Who We Are
Established in 2013, the Committee for Greater Shepparton (C4GS) is a not-for-profit, member-funded advocacy organisation.
The cross-sectoral network represents more than 120 influential businesses, community organisations and statutory authorities.
As an informed commentator and credible advocate, the Board and Executive Team behind the brand represent the economic, social, environmental and cultural interests of the region.
Working as an impartial peak business and community group, the framework creates a think tank, uniting Greater Shepparton business leaders.
Guided by four strategic pillars, the C4GS drives the vision for a positive future.
Leigh is a Director of Shepparton based engineering firm CAF Consulting employing over 30 people.
Leigh grew up in Shepparton before leaving to study Civil Engineering at Monash University and worked across various civil infrastructure development projects in Melbourne. In pursuit of large-scale project experience five years was spent in the United Kingdom on Motorway and Airport Development – notably Terminal 5 Heathrow which bought him back to Melbourne Airport where he led various landside and airside development projects for APAM. Project Finance was key to infrastructure development which led Leigh into further studies and an investment banking role with Citigroup.
An opportunity to come home to Shepparton and join the family business presented in 2009, which Leigh initially committed to for 2 years. The work and lifestyle opportunities were too good to pass up in Greater Shepparton where Leigh and his family have immersed for the long term where he plays an active role in the community, holding positions on various community industry and community groups including Committee for Greater Shepparton and the Shepparton Festival.
Lesley is a principal lawyer and director of Dawes & Vary Riordan Lawyers. She was one of the inaugural Law Institute of Victoria Commercial Tenancy Law Specialists (1999-2015). She heads the firm's Property and Retail Leasing Group and practices extensively in Commercial and Agricultural property transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and property related Water Law issues. Lesley's advises high wealth individuals, property developers, business owners, agriculturalists and government bodies. She also plays a key role in the management of the law firm.
After five years the pull of a country lifestyle brought them to Shepparton where they purchased and developed an irrigated croppingfarm in their spare time while working as lawyers. They love the rich and varied lifestyle they now live.
Lesley's commitmment to the region and keen sense of community has seen her serving in many roles including currently as Chair of the Committee for Greater Shepparton, as a community representative on the Goulburn Valley Highway Bypass Action Group and as a co-ordinator of Dawes & Vary Riordan's volunteering and scholarship program with Wilmot Road Primary School.
Lesley has a Bachelor of Arts (English), Bachelor of Law, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (College of Law NSW) and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (UTS). She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
With a passion for rural and regional development, Jane enjoys her current position as Principal town planner with Spiire in Shepparton. Jane forms part of the consultant team at Spiire, assisting in a wide variety of land development projects and strategic land use assessments. She also oversees the business’ Town Planning and Urban Design Practice Area across Spiire’s six offices.
Prior to Shepparton Jane lived and worked in Melbourne, where she was born, Bendigo and Mornington Peninsula, as well as internationally in Dublin, Ireland. Jane now lives with her husband Damian on their family dairy farm near Cobram, along with their three daughters. Jane enjoys being part of the local community and actively participates on the St Joseph’s Cobram Primary School Advisory Board and with the Cobram Junior Tennis Association.
Jane was also part of the 2018 Fairley Leadership Program cohort. As part of the C4GS she looks forward to advocating for progress and positive recognition of what our local area has to offer.
Andrew Mann is the General Manager - Australian Operations for AC Foods. He is responsible for the operations of the Australian business including growing, packing and sales.
Andrew moved back to Shepparton in 2008 with Rabobank, after having studied a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from Melbourne University at Dookie College and then working with National Australia Bank in Shepparton.
He joined AC Foods in 2019 to project manage the development of a 500 ha citrus orchard at Barooga along with Investor management.
Andrew is currently a board member of Murray Dairy and was previously a board member of GMLLEN. He has also lectured in Agriculture at La Trobe University in Shepparton.
He was part of the 2014 Fairley Leadership Program cohort. Andrew is passionate about careers and opportunities in agriculture in our region and the flow on effects to communities that this creates.
Damion is Managing Director of CPE Construction in Cobram and Guthrie McGoldrick Consulting Engineers based in Shepparton.
Damion grew up in a farming family in Ouyen (Northern Victoria) before completing a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at the University of Melbourne. After several years working in construction project management in Melbourne and other regional areas of Australia, Damion purchased CPE Construction in Cobram in 2003, he has managed the business since that time.
Damion’s wife, Natasha grew up in a farming family in Shepparton, before shifting away from the area for education and work. The couple now live in Shepparton with their three young children. Natasha owns and operates a local business in the healthcare industry.
Damion enjoys community involvement including previously being President of the Grahamvale Primary School Council and currently on the Shepparton Junior Tennis Association Committee. One of Damion’s passions is helping develop career opportunities for young trades and professionals in the Goulburn Valley region.
Emma Youill is the General Manager of Customers and Growth for Goulburn
Valley Water (GVW).
She joined GVW in 2022 to further her work and interest in supporting and
growing regional Victoria. She is passionate about improving regional
resilience, self-reliance and fostering and promoting the strength of Greater
Shepparton and broader region.
Emma started her career in Sydney developing and managing industry and
government events across and Australia and Asia-Pacific focused on the energy sector before working for more than a decade in Melbourne and the UK with a number of high-profile internet development and telecommunications
In 2008, Emma, her husband Matt and young daughter returned to Victoria.
She re-entered the energy sector working across Victoria at both Powercor and
AusNet Services. As the General Manager, Business Delivery at AusNet she led initiatives to prepare electricity networks for the transition to a carbon free
future, deliver improvements in community safety and resilience and
transformational programs to drive cost efficiencies and adoption of new
Emma and her family are dedicated CFA volunteers that work in their local
community and across the regions (in Victoria and New South Wales) to
support fire and natural disaster-affected communities.
Tim is the Director of Strategic Projects Goulburn Valley Health, with a background in commercial law, strategic communications and engagement, and government relations.
Born and raised in Sydney, Tim moved to Melbourne in the early 2000s to pursue his passion for music. He later completed a Master of Laws and practiced commercial law at Minter Ellison, one of Australia’s leading firms.
In 2015 he returned to Sydney and spent 8 years in senior roles at the front line of NSW politics, serving as an advisor to the NSW Finance Minister, Communications Director for the NSW Treasurer, and Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications for the NSW Premier.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Tim relocated with his family to his wife’s home town of Shepparton, bringing his passion for policy, communications and government engagement to the health sector through his work at GV Health.
Tim is passionate about supporting and developing the economic future of the Goulburn Valley, which he believes is one of Australia’s best kept secrets. He is a member of the School Advisory Council at St Brendan’s Primary School, and still enjoys making music when he can.
Chief Executive Officer
Linda commenced as CEO of the Committee for Greater Shepparton in February 2022.
Linda moved to Melbourne in 1990 for university and started her career with Australian Wheat Board as an economist working in on a wide range of international trade and domestic policy issues. The desire to travel saw Linda relocate to the UK working in financial services with Zurich International. Linda returned to Melbourne in 2000 where she took on roles with South East Water and then with CPA Australia in its policy and advocacy areas in tax, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility.
In 2007, Linda, her husband Paul and their pre-school children relocated to Shepparton to be closer to Linda’s family’s dairy farms at Boosey, and Linda took on a Senior Communications and Stakeholder Relations roles with Goulburn Murray Water, Manager of Governance and Communications with Moira Shire Council, and most recently was Head of Communications and Future Business with Apple and Pear Australia. In 2016, Linda was appointed to the Board of Goulburn Valley Water and is currently the deputy Chair.
Linda has a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from University of Melbourne, Graduate Diplomas in Agribusiness (Monash University) and Corporations and Securities Law (University of Melbourne) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fairley Leadership Program (2014) and International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).
Linda’s husband, Paul works in logistics at SPC and together they continue to enjoy the regional lifestyle while supporting the sporting and other aspirations of their three children.
Linda is passionate about the careers, opportunities and ongoing innovation within Australian agriculture, and the dynamic, progressive and resilient regional communities, businesses and economies they create.
Member Engagement Manager
Jenna was born and raised in Shepparton and, as such, has an informed and personal knowledge of the Greater Shepparton area.
She has a Bachelor of Business from La Trobe University and, in the early years of her career, worked and managed multiple hospitality venues across the region.
Jenna has been a small business owner, having started the popular Bill and Beats Café.
She was the General Manager at the MOVE museum and was instrumental in project managing the establishment of the museum.
Jenna also held the Business Development Coordinator position at Greater Shepparton City Council.
Jenna lives in Kialla and is currently a committee member of the St Anne’s Sports Association.
She has two children, Louis and Lottie, loves spending time with her extended family and is often found enjoying a coffee at one of the local cafes.
Community Connector and Communications Manager
Fiona was born in Broken Hill and studied music all through her school years.
She did work experience with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as a 14yo and went on to study music, majoring in performance, with the Elder Conservatorium at the University of Adelaide.
While her three children were young, Fiona taught instrumental music, namely piano and violin, at various schools and privately.
After 12 years of teaching, Fiona decided on a career change and studied journalism then started working as a country journo for the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
Since then she has worked as a communications specialist with various media and local governments for the last 14 years specialising in crisis communications and community engagement.