Board and Staff Members

LEAD Loddon Murray has a fantastic team guiding our vision and mission, comprising 10 committed Board Members with a diverse range of skills and experiences each of whom is outstanding community leader in their own right, four passionate and highly skilled part-time staff members, and our impressive regional network of more than 440 graduates who have completed our flagship Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program over the last 20 years.

Anita Dickons (LMCLP 2013) – Chair

Anita is passionate about people and empowering them to create the change they want. She has been running a coaching and training business called Above the Line Thinking for the past 7 years. After spending 17 years in the corporate world leading and training people to be the best communicators they could be. Anita decided to use her natural skills and trained as a Relationship Counsellor with the UKʼs leading relationship agency Relate, where she worked with hundreds of couples on communication and change in their relationships. Anita loves to mentor people informally and through various leadership programs.  She strongly believes in creating opportunities then showing people they have what it takes to step up. Originally from the UK, Anita and her family have been in Bendigo for 6 years after spending the first 7 years of her Australian life in Adelaide. Anita loves cooking and eating local ethical produce and is very grateful to the program for showing her what community really is.


Scott McLarty (LMCLP 2010)

Scott has recently relocated back to Bendigo after living in Maitland NSW for a sea change and the opport-unity to run a private training company. Scott has been lucky enough to live in the London, Leeds UK, Auckland NZ, Maitland NSW, Sunbury, Shepparton and Bendigo Victoria. During this time Scott had the opportunity to experience a diverse range of communities, and the importance of Community leaders.  The experience holds Scott in good stead to be a proactive and involved board member. Scott is now working with Radius in the disability sector with a focus on providing professional development, vocational skills for people of all abilities.  He is also working on key projects closely aligned to Radius’s Australian Disability Enterprises and the NDIS.



Jay Smith (LMCLP 2013)

Jay is passionate about collaborating with others to create vibrant and sustainable rural and regional communities. He has vast experience in sustainability, renewable energy, carbon and waste management, and community and youth development. Jay has worked directly for local governments and environmental organisations over the last 7 years. He is currently in the role of Climate Change Coordinator at the Mount Alexander Shire Council where he is leading Council’s response to climate change. Jay holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and a Diploma of Carbon Management. He is an Alumni of the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (2013) and Centre for Sustainability Leadership Fellowship Program (2014). Jay is a former Board member of the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (2015-2017) and stood as a candidate in the 2016 local government elections. He has lived in Castlemaine for the past 5 years and relishes being part of a welcoming, vibrant and creative community. Jay is continually motivated and inspired by his community and the infinite possibilities that await them as they transition to carbon neutrality by 2025.


Khayshie Tilak Ramesh – Open Door Student Board Member

Khayshie is a passionate second year law student at La Trobe university. She has lived in Bendigo for majority of her life and she is very devoted to making a positive contribution to her local community. She is currently involved with the Equality and Diversity Department of La Trobe University Bendigo and works at Australian Geographic as well as volunteers with the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre in her spare time.  Khayshie is in several mentor roles at the University and she is also a Board Member on the multicultural Friends of Labor board. She also has a history of leadership throughout her schooling including captain and senior prefect roles.



Rob Stephenson – Independent Board Member

Rob holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting). He worked in professional accounting firms and the non-bank finance sector, before becoming General Manager of the Bendigo Student Association at La Trobe University in 2001. He participated in the inaugural Emerging Pacific Leaders’ Dialogue in 2006 and served as the Australian representative on the 2014 EPLD conference speakers’ committee. In 2009, Rob undertook a study of Leadership Development Programs for university students in the USA, looking at purposes, structures and fit within their university environments. During 2011, Rob was appointed Senior Manager, Regional Operations with La Trobe University, and subsequently to Head of Campus, Bendigo. Robert is a Fellow of CPA Australia, member of International Leadership Association, College Student Educators International, International Town & Gown Association, Association for Smart Learning Ecosytems and Regional Development, and Bendigo Education Council. In 2015 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and presented a paper at the International Town and Gown Association Annual Conference in Washington DC. Rob has served on numerous community Boards with an emphasis on creating educational opportunity and economic and social development of Regional Victoria


Rosanne Kava – Independent Board Member

Rosanne Kava is a highly motivated and accomplished executive leader with 7 years experience as a CEO in local government; she has held a number of senior Federal government management roles and a 3 year diplomatic posting in Rome. Since commencing her consulting business, Kava Konsulting, Rosanne has worked on projects including facilitating strategic planning and team building sessions; conducting organisational and service reviews, CEO performance reviews, and workplace investigations.  Rosanne is an accredited executive coach and also runs governance training sessions. She has undertaken a number of locum placements in local government executive positions pending recruitment. Rosanne is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and is a former Board Member of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. She has held a number of Board positions and currently serves on the Board of Swan Hill District and chairs the Balranald Shire Council Audit Committee.  Rosanne is an enthusiastic Rotarian and is the District Governor Nominee for District 9780.


Anette Kortenhaus (LMCLP 2015)

Anette is guided by one of her favourite quotes: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” by David Hurley. Integrity and accountability are her internal compass. The Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program reflected these values and made her realise that it is time to act: to stand up, to speak up and to let yourself be seen. Over the past 25+ years, Anette has been involved in diverse roles across business, training, education, health and wellbeing. She operated her own businesses and is currently working in the non-for-profit sector. Anette is passionate about challenging the status quo. She creates processes and structures which facilitate clarity and vision. “I want to give people voices to speak their truth and passion, to empower them to be the best they can be and live a harmonious life as an individual as well as part of the community”.



Brenton Johnson (LMCLP 2014)

– Details coming soon…


Moustafa Al-Rawi (LMCLP 2107)

– Details coming soon…

LEAD Loddon Murray Staff

Leah Sertori, Executive Officer

Leah Sertori currently serves as Executive Officer of LEAD Loddon Murray. Leah’s previous experience incudes CEO roles with Be.Bendigo, Sustainable Regional Australia and Melbourne Cares. Leah is passionate about developing leaders and founded the Rob Hunt Transformational Leadership Program while working with Be.Bendigo. Leah’s expertise incudes leadership and governance, strategy, developing teams and business development and growth.





Melinda Mann, Events Director

Melinda re-joined the team in 2016 as our Graduate Program Manager and to assist with our community projects. She has previously been employed as our LMCLP Coordinator (2011-2014). Melinda holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from the University of Melbourne and has extensive experience in the design and delivery of information and training programs to meet the needs of landholders both with the Department of Primary Industries and the Grasslands Society of Southern Australia where she was Executive Officer for five years. She has also been the Executive Officer of the Victorian Young Farmers. In her spare time, Melinda is a Director of their family broadacre cropping enterprise in Moama. Melinda has a Certificate IV Assessment & Workplace Training. Her role with LEAD Loddon Murray is the design and delivery of our events as well as supporting our regional leaders netwrok. She has specialist skills in the areas of workshop design, delivery and facilitation, stakeholder management and project management.


Jo Cahill, Program Manager

Jo is our LMCLP Program Manager.  Jo has previously worked as a Project Officer at St John of God Bendigo Hospital and a Community Development Worker in an Aboriginal program at UnitingCare in Shepparton. Jo is passionate about grassroots community development and empowering people to make a difference.

more details soon…