Award by the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association (now called the Australian Lawyers Alliance) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the delivery of civil justice.

Peter’s articles on the interface between the law and the rural community have been published in National and State journals over many years and he has delivered numerous papers and presentations to seminars and conferences of lawyers, accountants, agronomists and other professionals throughout Australia on issues of negligence, protection through contracts and deeds, economic loss, OHandS, practice management and file management.

Peter has previously been a member of the editorial panel of The Australian Product Liability Reporter and a contributor to its monthly publications as well as a regular feature writer for the Australian Organic Producer. In addition, Peter was legal counsel to the Agricultural Societies Council NSW Inc. for many years.

Peter is presently Chairperson and Board Member of the National Rural Law and Justice Alliance Limited, a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to assist members of rural and regional communities in Australia with access to justice and to advocate on their behalf. Peter is an active member of the Gunnedah Show Society and is the licensee and operator of its licensed Bar during Society events on a voluntary basis.

 

Linda Newell

B.A HONS Assoc. MAPS. Psychologist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Hunter New England Health.
Vice President of TGSS.

Linda has worked in various roles as a psychologist in the Gunnedah community since 2001, including: Project Officer for Early School Leaver's Educational Development Faculty -New England Institute of TAFE; Youth Support Worker with Backtrack Youth Works; TAFE Counsellor with New England and Hunter Institutes of TAFE Counselling Units; Casual Teacher; Human and Personal Services Faculty- New England Institute of TAFE; Student Association Officer at Gunnedah TAFE; and Reconnect Consultant with Newtrain

Linda is an active member of the Gunnedah community. Past committee positions include: Gunnedah Family Support Services and Police Citizens Youth Club.

 

Angelica Boyce

Law student and Legal Assistant at Rural Law with Peter Long.

Secretary of TGSS.

Angelica's past volunteering includes: Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award -Volunteering at William Cowper Primary School Tamworth; Silver Award Duke of Edinburgh Award -Volunteering at Centrepoint Childcare Centre Tamworth; and Calrossy Fundraising Committee member.

Angelica is Sarah Ferguson and Peter Long's daughter

 

Sarah Ferguson

MNTCW (Melb) BCouns MACA. Therapist and Community Worker at The Gatepost Therapy Services.
Public Officer and Treasurer of TGSS.

Sarah’s qualifications include: Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work from University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Counselling, Practitioner Certificate in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Practitioner Certificates in Hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and First Aid Certificate.

Sarah is the driver behind the creation of TGSS, the genesis of which can be traced back to 2004 when, throughout her time researching and developing Gunnedah Shire Council’s Social Plan report, Sarah gained a deep understanding of the social needs of the Gunnedah Community and the gaps that exist in the delivery of services, support and assistance to marginalised and disadvantaged people. TGSS is the culmination of more than ten years of further education, research and development.

Sarah is an active member of the Gunnedah community. Past committee positions include: Grow Gunnedah Committee - Chairperson, Gunnedah District Development Board Information Technology Committee – Secretary, Gunnedah Youth Interagency – Chairperson, Two Rivers Arts Council Committee – Markets Co-ordinator, Gunnedah Indigenous Service Delivery Interagency, Gunnedah Domestic Violence Committee, Gunnedah Family and Children Services Committee, and Police Citizens Youth Club Committee.

Sarah and Peter Long are married.

 

Christopher Gittoes

Doctor at Northwest Family Medical

Christopher spent his formative years on family farm at Maules Creek, Boggabri NSW. His first full time job was as a stockman (ringer) on a cattle station near Cloncurry in western QLD in the late 70s. He obtained an Agricultural Science Degree (agricultural economics major) from the University of New England Armidale in the early 80's after which he combined his cattle station experience and his formal qualifications and worked for the QLD Department of Primary industries as an Agricultural Economist in the North QLD beef industry. Christopher then worked in commercial finance with a Japanese Merchant Bank (Sanwa) before establishing a food manufacturing business in Brisbane combined with some business consultancy work.

In his mid-thirties, with a young family, Christopher began the arduous journey to becoming a Rural Doctor which included a postgraduate degree in animal nutrition and biochemistry, followed by a postgraduate medical degree from the University of Queensland. He underwent post graduate medical training in Tamworth base hospital in emergency medicine and obstetrics and has worked as a GP in Gunnedah since 2004 and has completed his GP specialty training and holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practice. He is an accredited GP registrar trainer with GP Synergy, one of the GP training organizations in NSW.

 

Joy Wilson

Angel of Gunnedah – Support Worker at Homes North.

Joy worked for 30 years as a Salvation Army officer.  She was posted to Gunnedah in 2004. In 2012, after eight years in Gunnedah, Joy made the difficult decision to step down from the Salvation Army, declining a new posting to Roma. She had made a home in Gunnedah and did not want to leave. Joy's benevolence to the Gunnedah community culminated during her role as Salvation Army Major in the opening of a centre for disadvantaged folk called Hope House.  She continues to support and benefit the disadvantaged community through her current role with Homes North.

In 2014, Joy was awarded Citizen of the Year at the Gunnedah Australia Day Awards.

To view a sample of Joy's inspiring work, go to: https://au.tv.yahoo.com/the-morning-show/video/watch/25851319/the-spirit-of-christmas-the-salvation-army/#page1

 

Vicki Urquhart

Bachelor of Arts (geography and planning), Bachelor of Teaching (primary) and Master of Education (inclusive education). 

Deputy principal at GS Kidd Memorial School, Gunnedah's school for children with special needs.

 

Robert Groth

Farmer and grazier and primary carer to his father, who was left 90% paralysed after suffering a stroke. Robert's role includes speech therapy, physical fitness, social interaction facilitating excursions and general care. During this time, Robert has also been working toward developing a farm model which is self-sufficient and environmentally aware. This includes a native tree planting project specifically designed at protecting the region's koala population conducted in partnership with the Namoi Catchment Management Authority. 

Robert's past volunteering includes: The AIDS Emergency Fund (Soup Kitchen) San Francisco; the Little Brother programme, San Francisco; Uniting Church Soup Kitchen, Newtown; Salvation Army Store and Hope House, Gunnedah.

 

Genevieve Gittoes

Bachelor of Rural Science.

Genevieve has worked in many professional positions servicing Rural and Regional Communities, including 8 years as a Rural and Regional Service Manager for NSW Farmers Association.

Genevieve has a passion for supporting and raising funds for those in need. In 2005, her closest work colleague lost his wife suddenly (27years old) leaving him with a 6 month old daughter and 2 year old son. Struck with the immense loss and grief, quickly fell into severe depression. 18 months later, the banks started to put the pressure on to Genevieve's colleague to sell his property.  Genevieve organised a Working Bee which culminated in a massive project over one weekend involving 80 volunteers (individuals and organisations). It involved months of sourcing donations, both monetary and equipment. The volunteers transformed the property into an effective income producing horse spelling enterprise and greatly increased its valuation. As a result, the bank refinanced the property.

In 2014 Genevieve was involved in another major fundraising venture to raise money for regional services to assist Alzheimer's sufferers and their families, particularly Younger Onset Alzheimers. Genevieve raised $6,500 with individual donations to sponsor me running with Alzheimers Australia in the City to Surf, Sydney and a further $4,000 from the local Rotary club's charity fundraiser "Pedal the Peel".

Genevieve and Christopher Gittoes are married.

 

Beau Gardner

Beau was raised on a farm in the Gunnedah local area and after graduating the HSC in 2010, continued his engagement with the local community through his involvement in the Gunnedah Youth Council, the Porchetta Day event and by co-facilitation of the Gunnedah Circus School supported by the Active After School government initiative. Beau also worked for three years as a disability carer. These interests blend with his rural local background to feed Beau’s passion for bringing positive change to the community.

 

Di Stacey

Finance Manager, Namoi Valley Bricks Gunnedah

Di's passions are her family, business and photography. Having owned her own business for twelve years and having managed a variety of entities and branches throughout her career, Di has developed a solid skill base in business management and corporate services. Concurrently Di worked at New England Institute of TAFE where she held Vocational Education Practitioner roles for over 25 years where she worked in Business and Creative Services, Health and Personal Services and General Education and Equity Faculties.

Di has a strong interest for coaching and developing people, enabling them to achieve their potential which has always been her driver in her pursuits and career direction.

Di has held positions of President for the Combined Catholic Schools Parents and Friends and The Gunnedah District Development Board as well as committee roles for sporting and community organisations and consultative groups.

Di holds a Diploma of Business Management, Diploma of Human Resources, Certificate IV Training Assessment and Education, Certificate IV Occupational Health and Safety, WorkCover Return to Work Coordinator and S1, S2, S3 and G2 and Health Safety Representative.

 

June McCauley

Aboriginal Health Worker

June is married to Steve and has two children, Ben and Jamie Lea. June was born and bred in Werris Creek and was raised from the age of five by her Grandparents, Angus and Edna Swan. June grew up in a railway family as did most of the town population.

June’s mother, grandmother and great grandmother were all born at Walhollow. Three generations spanning 150 years to this day, and June still holds a great affinity with the Walhollow and Werris Creek areas. June’s great grandmother was Ada Sampson. Ada’s mother and father were the first family to set up camp at Walhollow, working for the well-known Croker farming family.

Although June started life in a “battling “environment, she would not change a single moment of her life’s journey. Her early years have moulded June into the person she is today, someone who is interested in, and understanding of, the needs and welfare of people who struggle physically, mentally and emotionally, as well as possessing a deep love of animals and love and connection with the land.

June is currently studying a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Clinical Practice.