Who are we?

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Sourdough Business Pathways is a program that is governed and managed by the Byron Region Community College, a not for profit educational organisation that has been active in the Northern Rivers region for more than 23 years. Sourdough’s purpose is to provide a strong future for the next generation in the Northern Rivers region by building businesses that generate prosperity and jobs. We achieve this by helping existing businesses to be more sustainable, overcome challenges and grow, and by supporting entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to create new businesses and generate new jobs.

We collaborate with the many and varied agencies, associations and businesses in our region to encourage economic sustainability and growth. We come from an authentic desire to use our skills and experience to help others succeed for the good of the region.

Our purpose is…
To increase employment in the Northern Rivers region by stimulating and supporting local business through the use of our asset and by attracting city-based businesses to the region.

Our goals are…
We will achieve this by proactively engaging with the regional business community and providing them access to our asset group who are willing to share their skills and experience for the successful business growth of the region.

Our vision is…
Vibrant, regional growth through passionate skilled people.

Murray has extensive experience in the food and agricultural sectors having worked for some of the world’s largest food companies. He has established a broad understanding of the food market and the emerging trends that will shape the future of the food industry both locally and globally. From a sales and distribution background, Murray has several businesses based in the region and has developed a strong capability in defining business strategy, establishing clear focus and working with key people to build momentum to effect change.

Murray is actively involved in the community promoting the generation of local Jobs. As a founding member of The Sourdough Group he, along with the other founding members, has actively worked to promote businesses and jobs in the region through mentoring. The region is fortunate to have a population of experienced individuals keen to mentor businesses and Sourdough has been connecting mentors and mentees for over ten years now. Murray is an active member of the College Board and a promoter of continuous learning.

Jennifer has enjoyed a 30-year career in health care with experience in finance, business planning, sales, marketing and general management. She has strong international experience, including successful management of diverse distributor relationships throughout USA and Asia. Her passion is building strong relationships with customers, employees and business partners.

Her roles include leading the Australian operations of General Electric Medical Systems, Bayer Diagnostics and Applied BioSystems.  She was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with a venture capital-backed technology start-up in USA before it was successfully sold.

Jennifer served as a Board Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia for seven years.

Liz Rankin is a family law mediator.  She previously worked as a lawyer for nearly a decade focusing on family law. She has helped individuals from all walks of life – from a BRW rich lister to stay-at-home mums struggling with a sudden loss of income. Liz has worked in a myriad of complex situations – from family arrangements involving multiple partners to client’s impacted by an ex-partner’s addictions. The common link is her commitment to reducing the negative impacts of separation – the financial costs, the emotional toll and conflicts around children.  To make the journey of separation easier for families, Liz will launch her new podcast “The Art of Separation” in 2019.

In addition to serving on the board of the Byron Regional Community College, and the Sourdough Sub-Committee, Liz is a member of the steering committee of the Family Law Pathways Network (Northern Rivers Branch), an initiative of the Attorney General’s Department.

Margaret Robertson was born in the Northern Rivers region and has spent many decades working in the property industry both as a principal of a successful real estate and property management agency and as a consultant. During this time she gained a reputation as an expert in her field that has been perpetuated by the many people she has trained and mentored. Margaret has learned the importance of building connections and community and has a genuine interest in helping others establish their business based on the principles of transparency, friendship and meeting the needs of others

Richard Vinycomb has degrees in Geology and Dramatic Arts, a diploma in Teaching and a Masters in Social Ecology. He has worked professionally and variously as an exploration geophysicist, secondary teacher, actor, theatre director, community arts officer and Program Manager for the Australia Council. For the past 28 years he has been the CEO of adult learning organisations in Victoria and NSW, both receiving national awards. Aside from being Director of Byron Community College, he is also on the boards of Byron Initiatives for Global Solutions (BIGS) and Adult Learning Australia (ALA).  Richard is passionate about sustainability and has developed and managed many projects that address various critical issues – economic, social and environmental.

Mark Holden has over 30 years’ experience as a corporate executive and strategic business coach for some of Australia’s largest and most successful organisations. He is a business author, educator and executive coach who has worked with organisations throughout Australia, the USA, Asia and the Middle East to develop strategies for sustainable business growth. Like many of us, he has moved to this region for the lifestyle and all of the wonderful things it offers – and he isn’t moving! Mark is committed to working with the Sourdough Business Pathways team to create a vibrant community of business innovators building a sustainable regional economy.

Fiona has over 20-years’ experience in Business Development and Partner Management. She has worked with a wide variety of customers and partners, from start-ups and small to medium-sized business through to large corporates, government departments and educational institutions across Australia and New Zealand. She also has a strong interest in supporting women in business having spent five years as a board member of Women in Technology (WiT)—one of Queensland’s most respected and active technology industry associations—and is currently a committee member of Sourdough Business Women.

As a long-time Byron resident, Fiona is delighted to have moved back to the region full-time. She now works with Sourdough Business Pathways as Mentor Manager, managing the connection of highly experienced business people with local organisations needing advice and guidance with the development of their businesses.