Meet the Assist Small Biz Team

John Blackley

John moved to the Mallee from the very heart of Melbourne in 1970 and has made the country his home ever since. His 30 year journey in banking has taken him from Trainee to Relationship Manager right around rural Victoria and even across into South Australia and underpins his motivation to help people reach their business goals. He, his wife Sue and their two children are now settled in Shepparton where John also enjoys volunteering with Meals on Wheels and the Spark Reading Program.

Chris Howard

Chris has worked in the agricultural sector for over twenty five years. He is a passionate advocate for the rural communities of North East Victoria and member of a number of industry and community bodies in the area. Chris commenced with AgBiz Assist in 2008, initially as a Rural Financial Counsellor before taking on the role of Program Manager. Chris holds various qualifications in accounting, business administration and training and assessment. Chris is based in the Shepparton office.

Warwick Philpott

Warwick has been delivering professional services for the past 30 years across Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. He has a farming and small business background in addition to holding qualifications in business, finance, property and agricultural economics. Warwick is in our Benalla office.

Colin Rawnsley

With over 25 years of experience in the Rural Banking sector and a further 15 years in Business, Economic and Regional Development in commercial and rural lending, business development and counselling roles throughout Victoria, Northern Territory and South Australia, Colin has accumulated excellent skills and knowledge of agribusiness and small regional business and the issues they face. He has experience dealing with regional business owners,  Horticulturalists, Graziers, Cattle Station operators and Broadacre farmers. In 2006 Colin was one of the first in South Australia to gain the APEC Business Counsellor accreditation, a worldwide accepted qualification. He has recently attained his Diploma in Financial Counselling (Rural Specialisation).

Kate Scriven

Kate’s love of rural life developed after her family spent time in Colac when she was a child so she didn’t hesitate when offered the opportunity to relocate to the North East in 2003. As a real ‘people person’ she was drawn to the hospitality industry where her talents for organisation and attention to detail were soon recognised. Her finely tuned client liaison, operational experience and friendly unflappable nature will be much appreciated by our clients and staff alike.

Steve Viant

Over the past 40 years Steve has held managerial roles with mechanical engineering and contracting firms in Australia and Asia Pacific. Over the last 20 years he has owned and operated sheep and cattle properties combined with small business enterprises in regional Victoria and NSW. Steve has studied mechanical engineering at Carrier University, Syracuse NY and business administration at Deakin University, Geelong VIC.,