Meet the Team

The Compass team brings together generations of farming experience and a deep understanding of all aspects of the industry.

Nigel Pannett

Managing Director

Raised on a family farm in South Otago, New Zealand, and a graduate of Lincoln University, Canterbury, Nigel spent several years running his own farm in Canterbury before heading overseas and working in a range of roles across the agricultural industry. He returned to New Zealand to work in the rural banking sector, first based in Canterbury, then moving to Melbourne with Australasian bank ANZ.

Since establishing himself and his family in Australia 15 years ago, Nigel Pannett has built an extensive network across Austral-Asia and has experience across agricultural finance, establishing farming partnerships for farmers and investors, and agri consulting with particular success in succession planning, expansion and sustainable agricultural practices.

Outside the office, Nigel keeps fit with a range of outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, golfing, exercising and spending time with his family.

Heidi McKechnie

Executive Support & Business Manager

Heidi brings with her 15+ years’ experience in hospitality and guest services in various roles across the ski industry in Colorado, USA and the hotel industry in Melbourne, Australia. She has extensive experience in employee relations and administrative support with a strong focus on service and professionalism. Heidi holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology and Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, USA, and a Diploma of Human Resource Management. Heidi provides EA support to our Australian Managing Director and office management to our Australian office.

Outside the office, Heidi spends her time supporting her kid’s activities and clubs. She is a passionate skier and enjoys all kinds of exercise.– from Pilates to kayaking and mountain biking.

Ryan Ashby

Operations Manager

With more than 27 years working in the dairy industries in New Zealand and Australia, Ryan is responsible for overseeing all Compass’ managed farms in Tasmania as well as growth and management of the grazing offering across the state. He brings with him over 27 years of dairy industry experience gained both in New Zealand and Australia. Ryan’s strong industry experience and knowledge is a great asset to the Compass team

Ryan’s interests outside of work continue to be outdoor based, with a love of trekking, hunting and camping with this family and friends.

David Vaughan

Financial Controller

Dave joined the Compass team in 2020, bringing with him strong knowledge and skills to support our clients with their management accounting needs, as well as farming business finance advisory services. Dave comes from a 6th generation dairy farming family in Victoria, Australia and puts his Bachelor’s degrees of Business and Agriculture to use to assist our clients in improving their business performance. Dave’s natural ability to form an immediate personal connection with clients forms a strong base of trust to build a long-term partnership.

Outside of work, Dave enjoys the outdoors whether it is travelling, enjoying the beach, on the snow or on-farm. He is still actively involved in his own farm in country Victoria.

Abbie Crow

HR & Relationship Manager

Abbie has a rich history and extensive experience in HR Management in industries ranging from Fisheries to Employment & Disability Services. Joining our team in 2022, Abbie’s dedication to working hands on with our farm teams and helping the team members reach their full potential is the daily display of our commitment to our people and communities. In her spare time, Abbie coaches a local women’s rowing club in Hobart, and she enjoys watching sport with family and friends.