LMCLP Participants

The 27 participants taking part in the 2016 LMCLP are:


Tracey Bowen

Lives: Kyneton, Macedon Ranges Shire

Works / Volunteers: Mandalay Resources, Community Advisor

Sponsor: Mandalay Resources

Since working for her current employer Mandalay Resources, as the community advisor for the local area of Costerfield & Heathcote, Tracey has recognised the importance of health and wellbeing to all living in the area.  Tracey’s experiences at Costerfield have highlighted the importance of engaging with your community to understand the diverse and complex issues impacting on the local community including substance abuse, loneliness of the elderly, drought within the farming community, and issues relating to unemployment.  Tracey strongly believes that active community members help drive social change.  Sport is a key focus of Tracey’s personal and professional life. She is passionate about the positive influence sport can have on the lives of individuals and the use of sport to create connected communities.   In addition to her commitment to be a positive influence within her local community, Tracey is passionate about travel and learning about other cultures.


Tamara Boyd

Lives: Boort, Loddon Shire

Works / Volunteers: Boort District Health Services, Corporate Services Manager

Sponsor: Boort District Health Services

Tamara finished Year 12 in 1996 and commenced working at Boort District Hospital (now known as Boort District Health, BDH) in administration.  She has since been employed in several different roles at BDH including Receptionist, Administration Assistant and Quality Manager, and is now Corporate Services Manager. Volunteering is a big part of Tamara’s life.  She has been a Community Emergency Response Team member for over 10 years and is on various Committees including Boort CERT, Boort P-12 School Council, Boort A & P, Boort Swimming Club, and Boort Hockey Club.  Tamara lives on a farm 15 kilometres from Boort where she and her husband run a sheep and small cropping enterprise.  They have four children aged 12, 10, 8 and 7.  Tamara enjoys playing hockey, sewing, quilting, photography and listening to country music.


Fiona Bradshaw

Lives: Heathcote, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Student, mother & multiple community volunteering roles

Sponsor: Mandalay Resources

Fiona lives in beautiful Heathcote where she runs the local basketball club with her husband, runs the uniform shop for Holy Rosary School Heathcote, where her children attend, is on the Parents & Friends committee at school, and coordinates the annual Mother’s Day luncheon.  Fiona is also currently liaising with other members of her community and with the City of Greater Bendigo to redevelop the Barrack Reserve sports precinct.  She is also studying to become a Primary School teacher.  Fiona is passionate about quality education and team sports in community and creating opportunities for kids to not only strive for success but also achieve it.  She is looking forward to gaining a better understanding and appreciation for working effectively in community, creating positive networking opportunities and experiences, reinforcing formal planning and delivery processes, and making the very most of this amazing opportunity.


Karen Carpenter

Lives: Echuca, Campaspe Shire

Works / Volunteers: Murray Human Services, Trainer.

Sponsor: Murray Human Services

Karen has only been in the Loddon Mallee area for the past 3 years, due to a tree change in 2012 from Melbourne.  She holds an Advanced Diploma in Disability and has worked in the field for over 20 years.  In her position as trainer at Murray Human Services, she supports staff to achieve their Certificates III, IV and Diplomas in Disability, and works with School Based Apprentices to help them have a better understanding of the disability sector. Also as the trainer of pre-accredited courses, she designs and delivers courses to suit the needs and interests of her organisation’s clients.   These courses are created to upskill clients and to create independence and pathways to open employment. The courses also contribute to social needs and community participation, and in promoting the awareness of how much we need to value people with special needs.


Steven Carroll

Lives: Harcourt, Mount Alexander Shire

Works / Volunteers: Castlemaine Secondary College, VCAL Coordinator

Sponsor: Coliban Water Scholarship

Steve Carroll is a secondary school teacher with in interest in further exploring how community capacity can be integrated effectively into learning experiences for young people, and what some of the barriers are that prevent this from happening better.  Over his teaching journey he has taken students overseas competing with Model Solar Cars, toured a remote NT aboriginal community with an inner city youth circus, and presented at an International Conference in Scotland about a cluster wide schools chess program in regional Victoria.  Steve lives in Harcourt with his wife and three children, where he is learning about alpacas and chickens and how he can contribute to his local community in creative and innovative ways.


Lisa Cox

Lives: Strathfieldsaye, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Coliban Water

Sponsor: Coliban Water

Lisa lives in Bendigo, and is married with two children.  She currently works as Environmental Specialist – Projects, at Coliban Water.  She worked for the Forests Commission in Melbourne before qualifying as a teacher and moving to Nathalia where she discovered the joys and challenges of living in a small town and was involved in starting the Nathalia Tree Group. This was followed by 3 years travelling the world. After living and teaching in London, Lisa and her partner returned to Australia and chose to settle in Bendigo, having had enough of big cities. Lisa studied, then taught Conservation and Land Management at Bendigo TAFE before being seconded to Coliban Water— she accepted a position there 9 years ago. She enjoys living in bushland just outside of Bendigo and is passionate about the natural environment and social justice and in her spare time enjoys reading, gardening and travelling.


Sharlene Crage

Lives: Dingee, Loddon Shire

Works / Volunteers: On farm milker and wellness coach

Sponsor: Gardiner Foundation Scholarship

Sharlene Crage is a Food Coach and Wellness Therapist known for her passion for nutrition and  innovative ideas.  She is passionate about supporting farmers who provide our community with real food, which is why she loves working in the Dairy Industry describing it as the best job she has ever had!  Sharlene believes that consumers should be educated about the importance of food quality and made aware of the need to support those who provide it.  Sharlene left Sydney and her job as an Accountant 18 months ago and now lives a rural life in Dingee where she enjoys all things ‘free-range and organic’ with her jazz musician husband. She spends her spare time working on their property, tending the lambs, roses, and fruit trees.  She has made the most of becoming part of a small community and thoroughly enjoys her involvement and volunteer work with the Historical Society, Progress Association, and teaches free music lessons at the Bush Nursing Centre.


Meg Doller

Lives: Elmore, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Artist, mother, volunteer, casual relief teacher

Sponsor: Samantha Bell Memorial Scholarship, City of Greater Bendigo

Meg has called Elmore home for more than ten years. Currently on family leave from her position as a secondary art teacher (although she does casual Relief Teaching), Meg is a contemporary mixed media artist and exhibits regularly with Shepparton Textile Artists Inc. and Splinter Contemporary Artists, for whom she has been the publicity officer for three years. She runs workshops, has had articles published and been an Ag Art Wear judge at the Elmore Field Days and involved in a variety of public art events and collaborative projects, many as the event/project coordinator.   She is an active member of the community and volunteers for Elmore Primary School, Elmore & District Preschool, Elmore Progress Association, Elmore Swimming Pool, Friends of the Elmore Cemetery, Elmore Field Days, and The Summer Send Off Charity Ball.


Tessa Harris

Lives: Swan Hill / Moulamein, Swan Hill Rural City Council

Works / Volunteers: Andrew Broad MP, Federal Member for Mallee, Electorate Officer

Sponsor: Swan Hill Rural City Council Scholarship

Tess is 24 years old and having been brought up on a rice, cereal and sheep farm in Moulamein NSW, she has a great appreciation for rural living.    Tessa works for Andrew Broad MP, Federal Member for Mallee.  Her job is mainly in enquiries from members of the electorate, and also to assist with the office administration.  She has been responsible for several projects involving research and promotion of funding opportunities, and she enjoys being able to assist communities in enabling regional development.   She loves seeing rural communities thriving and has involved herself in Committees which are focused on boosting town morale and tourism.  She would like to see a higher level of support for students and increased mental health awareness in her region.  Her acceptance into LMCLP is the first step towards being able to achieve this.


Jason Hensley

Lives: Cohuna, Gannawarra Shire

Works / Volunteers: Mawsons, IT and logistics

Sponsor: Mawsons

Jason was born in the Wimmera on a sheep and wheat farm.  Upon graduating from University he accepted a position with Kraft at Cohuna before travelling overseas and meeting his wife in Austria—they now have two children.  He has returned to Cohuna and works for Mawsons – a supplier of premium concrete and quarry products looking after their information technology, bulk cement transport and mechanical areas the business.   He is involved with a home church, through which he works with his local Chaplin and other members to run free breakfasts for all high school students in Cohuna most Fridays.  Over the Christmas period they have put together and distributed almost 100 hampers for people in their community.  Jason is also involved with a bi-monthly men’s breakfast where they normally get around 60 men come along for breakfast and to connect.  He enjoys playing sport; currently playing tennis and golf when he can get a pass, playing board games, and chilling out watching TV or a movie with the kids.


Timothy Hoogwerf

Lives: Quarry Hill, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning

Sponsor: Self

Tim is passionate about working with people and communities to create positive change. He has been involved in leadership, management and community development for over 20 years, initially as an officer in the Australian Army, then as a health practitioner teaching yoga and Pilates and as a massage therapist and, for the last 9 years, in natural resource management. These different paths have allowed Tim to work with a diverse range of people and live in communities throughout Australia and overseas. He now has more questions than answers and to keep him grounded likes nothing more than to spend time with his family and get outdoors.  Tim is commencing in the role of Business and Partnerships Manager at DELWP in 2016.


Chris Jeffery

Lives: Swan Hill, Swan Hill Rural City Council

Works / Volunteers: CFA

Sponsor: CFA

Chris has been working for the CFA for over eight years in the corporate administration side. He’s currently involved as a committee member of Swan Hill Badminton Association and recently became a member of Swan Hill Sunrise Rotary Club.  He has also been involved as a committee member, secretary and treasurer of two cricket clubs where he has played in the past. Chris was also a volunteer fire fighter with Swan Hill Fire Brigade from 2010 to 2015.  In 2014 Chris started his own business called Mallee Repairs, fixing screens and parts in iPhones, iPods, iPads, Samsungs, Nokias etc. The business was very successful however he decided to close up at the end of 2015 to focus on the LMCLP, and to begin preparation to run as Councillor for Swan Hill in October 2016.  He has long considered running for local council to help Swan Hill become a better town; to develop and attract new business and grow in the future. He has a desire to better engage the community and particularly younger citizens to have a say on Swan Hill’s future.


Cheryl Kemp

Lives: Charlton, Buloke Shire

Works / Volunteers: Country Women’s Association

Sponsor: Buloke Shire Scholarship

Cheryl is a retired secondary schoolteacher who is a member of the Cabbaritta Charlton CWA, Coordinates the Cabbaritta Junior CWA, and is a member of the Kooyoora Women’s Network.  She has studied Neuro linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, reiki and theta healing and practices meditation and self-hypnosis regularly.  Cheryl is passionate about community, particularly facilities for women, children and families.  She is a life-long learner and has multiple passions and interests and loves spending time with her grandchildren, gardening and craft.


Paul Kooperman

Lives: Lancefield, Macedon Ranges Shire

Works / Volunteers: SE3D Consulting, Swinburne University

Sponsor: Macedon Ranges Shire Council Scholarship

Paul Kooperman is a screenwriter, playwright, published author, teacher, facilitator, experienced CEO, public speaker and social entrepreneur. Paul has won awards as a writer and producer, raised more than $5M for not for profit organisations over the last ten years, and was a finalist for Manager of the Year in 2014 in the not for profit sector. Currently lecturing in leadership and management at Swinburne University, in his spare time, Paul has developed a purpose-driven enterprise called SE3D (www.se3d.org) to empower the disempowered, make learners the leaders, create the world we wish existed and leave a positive legacy for the local and global community. Six months old and based in the Macedon Ranges, one of SE3D’s core programs, The Field Trip, is gaining strong traction in the area and growing rapidly nationally and internationally.


Peter Lilly

Lives: Bendigo, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Whitelion

Sponsor: Self

Peter was born in New Zealand and grew up within a small farming community.  During his early career he was an air traffic controller in New Zealand and Australia before moving on to become an airline pilot for Kendell and REX Airlines.  He retired in 2012 and is currently working part-time as a Simulator Instructor and Examiner and has become involved with Youth Mentoring activities through Whitelion, and has an on-call roster of 60 hours per week with YRIPP, a volunteer service that provides trained Independent Persons for young people under 18 years, who need representation at Police interviews. Peter’s intention is to expand the idea of youth mentoring and referral within smaller communities that have no service, and to introduce a program that also exposes Aviation career opportunities to those young people.  He sees LMCLP as a good vehicle to train himself in the skills needed for this venture and to also establish links and meet like-minded people.


Jenny Lonergan

Lives: Woodend, Macedon Ranges Shire

Works / Volunteers: It Takes A Village Compassionate Communities Inc.

Sponsor: Hugh DT Williamson Foundation Scholarship

Jenny is Vice President and Community Engagement/ Administration Officer for It takes a Village Compassionate Communities Inc. (ITAV).  She is also a co-owner of Natural Grace Holistic Funeral Directors Woodend, Co-Convenor/Community Engagement Macedon Ranges Reconciliation Group (MRRG), Founder MRR harps – Macedon Ranges Rainbow humanity/awareness/respect/people/support, and a member of MRSPAG Macedon Ranges Suicide Prevention Action Group.  Her heart lies in awareness building and education for the community about the culture of our country and the dire state of our environment both globally and locally, helping our western society become healthier by seeing death as part of life, and helping to bring society to a place where difference does not need to cause fear and in turn, unfair and discriminatory behaviour toward one another.  She volunteers a large part of her time and energy to being a constructive part of the answer to these issues.


Stewart Luckman

Lives: Inglewood, Loddon Shire

Works / Volunteers: Inglewood & District Community Bank

Sponsor: Inglewood & District Community Bank

Stewart is married with two children and has lived in Inglewood since 2001, having followed his wife back to her home town. Stewart has worked for Bendigo & Adelaide Bank since 2010 and enjoys his role as a Customer Service Officer and looks forward to progressing in his career.  He has also been Director on the Board of Inglewood & Districts Community Enterprises for three years.   Stewart is a very active member of Inglewood Lion’s Club, finding that working amongst elder team members has been a huge advantage.  He is also a member of Inglewood & Districts Men’s Shed & Inglewood & Districts RSL.   Stewart is a field umpire for the Bendigo Umpire Group & umpires football games for the reserves & under 18 groups in the Loddon Valley football league.


Kate McInnes

Lives: Castlemaine, Mount Alexander Shire

Works / Volunteers: Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, Education & Community Services

Sponsor: Employer / self

Kate is a social worker who has worked in the refugee settlement field for 12 years. Her roles have included both direct support for newly arrived refugees, research, training and management. Kate is currently the Manager of Education and Community Services at Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services.  Kate also volunteers in a number of roles across the refugee, advocacy, family and early childhood fields.


Alana Newbold

Lives:   Dingee, Loddon Shire

Works / Volunteers: Haven, Home Safe, Tenancy & Property Manager, Joining the Dots,
Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LCMS), & Dingee Progress Association

Sponsor: Loddon Shire Scholarship

Alana has a strong background in Planning, Scheduling & Complaint Resolution within a Telecommunications environment.   She and her husband relocated to the Loddon Shire area in 2011, making Dingee their home in 2013.  Through Joining the Dots partnered with the Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LCMS), Alana is a trained facilitator for the Welcome Dinner Programme, which connects newly arrived people with established Australians over dinner conversation in the comfort of their home.  She also currently works as a Tenancy & Property Manager within the Community Housing sector in Bendigo.   Alana has a passion for other people’s junk and loves nothing better to find things on the side of the road to bring home and repurpose.  Her wish is to combine the skills that she has, together with what she will learn as part of the program, to put Dingee on the map.


James O’Bryen

Lives: Longlea, City of Greater Bendigo

Works: Bendigo Bank

Sponsor: Self

James is a senior IT analyst at Bendigo Bank, having worked in the IT Industry in various roles in Bendigo and Melbourne since 1988.  He has had multiple careers including as a professional musician in Melbourne in the 80’s and early 90’s, as a ride operator at Luna Park, and as a trainee technician at Telstra.  James has held various roles with the Axe Creek cricket club over the past 12 years including president, secretary and treasurer.  He is also Chairman of the Longlea Recreation Reserve and has been involved in building developments there and in managing and maintaining the reserve for its many user groups.  James is a passionate guitar player, cricketer, traveller and dad to his eight-year-old daughter.  His goal is to work more with community and to develop sporting and music programs for young people.


Katherine Petrusma (Katie)

Lives: Harcourt, Mount Alexander Shire

Works: Student – Bachelor of Agriculture

Sponsor: Gardiner Foundation

Katie Petrusma was born in the Mount Alexander Shire and recently began her lifelong passion to study Agriculture. In 2015 Katie moved with her three horses to Dookie Agricultural College near Shepparton Victoria. In Katie’s short time as an adult she has studied Agriculture and Wool Classing at Dookie College and been lucky enough to see the Dookie robotic dairy in action and realised her interest in AI, embryo transfer and pregnancy testing. In 2016 Katie will undertake the second year of the Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne where she will major in production animal science.  Katie was not lucky enough to be born into a farming family; however farming is in her blood with her mother’s side of the family involved in agriculture.  Katie has discovered her passion for cattle and her ambition is to pursue a career in cattle genetics.


Kristy Pilgrim

Lives: Quambatook, Gannawarra Shire

Works / Volunteers: Mallee Family Care, CFA

Sponsor: CFA

Kristy Pilgrim holds a Diploma of Applied Science (Community and Human Services), with the majority of her career spent working within the social welfare sector. She currently works with Mallee Family Care, providing respite for children with autism and disabilities. Kristy is an active member within her local community of Quambatook. She has been a volunteer member of the CFA since 2006 and is currently a Lieutenant and Training Officer with the Quambatook Fire Brigade. Kristy is also a committee member with the Quambatook Neighbourhood House and the Quambatook Northern Districts Community Health Clinic. She is a member of the Quambatook Cemetery Trust.  Kristy is married with three school aged children and a menagerie of animals. In her limited spare time, she enjoys boating, camping and cooking.


Ric Raftis

Lives: Wedderburn, Loddon Shire

Works / Volunteers: Bushsong web development

Sponsor: Loddon Murray Mallee Primary Health Network Scholarship

Early in his life Ric was involved in banking before joining the Army for 3 years. On completion of that time, Ric returned to banking and finance eventually having to leave the after suffering from a breakdown and a diagnosis of depression and severe anxiety, and ultimately of bipolar disorder.  Since that time, Ric has developed skills in web development and has also been actively involved in the mental health area. He initiated the formation of the Loddon Healthy Minds Committee which is auspiced by the Loddon Shire; volunteers as a Community Visitor with the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate; and as the Victorian Co-ordinator for the Black Dog Ride (a long distance motorcycle ride to promote awareness of Depression and Suicide Prevention).  Now an accredited instructor with Mental Health First Aid, Ric is very keen to pass on the lessons of this course to the community and business alike.


Rebecca Sexton

Lives: Epsom, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Business Consultant, ORM Pty Ltd

Sponsor: Employer

Rebecca grew up in Dingee and completed a Bachelor of Business at La Trobe University in Bendigo with support from the Gardiner Foundation.  She worked as a Customer Services Officer at the Bendigo Bank in Deniliquin before getting a job with ORM closer to home, where she has worked her way up from administration assistant to business consultant which is a new role for her in 2016.  This will involve being an analyst for ORM clients, preparing data for their business reviews and other meetings.  ORM provides professional services and events for the agribusiness industry.  Rebecca plays netball at Calivil United where she also coaches the Under 17’s netball side, and she is also involved in the local youth group.


Emma Shannon

Lives: Castlemaine, Mount Alexander Shire

Works / Volunteers: Central Victorian Primary Care Partnerships,
Integrated Health Promotion & Planning Manager

Sponsor: Central Victorian Primary Care Partnerships

Emma Shannon is the Integrated Health Promotion and Planning Manager at Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership. Emma’s work has included facilitating partnerships and engaging in local research and innovative evaluation approaches in rural and regional settings. Emma also has extensive experience in developing and facilitating training. Emma has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with 12 years of clinical experience and has completed her Master of Public Health. Emma lives in Castlemaine and is invested in working to support a healthy and connected community, in which to raise her two beautiful daughters. She has diverse interests which include mountain bike riding and crochet!


Cathy Spencer

Lives: Quarry Hill, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Carer Consultant, Psychiatric Services, Bendigo Health

Sponsor: TBC

Cathy has lived and worked in Bendigo most of her life. She has been married for 18 years and has two children.  Cathy and her husband have created a beautiful family home in Quarry Hill after spending some years renovating it from top to bottom, which has been very rewarding.  Cathy has always had a passion for engaging with others within her community, and has worked within the human services field for 30 years. She has qualifications in early childhood education, nursing, community and health management, counselling, yoga teaching, and teaching within the TAFE system.  Cathy’s current role as Carer Consultant with Psychiatric services at Bendigo Health primarily focuses on contributing to, reviewing and facilitating clinical education, systems and processes from a carer perspective.  Her own lived experience as a mental health carer is vital in providing a carer voice to service development and planning, which is inclusive of carers and families accessing this service.


Baydon Widdicombe

Lives: Ascot, City of Greater Bendigo

Works / Volunteers: Bendigo and Aboriginal Co-operative

Sponsor: Bank Australia indigenous Scholarship

Baydon is the Human Resource Manager at Bendigo and Aboriginal Co-operative.  He is a proud Aboriginal and has a passion for reducing homelessness for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.  He enjoys helping people in the community through mediation, workers compensation case management, and assisting managers with health and safety.  He would one day like to own and run an emergency housing facility for homeless people in Bendigo.