April 2018

UDV Policy Council Region 2 Representative Contested Election

The following details relate to the UDV Policy Council Election – Region 2.

This year all voting UDV members in Region 2 as at 5pm March 23, 2018 will be issued either an email to vote online where we have a valid email address on file or a postal vote where no email address is valid.

Materials provided by the election candidates are included and additional information is available on the VFF website.

Postal Voting

  • Each member without an email address on file will receive Ballot Papers for the election.
  • If voting by postal ballot, completed ballots are to be enclosed in the ballot envelope provided.
  • All nominees casting a postal vote MUST sign or initial the back of Reply Paid envelope where indicated on the label.
  • Ballot envelope is to be placed in the Reply paid envelope and mailed back to the VFF.
  • Postal ballots must be received at the VFF offices no later than 5pm Wednesday May 2 2018 and be post-marked no later than April 30, 2018 to be accepted.

Online Voting

Emails will be sent to those eligible voting members on Tuesday April 17, providing a unique, secure link to the online voting portal. Please follow the instructions carefully to ensure your ballot is valid and counted. The online voting process is a 2 step process so please be sure to first submit your draft vote and then when the confirmation email arrives make sure you confirm your vote.

If there are any questions regarding this election process please contact VFF CEO (Returning Officer) Stephen Sheridan on 1300 882 833.

Please click here to download the nominee biographies

nominee biographies
(Adobe PDF File)



Alison Couston (nee Crilly) currently farms with her husband at Carag Carag, where she was born and raised and has nominated for policy council so all farmers have a voice. After completing a farming apprenticeship Alison worked on the home farm, and many others throughout the district, in a relieving capacity prior to marrying, share farming and leasing properties prior to purchasing the home farm. David and Alison have two children, their son Russell works as a Production Manager and their daughter Leanna is a district and intensive care unit nurse. Alison was actively involved with netball as a player at the local and representative level, and as umpire, coach, selector and administrator. She held the position of president of the local kindergarten and later worked in a relieving capacity as a Kindergarten Assistant. When Alison became aware of the implications of water and land use policy failings on the dairy farming and wider community she became publicly active through;

  • local UDV/VFF branch and annual conferences
  • as a founding member of Campaspe Concerned Citizens
  • completed the Community Leadership Loddon Murray leadership program in 2011.

All dairy farmers need a strong voice at the policy council table and a vote for Alison Couston puts ‘your’ voice at that table.
You can contact Alison Couston on mobile 0407 312 961 or email caragestate1071@outlook.com


Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read my bio. My passion for faming began as a small child within my Grandfathers beef enterprise in Gippsland, and helping my Aunt milk cows on weekends. A dream of farm ownership saw my husband I begin our dairying career in 1998 with a goal of ten years to ownership. Our dream came true in nine years to be hit with the GFC. To survive the GCF, I worked as a Trainer and Assessor with NCDEA for three years, and then as a Project Officer with Murray Dairy for a time until our business and family grew to a point that I was needed more on farm. We currently milk 700 cows near Undera, with two of our daughters full time on farm.

My time on the other side of the fence as a service provider has given me many desirable skills needed to fill the role of UDV Policy Councillor which include abilities to listen, research, debate, network, prioritise tasks, connect with farmers, and to work as part of a team. These skills are underpinned by the formal qualifications I hold in Agriculture (Advance Diploma, Dookie), Natural Resource Management (Advance Diploma, Dookie) and in Training (Certificate IV TAA, GOTAFE). All of which have assisted me greatly in the last two years that I have already served as UDV Policy Councillor for Region 2. During this time I have developed many working relationships with many politicians, service providers, government departments, industry bodies/stakeholders, and more importantly other farmers. I have been able to take the issues of my regions members to where they need to be heard and discussed. My main focus points during this time have been water, education, industrial relations, OH&S, NRM and animal welfare. I look forward to being able to continue to advocate strongly for Region 2, thank you.

You can contact Gemma Monk on mobile 0427 538 778 or email gemmamonk@icloud.com