The Team

 Chair: Chris Reichstein 

 David Falconer 

 William Ryan 

Sarah Brown

 Chair: Andrew Fowler 

 Greg Curnow 

 Ben Curtis 

 Chris Henderson 

 Luke Marquis 

Ashley Reichstein

 Chair: Robyn McIntyre

 Peter Bednall

Shayne Flanagan

Megan McDowall

Lara McIntyre

Shaun Meares

 Damien Pansini

 Chair: Erin Gorter 

 Julianne Hill 

 Peter Roberts 

Chris Reichstein

Mt Burdett Foundation is predominantly driven by volunteers, with a little help from an Executive Officer. Huge thanks goes to all those involved for their time and commitment to seeing the Foundation succeed and for giving back to our community. Find out more about the team below.


Board of Directors

Chris Reichstein in a canola crop at Mount Burdett farm


Board of Directors: Chair

Passionate about agriculture from an early age, Chris has a long history of agricultural industry involvement through his grain growing operation located north east of Esperance. This passion for ag has extended well beyond his farm boundaries with Chris having held positions on various industry bodies at a local, state and national level.


Chris is inspired by possibilities and seeing people’s success.  Being passionate about rural communities and the future of agriculture, he is influenced by his gratitude to the Esperance community for all that it has contributed to his life, with his vision being to return some of his good fortune to empower people and rural communities to a better future.

Avatar 101


Board of Directors

David provides business consulting services to a range of family farms and corporate clients involved in both the wheatbelt and feedlot sector of Western Australia through BusinessAg. He also provides public accounting services as principal CPA of AccountAg with a emphasis on strategic tax planning.


Helping clients achieve their objectives in a holistic framework is the major focus of his work making sure people and dollars are balanced.


David has enjoyed the success of the Eagles and fits in some fishing and crabbing for relaxation.

William Ryan Board of Directors Mt Burdett Foundation


Board of Directors

Bill Ryan has worked professionally in agriculture and agribusiness for more than 40 years.  He is currently the Chairman of the Agricultural Produce Commission of Western Australia, a board member of the AgriFutures Australia and a director of Mt Burdett Foundation Pty Ltd.


Bill has previously been a member of the GRDC Western Panel from 2011 to 2017, the CEO of the Kondinin Group (2003 -2008) and a senior executive with the Heytesbury Group (1994 – 2002). In 2005 – 2006 Dr Ryan was a member of the Federal Government’s Agriculture and Food Policy Reference Group.


He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (UWA) and PhD (UWA).  He has a strong association with Esperance through his involvement in agriculture and his son Matthew who lives in Esperance with his wife Fiona and their four sons.

Farm Advisory Committee

Andrew Fowler Mt Burdett Foundation



Andrew was elected to the Nuffield Australia Board in 2011 and was appointed Chair  from September 2016 - 2019. In March 2020 Andrew will become the chair of Nuffield International.

Andrew and his wife Marie farm with his family outside Esperance on the south-east coast of Western Australia. The business produces canola, barley, wheat, lamb, wool and beef. Andrew is currently focusing on the synergies between the livestock and the crops, grazing all the crops and ensuring good sub-clover pasture regeneration.

Andrew was awarded life membership of the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) and is also a member of the GRDC's local Regional Cropping Solutions Network. He travelled on his Nuffield Scholarship in 2000.

Ben Curtis Farm Advisory Committee



Farm Management Consultant and Agronomist, started with Farmanco in 2015 and has extensive industry experience. He has lived in Esperance since 1992 and considers himself a local despite what the “locals” think.  He consults to clients in the Esperance region.

Ben has a strong knowledge of the WA farming system. He was state manager for a range of agronomy, research and extension projects designed to assist growers manage risks, reduce costs and improve their profitability with DPIRD for a number of years.  Ben was a long term member of the GRDC Western panel and is a life member of SEPWA.

Greg Curnow Farm Advisory Committee



Greg Farms at Cascade and was elected to the SEPWA Executive in 2008, becoming president in 2015 Greg farms at Cascade and Grass Patch with his wife, Donna in partnership with his parents. He has been on various committees within SEPWA over the years.


Chris Henderson Farm Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



I am 62 years old and married to Evelyn. We have 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren. I have farmed for 45 years with the last 20 more in the strategic planning and management roles and only limited involvement in the day to day operations.

We do not own any farmland but prefer to lease the land we farm. This was a deliberate decision taken in 2008 when we sold or property at Varley. We decided that we wanted to separate ownership from the operation which has allowed us to concentrate on running a profitable farming business while investing in other non-farm assets. We have managed to run a profitable operation under this model even with the challenges of dry seasons and fairly regular frost events. Our farm manager has been with us for 20 years and his management is the key to the success of this business.

Luke Marquis Farm Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Luke moved to Esperance from Katanning in 2000 to pursue a career in Agronomy, where he recognised the large area, various soil types and rainfall zones, as well as a diverse range of crops, would provide some exciting challenges and learning opportunities.

Now Luke runs a private agronomy business servicing 28 farming businesses, as well as a trials business with 2 full time staff and managing 25 – 30 research trials annually. Luke has a passion for agriculture and learning and hence the combination of Agronomy and Trials to continue to provide his client base with the most up to date and leading edge agronomic information available.

Luke is married to Lisa and has 2 wonderful kids – Kate, 16 and Lawson, 11.

Esperance Community Advisory Committee

Robyn McIntyre Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



After a career teaching music and mathematics, which finished with 4 years at Esperance Senior High School, Robyn decided to realise her childhood dream of being a doctor. She left her supportive husband Alistair on the farm in Esperance, and with their two small children, she moved to Perth. She graduated from Medicine at UWA in 2009 and returned home to continue her rural GP training. She also worked at the Esperance District Hospital in the Emergency Department and managed patients admitted into the hospital until 2016 when she decided to devote her time wholly to being a GP.


Special Interests / Expertise: She enjoys all aspects of being a GP, and is keen to help patients gain a good understanding of how lifestyle and mental health contributes to a healthy and happy life. She sings and plays in a music group, and enjoys dancing and yoga.

Peter Bednall Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Peter is a practising lawyer and has worked for a variety of private commercial clients for over 14 years, including as principal of his own legal firm. He extensive international experience working with governments and local communities in the Asia-Pacific region. In his most recent past role, Peter was deployed by the Australian Government as a senior adviser in Papua New Guinea as part of a law and justice aid program. Peter is currently CEO of Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, which manages the native title rights of the Esperance Nyungars.

Shayne Flannagan Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Shayne has a wealth of experience working in Regional WA.  He has held CEO positions at the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission and Esperance Port Authority during periods of significant changes, as well as a range of senior positions in the public sector. 

Shayne is a past Chair of the Esperance Community Advisory Committee and played a key role in establishing the Foundation's systems and processes.

Megan McDowall Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Megan has recently joined the Mt Burdett Foundation - we'll have a bio here for here soon.

Lara McIntyre Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Esperance has been home to Lara McIntyre since arriving in 1990 to work on a Merino Stud near Munglinup. Since then Lara has worked as Shire Ranger, Project Officer for the GEDC and Community Capacity Builder for the then Department for Community Development before establishing the iconic Coffee Cat business with her partner Shane.


She has served 2 terms as a Councillor for the Shire of Esperance from 2011 - 2019. She has always brought a passion for Esperance and community development to all her employed and volunteer work.

Shaun Meares Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



I'm Shaun. Let me preface this biography by acquainting you with my biggest achievement to date; first place at the Esperance Poultry Show in the Silkie Rooster category (field of 1). Obviously this prestigious and hotly contested award qualifies me to contribute to the Mt B Foundation.

I trained as a mechanical engineer and completed a PhD in Applied Thermodynamics. I now run a small engineering consultancy here in Esperance called Bluemar. I employ 5 people delivering all types of engineering work in the greater Esperance region. I really enjoy analytical problem solving and creative thinking. I am involved in the boards of the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Regional Development Australia Goldfields Esperance. My experience as a board member with these organizations is relatively recent but will likely hold me in good stead to contribute productively to this group.

I grew up in Sydney and have spent time studying and working in the USA. I enjoy jogging, surfing, and spending time with my young family.

Damien Pansini Esperance Community Advisory Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



I have lived in Esperance since I was in primary school and I spent my childhood surfing at west beach and exploring different parts of our coast out east and west. I ended up spending 5 years in Perth playing football and studying primary school teaching.

Throughout my 20’s I picked up some short term teaching gigs and spent most of my time over seas travelling abroad. Majority time spent in California, Mexico and countries within Central America. After satisfying the travel bug I returned home to Esperance full time, where I  got married and started focusing on my career

I was lucky enough to score a position at Castletown Primary as the Physical Education Specialist. Returning to the school I once attended as a young grommet, has been incredibly rewarding, challenging and enriching to my teaching practise. With the plan now to buy my mum’s beach house in west beach, I am excited of the thought of settling down in Esperance and focusing on family, health/ wellbeing and surfing as much as I can!

Rural & Regional Advancement Committee

Erin Gorter Rural and Regional Advancement Foundation Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Erin Gorter is a rural industry consultant specialising in rural and regional sectors and communities.  She has worn many hats over her career, spanning local, regional, state and national bodies.  These roles have been driven by her background growing up on a farm in southern WA, then being an active part the family farming business for over 25 years, growing sheep and grains.

Erin has been responsible for the formation of groups and businesses, as well as the managing of existing ones.  Her more recent work has been at a strategic level through Non-Executive Board roles in WA and nationally. One of her particular skills is also identifying gaps in industries or communities and developing ideas to address these gaps.

She gets incredibly excited about bringing people together for a common purpose and working as a team to help create change and make a difference to people’s lives in small or big ways.  Not a fan of sitting behind a desk, Erin prefers pulling on her work boots and can often be found out and about learning from others and interacting with people from all walks of life.

Julianne Hill Rural and Regional Advancement Foundation Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Julianne Hill is a partner in and manages a rural consultancy business and has many years of experience in WA farming systems, including owning and managing with her husband a farm on WA’s south coast at West River. Added to this hands-on experience is her background with addressing growers agronomy needs in her farming systems role with DPIRD from 1993-2011 based mainly at Ravensthorpe, and her experience managing broadacre properties in the eastern wheatbelt after graduating from Muresk.


Julianne has been instrumental in the establishment of GRDCs current Grower Network reference groups (growers and industry) to define the key issues that are impacting on the profitability of growers in the western region. She has honed her group facilitation skills during this time and is experienced in gaining meaningful information from group discussions and prioritising issues that warrant further investigation and possible further investment.


Julianne is passionate about family, farming and community. She loves being outside – mucking around with cows, playing tennis, volunteering in her local community, coaching junior sport, sitting on the header, and loves the red dirt of up north.


Formal qualifications: MBA; BMan (Farm Business); Assoc Dip (Agriculture); Graduate Certificate (Regional Agricultural Planning); Cert 3 in Business (Frontline Management).

Peter Roberts Rural and Regional Advancement Foundation Committee Mt Burdett Foundation



Began a new land farming block in 1982 at Dunn Rock after share farming for 5 years around the Lakes area. I am married to Julie and have two children and two grandchildren.


I am a past Chairman of South East Premium Wheat Growers Association and was fortunate to have Chris as my deputy at that time and to fill the chair vacancy after my tenure as chair finished. During my time at SEPWA I represented barley growers on the Western Malting Barley Council and Grains industry of WA (GIWA) barley and standards committee.


Joined the Western panel of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and spent nine years as Chairman.  During that time I was Chair of a number of internal GRDC committees including Chair of the Varieties line of Business, Chair of the National Frost Initiative and a independent Director of Barley Australia.


As well as completing the Rabobank Executive Directors program for Primary Producers, I successfully completed an agribusiness seminar at Harvard Business School at Boston in 2015 and am a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Currently I am Chair of Grower Group Alliance Pty Ltd, Past member and Chair of the GGA audit and risk committee, Director of Ellarwie Pty Ltd ( agricultural consultancy), have a private pilots licence, (an intact aeroplane) and a short stay accommodation business in Broome.


Sarah Brown Executive Officer Mt Burdett Foundation



Sarah Brown delivers Executive Officer support to the Mt Burdett Foundation and is available to assist with any queries regarding funding or the grant application process.

If you would like any further information on the Foundation or to get in touch with one of the Committee members, contact Sarah here.