Board Members

  • Rob Loats

    Rob is a primary production business manager from rural Victoria. He has extensive experience of issues associated with natural resource and water management and skills associated with government and non-government state agency inputs and outputs.

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    Rob has provided long term representation for his local club as president and secretary, long term representation of two local angling associations as president and is a past member of the state Fisheries Co-Management Council. He has been on the Fisheries Revenue Allocation Committee (FRAC), is a past Chairman and  member of the Recreational Fishing Licence Working Group, member of the Murray Darling Basin Murray Cod Fishery Advisory Group, the North Central Catchment Management Authority Community Leaders Group, Chair of the Northcentral CMA  Gunbower, Lower Loddon Native Fish Recovery Plan and a current member of the Snobs Creek Fish Hatchery and Liberation Governance Board.  He is a current member of the DELWP Riparian Forum Advisory Group and Life Member of the Mid Northern and Wimmera Angling Associations and Donald Angling Club. Rob’s efforts have also earnt him the National Mal Ramsay Lifetime Achievement Award 2012. Rob has always been interested in water quality and has recently completed 25 years of voluntary water monitoring with the North Central CMA Waterwatch Program.  

    Rob has a very strong affinity in habitat protection and reinstatement, environmental and recreational water allocations, and as a member of the National Fish Habitat Network continues to promote the values of fish habitat and projects that protect and restore habitat in Rivers, Creeks, Wetlands and Water Storage Reservoirs, especially woody habitat.

    Rob joined the VRFish Board to promote the interests of all Victorian recreational fishers and to apply his knowledge regarding strategic business directives, financial management and skills associated with responding to government policy directives to promote the best outcomes for recreational fishers. 

  • Steven Relf

    Steven brings a wealth of experience to the Board of VRFish and is experienced in dealing with a variety of complex issues, adding value to the organisation in an ever-changing environment. Now retired Steven has had over 26 years experience as a senior manager in local government.

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    A member of the Dunlop Bayswater Angling Club (39 years) and Club President for the last 20 years, Steven has a strong commitment to our rivers and streams and a desire to see them returned to their natural condition. Steven is the Former President of the Howqua Association Angling Clubs, and has been a delegate of VRFish for the last 20 years. Steven is the current deputy chair of VRFish and chair of the finance and access committee’s. 

    Steven believes fishers need a strong peak body who can advocate on their behalf and provide a voice back to the VFA and government 

    As a VRFish representative he is able to give back to the sport he has enjoyed for many years.

  • Franz Grasser

    Franz spent his career in various management roles in the energy sector. During this career, Franz commenced a journey of advocacy for the clean energy sector as a board member of a number of Sustainable Energy Industry organisations that were the precursor organisations of the present Clean Energy Council.

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    The skills Franz brings to VRFish are based on this business and advocacy experience as well as his lifelong fishing experience. This knowledge of advocacy and leadership includes decades of experience as a board member of advocacy organisations.

    As an unaffiliated member of VRFish, Franz connects with fishers who are not part of formal fishing organisations. Franz joined VRFish and stood for election to the Board because of his love of fishing and the prospect that his input can make a positive contribution to sustaining recreational fishing into the future. In recent years Franz has been the Chair of the VRFish Access and Infrastructure Reference Group and has been heavily involved in the successful advocacy for improved funding and management of boating infrastructure.

  • Neville Dance

    Neville has been an avid fisherperson since he was 6 years old and fishing in the Hopkins and Curdies Rivers with his father. Around the age of 18, Neville developed a strong urge to start salt water fishing. This passion encouraged Neville to join the Warrnambool Offshore & Light Game Fishing Club and the Game Fishing Association of Victoria. He is now a life member of both clubs.

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    Neville previously served as Vice-President of the Game Fishing Association of Victoria and still remains on their committee. He has also served as a member of the Recreational Fishing Licence Grants Committee. He currently represents the Game Fishing Association of Victoria to VRFish.

  • Rita Caulfield

    Rita currently works in the fishing tackle industry and is a familiar face on the tackle/boat/camping industry show circuit.

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    Rita’s passion for recreational fishing, small business acumen and massive Cod smashing ability will serve recreational fishers well.

    Within the recreational fishing community, she’s known as ‘Metre Rita’ after reeling in 2x metre barramundi on consecutive casts. As one of the of top ranked Murray cod lure fishers in Australia, Rita has more ‘metre cod’ under her belt than the VRFish Board and Executive combined.

  • Skye Kirne

    “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl” is very fitting for  Skye.  

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    Skye was born in the Murray Cod region of northern Australia and now runs a successful travel agency – SKYE TRAVEL. The agency enables  Skye to combine all of her passions – fishing, scuba diving & travelling. She even manages to call it work, and says, “someone’s got to do the research for clients.”

    When  Skye is in Victoria, you’ll find her in Port Phillip Bay, either in her tinnie fishing for anything on the bite or under the water scuba diving.  Skye’s an active member of the Albert Park Yachting & Angling Club and often jokes around with her fishing companions.

    In 2018, she joined the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Women in Recreational Fishing program as a leader to engage, share and excite women about fishing.  Skye has also been a member of the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable for the past few years.

    Skye has an active background in fishing all around Australia. While Skye was fishing for barramundi in NT, she was invited to join the VRFish Board, and accepted the role energetically.

  • Hilary Ingram

    Hilary Ingram is a keen Melbourne born fisher who has travelled throughout Victoria to fish or scuba dive over the last 40 years. Though he has never been a member of a fishing club, he is a frequent flyer to areas like Lake Bullen Merri, Lake Purrumbete, Malmsbury Reservoir, Goulburn River and the Upper Coliban Reservoir. 

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    In the last 20 years, Hilary has been dabbling in the world of scuba diving, completing approximately 1,000 recreational dives, mostly along the coastline of south-eastern Australia. 

    Hilary has been working in finance as an auditor for almost 40 years and continues to work full time specialising in auditing small to medium sized companies to ensure the fundamentals are in line with the financiers’ requirements. 

    Over the last 2 years, Hilary has gained increased exposure to regular fisheries meetings and attended as an observer to a number of Victorian Fisheries Authority Abalone and Rock Lobster meetings held in Queenscliff and Hastings. 

    Hilary has a strong belief that the interests of recreational fishers need to have a voice to help maintain sustainable and viable recreational fisheries for the current period and for future generations. 

  • Jingjing Nan

    Jing Jing is currently the Vice President of the Victorian Chinese Angling Association and founder of Nan International Media. She is deftly experienced in marketing and event planning and is also skilled in business management.

    Jingjing’s passions are fishing and scuba diving. She really loves the sea and believes that the marine world is full of mystery and fun. Her goals for 2022 include exploring the beautiful ocean world more and calling on more people to participate and fall in love with fishing.
     
    Jingjing says “As a new member to the board of VRFish. I will try my best to assist the organisation in promotional work, and plan more interesting activities and projects to bring more vitality to VRFish.”

  • Lydia Cahill

    Lydia is a highly experienced Senior Business Analyst and Project Manager contracting in the private sector, who brings a unique set of skills spanning across Aged Care, Health Insurance, Engineering and Infrastructure, Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Information Technology.

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    From humble beginnings bait fishing for snapper and King George whiting, Lydia’s fishing passion developed into more specialised genres and is better known as an avid topwater / lure angler.  Lydia fishes across Victoria for Southern bluefin tuna, yellowtail kingfish and occasionally Murray cod.  Where possible, Lydia travels to a range of Australian and international destinations primarily in the pursuit of the mighty giant trevally. 

    She brings to VRFish an understanding of the needs and concerns of recreational fishers, combined with industry knowledge as a brand ambassador, Tuna Champions ambassador and Women in Recreational Fishing mentor.

    Passionate about infrastructure meeting the needs of fishers as well as a strong conservation and sustainable fishing mindset, Lydia’s business skills will ensure that recreational fishers needs will be strongly represented.

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