OUR PEOPLE

Southern Cross Farms only employs the highest quality people who have our client's best interest at heart.

Peter O'Donnell
Executive Director

Qualifications: 

  • B.Ec 

  • CPA

Peter completed an economics degree in Adelaide, graduating in 1992. In 2001 Peter founded Southern Cross Business Advisers (SCBA) that grew into a 4 partner organisation with a team of 30 professionals. In 2006 Southern Cross Farms became part of the SCBA group. Peter's stake in SCBA was sold in 2013 to focus on Southern Cross Farms.

As Executive Director of SC Farms his responsibility lies with Strategy Development, Investor Liaison and Acquisitions.

 

Peter's areas of expertise include Business Planning, Continuous Improvement Strategies, Strategic Planning, Workshops and Client Planning Days. His role in the business includes:

  • Business Planning & Management of Operations

  • Investor liaison

  • Strategic Planning

 

Peter is also involved in many community organisations. This includes being a member for the finance committee of the Mildura Specialist School, Director of Mildura Airports Pty Ltd and Board member of MASP. Additionally, he is co-founder of the Kokoda Youth Leadership Program. He is also a coach of football and basketball teams in his spare time.

 

Peter is married to Andrea and has three children - Jack, Will and Kate.

Andrea O'Donnell Office Manager

Andrea worked for over 20 years in the Insurance Industry particularly general insurance, where she dealt with a range of industry specific areas.

 

Andrea learnt over those years that customer service & communication are paramount to a successful business.

 

Andrea has an expectation that all work be delivered to a high professional level. She is enthusiastic, self-motivated and dedicated to the continued growth and success of Southern Cross Farms.

 

Andrea's role with the company is Office Manager, where she is responsible for entering and paying invoices, payroll for Head office employees, Farm Insurance and various other things that may arise.

 

Andrea enjoys playing sport, and more currently Pilates.   She loves to spend time with her husband Peter & their children Jack, Will & Kate along with their very spoilt dog Hudson and Dougy.

David Gardner
Chief Financial Officer

Qualifications: 

  • B.Com (Acc),

  • CPA

 

David was appointed Chief Financial Officer of SC Farms in May 2017. David spent 5 years as a tax accountant at Southern Cross Business Advisers as well as 3 years as Management Accountant and 1 year as Financial Services Coordinator at Mildura Rural City Council.

 

David has professional experience in finance, accounting, risk management, asset management and corporate governance.   

 

His role incorporates the following functions:

  • System implementations

  • Preparation of Budgets and budget v actual reporting

  • Payment of Accounts

  • Commodity reporting

  • Process and policy development

 

David is married, has two sons and two dogs. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as working on classic cars. 

David Lyell
Group Operations

David has over 30 years of horticultural operations management and hands-on operational experience in a variety of horticultural crops.

 

David's role is to focus on the overall operations of the business to ensure the highest quality outputs.  This is achieved by focussing attention on crop nutrition, water supply/management, crop care, labour and equipment maintenance.

 

This role includes:

  • Overseeing the Farm Managers

  • Liaison with customers for harvest and delivery times.

  • Contract negotiations

  • Quality of produce

  • Development of operational budgets.

  • Planning and monitoring annual Fertiliser and Chemical use

  • Contractor management

  • Farm Reporting

  • Oversee staffing requirements of farms

 

David is married with two daughters. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing and holidays in Queensland and Northern Territory.

Brad Baker
Accounting & Finance 

Qualifications: 

  • B.Acc

 

Brad was appointed Management Accountant of SC Farms in June 2018. Brad spent over 4 years as a tax accountant at Southern Cross Business Advisers as well as 2 years as an Asset Accountant at Mildura Rural City Council. 

 

Brad has professional experience in finance, accounting, taxation, asset management, grant acquittals and budgeting.   

 

His role incorporates the following functions:

  • Preparation of budgets

  • Financial reporting

  • Commodity reporting

  • System implementations

  • Creditor & debtor management

  • Fixed asset maintenance

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Cost analysis

 

Brad is married and has one child,  he is also a die-hard Richmond Tigers supporter.

 

He enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing basketball and is involved with the Nichols Point Cricket Club.

Peter Morrish 
Water/Development

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science

 

Peter's connection with land & agriculture stems from growing up on a wheat/sheep farm in Nth West Victoria.

 

He has had a diverse career consisting of;

  • a technical citrus industry role Murray Valley Citrus Board,

  • CEO Riverina Citrus,

  • Agribusiness consulting,

  • Horticultural Property Management,

  • Ag Finance at CBA

  • Water Brokerage.

 

This experience and broad knowledge of operations and market requirements fits to his Development role for SC Farms covering opportunities for development for improved production on properties.

The Water role, for the SC Farms properties to secure their annual and long term water requirements, utilises his vast knowledge of the water markets through his industry dealings as he has worked with a wide range of water users/investors to develop strategies for their respective water requirements in short and long term.

Jason Plant 
Harvest/Farm Operations

Qualifications: 

  • Certificate IV

  • Diploma in Horticulture

Jason oversees all farm operations and assists farm managers to produce the highest quality produce as Farm Operations Manager. 

 

This role includes:

  • Harvest management

  • Oversee farm managers and others within the company

  • Spray and fertilisation implementation

  • Pest and disease management 

  • Farm reporting

  • Contract negotiations 

  • Quality of produce

  • Contractor management 

 

Jason has been in the horticultural industry for over 30 years, completing his Certificate IV in Horticulture in 1996, and his Diploma in Horticulture in 2012. Jason also owned his own vineyard of wine grapes in Red Cliffs for 5 years. 

 

Jason is married, loves camping and fishing, and runs a take away food business with his wife in his spare time. Jason is also heavily involved with the Nangiloc Football Club.

Helena Pollock
Farm Accountant

Helena manages the business and farm financial operations.

 

These roles include:

  • Record keeping including Creditor & Debtor management

  • Preparation of Budgets and budget v actual reporting

  • Payment of Accounts

  • Commodity reports

 

Helena has previously been employed in local industry with her duties including customer service, accounts payable and receivable, payroll and bookkeeping.

 

She previously worked for a Farm Management firm from 1995 to 2004. Helena joined sister company SCBA in 2004, her role within SC Farms is to maintain recordkeeping & financial reporting for our farming division and also assisting with financial reporting to investors of horticultural properties.

Helena is married with two daughters. She enjoys relaxing and spending time with family and friends

Julia Payne
Agribusiness Consultant

Julia is an Agribusiness Assistant at SC Farms Head Office.

 

She is nearing completion of a Bachelor of Business (Accounting and Agribusiness) at La Trobe University Mildura. 

Julia's role includes:

  • Investor Reporting

  • Data Analytics

  • Ideas and Innovation

  • Investigating new projects

Julia joined the team in January 2018 after being involved in many community and leadership programs around the Sunraysia area.

 

Julia has a background in Horticulture, having lived on large scale Horticulture properties all her life, growing everything from wine and table grapes, dried fruit, citrus, nuts and cherries, as well as irrigated wheat and sheep. 

Julia's interests include travelling, spending quality time down the river with family and friends and playing golf. 

Maggie Deng
Accountant

Qualifications:

 

  • Bachelor of Business;

  • Master of Accounting and Finance;

  • CPA

 

Maggie manages the farm financial operations.

 

These roles include:

  • Record keeping including Creditor & Debtor management

  • Preparation of Budgets and budget v actual reporting

  • Payment of Accounts

  • Commodity reports

  • Customer and Suppliers details maintenance

  • Fixed asset maintenance

  • Preparation of BAS, Fuel credit

  • Cost Analysis

 

Maggie is married and is a mother to Natalie, with a cat named Cookie.

 

Her hobbies include playing the Guzheng (a traditional Chinese instrument), travelling and cooking.

Catherine Davies
Administration

Qualifications:

  • Cert IV Frontline Management

  • Cert III Transport and Logistics

  • – over 30 years of customer service/administrative and clerical expertise.

 

Catherine has had a diverse administrative working career ranging from medical reception to scheduling car/truck driving instructors and undertaking truck lessons to obtain an MR Licence.

 

 

Roles:

  • Face of SCF reception

  • Perform a variety of general administrative and clerical services.

  • Processing and preparing accounts for payment

  • Updating contractors work cover and insurance certificates

  • Updating contractors pickers list

 

Catherine is married and enjoys motor sports especially V8 Super Cars. She also enjoy long walks in the Sunraysia district.

Rod Robinson
Culture/Communication

Qualifications:

  • B Ed,

  • Dip of Teaching,

  • Diploma of Positive Psychology,

  • Cert IV Training and Assessment,

  • Cert IV Life Coaching.

Rod has extensive educational experience across schools in Australia and England as both a teacher and Principal. 

He has been involved in leadership coaching and mentoring across numerous sectors, both private and government and was previously Program Manager at Northern Mallee Leaders.

Rod is married to Paula and the father of two wonderful adult children, Adrienne and Jesse.

Warren Sparkes
People/Safety/Processes

Qualifications:

B.Comm (HR Managment)

Dip Occ Health & Safety

Warren spent almost 10 years in the mining industry (both underground and open cut operations) in both People & Safety capacities before taking a different path and assisted in establishing a structural engineering business in partnership with his brother.

Warren returns to a people and safety capacity with Southern Cross Farms bringing with him a passion for system & process automation as well as generating positive cultural change around safe work practices and eliminating substandard behaviours.

During his spare time Warren owns and operates a local gym.

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