With the Departure of the organisation’s Founder and CEO, Gippsland Farmer Relief
Inc. has restructured its operations and established a new Interim Committee.
The Interim Committee will sit until the 2020 Annual General Meeting in
August/September 2020 - date to be announced
Mr William (Bill) Maddocks
Interim Chairperson
Bill was born in 1947 and immigrated to Australia in 1950 initially staying in Footscray. He went to various schools in Melbourne, Orange NSW and Launceston wherever his father’s construction employers sent him finally ending up in Perth WA early 1960. He commenced tertiary studies in Quantity Surveying in 1965 but they were interrupted in 1968 by being called up for National Service.

After basic training at Puckapunyal in Victoria he shipped out to the Royal Australian Engineers at Liverpool NSW. From there he was sent to 32 Small Ship Squadron training facility at Middle Head being taught seamanship skills on Sydney Harbour on various vessels and then sent to army administration courses. When training was complete he was posted to several Landing Ship Medium for movement of equipment around eastern Australia. In June 1969 he was posted to AV1356 Clive Steele located at Singapore undergoing a refit after being hit by rocket fire on the Mekong Delta Vietnam. He spent the next 200 days in Vietnam sailing up and down the coast from near the DMZ to the Mekong Delta carrying anything from 5 Centurion tanks, 600 tonne of munitions, barbed wire and general stores to hard to get to Australian and American bases located on the coast as well as up various rivers to places such as Saigon and other destinations. His administration role required him to read, understand and carry out all procedures to the letter and taught me the importance of good governance. In addition, Army training instilled in him the value of being part of a tight knit team who looked out for each other.

After returning from Vietnam in 1970 he was discharged, married Valerie had two lovely daughters and eventually settled down to a career in Sales. He worked for in sales management as Victorian Sales Manager, then National Sales Manager of Hawkes Bros Geelong supplying up to 30,000 lines to hardware stores in Victoria, NSW and South Australia. He was transferred to Sydney as NSW State Manager for two years and then transferred back to Melbourne Head Office.

He joined Dorf Industries as National Marketing Manager for Watts Backflow Prevention Devices this entailed conducting training classes for qualified plumbers for selection of appropriate devices, installation and servicing.

In 1985 he began his own Grounds Maintenance business to be “semi-retired”. He completed a course in Recreational Turf Management at Burnley Horticultural College and the business grew to become Softelm Pty Limited. Very early in our formation we moved from private work to only working with government departments on long term contracts. Customers included Vic Roads, Melbourne Water, SEC, Ministry of Housing and Local Councils. For example, we did all the steep batter and reach mowing on the Hume Hwy from Kalkalo 37 km peg to Albury Wadonga 302 km peg. His company maintained the Monash Fwy, Eastern Freeway, parts of East Link, and Frankston Fwy. During this time, he employed up to 25 staff during the busy periods. In 2013 we sold all of his long-term contracts and some of our equipment to a company from Queensland who wanted to expand in Victoria. He and his wife then moved full time to their property at Binginwarri. Bill and Valerie joined GFR in 2016.
Peter Jones
Interim Vice Chairperson
Born in Oamaru NZ worked in the share boking industries before travelling to Europe where I spent 2 years hitchhiking though out England, Europe and Scandinavia. During the winter months I spent in Avimore in Scotland working in hotels and snow skiing. I was in Scotland when they had one of the worst blizzards for a number of years. It was so bad they actually lost a train and the ex CEO of our hotel froze to death in his car.
This was also where I met my wife Kaye who comes from Yarram.
On returning from England we spent time in Franz Josef Glacier and Christchurch NZ before returning to Melbourne to work. I have spent my career in the IT industry working mainly for IBM.
I am now retired in Inverloch and have been with GFR for a number of years where I helpped running BBQ at Bunnings and then joining the board.
I am also an active member of the Red Cross and also have run camps for BlazeAid after the recent bush fires.
Mrs Valerie Maddocks
Interim Acting Secretary
In 1979 Valerie commenced her career in Shopping Centre Management as Personal .Assistant. to a Centre Manager. In early1980, simultaneously with her early career as P.A., she pursued an interest in interior design completing Diploma of Interior Design, at night, at the then Melbourne College of Interior Decoration. Following her studies she briefly operated my own interior design company for 2 years. In the mid 1980’s she went on to complete a Diploma of Business Management at Box Hill TAFE. In 1988 she commenced her career in Shopping Centre Management and in 1990 qualified as a Certified Shopping Centre Manager (CSMA - Building Owners & Management Association).

She enjoyed a 20-year career in retail management culminating as Director of Retail Property - Shopping Centres with Corporate Estate Agency, Baillieu Knight Frank, Victoria, 1993-2000. During this period she was responsible for overseeing and monitoring the performance of all 6 of the company’s Shopping Centres and training various Shopping Centre Managers. The combined income of the entire portfolio was in excess of $15 million and expenses in excess of $6 million. The combined value of the portfolio at that time was in the vicinity of $100 million.

Following semi-retirement in 2000, she completed a Holistic Counselling Certificate for personal development purposes and  assisted her husband in the running of their 25-year-old and up to 25-employee family business until its sale in 2013 when she fully retired.

In 2013/14 was Board Secretary for the Box Hill Chorale Society and in 2016 became a member of Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc. and a member of the inaugural committee. She feels  honoured to again serve on the Committee of Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc.
Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc
Phone: (03) 5174 0217 Warehouse Address:
U1/20-22 Stratton Drive,
Traralgon, Victoria, 3844.

Postal Address:
PO Box 1588
Traralgon Vic 3844

​Email Address: