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About - Rural Press Club of Victoria

About

The Club

The Rural Press Club of Victoria was founded in 1966 by a group of rural journalists and public relations consultants. It was formed to offer a forum for fellowship for people involved in the rural industry.

Journalism Awards

A major event conducted by the Rural Press Club of Victoria between August–September each year is the Rural and Regional Journalism and Photography Awards. The prestigious awards are hotly contested by journalists and photographers from across the state, and the presentation ceremony culminates in a dinner where the winners are honoured for their efforts.

RPCV committee

The 2023 RPCV committee from left to right: Sonja Heydeman, Kellie Lazzaro, Greg Dundas, Sue Neales, David Goodfellow, Alannah Halloran, Bryce Eishold, Nicole Cairns, Alex Sinnott and Peter Somerville.

Meetings

One of the main activities of the Rural Press Club of Victoria is its lunch meetings which help foster fellowship among rural media practitioners. Influential and often outspoken speakers present their thoughts on issues of significance to the communities of rural and regional Victoria.

Young Journalist and Photographer Forum

The Rural Press Club of Victoria holds a bi-annual Young Journalist and Photographer Forum. This professional development day for regional journalists offers the opportunity to learn from some of Victoria’s leading journalists, network with your peers and work through current challenges of regional reporting. This event is free to Rural Press Club of Victoria members and catering is provided.

Membership

The Rural Press Club of Victoria is open to membership to all people interested in the rural industry. The club has both a country and metropolitan base from both print, broadcast and digital media. Other members include agribusiness organisations, financial, government, marketing and public relations.

Sponsorship

The Rural Press Club of Victoria is grateful for the support offered by its gold and silver sponsors. To find out about becoming a sponsor of the club, please contact president Bryce Eishold on 0458 588 449.

Gold Sponsors: Agriculture Victoria, CBRE and Telstra.

Silver Sponsors: Currie Communications, Marcus Oldham, Regional Angel Investor Network, Stock and Land, TAC, The Weekly Times and the Victorian Farmers Federation.

Association Rules

The Rural Press Club of Victoria adopted new Association Rules at its 2013 Annual General Meeting.

Executive Committee

The 2023/24 Executive Committee of the Rural Press Club of Victoria includes:

President

President

Bryce Eishold

Bryce is a journalist who specialises in agricultural and rural affairs reporting with ACM’s Stock & Land based in regional Victoria.

He joined the RPCV’s committee in 2017 where he held a number of roles, before he was elected deputy-president in 2019 and president in 2021.

He is also a community radio presenter, Rotarian, volunteer firefighter and an ambulance community officer, and sits on RMIT’s Bachelor of Journalism industry advisory panel.

Vice President

Vice President

Alex Sinnott

Alex is a journalist with The Weekly Times.

He has more than 15 years experience in journalism, starting at The Standard in Warrnambool as well as work with WIN Television and the Geelong Advertiser.

With an interest in politics, Alex has interviewed every prime minister from Fraser to Albanese and covered numerous elections and byelections.

Secretary

Secretary

Peter Somerville

Peter is a senior communications advisor at Currie Communications.

He was previously a rural reporter for ABC Gippsland and has worked at The Weekly Times, Snowy River Mail and The Land.

Treasurer

Treasurer

Nicole Cairns

Nicole is the emergency communications manager at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

Her career started in regional journalism at the Ballarat Courier in 2012. She then did a stint in NGOs before making the move to government in 2017.

She joined the RPCV’s committee in 2018, and has served as secretary since 2019.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Alannah Halloran

Alannah has a professional background in communications, marketing and philanthropy. She has worked with an extensive range of organisations within the agricultural and equine sectors, most notably through her 15 year tenure as both the Marketing and Foundation Manager with Marcus Oldham College.

Alannah has recently joined the Agribusiness team with CBRE and in her spare time runs a very competitive equestrian stable with her daughter just outside of Geelong.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Greg Dundas

Greg’s journalism career started at Western District Newspapers in Camperdown.

He spent 20 years working for regional dailies, the Bendigo Advertiser and Geelong Advertiser, with stints as deputy editor of each paper.

Greg now works at The Age as a senior producer. Prior to joining the committee, Greg was the RPCV’s journalist of the year for three consecutive years between 2018–2020.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

David Goodfellow

David is the managing director of CBRE Agribusiness Australia.

He is also a non-executive Director on the boards of various large agribusinesses in Australia and has a real passion for sharing knowledge across our rural industry for the benefits of the farming industry and rural communities.

He is passionate about the future of rural and regional journalism and a long-term supporter of the RPCV.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Kellie Lazzaro

Kellie has been a journalist for almost 25 years and is currently working in a digital editor role for ABC News, based in Gippsland.

She held a national role as acting emergency broadcast lead during the 19/20 Black Summer bushfires and led the Victorian Country Hour team as executive producer in 2021.

Kellie is the recipient of two Rural Press Club, Victoria awards and a highly commended Quill. She is a long ago graduate of the Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree at RMIT University.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Sonja Heydeman

Sonja is director of the Digital News Academy at Melbourne Business School.

A former undergraduate and postgraduate journalism lecturer at RMIT University, Sonja was awarded JERAA’s Outstanding Educator in a Journalism Program, the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, the Ed Montano Award for Industry Engagement and several other accolades.

Sonja has an extensive journalism background across the ABC, SBS and commercial newsrooms.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Max O'Driscoll

Max started his career as a journalist for independent publications across southern NSW and Canberra before finishing with News Corp in Mackay.

He works in Melbourne for Agriculture Victoria’s strategic communications team.

Max believes media becomes even more vital in regional settings and is keen to promote regional journalism as a profession during his tenure with the RPCV.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Harrison Tippet

Harrison is a Geelong reporter for the ABC.

His career started with Leader Community News in Melbourne, before heading to Geelong in 2016 as a reporter for the Geelong Advertiser and then to the ABC in 2023.

Prior to joining the committee Harrison has twice been named the RPCV’s Journalist of the Year and has won various awards for his work in print, radio, online, podcasting and TV journalism.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Rex Martinich

Rex is a court reporter for Australian Associated Press based in Brisbane and former president of the RPCV.

Before that he was a journalist covering court, politics and data for The Daily Advertiser newspaper in Wagga Wagga.

Rex has more than 11 years of experience in journalism including working for multiple independent and Fairfax Media newspapers across western Victoria.

Executive Committee Member

Executive Committee Member

Séamus Haugh

Séamus has 40 years of experience in media, communications, stakeholder, and community relations, and has received awards for both news reporting and copywriting.

He has worked at the ABC as a general and specialist reporter (specialising in industrial relations), presenter of Overnights, corporate affairs and marketing adviser, and content manager for ABC Radio Melbourne.

He serves as a director on Bendigo Tourism Board and Eaglehawk United Friendly Societies.