Enjoying the best of both worlds
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Enjoying the best of both worlds

Category Our People

Simon Hegarty


Continuing an inter-generational farming legacy on his family’s Cassilis property, Simon Hegarty is proud to be providing his young family a rural childhood, under the same roof as he himself grew up.

He’s also very grateful for the opportunity to combine his farming business with a long and successful career at Rabobank as a rural manager, based in the Dubbo branch.

“I always had a long-term vision to return to the farm while maintaining a career, and whilst working from home is now the new normal post-covid, I always had a goal of doing so,” Simon said.

“However even prior to covid, Rabobank was happy to trial a work-from-home arrangement. I’m in the Dubbo office every Monday and on the road visiting clients or working from home the other days. Covid really cemented the arrangement and it’s working exceptionally well.”

With two young children, Emma, one, and Jim, two and a half, Simon and wife Kristen are embracing the opportunity to live on-farm, with his parents on the same farm and in close proximity.

“Dad and Mum drive over in the side-by-side and grab the kids to go check water, cattle or the sheep. Being able to build these relationships with their grandparents and create life-long memories is very special.”

Cultivating strong relationships is clearly a priority for Simon, who said he gains enormous satisfaction seeing his client’s businesses prosper.

“It’s always a pleasure working with my clients and building those long-term relationships.”

“There’s nothing better than seeing a client’s enterprise, and family prosper – it’s extremely rewarding.”

Simon said the chance to get out and about visiting clients on-farm is without a doubt the highlight of his role as a rural manager.

“If there’s one thing farmers love, it’s showing you around their farm. I love getting out and seeing what projects are happening on the farm and what their families are up to,” he said. “Like most people, farmers feel most comfortable at home around their kitchen table – hence why the bank feels that the kitchen table conversations are the most important, whether it is succession, business opportunities, or seasonal planning.” 

Another highlight of his role is the rich diversity of agriculture across the Dubbo region – from cropping out at Coonamble-Walgett, irrigation in the Macquarie Valley, mixed farming on the inside country and the western grazing operations, he said the varying ecosystems that these businesses rely upon ensured he was always learning.

“There’s no doubt I’ve gained valuable tips and insights for our own business, there is just so much opportunity in agriculture and it’s always exciting to see the dynamic businesses we have across the region.”

Simon, who this year celebrated ten years with Rabobank, relies on a straightforward recipe to ensure the juggle between farmer and banker doesn’t overwhelm, with his parents and wife maintaining the family farm during the week, and “I’m able to annoy them as much as I can over the weekend!”.

“With regular meetings, it’s a formula that works well, and enables me to concentrate on my clients during the week, and the farm over the weekend.”

The Hegarty’s run a mixed grazing operation, consisting primarily of Angus cross cattle, and Merino sheep producing first cross lambs.

And while Simon enjoys nothing more than being on-farm – whether his own or his clients' – he doesn’t underestimate the importance of being in the office.

“We have a great team in Dubbo, and it’s important to be in the office regularly to maintain that camaraderie and knowledge share.”

“The insights and networks I have as a farmer are invaluable as a rural manager, but within the whole Dubbo team everyone has a farming background, and all have family members still on-farm, so the whole team has an acute awareness and understanding of production agriculture.”

“There’s an enormous amount of expertise when we put our heads together, and for that we are exceptionally proud.”

Between his career as a rural manager and farmer, Simon also manages to find time to give back to the Cassilis community, with a particular soft spot for the Coolah Rugby Club. “Like everyone who joins a committee from a finance background, they’re given the club treasurer’s job. I really enjoy being a part of the club and community.”

“It’s so important that we volunteer and contribute to our communities in rural and regional Australia, so that the opportunities and events that we all enjoy continue for the next generation.” 

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