New Enquiry 2019-05-16T12:57:18+10:00

Welcome to RFCS Gippsland

RFCS Gippsland offer planning and support for farm businesses with free, independent and confidential financial counselling

Financial counselling provides clients with:

        • The ability to understand their financial position and the viability of their business
        • Identify options and resources to improve in times of growth, or recover from a crisis or downturn
        • Assistance and support to develop and implement plans in an ongoing mentor role (up to 4 years)
        • Referrals to other support agencies, professional and industry specialists, health and wellbeing services, as well as government assistance packages

Click on the images below to view information on all the services and support available

our Financial Counsellor will go through this assistance when you meet. They will be in contact with you soon to arrange a meeting

It is important that you understand what is involved for the application processes, and help you prepare for meeting


Central reference for all available services

RFCS Gippsland can assist:

Client Care Hub

Central reference of all available free support

· farm  · business  · bills  · employment  · violence  · unexpected events  · wellbeing

Emergency financial relief can be found under the ‘Farm Help’ tab

Apply for State & Federal Government Financial Drought Relief:
Federal Drought Support via Salvation Army
Farm Business Assistance
Pasture Recovery & Management Program

RFCS Gippsland are able to offer emergency grocery and fuel vouchers thanks to local business donations

Agriculture Victoria

Central reference for all available resources

Dry Season support including:

· Technical   · Financial   · Personal & Family   · Regional

Drought Support Reference Guide – May 2019

Farm Financial Support

The following links are to organisations currently offering farm relief support

Salvation Army – Federal Drought Relief Funding
Rural Finance – State Drought Relief, Pasture Recovery, Water, and Infrastructure Grants
Rural Aid 
Aussie Helpers
Gippsland Farmer Relief
Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House
Lions Club – Need for Feed
Drought Angels

Centrelink – MyGov

To receive Government Assistance, you must have a MyGov account

Download Instructions

Centrelink Farmer Hotline 132 316

Introduction Letter


Client Service Agreement


Farm Financial Healthcheck


Our Team

KYLIE HOLMES - CPA, B Bus (Accounting), GAICD.
KYLIE HOLMES - CPA, B Bus (Accounting), GAICD.Executive Officer (Leongatha)
Kylie commenced as Executive Officer of RFCS Gippsland in September 2016. Kylie has worked in the banking and finance industry, and more recently with water service and supply organisations in various management roles including finance, IT, regulation and business services. Working with water service organisations, Kylie has had involvement with the rural and farming sectors assisting with water supply services.
MEGAN COLAHANAdministration / Finance Officer (Leongatha)
Megan was employed by the Gippsland Farmers Support Group prior to the merge of the two Gippsland services in 2006. Megan is responsible for managing all financial aspects of the service, including payroll, tax, statutory and Government reporting requirements, and providing admin support to the counsellors and Executive Officer.

Megan has completed a Diploma in Business Administration and Cert III in Small Business Management.

JENNY MASONSenior Rural Financial Counsellor Coordinator (Maffra)
Jenny was appointed Senior Rural Financial Counsellor Coordinator (SRFCC) in 2009. Prior to this she was employed as a rural financial counsellor and projects officer for RFCS Gippsland. Her project work focused on farm succession, diversification, employment, retirement and selling. The culmination of this work was presented at the Farmers Choosing Change Expo in 2005 followed by a workbook and DVD.

Jenny grew up on a dairy farm and has continued to be involved in the dairy industry as a farm business owner and operator in partnership with her husband.

This background provides Jenny with a very comprehensive and practical understanding of both business and operational issues confronting farmers in Gippsland.

Formal qualifications and accreditation include Business (Accounting), Community Services – Financial Counselling, Case Management & Welfare Work, Training & Assessment, Family Meeting Facilitation, Professional Supervision.

WAYNE SANDERSRural Financial Counsellor (Leongatha)
Wayne commenced as a Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) in June 2016.

Wayne has a background in banking and finance in the Gippsland region of over 25 years. Previous roles have included Regional Finance and Regional Finance/Administration Manager with Wesfarmers, Branch Manager with Bendigo Bank and Gippsland Area Finance Manager with Westpac/AGC. Over the last 10 years Wayne has worked in employment within the job network and retail management in Leongatha.

Wayne has lived in Berry’s Creek for 22 years and is an active CFA firefighter for 20 years.

Wayne is currently undertaking the Diploma of Financial Counselling – Rural.

ANNE GILLIGANRural Financial Counsellor (Leongatha)
Anne started as a Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) in January 2010, and works at our Leongatha Head Office.

Anne has a background in finance having worked at the Commonwealth Bank and a local finance organisation. She also worked at the Department of Primary Industries for six years assisting in various departments in a casual administration role.

Anne and her husband owned and operated their family dairy farm at Buffalo until 2008.

Anne completed her Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) in late 2011.

JANE COOTS - BBusCom (Accounting)
JANE COOTS - BBusCom (Accounting)Rural Financial Counsellor (Ellinbank)
Jane was appointed as Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) in April 2016. Jane is based at our Ellinbank office and services clients across West Gippsland and the Yarra Ranges.

Previously an accountant, Jane is as working towards CPA accreditation after completing her Diploma of Financial Counselling (Rural) in 2017.

Together with her husband, she was a dairy farmer in Trafalgar for 15 years before leaving the industry at the end of 2015. She was also a director of the Board of Trafalgar Community Bank®.

WAYNE JEFFERIS - Bachelor of Business(Accounting) FCPA
WAYNE JEFFERIS - Bachelor of Business(Accounting) FCPARural Financial Counsellor (Bairnsdale)
Wayne was appointed as a Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) in July 2017. Wayne’s background is in Public Accounting & farming. He was a partner in an Accounting Practice in Leongatha for many years where he worked with farmers & business clients to assist with all forms of compliance, management, finance & succession planning issues.

Wayne also had a passion for farming & operated his beef farm in South Gippsland until recent time.
Wayne & his wife have moved to Bairnsdale to reside.
Wayne is currently undertaking the Diploma of Financial Counselling – Rural.

TRUDI LAINGRural Financial Counsellor (Maffra)
Trudi commenced as a Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) in July 2016 and is based in the Maffra office.

As a former dairy farmer, she has owned and operated a dairy farming business in south Gippsland for 24 years until 2012.

She formerly worked at South Gippsland Water as the Procurement Officer and IT training and support. Trudi has a background in banking having worked at the Commonwealth Bank and has held positions in accounts payable and purchasing in the communication industry.

She has completed her diploma of Agriculture and her certificate IV in Training and Assessing and is currently completing her Diploma of Financial Counselling – Rural.

PETER PAUWELS Rural Financial Counsellor (East & West Gippsland)
Peter has been a Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) since 2008 originally based in Queensland, he commenced with RFCS Gippsland between 2011-2016, recently returning in 2018 servicing clients in East and West Gippsland.

Peter has vast experience working with a range of rural enterprises and was an international Financial Advisor, Business Improvement Consultant, and a bank Agribusiness Manager. He brings significant experience in business start-ups; investments; development and growth; efficiencies; strategy; marketing; restructuring; staff development; quality and risk management.

Previously obtaining a raft of relevant qualifications in areas including Rural Business Management, Agriculture and Human Resources, Peter is currently completing an MBA and a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences.

Peter completed his Diploma of Community Services (Financial Services) in 2010

SARAH BARDSLEY - Dip Financial Counselling
SARAH BARDSLEY - Dip Financial CounsellingRural Financial Counsellor (Ellinbank & Gippsland)
Sarah commenced as a Gippsland Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) in April 2018. Based in Ellinbank and Maffra, Sarah will service the whole of Gippsland 2 days per week.

Sarah is a Gippsland resident experienced in providing financial counselling services, and was instrumental in the development of the Heyfield Financial Counselling Community Outreach Program. Sarah has a background in business support services and working knowledge of the challenges that rural communities face.

Sarah has decades of business management experience with significant working knowledge of issues directly impacting our rural communities.

MICHAEL ANDERSONSmall Business Financial Counsellor (East Gippsland)
Michael Anderson is a Gippsland resident, holds qualifications in Farm Management; Business and Mental Health Counselling, and is an experienced rural business broker, consulting Victorian small businesses for over 25 years. With a family background in farming, managing an agribusiness supply agency, and more recently, a counsellor in the East Gippsland region, Michael brings practical knowledge of fluctuating trading environments and the impact this has on business owners directly and in-directly relying on the agricultural industry.
Michael understands how to value a business, what makes a strong; viable business, as well as identify its strengths, risks, and market opportunities. He will work closely with owners to make any necessary changes, develop financial and business plans, as well as a market strategy to increase profitability to become a sustainable business.
CHRIS MARSHALLRural Financial Support Officer (East Gippsland)
Chris commenced with RFCS Gippsland in April 2019 to support clients in East Gippsland and Wellington Shires apply for financial assistance.
With a farming background, Chris also has significant experience understanding and representing fellow farmers as a committee member for the Southwest Rural Counselling Service for 10 years, as well as bringing substantial understanding of government assessment criteria working within Centrelink for 23 years (7 of those as a Rural Service Officer and Farm Household Case Officer), receiving written commendation from Federal Minister for Agriculture for work as a rural public servant.


1. Implement Innovative Client Engagement Approaches

2. Collaborate with Client Support Stakeholders