CEO of the Year Awards 2024

APAC Insider- CEO of the Year Awards 2024 Apr24104 For over 22 years, Aussie Helpers has provided support directly to farmers and fostered meaningful relationships with rural communities across Australia. Today, Aussie Helpers is one of Australia’s largest farming support charities, passionate about supporting the heart of the country by helping farmers experiencing tough times. Here we speak to Natasha Kocks, CEO of Aussie Helpers and winner of this year’s award for Farming Charity CEO (Australia), to find out more. Since its inception, Aussie Helpers has been proudly supporting individual farmers, their families, and rural communities to help them grow and thrive. With its wealth of farming expertise, the charity strives to meet the unique needs of farmers and provide immediate help when they need it most. With increasing costs and widespread economic uncertainty, farmers are amongst the millions of Australians currently struggling to make ends meet. As a non-profit organisation, Aussie Helpers’ commitment to people who live on the land is the foundation of its business. “Every family needs a farmer.” In addition to providing financial assistance, Aussie Helpers also supplies animal feed, food hampers, fuel cards, laptops, school fee support, and student tutoring. Most recently, the charity has also expanded its services with various initiatives such as Brekkie in a Bag and mental heath first aid training. Through Brekkie in a Bag, Aussie Helpers has been able to provide numerous schools with free healthy breakfasts to help children from rural areas start their day with a nutritious breakfast. As the daughter of farmers, Natasha Kocks has a deep understanding of the challenges that Aussie farmers experience every day. This experience drove her parents to establish Aussie Helpers over two decades ago and continues to inspire Natasha to support these in need. Core values of compassion, generosity, and respect have empowered the charity to evolve to meet the growing needs of rural communities. By working closely with farming communities, the team can continue to develop exciting projects and establish meaningful partnerships to help farmers and their families realise that they are not alone. Natasha Kocks shares, “I strive to keep up with the evolving needs of Aussie Farmers and I am uncompromising on my focus to grow Aussie Helpers so that we can support more farmers, farming families, and communities. With more than 20 years’ experience leading thriving businesses throughout regional Queensland, I aim to bring my passion for rural communities, strong business-sense, and exceptional interpersonal skills to Aussie Helpers. “As the years have moved on, I’ve become more resolute and confident to embrace the characteristics and strengths I bring as a female leader. It’s made me determined to create a more diverse and inclusive future for other female leaders—particularly in regional Australia.” At Aussie Helpers, Natasha and her team have great respect for the resilience of farming families, who take pride in their independence and seldom get the credit they deserve. Farmers work from sunrise to sunset to supply Australian families with high-quality, delicious produce while also battling economic and environmental challenges. Aussie Helpers works hard to champion farmers’ needs and celebrate the crucial role that they play. Natasha is committed to bringing greater awareness and appreciation to Australian farmers and establishing pioneering initiatives to support them. She recently met with the Office of the Premier of Queensland, presented at the Select Committee Hearing on the Cost of Living, met with the Department of Agriculture and Fishing, and spoke about the challenges facing rural communities at the Regional Health Dinner in Gladstone. Under her leadership, Aussie Helpers has fostered a culture of collaboration and cooperation where the team feel valued and emboldened to provide exceptional support to farmers in need. Natasha says, “As a leader, I believe in the potency of effective communication, collaboration, and alignment within our team, volunteers, and partners/stakeholders to achieve our common goals and vision. I also believe that fostering strong relationships and maintaining engagement, is of the utmost importance when interacting with others and my team. Active participation and ownership are key to our success.” This year, Natasha will celebrate her fifth anniversary as CEO of Aussie Helpers and is excited to announce several new projects to support the needs of rural and regional Australia. Moving forward, Aussie Helpers is passionate about providing assistance to farmers and their families to ensure they have access to better healthcare and education. Recognised in this year’s CEO of the Year Award, Natasha is dedicated to advocating for and supporting the rural communities that are the heart of Australia. Aussie Helpers is currently focused on expanding the support it provides and establishing strong partnerships with local businesses and sponsors. For businesses looking to making a meaningful difference to farming communities, please reach out at partnerships@ Contact: Natasha Kocks Company: Aussie Helpers Ltd. Web Address: Farming Charity CEO 2024 (Australia): Natasha Kocks