Hannah’s career and lifestyle come full circle
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Hannah’s career and lifestyle come full circle

Category Our People

Hannah Sturgiss Rabobank

Hannah Sturgiss describes her family’s move to Sale, Victoria in 2021 as “the change we didn’t know we needed.”

Having enjoyed a successful corporate career working across Australia, with her husband in the Airforce and two young children – the youngest just six weeks old at the time – the family moved for an Airforce posting.

Immediately, Hannah said she fell in love with the community, and the opportunity the region provided.

It wasn’t long before she embarked on a rural manager’s role with Rabobank, reflecting a ‘full circle’ opportunity in terms of career and lifestyle.

“I grew up in north central Victoria on a mixed farm, the majority dairy, and my family also had a contracting business, specialising in lasering and hay,” she explains.

With a passion for agriculture, Hannah completed a Bachelor of Rural Business at Melbourne’s Dookie Agricultural College, before entering John Deere Limited’s Graduate Program, based in Brisbane.

She laughs that her 13 years with John Deere, during which time her career progressed from a pricing analyst role to aftermarket management, sales support right through to the territory account manager for the Northern Territory, Queensland and North Western Australia, stretched well beyond her initial five year plan.

Her career trajectory at Rabobank is similarly bright, with Hannah recently announced as the Area Manager for the Leongatha and Sale Branches.

And there are definite skills and synergies she can draw from thanks to her time at John Deere.

“Whether it’s a green machine customer or a rural banking client, customer service is key, and I’m proud to be working for Rabobank where the client relationship comes first – it’s the fact we genuinely support our farmers and community that provides our point of difference.”

Hannah credits integrity as underpinning her career success so far, and feels blessed to have had managers and clients who appreciate its value throughout her career.

“Integrity is my everything, it speaks to who you are, and what you stand for, and it’s just one of the reasons I love working in agriculture.”

“Regardless of if you’re at an industry level, or a farmer on the ground, the purpose is clear, there’s nothing more important than feeding and clothing the world.”

The opportunity for connection that a solutions-based role affords is also one of Hannah’s priorities.

“Be it a connection to our team or our clients, having that ability to get to the base of a need and work towards a solution is always a thrill.”

As a bank dedicated solely to agriculture, Hannah has embraced reconnecting with the industry, and visiting clients on farm is one of the highlights of her job.

“To be able to share in their journey, their farm, their legacy, and what we’re privy to – not just within their business, but within their lives – is a huge privilege.”

“It’s a different level of conversation sitting around the kitchen table, or driving around the paddock – you get unique insights into their operation, their character, their goals – if it was all about the books everyone would be internet banking.”

“We acutely understand the needs of our clients, whether it’s acquiring the farm next door or simply requiring more working capital to improve cattle yards, and it’s our job to help identify that opportunity or need, whether it’s now or on the horizon.”

Hannah Sturgiss Rabobank

“Growth, restructure, or consolidation – we need to be in lockstep with where our clients are going, and how we can support them – and the impact we can have with clients, and the community, is a very exciting proposition.”

The commodity mix the regions supports is equally enticing.

“I get to work with trailblazing farmers across a range of commodities – from dairy to sheep, beef to horticulture and poultry – it’s a dynamic role and personally I’m always growing and learning and no two days are the same.”

Since relocating to Sale, Hannah and her family – including their two children, Charles now four and Eadie, two – have purchased a home and embraced the community.

“Living in Brisbane, we really missed that direct connection to community, and we love being able to build relationships, reconnect with old friends and give back in terms of time and knowledge,” Hannah said.

The Defence Community Hub Committee and the Gippsland Red Meat Conference Committee are two such opportunities in which Hannah has helped contribute to the community, both valuable platforms to connect locally and as a broader community.

“It was the relationship focus of Rabobank that enticed me into banking, and its focus on people and the community that differentiates, and aligns so strongly with my own values.”