The Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
David Littleproud was sworn in as Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on 20 December 2017. David was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Maranoa, Queensland, in 2016.
He was born and raised in Chinchilla and is married to Sarah. David and Sarah reside in Warwick and are the proud parents of three boys: Tom, Hugh and Harry. David was educated at Chinchilla State High School before finishing secondary education at Toowoomba Grammar School.
During the past 20 years, David forged a career in agribusiness while living and working in towns such as Miles, Nanango, Charleville, St George, Stanthorpe and Warwick. This provides David with an acute understanding of the important role agriculture and small business plays in creating jobs and promoting economic growth across rural, regional and remote Australia. He understands the importance of economic development as a means of building a prosperous future for younger generations and developing the capacity of health, education, agriculture, telecommunications and small business sectors.
Since being elected as the Member for Maranoa, David has served as a Member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade; including the Trade Sub-Committee, and Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee. David has also served as a Member on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts and the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources.
Connect on Twitter @D_LittleproudMP and facebook @littleproud4maranoa
Nikolai Beilharz presents the Victorian Country Hour on ABC Radio, the corporation’s flagship agricultural news and current affairs show. Nikolai has worked throughout Australia for the Rural department, exploring regional Victoria, Queensland and South Australia during his 10 years covering everything in the farming world. He also appears regularly on ABC Radio Melbourne and News Breakfast on ABC TV explaining rural issues.
Steve Hatfield-Dodds joined ABARES as Executive Director in August 2017. He is passionate about ABARES delivering high-quality evidence and analysis, and contributing to our national conversation on how we promote sustainable prosperity and best manage the natural assets that underpin Australia’s economy and wellbeing.
Steve is one of Australia’s leading researchers on integrated approaches to natural resource management, global change and sustainability. His work over the past 20 years has focused on the theory and practice of crafting policies to support sustainable prosperity, that account for multiple values and work within real world democratic institutions and social processes.
His previous career includes senior roles in government policy agencies, research, and private consulting. Before joining ABARES, Steve led the integrated science and modelling capacity that produced the CSIRO Australian National Outlook 2015. He has published in journals including Nature, Science, Agricultural Systems, Ecological Economics, Global Environmental Change, and Ecology and Society.
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During the mid-1990s while at university, Doug studied Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan before becoming a professional rugby player in Hong Kong. Now, as Leader of KPMG’s Asia & International Markets team and as a Deal Advisory Partner, Doug has positioned himself as a bridge between Australia and other Asian countries for major investment and trade projects.
Doug’s extensive regional knowledge – and conversational Mandarin Chinese – is built on a decade of living and working in China and Hong Kong as a Transactions specialist. His most notable task while there was to assist in the disposal of Lehman Brothers’ distressed real estate assets throughout Asia between 2008 and 2011.
Doug is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Business; a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants and Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. His Honorary roles include Chairman of the Asia Society Australia and Business Champion & Reference Group member for DFAT’s New Colombo Plan.
Doug has co-authored 13 research reports on Chinese investment in Australia, including
Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australian agribusiness as well as arranging two major Australia-China Food Summits in his former role as Chair of Australia-China Business Council’s Agribusiness Committee.
Doug is passionate about agribusiness, fuelled by his family’s cattle grazing business in the central west of NSW and spending time there with his parents and young family.
KPMG New Zealand
Auckland based Ian Proudfoot was appointed Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG in 2013 and presents around the world on the future of food production, processing and consumption. He is the lead author of the award winning KPMG Agribusiness Agenda publications, which have been prepared annually for the last eight years. He is considered to be one of the leading strategic thinkers on agribusiness in New Zealand.
Ian is currently working with ASB, a major NZ bank, to develop an urban farm and experience centre at Mt Albert Grammar School in Auckland. He is a member of the Te Hono Movement, a group of primary sector senior executives focused on lifting the value of New Zealand’s primary production. Ian has recently been part of an advisory group working with the Ministry for Primary Industries New Zealand to develop an overarching strategy roadmap for government investment into primary sector research and development.
Ian was admitted to partnership in 2004 with KPMG and has provided audit and advisory services to a wide range of clients, including businesses in the dairy, red meat, fishing, horticulture and viticulture sectors. He joined KPMG London in 1992 then KPMG Auckland in 1996. Ian is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. He has Bachelor of Sciences (Hons) Industrial Economics from the University of Warwick UK.
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University of Adelaide
Professor Rachel Ankeny is an interdisciplinary teacher and scholar whose areas of expertise cross three fields - history/philosophy of science; bioethics and science policy; and food studies. She is a Professor in the School of Humanities and the Associate Dean Research and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Adelaide, as well as an Honorary Professor in the College of Social Science and International Studies at the University of Exeter UK. She holds postgraduate degrees in philosophy, bioethics, gastronomy, and history and philosophy of science.
Rachel's research interests include science and food, food ethics, and animal welfare. She has received ARC Discovery project grants for projects focused on the history of genetic modification in Australia including public understandings, and ethical food choices, as well as a Linkage grant on consumer attitudes toward red meat animal welfare with several industry partners. At Adelaide, she leads the
Food Values Research Group as well as a new interdisciplinary research cluster on Public Engagement in Science and Technology at Adelaide (PESTA).
Emma is the CEO and a co-founder of AgriDigital, one of Australia’s leading emerging agtech and fintech companies. Emma has had a diverse career as a lawyer, agribusiness executive and executive coach. She is mentor to several start-ups and founders in Australia and overseas. She was recently named one Australia’s Top 25 Fintech Influencers and awarded Female Fintech Leader of the Year and Emerging Fintech Leader of the Year for 2017 by FinTech Australia.
In December 2016, AgriDigital achieved the world’s first settlement of a physical agri-commodity on a blockchain between a farmer and a buyer in New South Wales and this was recognised by Fintech Australia presenting AgriDigital the Excellence in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology award for 2017. AgriDigital recently launched its digital supply chain platform for the agricultural sector and continues to work with blockchain and other novel enabling technologies to bring efficiency and transparency to global supply chains.
Emma holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, a LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, and a BA from the University of Melbourne. Emma is an active tech community member and advisor to start ups. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a non-executive director of the Australian Digital Commerce Association and Fintech Australia.
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@emmamweston and email
As Managing Director of Australian Eggs since 2016, Rowan McMonnies has led the industry owned research and development corporation through a period of renewal as the egg industry adjusts to rapidly changing consumer preferences and industry developments.
Rowan has a legal and compliance background and has been a key adviser to the agriculture sector and the egg industry in recent years. Prior to joining Australian Eggs, Rowan was a commercial disputes partner at global law firm, Baker & McKenzie, and held senior positions at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
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YouTube: Australian Eggs
Peter Gooday is the Chief Commodity Analyst and manages the programs for commodity analysis and forecasting, trade research and climate impact sciences, and is responsible for producing the quarterly publications Agricultural commodities and Australian crop report. Peter has been involved in a broad range of research and analysis, including farm analysis, productivity and biosecurity; water market reform; productivity analysis; infrastructure issues affecting agriculture; fisheries management; economic issues associated with native forestry; meeting environmental objectives cost-effectively and affecting international and domestic mineral industries and commodity analysis. He has a degree in economics with Honours from the Australian National University.
Hayley Purbrick is proud to be fifth generation of one of Australia’s oldest wine-making families, and is bringing youth, passion and high-tech strategies to make the historic Tahbilk vineyard among the most environmentally friendly in the country.
Established in 1860, Tahbilk, in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria, was purchased by the Purbrick family in 1925. Hayley, as Tahbilk Wines’ Environment Manager, lives and breathes the winery – the people in it, the people who visit it and the land, foundations and history on which it was built. Hayley pursued her passion first through study, obtaining degrees in agricultural management, commerce and marketing then working with Ernst & Young before returning to the family business in 2009. Here, Hayley is working alongside viticulturists and other staff to research, develop and implement strategies to reduce Tahbilk’s carbon footprint.
Hayley is also helping to inspire entrepreneurial spirit within small towns, primarily working with her local community of Deniliquin in New South Wales. Her social enterprise – Big Sky Ideas – was created with the intention of tackling challenges around small town decline right across Australia. Through Big Sky Ideas and with Tahbilk staff, Hayley works to help people turn challenges into opportunities by inspiring them to think innovatively and really challenge their assumptions. Teaching people that thinking with an open mind can lead to changing your perception around what is possible; solving the business and the community’s problems.
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Australian Food and Grocery Council
Tanya Barden was appointed as CEO at the Australian Food and Grocery Council in July 2017. Prior to her appointment as CEO, Tanya was for five years the AFGC’s Director of Economics, Trade and Sustainability.
In her appointment as CEO, Tanya brings tremendous experience and proven success at senior executive levels in both the public and private sector, with a career spanning competition, energy and economics policy and regulation having worked in various roles at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Subsequent to this she worked for energy retailer ActewAGL and ran her own online food retail business.
Tanya holds Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Arts degrees, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Tom Rayner is Business Development Executive for South Australian satellite communications company Myriota. Myriota has developed cutting edge satellite technology enabling ultra-low cost transmission of small amounts of data from any location on the planet. This technology provides affordable connectivity for the agricultural sector, as well as the mining, utilities, defence and maritime industries. Myriota was founded in 2015 and is commercialising technology developed at the University of South Australia. Tom joined Myriota four weeks after incorporation as the first non-technical employee.
Tom grew up as a fifth generation wheat/sheep farmer in South Australia’s mid-north region and moved to Adelaide after completing university studies in commerce. Tom previously held various roles at Elders Rural Services from 2006-2013, and most recently was the General Manager - Consumer Business at the Adelaide Crows AFL Football Club, responsible for membership, ticketing, merchandise, and brand and marketing functions.
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Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Sally Standen is the First Assistant Secretary of the Farm Support Division in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, responsible for developing policies and implementing programs to support farming families and businesses through periods of financial hardship, and to improve the capacity of Australia's primary industries and producers to adapt and adjust to a changing climate while improving productivity.
Sally was previously the Assistant Secretary of the Crops, Meat and Horticulture Branch, responsible for industry policy development in a broad range of agricultural industries. In her 20 year career in the agriculture department, Sally’s responsibilities have been as diverse as industry policy; sustainable agriculture and natural resource management; agvet chemical policy; and four years at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo representing government on agricultural trade and market access issues. Sally holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and an Executive Masters in Public Administration, also from the ANU.
Australian National University
Steven is a climate applications scientist with the Climate Change Institute (CCI) at the Australian National University. His role at CCI is to examine opportunities for improved climate risk management, within primary industries, both in Australia and internationally. He is also looking at opportunities and activities to include multi-national and global food producers, telecommunications and other industries.
Before joining ANU, Steve worked for the Agriculture and Food Business Unit of CSIRO, contributing to the Global Food Security in a Changing world research program. Steve’s research capabilities include the translation of climate change impact scenarios from rainfall and temperature into forms useful for decision makers, such as crop and pasture production, biodiversity, farm incomes and broader socio-economic impacts; and participatory engagement with decision makers to improve the value derived from climate risk management in decision making.
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Tom is a senior economist in ABARES productivity section, and currently leads research into risk management and innovation on Australian farms. His previous research examined the various aspects of Australia’s farm sector, including trends in the structure of the farm population and the effects this has on industry-level productivity growth; the drivers of aggregate farm performance;
the role of corporate entities in funding investment in Australian farms; the potential use of multi-peril insurance products; and the causes of slower productivity growth in the cropping industry.
Tom has previously worked as a commodity analyst at ABARES, and as an applied economist at the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries. He holds degrees in Commerce and Agricultural Science with honours, and a PhD, all from the University of Melbourne.
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Bureau of Meteorology
Peter Stone is General Manager of Agriculture at the Bureau of Meteorology. His work history includes farm management, food industry consulting, grain marketing and corporate governance. He has worked as an agronomist throughout Australia and overseas. For much of the last 10 years Peter’s work has focused on identifying the scale and location of opportunities for developing northern Australia.
Farmers for Climate Action
Peter Holding is a third-generation farmer on the south west slopes of NSW, in the Harden/Cootamundra area. He manages a mixed farming business growing crops such as canola, wheat and barley, as well as running sheep for wool and meat. Peter is passionate about sustainable farming and environmental issues, particularly the impacts of climate change on the farm business.
Peter was instrumental in establishing the Harden-Murrumburrah Landcare Group and participated in the national Climate Champions Program. He is currently a board member for Farmers for Climate Change.
Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited
David joined Horticulture Australia Limited as the General Manager Research and Development in February 2010. In May 2015 he was appointed the General Manager Research, Marketing and Investment at the organisation. Prior to that David held a number of senior corporate research and development roles in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
David was the senior agronomist with Colly Cotton Ltd from 1993 – 2000, after managing a substantial irrigated cropping and grazing enterprise in western NSW.
David has a strong interest in plant physiology and biotechnology application. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture), a Masters in Biotechnology and is a Churchill Fellow.
Dr Caroline Gunning-Trant is manager of the Agricultural Trade section at ABARES. In her early years at ABARES she was as an analyst in the Agricultural Commodities section, and before that she worked as an economist at the Canadian Department of Agriculture. More recently she’s led work on South-East Asian, European and South American commodity markets, was part of the team that produced the
What Asia wants series of reports
looking at the future food demand in Asia; and analysed the impact of trade agreements on the Australian agricultural sector.
Caroline holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of California at Davis.
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Ryan Arnold is a producer from Loxton in South Australia, where, together with his brothers Michael and Tim, own and manage approximately 120ha of orchard under the business name Pyap Produce. This consists of 30ha of wine grapes, 20ha under development to citrus and 70ha of producing citrus, compromising a mix of Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, lemons and Afourer and Imperial Mandarins.
Ryan and his brothers have forayed into several areas of innovation on their orchard, from growing techniques to value added marketing of their produce.
Ryan graduated from the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus in 2000 with a degree in agriculture and started his working career at Yandilla Park in Renmark (now Costa Group) in 2001 as an irrigation agronomist. In 2003 he took an opportunity to return to the family mixed farming business in Loxton. Ryan is married to Rebecca with two daughters Amelie, 10 and Lila, 8.
Elliot is the General Manager, Grape and Citrus Category with Costa Group. He joined Costa in 2001. Over the last 12 years Elliot has managed leading customer accounts across both domestic and export channels and then the General Manager role in the Costa grape category. In June 2012 Elliot was appointed General Manager responsible for the grape and citrus categories.
Elliot has a Bachelor of Business degree and Graduate Certificate in Food Business Management.
Crop Protection Australia
Dr Rohan Rainbow is a Canberra based consultant with more than 30 years of experience in agricultural industry leadership, having overseen the development and implementation of a number of industry strategies in plant breeding for biotic traits, crop protection, biosecurity, food and feed safety, farming systems, precision agriculture, robotics, automation, data and digital agriculture.
Rohan is currently a part time consultant to the Cotton Research and Development Corporation as Project Leader - Accelerating Precision Agriculture 2 Decision Agriculture. He has previously worked as the national crop protection manager for the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
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@cropprotectaus or Facebook:
Crop Protection Australia
Breezy Hill Ag, SA
Jessica is a farmer and Precision Agriculture (PA) consultant from the Upper North of South Australia. With her husband Joe and his parents, they farm 1400ha of cereal and pulse crops and run a fine wool merino flock of 1200. Jess studied a Bachelor of Agriculture at Roseworthy College followed by a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning from Charles Darwin University.
Since her high school days Jess has been keenly interested in precision agriculture, and her education led her to her current role as a Precision Ag consultant with a John Deere dealership in 2012. Jess assists farmers to integrate ‘everyday PA’ products and services into their businesses, and has a passion in helping farmers overcome compatibility issues. Jess and Joe both enjoy finding ways to integrate PA technologies on their farm that make their operation simpler and more efficient. They are both interested in telematics and mapping products, and use these to manage variability on their properties.
Recently, Jess has also taken on the role President of the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA), a non-profit and independent membership group formed in 2002 to promote the development and adoption of precision agriculture. She has been on the SPAA committee since 2013, working with people in all facets of the industry. In addition to her on-farm and consultant roles, Jess runs a ‘Ladies on the Land’ group which is a division of her local farmer grower group – Upper North Farming Systems. Her group runs workshops that impart useful, practical knowledge to women of the Upper North. Jess has run six workshops focussing on agronomy, grain marketing, succession and business planning.
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Liam Lenaghan is a highly experienced and respected agricultural investment manager and currently Managing Director of goFARM Australia. Liam founded goFARM Australia in 2012 with a vision to be Australia’s best performing agricultural property investor and developer. Liam and his team have acquired 46,000 hectares of farmland with activity across grain, cotton, almonds and wine grapes.
goFARM is motivated by its purpose to Improve Australian agriculture; create wealth for its investors; and build a positive legacy for the properties and communities in which it invests. goFARM does this by executing transformational investments into underutilised or undercapitalised assets that support land use change or asset reconfiguration.
Raised as a fifth generation farmer, Liam’s career has progressed from applied agricultural research and extension, to agronomy and farm management consultancy and on to leading private and institutional investment in Australian agriculture.
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Cotton Research and Development Corporation
Jane Trindall is a R&D Manager with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation. Jane has recently led the Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture project funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Rural R&D for Profit program.
This project is first time all 15 research and development corporations have been involved in a joint R&D project investment. It is also believed to be the first time globally that an entire industry sector has taken a national approach to tackle issues associated with digital transformation.
Jane has been awarded for “Impact in adoption” and “Impact in Collaboration” from the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC. She holds a postgraduate certificate in Sustainable Value Chains from the University of Cambridge, a Bachelor of Science (Honours) majoring in Ecology from the University New England and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Southern Cross University.
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Brian Ramsay is the Managing Director of Inovact Consulting, a firm specialising in advising agribusinesses and industry service organisations on how to succeed with change and innovation. His career is characterised by a passion for helping people, organisations and industries to innovate faster in response to shifting markets, community views and government policy.
Brian has a wealth of experience in guiding complex change in many primary industries over the past 12 years, including with horticulture, meat and seafood. Previously, Brian established and was the inaugural CEO of Australian Pork Ltd, an innovative levy-funded company providing marketing, R&D and policy services for the pork industry. Brian has a Bachelor of Science and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra.
Connect with Brian on Twitter: @Inovact #Inovact -
@brianjramsay and Facebook:
Tom Maguire is the General Manager- Corporate Services with Teys Australia and has worked in the Australian meat industry since 1995, holding senior roles in the Australian Meat Industry Council and its predecessor organisations. Tom holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Queensland as well as qualifications in economics and law from the University of Melbourne.
Tom believes Australian agriculture has a bright future if it is able to adapt in response to global megatrends and resulting changes in customer and consumer requirements, where properly structured and commissioned industry associations have a unique opportunity to assist industry make the necessary transformation.
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CRC for Developing Northern Australia
Sheriden Morris has had a strong connection to and focus on northern Australia her entire life: from growing up in Batchelor in the Northern Territory, through her studies in tropical agronomy, and her professional career working with sugar, banana, aquaculture and tourism industries and agencies such as CSIRO and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Sheriden is currently Chair of the CRC for Developing Northern Australia and Deputy Chair of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.
For the past ten years she has been the Managing Director of the Cairns-based not-for-profit company, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). Sheriden believes in intelligent, sustainable development for northern Australia using the region’s tropical expertise – the knowledge of living, building and working most effectively in the tropics.
Under her leadership, the RRRC has successfully attracted more than $200 million in grants and investment to support research and development projects in northern Australia.
Sheriden has served on numerous government advisory committees for land and water management, including Queensland and Commonwealth committees for agriculture, coastal development, wetlands and Indigenous opportunity. An extensive contributor to land and sea management policy, she has also spearheaded the development and implementation of an innovative aid development program on Australia’s northern borderlands with Papua New Guinea.
Sheriden lives on the family farm at Babinda, just south of Cairns.
Dr Kate Andrews is the Executive Officer for NRM Regions Australia, the collective body for Australia’s 56 regional NRM organisations, and is also a consultant, visiting lecturer at ANU’s Fenner School for Environment and Society, and director on the AgriFutures Australia board.
Kate has worked in a variety of roles across Australia. For five years she worked with people across the Lake Eyre Basin designing and establishing the Lake Eyre Basin Coordinating Group - Australia’s only community designed and managed cross-border NRM organisation. She became its first CEO. Later, as Land & Water Australia’s first Knowledge and Adoption Manager, Kate, with her team established ‘knowledge and adoption’ processes and the Knowledge for Regional NRM program.
More recently Kate was based in Darwin chairing Territory Natural Resource Management and working across northern Australia as an advisor and consultant. She has participated in national committees such as the Australian Landcare Council and CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship advisory committee, and has chaired the national body for NRM regions. Her PhD through ANU explored the history of cropping and policy learning in northern Australia.
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Andrew is an economist in ABARES Agricultural Commodities section, which produces ABARES outlook for Australia’s major agricultural commodities. Prior to joining ABARES, Andrew worked for the Commonwealth Grants Commission as an economist modeller, and with the Australian Bureau of Statistics in various roles. He has Bachelor’s degree in business, majoring in economics, from the Queensland University of Technology.
Andrew is from a cotton and cereals farm west of Toowoomba, Queensland.
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Will joined Rural Bank in September 2013 and appointed Chief Financial Officer in October 2015. He has held executive responsibility for sales, marketing and agribusiness functions at Rural Bank, and prior to 2013 led the capital management, finance business partner, investor relations and corporate affairs teams for Rural Bank’s parent company Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. Will grew up on his family’s wheat and sheep farm in the mid-north of South Australia. Will was a 2017 Churchill Fellow investigating alternative finance structures for Australian family farmers. He is a non-executive director of Community Insurance Solutions, and Chairman of the South Australian Dairy Industry Fund. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and holds an MBA from the University of Adelaide.
Greg McNamara has been a director of Norco Co-operative Limited for 22 years. Greg runs a 300 head dairy herd in partnership with his wife Sue and son Todd at Goolmangar. He has extensive experience across the agricultural sector, including dairy, beef, pigs, horticulture and animal genetics.
2017-18 has been a very demanding but rewarding year for the Board of Directors. As Chairman, Greg has been focused on the development of strategic plans to grow the Norco business beyond its traditional footprint, and also communicating with Norco’s members and major stakeholders about those arrangements. Norco’s success with emerging export opportunities reinforces how the Norco provenance story resonates with customers beyond the Australian market. Within the boardroom environment, Greg encourages open and frank discussions as well as holding the view that working collectively together brings about a better outcome for all stakeholders.
Greg is also a Board Director of the New South Wales Business Chamber, a Member of the Northern Rivers Cooperatives Alliance, Chairperson of Industry Advisory Group which oversees the Farming Together Program, and Chair of the Australian Organic Industry Working Group.
Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Senator the Hon Anne Ruston was sworn in as Assistant Minister to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and has been a Senator since September 2012.
In July 2014, Anne was elected Senior Deputy Government Whip in the Senate and chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. She was also an active participant in the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, initiating inquiries into the Australian citrus and wine industries. Senator Ruston was appointed Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources in September 2015.
Prior to becoming a Senator, Anne held several senior positions in government and the private sector, including senior policy adviser to the South Australian Minister for Industrial Affairs and Tourism, Recreation, Sport and Racing, and inaugural chief executive of the National Wine Centre.
Born and raised in Renmark, on the River Murray in South Australia's Riverland region, Anne is a proud member of the community where she still lives and works. She is the only Senator for South Australia based in a regional area.
Anne is a primary producer and an irrigator, producing commercial cut flowers and implementing irrigation efficiencies on her property that reduced water use by more than 60%. She is a passionate advocate for rural and regional communities and for a balanced approach to water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin. Her vision for the Murray-Darling is for it to become the world's best example of an environmentally healthy, sustainable river system supporting efficient irrigation industries and vibrant river communities.
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Sarina Locke is a senior reporter with ABC Regional, who has won an international prize for agricultural journalism and the Crawford Fund prize for food security. She is a reporter with over 25 years’ experience in the ABC and BBC. Sarina has helped bring agri-business, trade, biosecurity and production issues to a wider audience on all ABC media platforms. She has reported on Australia’s international agricultural aid programs (ACIAR), in Indonesia and East Timor.
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John Clarke is the Director for International Relations at the Directorate-General Agriculture in the European Commission. He was previously Head of the European Union Delegation to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations in Geneva. He joined the European Commission in 1993 as a trade negotiator.
Before joining the European Commission, John was for ten years an official of the Hong Kong Government, including the Head of Cabinet of the Governor of Hong Kong.
Center for Indonesian Policy Studies
Rainer Heufers is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Being strictly non-partisan and not-for-profit, CIPS suggests policies that are based on the belief that only civil, political, and economic freedom allows Indonesia to prosper.
CIPS policy proposals are being formulated to support current decision making processes in the legislative and executive branches of the Indonesian government.
Rainer is also the founder and Managing Director of SIAP Solutions, a Singapore-based training and consulting firm, which provides strategic counselling, public policy consulting, leadership training, organisational development and other services to international think tanks, political parties, corporations and government agencies. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Atlas Network where top think tank leaders from around the world develop individual business plans for their organisations, and designed the first Atlas Think Tank MBA in 2008. He lives in Indonesia.
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Erlend is a research manager in trade and agriculture at China Policy. Advising a global client network, his team closely tracks and maps China’s policies and debates in trade and agriculture and their geopolitical dimensions. Key areas include markets and market access, investment, trade agreements, WTO and food security.
With multilateral systems in flux and China assuming a more assertive position, his team closely monitor new trade modes and patterns emerging from the country’s more active engagement with the world, in particular through its Belt and Road Initiative. Erlend studied social anthropology at University of Oslo and University College London.
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Louise van Meurs
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Louise is the First Assistant Secretary for the Trade and Market Access Division at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and has worked in various roles within the department over the last 25 years.
The Trade and Market Access Division provides policy and strategic leadership for the department’s international activities which include gaining, maintaining and improving market access for agriculture exports, Free Trade Agreements for agricultural industries and direct responsibility for 18 agriculture experts located around the world, who are responsible for helping Australia’s exporters maximise their opportunities in those countries while minimising any barriers to trade.
Before this, Louise was First Assistant Secretary for Biosecurity Plant Division, in which she oversaw the provision of scientific and technical advice to support Australia’s agricultural exports, biosecurity risk mitigation and the management and coordination of national responses to changes in plant health status.
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University of Melbourne
Donald MacLaren is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. He retired from full-time employment in 2012 but continues to lecture in the subject Economics of Food Markets, and to conduct research. He holds a PhD from Cornell University.
Donald has had a long-standing interest in international agricultural trade policy, and especially the role of the GATT/WTO in setting the regulatory framework. He has held visiting positions at Cornell University, Stanford University, the University of California at Davis, the OECD and the WTO. He has been a consultant to the European Commission, the European Parliament, the OECD, the World Bank, and FAO.
His current research interests include the economic analysis of the trade and welfare effects of state trading enterprises, the economics of food safety and quarantine policy, and food-grain policy in India.
Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Lee James is the Global Marketing Delivery Director at Pernod Ricard Winemakers where he leads an international team focussed on activation and advocacy programs across the global portfolio of premium wine brands including Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo from Australia; Brancott Estate, Stoneleigh and Church Road from New Zealand; Campo Viejo from Spain; Kenwood from the Napa Valley in California and Graffigna in Argentina.
Originally from London with strong Welsh heritage, Lee has been working in the wine, Champagne and spirits industry for nearly 20 years and has been closely involved in the sales and export of Australian wine since 2005, through his former roles as Commercial Director Wine and Champagne in the UK or more recently in European and global roles supporting the sales and marketing of Australian wines and the Australian wine category in key export markets.
Lee’s team also support knowledge and education of Australian wine via an international network of graduate wine ambassadors and global wine ambassadors and educators. Lee’s remit was expanded in 2016 to lead the team in charge of the Pacific cellar door and tourism operations including Jacob’s Creek and the newly opened and award winning St Hugo in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.
Bowman Richards & Associates
Rosemary is the principal of Bowman Richards & Associates, a consulting firm specialising in providing strategic support to agribusiness firms. Rosemary is a passionate senior executive, communicator and industry advocate, with her experience in project management and strategic development extending across all facets of agri and food businesses.
Rosemary has assisted a range of public and private companies, industry organisations and government departments develop market and business growth strategies. Rosemary has also been an executive manager for a range of grains industry organisations including the Australian Oilseeds Federation, Australian Bulk Handlers Association and the Australian Grain Exporters Association.
Rosemary has extensive experience in trade policy, market analysis and advocacy. She is Project Manager for the Grains Industry’s Non-Tariff Measures project and works with Grain Trade Australia as Program Manager Trade & Market Access. Rosemary was also the inaugural chair of the Grains Industry Market Access Forum. Rosemary has previous experience in government policy, industry policy and management consulting.
Jack Mullumby is a member of the Agricultural Commodities section at ABARES. Since joining ABARES in 2015, Jack’s work has centred on the analysis and forecasting of livestock and products markets. He has also worked on specific projects relating to Australian agricultural production and food trade, including Australia’s competitiveness in the global supply chain.
Jack holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Edinburgh, and bachelor degrees in economics from La Trobe University. Prior to his role in ABARES, Jack worked as an agricultural economist in Rockhampton for the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
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Pat McEntee has been with Woolworths since 1987 and is currently the Director of Woolworths Meat Company, responsible for the strategic development, buying, manufacturing, merchandising and marketing of the end to end meat operation.
Recently Pat returned from New Zealand where he held the role of Managing Director for Progressive Enterprises (Woolworths New Zealand).
In July 2013, Pat became the Director Supermarket Operations looking after over 960 supermarkets and over 114,000 team members across Australia. Prior to this Pat was the General Manager Fresh Foods for Woolworths which includes fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, smallgoods, delicatessen, bakery, seafood and chilled dairy.
Pat began his career as a butcher before joining Woolworths as the Meat Manager at the Camden store in NSW and quickly progressed through senior roles including State Merchandise Manager for Meat in NSW, National Manager Delicatessen and Seafood; and the National Merchandise Manager for Meat.
Throughout his career Pat has been attributed with adding considerable value through innovation, strength in leadership and developing long term partnerships with Australia’s best producers and manufacturing companies.
Tuloona Pastoral / Nuffield Scholar
Michael Craig runs a mixed livestock business in the big red gums at Harrow in western Victoria. With the help of two fantastic team members the business runs 21,000 sheep for both meat and wool production, 950 breeding cattle and 2800 acres crop. The business strives for innovation, including the use of individual animal ID which has been used for all animals for the past 10 years. This has allowed the business to measure its management performance and its genetic evolution for issues like finding a genetic path to end mulesing, with the practice ceasing at Tuloona Pastoral in 2007.
Michael completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 titled “Sheep/lamb meat; commodity or premium product? Looking at the enablers of change.” Off farm Michael is now actively involved in industry matters, as Chair of Victoria’s State Levy Fund and also as a director of Sheep Producers Australia, which has the legislative responsibility to oversee the national sheepmeat industry levy. Michael currently chairs the Product Integrity Committee and the Community Engagement and Leadership Committee, which are making substantial investments in developing leadership capacity for the future of the industry.
Andrew Robb AO
S. Kidman & Co.
Andrew Robb is currently a Board Member of the Kidman cattle enterprise, Chair of Asialink, Asialink Business and CNSDose, and strategic advisor to Beef Innovations Australia, as well as a range of national and international businesses.
Until his retirement from politics, Andrew was Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, where he negotiated Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Japan and China, as well as the 12 country Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore. Additionally he conducted 85 investment roundtables with 28 countries.
Andrew’s agricultural experience began as an animal health officer, with major involvement in the successful brucellosis and TB evaluation program in Australia’s beef herd. Subsequently, as an agricultural economist, he worked on public policy issues across a wide range of agricultural industries.
Andrew was appointed the Executive Director (CEO) of the Cattle Council of Australia, followed by his appointment as Executive Director (CEO) of Australia’s peak farmer organisation, the National Farmers’ Federation. Andrew stood for Parliament in 2004 and was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein until his move back into the private sector at the time of the 2016 election. As a Member of Parliament, Andrew held positions as Chairman of the Government’s Workplace Relations Taskforce, Assistant Minister to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, and then Minister for Vocational and Further Education.
Following the 2013 election, Andrew was appointed as Minister for Trade and Investment. In 2003, he was awarded the office of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to agriculture, politics and the community. Andrew has also published “Black Dog Daze: Public Life, Private Demons”.
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Matthew Koval is the First Assistant Secretary of the Biosecurity Policy and Implementation Division at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. His prior roles included Acting First Assistant Secretary of the Trade and Market Access Division, the Agricultural Policy Division and Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) based in Brussels, Belgium.
Matthew has worked on a broad range of domestic and international agricultural policies at the state and federal levels, including biosecurity, drought management, education and training, agricultural chemicals, rural adjustment, rural financial counselling and water management initiatives. He has represented Australia at international forums and is a previous Chairman of the International Grains Council. Matthew has tertiary qualifications in science, public administration and applied finance.
Katherine Teh-White is the founder and Managing Director of Futureye which provides sustainability solutions, research, engagement and communication to clients in Australia and abroad. Katherine’s pioneering social licence to operate methodology and problem-solving approach has made organisations more successful in an era of quickly shifting community expectations and instantaneous communications.
Her innovative approach integrates public policy, risk communication, foresight, a strong grounding in change management and an appreciation of science and technology.
With an innovative approach to sustainable development, Katherine has established projects that have transformed communities, industries and regulatory environments throughout Australia and the world. She has worked across multiple food issues including advising on social licence issues in palm oil, soy, fisheries, red meat, chicken, dairy and live export.
Her experience includes positioning BASF for a proactive approach to address the palm dilemma and developing the European communications strategy for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. In 2016, Katherine provided Austral Fisheries with a strategy to be sustainability leaders which saw them develop the world’s first carbon neutral fish for which they received the prestigious Banksia Foundation Sustainability Leadership award in 2017.
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Dr Cathy Robinson leads a program of research with industry, government and community groups which considers what is needed to manage the social impacts of pests and disease management, to build social license for biosecurity programs to operate with different industry and community groups, and design strong collaborative partnerships to share responsibility for biosecurity before, during and after an incursion.
Cathy is a Principal Research scientist at CSIRO.
She is also a Research Director of the Northern Alliance which is a partnership between CSIRO and Charles Darwin University focused on developing a total system health approach to remote regional development.
Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
Greg’s extensive career in vertebrate pest and natural resource management has taken him across Australia and most recently the US. After completing a Master’s degree looking at the ecology of the critically endangered marsupial, the Julia Creek dunnart, Greg realised that vertebrate pests not only have significant impacts on agricultural productivity but were also a significant threat to many of Australia’s unique native species.
Since then Greg has worked in a range of fields in remote areas of the country. His communication and engagement skills with rural stakeholders, coupled with a passion for evidence-based natural resource management, led Greg taking on the role of National Wild Dog Management Facilitator with Invasive Animals CRC in 2007.
Greg has ensured that industry and stakeholders are at the forefront of the decision making process. This was reflected in the development and endorsement of the National Wild Dog Action Plan in 2014. Developed as an industry initiative, the Action Plan was written, endorsed and funded in 12 months.
Steve Jefferies AM
Grains Research and Development Corporation
Dr Steve Jefferies has more than 32 years of experience working in the Australian grain industry, mostly in research management. In July 2016 Steve commenced as Managing Director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). From 2002 to June 2016, Steve was the CEO of Australian Grain Technologies, Australia’s largest and market leading wheat breeding company.
From 1996 to 2002 Steve was a wheat and barley breeder, and senior lecturer with the University of Adelaide. From 1984 to 1996 Steve held several positions in research management and ministerial liaison in the South Australian State Government.
Until taking up his current position, Steve was also Non-Executive Director of Birchip Cropping Group, Non-Executive Director of Barley Australia, Chairman of the Australian End Point Royalty Steering Committee, and member of the Australian Wheat Quality Classification Council. In June 2016 Steve was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s birthday honours list for significant services to primary industries.
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Rohan recently returned to ABARES as a senior economist, responsible for developing the capability the commodity forecasting team. Prior to this, Rohan was with the Productivity Commission as a senior economist where he led research into competition policy and its impact on the structure and productivity of agricultural industries.
Rohan’s previous roles include Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy at the University of Tasmania (a joint appointment with CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship); policy director and special advisor in the Australian Government Department of Climate Change; and Research Group Leader at CSIRO.
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Kelly Grains, Tocumwal, NSW
Chris Kelly is Chairman and a Director of K.M & W.M. Kelly & Sons, a grain trading, storage and logistics company supplying the domestic and export grain markets. The Kelly family has been involved in the grain industry for 80 years and now has the fourth generation managing the business. The company is based at Finley and Tocumwal in NSW.
Chris has had over 40 years’ experience in the family business and has been involved in state and national industry bodies including the Grain Research and Development Corporation, NSW Grain, and the Grain Industry Association of Victoria. He was a board member of Grain Trade Australia (GTA), (formerly NACMA) for 10 years and Chairman for four years. GTA is the industry body that sets and manages all grain contracts, grain standards, arbitrations and advocacy on behalf of the post farm grain industry. He was awarded life membership in 2015.
Chris is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and is involved in local community and service club activities. In 2017 he completed walking the Northern Camino in Spain (830km) and the Kokoda Track.
Rockdale, Cunderdin WA
John, his wife Julie and two daughters Savannah and Imogen, farm in the Shire of Cunderdin in Western Australia. The main enterprise on the farm is grain production consisting of wheat, barley, canola and lupin crops. As a diversification strategy, shedding sheep have been introduced in recent years with a commercial ram enterprise evolving.
John has a keen interest in biotechnology and played a pivotal role in advocating for the introduction of GM canola into the Western Australian grains industry.
He currently sits on the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia executive committee and the Western Grain Growers committee, where he was chairman from 2011 to 2015. John believes in small government where innovation and markets can flourish unhampered.
David Galeano leads ABARES research on farm analysis, productivity and water. Prior to re-joining ABARES in May 2016, David led the social and economic work at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and had responsibility for implementing various aspects of the Basin Plan. He also held senior positions at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, leading the economic aspects of Commonwealth fisheries management.
David also spent time at the Department of the Environment focusing on benefit cost analysis on environmental programs.
David began his career at ABARES as a graduate mainly working on fishery economics research.
He has a degree in Agricultural Economics with Honours from the University of Sydney.
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Marsden Jacob Associates
Rod Carr is a Director and economist at Marsden Jacob Associates, a leading independent, national economics and financial advisory firm established in 1996 and grown to be Australia’s leading natural resource economics consultancy.
Rod is the Project Director of the new Waterflow project, which received a $1 million grant to develop and test an innovative solution to improve the transparency and reliability of Australian water market information. Rod joined Marsden Jacob in 2010 having worked for state and federal governments over the prior 10 years. He has two decades of experience in rural water markets and economic assessment of rural water infrastructure across Australia. Rod and his colleagues are currently advising public and private clients on various water market and water infrastructure initiatives Australia-wide.
Alister Walsh is Director Water Assets at Duxton Capital Australia, having joined in June 2017, where he is responsible for managing the business’s water portfolios, including working closely with the team responsible for the management of Duxton Water Limited’s water entitlements. Prior to joining the Duxton Group, Alister was CEO of Waterfind Australia, a leading water exchange. Alister has seen the full extent of the development of the Australian water market, from direct engagement via farming operations in the early 2000s through to his time spent with Waterfind maturing the market over the last decade. Alister holds a Bachelor of Economics in International Agribusiness from the University of Adelaide.
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John Madden was appointed a full time Associate Commissioner (Water) with the Productivity Commission in December 2016 for two years, where he has worked on the
National Water Reform public inquiry. John has extensive experience in legislative, regulatory and administrative arrangements for water planning and management, and expertise in cost-benefit analysis and socio-economic assessment, with a particular focus on water issues.
John has worked on a wide range of water and other natural resource, primary industry and infrastructure issues, in private sector consulting roles as well as in the public sector including with the CSIRO, NSW Agriculture, and the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. John has a Master’s degree in economics from the University of New England and a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Sydney.
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Stuart Hodge is a sixth generation farmer at Numurkah in the heart of the Goulburn Valley in northern Victoria. Hodge Farms has evolved during Stuart's tenure as owner and CEO from large scale dairy to an irrigated cropping operation leveraged by advanced grain marketing strategies and industry-leading agronomic techniques.
Hodge Farms is located on land irrigated from Goulburn-Murray Water's Murray Valley Irrigation District. The irrigation system is exclusively gravity operated and under Stuart's leadership, the concept has been enhanced and embraced on-farm at a level not previously thought possible.
Stuart’s interest in water markets began in 1997, and he has been actively involved since. Understanding water markets has been crucial to the development and ongoing success of Hodge Farms. Stuart’s intimate understanding and opinions have been sought by federal and state government agencies.
Frank Archibald is a partner with Reason Group, with more than 30 years of strategic and tactical experience in management, project leadership and implementation of business strategies across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, the Chartered Management Institute, and the Australian Institute of Management.
Frank began his management career at KPMG in Hong Kong, staying there for 13 years and becoming a member of the global management team responsible for KPMG’s overall business strategy. He went on to hold a directorship at EDS, Australia, establishing the Asia Pacific government practice and has worked in advisory positions with Compaq / HP, Asia Pacific, IBA Health Care, Europe, National Australia Bank and GE Healthcare, Australia.
In his current role with Reason Group he is leading the development of a vision for a Smarter Australia™ where Australia continues to punch above its weight, leading the rest of the world in innovation and technology in key areas such as agriculture, education, health care, and tourism. Australia has many areas of competitive strength, such as energy resources and medical and mining related technologies. Frank believes Australia also has significant opportunities in emerging sectors like FinTech and precision agriculture, but to remain a lucky-country, Australia must manage smarter. Frank argues for the creation of more locally grown businesses capturing the value of the significant domestic and export opportunities that exist right on Australia’s door-step.
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Peter Corish AM
Infrastructure Australia Board
Peter Corish was the President of the National Farmers’ Federation for five years in the early 2000s before building and leading PrimeAG Australia up until 2013. Peter has served as a member of the Council of Australian Government’s Reform Council and the Australian Government Business Roundtable for Sustainable Development and has also been a National Water Commissioner. He was founder and now chairs the Corish Group of agricultural businesses.
Peter joined the board of Infrastructure Australia (IA) in 2014 – the statutory authority with the mandate to prioritise and progress nationally significant infrastructure at the federal and state levels. IA provides independent research and advice to all levels of government as well as investors and owners of infrastructure.
As well as a beef cattle farmer at Yass in NSW, Su McCluskey is Chairman of Energy Renaissance; a Director of Australian Unity Limited and the Foundation for Young Australians; and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration. Su is a member of the Independent Panel for the Review of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission legislation and the Small Business Digital Taskforce. She was a member of the Harper Review of Competition Policy, the Independent Review of CPA Australia and the 2015 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review.
Su’s previous roles include the Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Australia Institute; the CEO of the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations and the Executive Director of the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Su has held senior positions with the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Taxation Office.
She was named the Westpac/Australian Financial Review Regional Women of Influence in 2013 and received the Women in Agribusiness award in 2014 for outstanding contribution to policy development.
Indigenous Land Corporation
Eddie Fry is a Dagoman-Wardaman man from the Northern Territory. He is Chairperson of Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).
Eddie has extensive experience in the resource sector, is an Indigenous and native title issues specialist, Executive Director of Gimbulki Ltd, Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Board at BroadSpectrum, Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal Foundation, SA, Chair of Todd River Resources, and on the development team for the Mount Peake project of TNG Ltd. At Normandy Mining, he established the company’s Traditional Owner policy, managed international logistics, marketing and was an investor relations analyst.
IBA is commercially focused organisation with a vision in which First Australians own their future, are economically independent and an integral part of the nation’s economy. IBA is a partner and investor alongside Indigenous individuals, communities and groups to make ideas real by assisting to buy homes, succeed in business and invest in commercial ventures.
The ILC partners with Indigenous Australians to acquire, care, use and manage Indigenous-held land to maximise benefits. It aims to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes through investing in commercial and social enterprises, employment and skills development.