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Regional Development Victoria

Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership

Map of the Wimmera-Southern Mallee partnership region Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnerships Logo

Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership in central western  Victoria spans one of the world’s great wheat and cereal growing regions.

There are many small, rural communities here and the major regional centre of Horsham. It is also home to some of Victoria’s most iconic natural attractions, including the Grampians National Park, the Wimmera River, major wetlands and lakes, and Mt Arapiles, a world renowned rock-climbing destination.

Opportunities and issues that the Wimmera Southern Mallee Partnership  are likely to tackle include expanding high-value agricultural production and developing innovative agricultural products, attracting new residents and services for ageing residents, and diversifying the economy.

Local Government Areas:

Email the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership


Communities sought to design and trial more effective early years provision

2017/18 Victorian Budget outcomes for Wimmera Southern Mallee

State-wide Budget Investments benefiting regions:

Regional Victoria will share in a range of significant state-wide investments that address a range of Regional Partnership priorities including:

  • $29 million for priority initiatives by the Partnerships, as well as funding to enable more comprehensive engagement in each region and to undertake further development of regional priorities.
  • $45 million to the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.
  • $1.45 billion for upgrades to regional rail infrastructure across the state.
  • 25% reduction in the payroll tax rate for regional businesses – expected to benefit 4,000 businesses.
  • $50 million to double the First Home Owner Grant to $20 000 for new homes in regional areas.
  • $1.7 million to re-establish the Victorian Rural Women’s Network (RWN) to promote women’s economic participation and professional development.

Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership highlights include:

  • Funding to develop a business model for a Networked Grains Centre of Excellence to advance the Wimmera Southern Mallee region’s competitive advantage in agri-science
  • Funding for future planning to develop a thriving tourism industry in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region.

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

Regional Assembly snapshot



Who are the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership members?

David Jochinke

David Jochinke – Chair

David Jochinke is a third generation grain and livestock farmer living in north west Victoria.  David holds numerous positions of responsibility, at a regional, State and National level.  He is currently, President of the Victorian Farmers Federation, a Board Member of Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and Board Member of the National Farmers Federation.

David is a past recipient of the Nuffield Australian Farming Scholarship, completed his Diploma in Applied Science (Ag Services) and is an active contributor to his local community including membership of the Wimmera Machinery Field Days Committee, the Wallup Ag Group, the Northern Wimmera CFA Brigade and Committees for Birchip Cropping Group and Wimmera Farming Systems.

Emma Vogel

Emma Vogel – Deputy Chair

Emma is  a partner in Belyana Partnership (north west Victoria) and Director of  Sustainable Project Services, a company that provides project management services and advice to the public and private sector, wanting to invest or develop projects in regional Victoria. Emma has worked for Rio Tinto in QA, planning and production and in Development, Technical Services and Management roles for Astron and Australia Zircon. An active member of her local community, Emma provides pro bono professional services  to community groups and is the  President  of the Donald Kindergarten. She has a passion for keeping  rural communities  viable and economically sustainable.

Robyn Gulline

Robyn Gulline

Robyn Gulline is a Director of Gulline Farms, she is a member of the Regional Development Australia Grampians Committee, a board member of Wimmera Development Association, and is Vice Chair of Partners in Grain Victoria/Tasmania. Robyn is passionate to see the Wimmera Southern Mallee become a bright and vibrant region, with a diverse and growing population, a prosperous economy, strong employment, numerous TAFE and tertiary educational course opportunities, quality health services, a great place to live and a must visit tourist destination.

Ralph Kenyon

Ralph Kenyon

Ralph Kenyon is the Executive Director of the Wimmera Development Association.  Ralph is also a Director of Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program, holds a Masters of Business Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ralph is passionate about the sustainable development of the Wimmera balancing economic, social and environmental issues and working closely with the community to build resilience and strength.

Wendy Sturgess

Wendy Sturgess

Wendy Sturgess is Chief Executive Officer of Wimmera Uniting Care, a not-for-profit community service organisation. Wendy has a strong background in community and the social services sectors. Wendy is committed to working with the region to create effective strategies aimed at lowering suicide rates and preventing  violence against women and children.

Regional Development Australia representative

John Ackland
John Ackland is Chief Executive Officer of Skillinvest Ltd (incorporating Longerenong College). John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Group Training Association of Victoria. John is currently the Chair of the Wimmera Settlement Committee and a member of the Regional Development Australia Grampians Committee. John is committed to assist young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and migrants into employment.

Victorian Government representative

Terry Garwood - Deputy Secretary, Local Infrastructure - Department of Environment Land Water and Planning

Local Government CEOs

Greg Wood Greg Wood - CEO, Hindmarsh Shire Council

Mr Greg Wood has more than 13 years’ executive and management experience in local government. Prior to being appointed CEO at Hindmarsh Shire in 2016, he was Director of Community Services and Emergency Management at the City of Casey. Greg has also held the position of Manager of Community Services at Port Phillip City Council.  Greg has a strong reputation for delivery of quality services to the community, and had previously been responsible for budgets and managing large numbers of staff. Greg’s aim is to build on the considerable strengths of Hindmarsh Shire Council by supporting the needs and aspirations of the people of Hindmarsh.

Michael Bailey
Michael Bailey - CEO, Northern Grampians Shire Council

Michael Bailey is the Chief Executive Officer of Northern Grampians Shire. Michael returned to the region in 2015 after 4 years in Bendigo as CEO of Bendigo Regional YMCA. Michael has a long history in community development and has worked in the recovery roles after bush fire (2006) and drought. Michael is committed to working with the community to grow and develop in all forms from financial, social and environmental. Michael is passionate about the region and all it has to offer.

David Leahy David Leahy - CEO, West Wimmera Shire Council

Mr David Leahy joined West Wimmera Shire Council as its CEO on 1 February 2016. He previously spent seven years as Infrastructure Director with Swan Hill Rural City Council. During that time he was acting CEO on a number of occasions Previously David has worked at Naracoorte-Lucindale Council in infrastructure roles, including two as Operations and Technical Services Director. David started his career at Whyalla City Council, followed by sixteen years with the SA State Road Authority, where he oversaw multiple construction sites within the State.

Ray Campling Ray Campling - CEO, Yarriambiack Shire Council

Yarriambiack Shire Council CEO since 2003 prior to that Director Community Services and Director Operations at Mildura Rural City Council for 6 years. Director Community Services and Manager Recreation Services at Parramatta City Council for 5 years and prior to that Manager Parks and Recreation at Lake Macquarie City Council for 3 years. Commenced Local Government career with Portland City Council as the Municipal Recreation officer.  Previous to being employed in the Local Government sector worked for the Canberra YMCA, ACT and Western Australian Basketball Associations. Very proud and passionate White Ribbon Ambassador and support Richmond Tigers, Canberra Raiders and the ACT Brumbies.

Peter Brown

Peter Brown - CEO, Horsham Rural City

Peter Brown is a long standing resident in the Wimmera. He commenced his current role as Chief Executive of Horsham Rural City Council in 2010. He has previously worked at Warrnambool City Council, Horsham Rural City Council and as Chief Executive at Wimmera Uniting Care. Peter has qualifications in economics, accounting and management and has a keen interest in the economic and social development of the Wimmera and its place in the world.

© Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria

Last Updated: 13 November 2017