Executive & Committee

Executive Team

Chair – Felicity RichardsFelicity Richards

After completing a law degree at the Australian National University, Felicity pursued a career in policy development and regulatory  frameworks for ten years. Returning to the family farm in Tasmania in 2013, some rogue cattle led to a romance across the boundary fence. She and her husband Mark now manage a beef and lamb enterprise across property on Flinders Island and near Launceston.

In the family business, the demands of three small children and an enthusiasm for process, data collection and analysis has seen Felicity take on a largely administrative role. She heads the combined departments of Human Resources, Accounting, Workplace Health and Safety, Compliance and Risk. She jumps at the opportunity to get on her horse and out in the paddock around livestock whenever time permits.

Felicity juggles her family and farm responsibilities with chairing the Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisory Committee, the Tasmanian Red Meat Industry Steering Committee and Farmsafe Australia. She has completed the Tasmanian Leaders I-Lead program and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors' Foundations of Directorship.

Deputy Chair – Dr Richard FranklinDr Richard Franklin

Richard Franklin PhD, FPHAA, FARL , MSocSc (Health), BSc, GCertAustRurLeadership, GradCertEd, MACTM, is a pracademic who uses an evidence based approach to developing real world solutions to improving health, safety and wellbeing with a focus on health services, rural populations, those working in agriculture, disasters and drowning.

He is an Associate Professor in Public Health and the Director for the World Safety Organization Collaborating Centre - Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion at James Cook University.  He has worked in Public Health with a focus on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion since 1996.  He has worked on projects in the areas of general injury prevention, farm safety, rural safety, workplace health and safety, health promotion, alcohol and aquatic safety. 

He has a PhD from the University of Sydney which explored injuries sustained due to farming and possible prevention strategies.  Current project include barriers and facilitators to farm safety, child safety on farms, road safety, drowning prevention, benchmarking, quad bike safety, disaster resilience and ageing on farms. 

Secretary – Kerri-Lynn PeacheyKerri-Lynn Peachey

Kerri-Lynn is the Farm Safety Research Officer for AgHealth Australia (previously known as Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety), School of Rural Health, University of Sydney.

She has been working on health and safety programs and research in the agricultural and horticultural sectors since 2001. She is currently involved with monitoring all fatal and non-fatal incidents that occur in a rural setting and provides advice on farm safety, health and well-being to the broader farming community.

In addition operates a mixed cropping and livestock enterprise with her husband and two children, therefore recognises and acknowledges the necessity to enhance the safety and well-being of farming families.



Public Officer / Interim Treasurer – Ben RogersBen Rogers

Ben Rogers joined the NFF team in June 2017 bringing his experience in workplace relations and law to the role of General Manager,  Workplace Relations and Legal Affairs.

Ben comes with a wealth of experience in the Industrial Relations/Workplace Relations area as Principal Solicitor in the ACT Government, and previously with Comcare and private legal practices in New South Wales.




Mike Norton OAM FAICDMike Norton

Mike operates in partnership with his wife and two sons a beef, dairy, feed grain, sheep and wool enterprise in the south west of WA. 

Former Deputy Chair Farmsafe Australia, Past President of WA Farmers WA, two terms Vice President of Cattle Council of Australia, Foundation board member WA Meat Marketing CO-OP, Six years chairman of Safe Farms WA currently Vice Chairman Safe Farms WA.

Currently board member of WA Farmers, chairman NLIS WA advisory committee, board member of WA Beef industry funding management committee. Several other community committees.


Maree Gooch

Maree GoochMaree Gooch joined SafeFarms WA as the Executive Officer in 2015. SafeFarms WA began in 1994 – for farmers by farmers and is a Not  For Profit organisation, providing tools, education and support to the WA agriculture industry about setting up safety systems and compliance with work health and safety legislation plus using and handling hazardous substances and chemicals, in particular for the agri-food sector.

Safe Farms WA has developed a comprehensive safety system that can be implemented immediately – with inductions, policies, guides and workplace procedures. Led by Maree, they deliver up to 25 face to face WHS workshops across Western Australia plus regular online training and webinars. The organisation provides education tools and support to industry groups and grower groups as well and the 14 farm schools and agriculture colleges located across WA plus lectures at both Curtin and Murdoch Universities with up to 300 students attending courses each year – first year, third year and Master Students.

Maree had a 25 year farming career across a variety of enterprises and three different locations. She has 30 years of work experience, working at executive levels in private business, public sector administration and policy development. Her particular strengths are in strategy, finance, governance and business transformation– specialising in agri-business and food production. 

Maree holds and Executive Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment,  is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. She is a board member of AusChem Training (national) and Muresk Institute farm advisory board as well as a number of private businesses and not-for-profit boards and give her time generously to the community, including as a member of the Perth Rotary Club.


Chris Stillard

Chris is a 5th generation farmer operating with his family a mixed business of Persimmons,Hay / Grain production and livestock  finishing in the Southern Riverina irrigation area of NSW.

Currently serving as a Board member and Chair of Workplace Relations for NSW Farmers and other associated committees. Chris also serves as President of Persimmons Australia.



Dr Elizabeth Lord

Dr Elizabeth Lord is a GP practising in Launceston. She grew up on a small farm in Northern Tasmania before completing her medical degree at the University of Melbourne. She has worked as a doctor across Australia including Geelong, Darwin, regional Victoria and Tasmania's northwest coast.

She is a qualified journalist and has worked at the Mercury newspaper in Hobart and for the leading GP publication, Australian Doctor, in Sydney. She has always had a keen interest in agriculture and is involved in her family's forestry business, and is currently an independent director on the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association board.





Ruth Thompson 

Ruth hails from a mixed farming operation in central west NSW but now resides in South East Queensland. Her drive and passion for industry has seen her hold diverse roles, including agronomy, Territory Manager for Nufarm and Projects & Installations Manager for Clipex Stockyards.

Ruth currently drives positive change for Agriculture in the form of Policy Director for AgForce Queensland, looking after the Grains commodity, as well as Workforce & Safety and Telecommunications & Social Policy.




Executive Officer – Stevi Howdle

BackgroundStevi Howdle

Stevi was born and raised in Alberta, Canada and has been involved with cattle and quarter horses from a young age. She now owns property in NSW where she and her husband breed and train stock and quarter horses and run a successful farm contracting business.

Stevi received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Victoria in British Columbia prior to moving to Australia and has recently become a certified equine assisted learning practitioner.

Her professional background includes working in the social services sector, marketing, local government, and now farm advocacy.

Farmsafe Australia

Stevi came on board as Executive Officer for Farmsafe Australia in March 2020, taking on an ambitious three-year project to overhaul the branding and organisational structure, bringing Farmsafe into the modern era to serve Australian farmers better.

With a $1.9M funding injection from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Farmsafe will be upgrading touchpoints, resources, and engagement strategies while seeking collaborative partnerships across the agricultural landscape to ensure Farmsafe is sustainable and actively increasing awareness of work health and safety risks well into the future.

Stakeholder Engagement Officer – Blake Hillier


Blake came on board as Executive Officer for Farmsafe Australia in June 2022, whilst Stevi was on maternity leave. His previous role with a national agricultural newspaper has provided the insight, knowledge, and understanding of what drives farmers in Australia, and how to communicate with stakeholders across the country.

Blake will focus on Farmsafe stakeholder touchpoints, resources, and engagement opportunities while seeking collaborative partnerships across the agricultural sector to ensure Farmsafe Australia is sustainable beyond 2023