About Thriving Rural

Thriving Rural is the new solo project of Principal Consultant, Annemaree Docking.

Annemaree is not a country girl by birth, but was raised on a suburban block in Doncaster, on what was then the outskirts of Melbourne. With Doncaster being very much a fringe suburb in the 1980’s, apple and pear orchards were giving way to quarter acre Aussie dreams while Annemaree grew up riding horses where the Eastern Freeway and townhouses now preside. The changing landscape left its impression on her.

Annemaree made her own tree change at the age of 17 years, moving to the country to work on a number of different farms throughout Victoria and New South Wales for the subsequent decade, including Thoroughbred stud farms, dairy farms, horticulture, viticulture, beef cattle and sheep enterprises. She was very much hands on, thanks to the skills she developed studying her Applied Science degree at Dookie Agricultural College in central Victoria, a campus of the University of Melbourne. 

An injury coming off a young horse while working for a horse breaker and trainer landed her in an office job for a time with Biosecurity Victoria during her recovery. What was intended to be a brief time in the department resulted in a 15-year government career, including industry and economic development, project management and compliance roles in both State and Local Government in the agriculture and environment sectors. She left government employment to focus on consulting in a company partnership, her farming and studies in 2018.

Alongside this government and consulting career, Annemaree has always continued farming. Dalhousie Farm, her 50 acre (19Ha) property in central Victoria has been a great place to trial her ideas and pursue her passions, including the breeding and training of sport horses and the development of a small beef herd for the direct marketing of beef to the community. More recently, the farm has been home to a 1000 bird flock of hens for egg production and a small but growing herd of Saanan dairy goats. 

Passionate about her field, Annemaree has continued her studies at every opportunity, including completing a Diploma of Carbon Management and her Permaculture Design Certificate. She is currently a PhD candidate with Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures researching Regenerative Agriculture Systems.  

This unique skill set, plus years of hands-on experience and strong industry and government networks, is an excellent resource and support for you as you embark upon or seek to rethink your rural ambitions. Bring us your ideas and we will help you make them a reality.

Thriving Rural's office is located on the unceded lands of the Taungurung clans of the Kulin nation. We would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.

Copyright © 2023 Annemaree Docking and Thriving Rural Pty Ltd