Meet the Team – Tom Draffen

What is your role at BCG and what will you be doing? 

My role at BCG is Senior Manager of Extension and Communication. Within BCG I will be overseeing and (hopefully) enhancing the communication and extension program. The research work that BCG undertakes has relevance to the greater farming community and I will be helping to extend that research to those who can use it in their day-to-day farming practices. 

What is your background?   

After completing VCE at Mortlake College I studied Arts at The University of Melbourne. Following that I undertook a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management at RMIT and post-graduate studies in Project Management at RMIT.  

I have spent a large portion of my professional career working in Environmental Management, specifically Bushfire Management for the Department of Defence as a Project Coordinator – this involved a decent amount of stakeholder engagement and communications as well as specialized on-ground field work and planning. My partner and I decided to leave the city in 2017 and moved to Wycheproof where I spent a year driving a fuel truck for my father in-law, which I loved, before I was employed by the Buloke Shire Council as a project manager. Council provided a great opportunity to further develop stakeholder networks within the region and to undertake some exciting projects for the local community. One of those being a project with Fiona Best, the CEO of BCG, who encouraged me to explore the opportunities available with BCG. 

Where do you live?   

My partner and I have recently bought a property in Wycheproof where her family lives. I was raised in the Western District of Victoria near Mortlake, on a sheep farm started by my grandfather as a soldier settler. 

What are your interests outside work?   

I’ve got a decent record collection which is growing, and I spend a lot of time in my garden at home. I’m also involved in the Tennis and Football Club in Wycheproof. 

What are you looking forward to at BCG? 

Helping to develop the communication and extension program to ensure that members of BCG can receive relevant information in new and innovative ways that suit the changing demographic of growers in the area while staying true to our roots. 

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