our team

The Farming Together and Regenerative Agriculture Alliance Team

The Farming Together and Regenerative Agriculture Alliance team is a tight knit yet far-reaching powerhouse of regenerative agriculture and communication knowledge.  We work closely with the Southern Queensland/Northern New South Wales Innovation Hub, the Lismore Node manager and extension officers, Northern Rivers Net Zero, and Southern Cross University researchers.

Led by Lorraine Gordon, a renowned expert in regenerative agriculture, the team excels in delivering innovative solutions to address the challenges of climate change. Lorraine’s extensive experience includes collaborating with industry and research, establishing cooperative projects, and empowering farmers through education and support. Stakeholder Manager John Hancock comes from a business and innovation background, while Amanda Scott brings her knowledge in visualizing networks and strategic connections to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals. 

Mathew Alexanderson’s expertise lies in regenerative agriculture and understanding farmer decision-making, while Simone Blom is a proficient workshop facilitator with a focus on environmental education practices. 

The team also comprises communications experts Rebecca Lollback and Karin von Behrens, who excel in sharing impactful stories and generating new ideas. Other team members include experts in horticulture, project management, water management, permaculture, and ecological sciences. Together, they form a multidisciplinary team capable of delivering comprehensive solutions for sustainable agriculture, climate resilience, and community engagement.

Meet our team

Lorraine Gordon
Project Director
Lorraine is the Founder and Director of the National Regenerative Agriculture Alliance at Southern Cross University. Lorraine acts as a conduit between industry and research, delivering regenerative agriculture solutions nationally with a focus on mitigating the effects of climate change. She was the instigator and co-designer of the Bachelor of Science in Regenerative Agriculture at Southern Cross University – the only degree of its kind in the world and now the largest agricultural degree in the country.

As Director of the Commonwealth Government's Farming Together Program, she has assisted over 28,500 farmers, fishers, and foresters in progressing collaborative projects, including establishing Cooperatives that will benefit their industries. Lorraine was awarded the 2018 Rural Community Leader of the Year for Australia for her work with farmers, the 2019 Australian Financial Review Award, and the 2019 BHERT Higher Education Engagement Award. She was also a finalist for the 2020 Australian of the Year Award.

As a Director of Moffat Falls Pastoral Company, Lorraine is also a registered carbon farmer and beef cattle trader at Ebor in the New England Tablelands of NSW, finishing around 1000 steers annually for the MSA Grassfed market.

Previous positions have included CEO of Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast, Regional Agribusiness Manager with Westpac Bank, Director of the Graduate Network of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and Executive Director of Economic Security for Women. Lorraine has also presided on the Small Business Review Panel of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

A Graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and previous NSW ABC Rural Woman of the Year, Lorraine is currently completing her Ph.D. in Ecological Economics through UNE, looking at a triple bottom line comparison and resilience between regenerative and conventional grazing systems.
Amanda Scott
Project Team Leader
Amanda Scott is the Knowledge Broker for the Future Drought Fund’s SQNNSW Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub. Her research and practice interests focus on visualising networks of relationships to help individuals and organisations identify how they can more strategically make the right connections and link up opportunities to achieve their vision. Amanda has over 15 years of experience managing multi-million-dollar projects across the agricultural, health and tertiary education sectors. In 2019 Amanda was part of the team who received the Australian Financial Review Awards for Industry Engagement and the BHERT Award for Outstanding Collaboration in Community Engagement for her work in the Farming Together Program, which supported over 28,000 primary producers to grow their business through collaboration. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education (Honours), a Diploma of Management, a Certificate IV Marketing, a Diploma of Gemmology, and is undertaking a PhD in Collaborative Networks through SCU.

Janelle Schafer
Adoption and Extension Officer, SQNNSW
Janelle Schafer is the Adoption and Extension Officer with the SQNNSW Hub based at Bingara's The Living Classroom in the New England region of NSW. With 30 years of experience as a permaculture designer, she is also a botanist and teacher. Janelle's qualifications include BSc (Botany) from the University of New England, and Master of Science from Southern Cross University. She is passionate about plant chemistry and has presented at prestigious international conferences. Janelle has extensive experience designing and managing water systems, orchards and food forests, and is always on the lookout for native plants to use in permaculture systems. She is completing Holistic Management training and looking forward to meeting more people in her new community while also learning about broad-acre farming.

John Hancock
Stakeholder Manager
An entrepreneur at heart, John launched and sold several successful businesses, including the world’s first newspaper written entirely by its readers (35k circulation, 12mth before Huffington Post), a machine-learning tourism platform and a teardrop caravan company. He pitched to Google and Yahoo!, raised several million dollars for his enterprises and held various executive and C-level roles.
John joins dots and supports others to shine.
Never has a role like his current with the amazing Strategic Projects team at SCU offered John such professional and personal fulfilment. His interests include fatherhood, net-zero, technology, community, social enterprise, painting and camping.

Simone Blom
Project Officer
Simone Blom is an experienced leader, educator and emergent researcher with over two decades in education and high-impact project officer roles. Simone’s skills are best deployed in workshop facilitation and collaborative enterprises that require succinct translation of complex concepts and outcomes into accessible, workable ideas and solutions. Her research interests include environmental education pedagogies and practices, posthuman theories grounded in quantum mechanics, post-qualitative methodologies and science education. Simone is dedicated to improving both pre and in service teacher confidence and competence.
Mathew Alexanderson
Project Developer - RAMP
Mathew is the Project Developer for the Regenerative Agriculture Mentoring Project (RAMP). He has been working on the Soil CRC’s Surveying Farm Practices project since 2019, which aims to better understand current farming practices, the various influences on farmer decision-making and how farming will change into the future. Mathew is also completing a PhD that explores regenerative agriculture as an alternative approach to conventional farming and the evolving understanding of knowledge between farmers and industry champions.
Nathan Kempshall
Project Manager - Northern Rivers Net Zero
Nathan is the Project Manager for Nothern Rivers Net Zero, an exciting and ambitious project spanning seven LGA’s across Agriculture, Energy, Waste and Transport, aiming to make Northern Rivers one of the first Carbon Net Zero regions in Australia.

A qualified horticulturist, Nathan has 20+ years of operations management, project management, business development and leadership experience.
During his ten years in northern NSW, Nathan has fostered effective partnerships to create successful programs for key agricultural sectors. He is passionate about supporting the growth of the Northern Rivers, ensuring there are opportunities that meet the demands of our future generation.
Rebecca Lollback
Rebecca is a Communications Officer with Southern Cross University’s Strategic Projects team. She spent 18 years as a journalist with regional newspapers before venturing into public relations and communications.
In this role, Rebecca works across all our programs and projects to share stories with communities, farmers, industry organisations, media and key stakeholders. She is passionate about building strong networks and creating content that has a lasting impact.
Karin Von-Behrens
Karin is a Communications Officer with Southern Cross University’s Strategic Projects team. Karin is a marketing specialist and journalist who has worked in all forms of media including print, film, radio and online.

With a host of qualifications including: a Master of Arts and Media, a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Communication and a Bachelor of Creative Arts (with Honours in Screen Production), her multi-media skills include digital video, audio editing, image editing, web strategy and digital marketing. Karin’s skills are enhanced by an irrepressible knack for generating new ideas that capture markets and solve problems.
Gavin Tinning
Adoption and Extension Officer
Gavin Tinning is the Adoption and Extension Officer for the Lismore Node of the SQNNSW Hub, where he works with farmers and communities to improve climate resilience strategies. He has a background in agriculture and natural resource management, including wetlands research, acid sulfate soils, community development, and permaculture projects. Gavin is passionate about supporting food production in resilient landscapes and manages a sustainable agriculture project for the Border Ranges - Richmond Valley Landcare Network. He also enjoys regenerating his own property and growing bananas and avocados.

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