Meet The Board

Vicki Meyer

President & Chair
Director since 2014

Vicki has 30 years’ experience in Agribusiness throughout NSW Riverina and is partner and Chief Executive Officer of Deniliquin Freighters. Her career encompasses Transport Operations Manager and Pivot Agent (grain trading and fertiliser); assigned at corporate level on Business Alignment Project – Pivot Melbourne. Bendigo Bank Head Office Special Projects; setting up Community Banks Vic regional and metropolitan. Business Manager – International Grain trading Company, specialising in Change Management and business re-alignment. Vicki has previously been a director of Bendigo Community Bank – Coleambally; Griffith Business Enterprise Centre and Murray Irrigation Limited. She the chairman of Homes Out West (NFP) and Deniliquin Council – Finance and Audit. Vicki holds a private pilot licence, is a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors; has completed Masters of the Boardroom and is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Michael Jackson

Vice President
Director since 2014

Michael is the Principal and owner of Professionals Jackson Rural in Tamworth. He is also the owner of Jackson Agri Investments, an agricultural real estate, livestock and consulting company. He has had a lifetime of interest on the land and currently owns and runs his large farming operation with mixed farming and grazing. Michael has over 25 years’ experience providing services to clients who are looking to invest or sell rural properties or livestock. He has extensive experience in the following agri sectors throughout Australia; beef, dairying, cropping and horticulture. He has also assisted with the setup of management structures for farming operations and his other enterprises.

Graeme Kruger

Nat Dip App Sci, B.Tech Sci 
Vice President
Director since 2014

Graeme is currently the Executive Director of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) based in Leeton NSW.  He began his career managing National Parks in South Africa and then onto New Zealand, where he eventually progressed into the property and real estate sectors as a General Manager. After moving to Australia in 2012, he took up a position as Tamworth Professionals General Manager, working alongside Michael Jackson.  He brings extensive General Management and Governance experience ranging across, operations, marketing & sales, project management and people management to the board.  Graeme’s mother is a cancer survivor and he lost his father to cancer in August 2016, which motivates him to be involved in the good work that Can Assist does.  Graeme also has a keen understanding of the challenges faced by membership based volunteer organisations and has been actively involved in these throughout his career. 

Jim Phelan

Director since 2014

Jim has significant financial experience in the private and public sectors as well as being a Board Director and Company Secretary for several large multi-national engineering firms over the last decade. For 5.5 years until June 2014 Jim was Finance Director on the team responsible for the establishment of NSW Health Infrastructure and its subsequent ongoing operations. In addition Jim has had significant involvement with Sporting Associations - appointed Director of the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) in 2009 and Chairman from 2011 - 2015. Since 2014, Jim has been on the Committee and Secretary of Northern Sydney's Men of league.  

Gabrielle Cusack

Director since 2016

Gabrielle Cusack works in local government and is the Executive Officer of the Canberra Region Joint Organisation which is a network including councils across South East NSW and the ACT.
Gabrielle has a myriad of life experiences and has had an amazing career, working and living in the United States, as well as developing countries such as East Timor and the Solomon Islands.  She has also worked in Federal politics as an adviser in the portfolio of regional development and local government. Gabrielle lives in Boorowa, in South East NSW.  She is passionate about economic development and identifying opportunities to grow rural and regional communities.

David Graham

Director since 2014

David is the Warehousing and Procurement Manager for the Moree Plains Shire and is the President of Can Assist Moree. David’s strong ethical backgrounds and beliefs have seen him be involved with numerous fundraising committees, clubs and charities and has served as the President of Moree Lions Club, St Edwards Parents and Friends Association, St. Joseph's Parents and Friends Association and Secretary Coolamon Rovers Football Club.

Emma Phillips

Bachelor of Commerce UNSW
Director since 2016

Emma has had a long career in Global Banking working in both Sydney and New York for Citibank, ABN Amro and Royal Bank of Scotland. As a Managing Director she was primarily involved in working with large corporates in developing their risk management strategies with respect to their exposures to currency, interest rates and commodities.
Emma has a strong affinity with the land and rural centres with her family previously owning properties in both Bathurst and Cowra. She continues to have strong links to rural NSW and understands the importance of supporting rural communities, their well-being and access to appropriate medical support.  In addition to this Emma has ongoing involvement in her local community and sporting associations.

Dan Taylor

Company Secretary & Treasurer

Director since 2015

Dan is a partner of BDO East Coast Partnership and has over 20 years’ experience as a chartered accountant. He is a fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. He specialises in the valuation of businesses and the provision of merger & acquisition services.

Vicki Wade

BA (Admin), LLB, M App Law (Wills & Estate), Fellow COL
Director since 2014

Vicki was born in Griffith and raised on her parent’s farm at Rankin's Springs. She has been a partner of Noyce Salmon & D’Aquino Solicitors in Griffith since 2003. Vicki has been a member of Can Assist Griffith Branch for a number of years. Prior to joining her legal firm Vicki gained 23 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors; primarily in travel and tourism industry. Vicki was a member of the Board of Ningana Enterprises Inc from 2003 to 2012; a Disability support service that provides accommodation, work opportunities and respite services for people within the community with disabilities. In 2010 Vicki was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She travelled to Sydney for surgery (twice) and for radiation treatment and understands the relevance of Can Assist for rural and regional NSW.

John Colvin

BEc (Hons) (Syd)MSc (Econ) (LSE) MA (Law) (Oxon) FAICD

John was a Can Assist director for 22 years, from 1990 to 2012. He served as Vice President from 1991 then President from 2008 to 2012 when he retired from the board and accepted our invitation to be Patron. John was a partner at Freehills law firm for many years before being appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2008. We acknowledge John’s enormous contribution to Can Assist over many years and thank him for his enduring commitment as Patron.