Rik Soderlund

Rik Soderlund

Chief Executive Officer

With a diverse business background spanning multiple industries, Rik has spent the majority of his career in regional and remote Australia and now calls the small Wheatbelt town of Tammin home. 

Joining the WBN team in 2022, Rik’s background in member focused organisations will assist the Board to deliver on its strategic outcomes. 

Rik is passionate about building positive and collaborative relationships with members, Government agencies and key stakeholders. Open and transparent communication are fundamental attributes that Rik believes are critical to achieving positive outcomes for the Wheatbelt business community. Political advocacy on behalf of members were essential aspects of Rik’s previous roles and will be a priority of his in delivering results for WBN members.

Rachael Thomas

Rachael Thomas

Business Manager

Rachael (B. Business) successfully ran Pre-emptive Strike with her husband in Albany. An Information Technology and computer support business it was also complemented by their second business Strike Point, a graphic design and printing business.

Rachael has a vast experience in corporate branding, marketing and online promotion of businesses.

Lisa O'Neil

Lisa O'Neill

B. Agricultural Business Management
Corporate Services Manager

Lisa originates from Mukinbudin and now lives in Merredin. She joined the WBN team in 2015 and has had a number of roles over the years with the most current being the Business Administrator. 

Lisa has a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Business Management which she completed at Muresk in 2008. She has a strong knowledge of the Wheatbelt region and agricultural practices. 

Lisa’s main responsibility within the WBN is to look after our finances, adminstrations and members.

Gemma Bovington

Member Relations Manager

Gemma has lived in many areas of WA, including quite a few in the Wheatbelt. 

Gemma’s has worked with WDC and a number of other roles including Local Government, Information Systems Management in the oil and gas sector, photographer, small business owner and a 5-year period up north managing drill and blast contracts on site .

Outside of work Gemma is raising three young daughters on acreage in the beautiful town of York. 

Gemma’s main role in the WBN is to support the members.

Workforce Australia Local Jobs

Great Southern Wheatbelt Region

Emma Everett

Employment Facilitator

With a background in small business and property, Emma first connected to the WBN as a micro business member and has since relocated to the Wheatbelt town of Williams with her husband and two school age children. Emma specialises in business development and stakeholder management, and joined the WBN in late 2021 as the Employment Facilitator for the Local Jobs Program, for which the WBN holds the government contract.

Emma enjoys connecting with a wide variety of business owners and professionals, sharing useful intelligence, and pulling together stakeholders who can create something valuable together. Her role supports our members in connecting business to government programs to support recruitment and training, and in accessing new streams of job applicants. She also provides feedback to government (Department of Employment and Workplace Relations) on the opportunities and challenges faced by our region’s employers and advocates on behalf of the region’s employers and stakeholders.

Michelle Holland

Support Officer

My name is Michelle Holland and I moved to Perth in 2009
from Wales in the UK.  A mother of three beautiful children and Grandmother
(Mamgu) to two adorable Grandsons, I am privileged to call Albany my home and have met some amazing people here – though I’m not sure I have gained the title of “local” as yet. 

Prior to working with the Wheatbelt Business Network / Local Jobs Program I owned a successful Mortgage Brokerage business in Albany and know first-hand how difficult and rewarding being a business owner can be.

The Wheatbelt's Leading Business Network

WBN About Us

Our Mission

We aim to work proactively with members to grow their business and their communities while creating a positive atmosphere through professional development, one on one business support, networking events, and economic development initiatives.