Outlook 2019 – Speakers and chair profiles

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​show all
photo of David Littleproud

The Hon. David Littleproud MP

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

The Hon. David Littleproud MP 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 currently resides in Warwick. 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 experience 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.

photo of Richard Colbeck

Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck was born in Tasmania and has lived on the north-west coast for most of his life. Before entering politics, he worked in the construction industry for more than two decades.

Prior to being elected as Senator in 2001, he served as president of the Devonport Chamber of Commerce, and as a director of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was also an Alderman of the Devonport City Council. His involvement with politics grew over time following involvement with industry, business and school representative roles.

In the Howard Government, he served in various roles, including as the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Parliamentary Secretary for Finance. In October 2008 he was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. In May 2010, he was given the additional appointment of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Engagement with local businesses - big and small - is an important part of this portfolio.

Following the August 2010 election, he was re-appointed to the Coalition Shadow Ministry in the positions of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry and also Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science. Senator Colbeck has recently served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture (18 September 2013 to 21 September 2015); Minister for Tourism and International Education (21 September 2015 to 19 July 2016); Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment (21 September 2015 to 19 July 2016). He was sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on 28 August 2018.

Richard Colbeck is married to Gaylene and has three children. He loves sport and has been involved with local sporting groups and clubs for many years.

photo of Nikolai Beilharz

Nikolai Beilharz


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.

Connect with Nikolai on Twitter @nikolaibeilharz

photo of Steve Hatfield-Dodds

Steve Hatfield-Dodds


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.

Connect with Steve on twitter @ABARES and on Facebook

photo of Frances Adamson

Frances Adamson

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Frances Adamson has led the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Secretary since 25 August 2016. Prior to her appointment, Frances was International Adviser to the Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP from November 2015.

From 2011 to 2015, Frances was Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.  She served in the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong in the late 1980s during the early years of China's reform and opening.  She was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and then the Minister for Defence from 2009 to 2010. From 2001 to 2005, she was seconded as Representative to the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei. Frances has twice served in the Australian High Commission in London - as Deputy High Commissioner from 2005 to 2008 and as Political Counsellor from 1993 to 1997.

Frances is President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia ACT Division. She is a member of the Efic Board, the Advisory Board of the Australian National University's National Security College and the Asia Society Australia Advisory Council.  She is a Special Adviser to the Male Champions of Change and a member of Chief Executive Women.  She was awarded a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship in 2015. Frances has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and was a recipient of a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award.  She joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1985. She is married with four children.

Connect with Frances on Twitter @dfat

photo of Mike Grundy

Mike Grundy


Mike Grundy is the Research Director for the Soil and Landscapes Program in CSIRO, Australia’s national research agency. The Program studies trends across soils, landscapes and agri-food systems and the interconnection with the economy and environment.

He also co-leads the Landscapes Facility in Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network that aims for a synthesis of research information and infrastructure across Australia.  Mike has a long-standing personal research interest in spatial soil science and its application to agricultural and forest production and environmental protection and in systems approaches to complex problems.  He is a Fellow and Life Member of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.

"Outlook is quite unique in its exploration of trends backed by a long term commitment to data and analytics.  It leads to intelligent and insightful discussion of the emerging issues in Australia agriculture and is therefore one of the key events in the national agricultural landscape."

Connect with Mike on Twitter @CSIROnews

photo of Peter Gooday

Peter Gooday


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.

“It’s an exciting time for agriculture and this is the best place to hear about what’s happening now and what’s going to shape the future. The program has lots of issue sessions and it will be good to hear the perspectives of people from different industries, points in the supply chain and backgrounds on what they think needs to happen next.”

Connect with Peter on twitter @ABARES

photo of Robert Johansson

Robert Johansson

United States Department of Agriculture

Dr Robert Johansson is the Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), responsible for the Department's agricultural forecasts and projections and for advising the Secretary of Agriculture on economic implications of alternative programs, regulations, and legislative proposals.

His office publishes USDA’s WASDE reports each month and coordinates regulatory cost-benefit analyses, energy and environmental policies, economics of trade, and pest management policies. 

Robert received B.A. in economics from Northwestern University in 1990 and then served with the Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. After returning to his home state of Minnesota, he entered the graduate program in agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota, receiving his M.S. in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2000.

In addition to working at the USDA for 15 years, he has also worked at the Office of Management and Budget, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Council of Economic Advisers. 

photo of Ramiro Costa

Ramiro Costa

Buenos Aires Grain Exchange

Ramiro Costa serves as Deputy Executive Director at Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (Bolsa de Cereales). Prior to this new position (January 2017), Costa served as chief economist where he presided its Institute of Economic Studies, the Department of agriculture projections and estimations, and the Department of training.

He is a member of Institute of International Agricultural Negotiations (INAI). Costa is a member of the board of MAIZAR -Argentinean Corn and Sorghum Value Chain-, ARGENTRIGO -Argentinean Wheat Value Chain-, and ASAGIR -Argentinean Sunflower Value Chain-. He also participates in the board of the School of Agriculture, University of Buenos Aires, Foundation. Costa is member of the Bioeconomy Program at Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Argentina. He is author of several research papers, he has contributed in the publication of several books. In addition, he has presented his papers to numerous international conferences. He specializes in the analysis of agricultural value chain.

photo of Leigh Radford

Leigh Radford OAM​

RadMedia/Events On Air

Leigh Radford OAM, a multi-award winning broadcaster, began his career with the ABC as a trainee rural reporter in the 1980s. He has worked at all levels of regional, state and national reporting. He was the Head of all ABC Rural output from 2005 until July 2017.

Leigh has enjoyed over three decades of extensive travel around Australia in these various roles and has broadcast programs from literally right across the country and the outback. He regularly hosts large national conferences and enthusiastically participates in community engagement opportunities.

Leigh has been recognised as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation ‘in recognition of exceptional service and commitment to rural and regional Australia’. He has also been honoured by Rural Media South Australia as a “Rural Media Icon” for his ‘long term contribution to rural media in Australia’.He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019 for service to the broadcast media in rural and regional areas.

He comes from a background of environmental sciences and has an Honours degree in biogeography. Leigh and his brother Drew are partners in Events on Air. Leigh is President of the Royal Geographical Society of SA; President of Rural Media SA; and represents the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists as Australia’s Executive at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

He is passionate about the people and issues of rural Australia and has a great love of the environment.

photo of Andrew Metcalfe

Andrew Metcalfe AO


Andrew is a partner in EY’s Government and Public Sector advisory practice, based in Canberra, where he works with a number of public sector clients at a strategic level. Andrew is also leading EY’s focus on food, fibre, agribusiness and biosecurity in Australia and New Zealand.

Andrew’s appointment to EY in 2014 follows an extensive career at the highest levels of the Australian Government. He has extensive policy experience in often contentious areas, as well as in the delivery of client services on a national and global scale. Andrew was the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Immigration for seven years, and also was the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Australia's Director of Quarantine. He was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet responsible for national security, foreign relations and machinery of government issues; and Chairman of Australia's National Counter Terrorism Committee. Earlier in his career, he was Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister.

Andrew was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2012 for his distinguished public service leadership to Australia's international relations and to major public policy development in the areas of immigration and national security. He was recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia in 2010 as the ‘Federal Government Leader of the Year’.

Connect with Andrew on Twitter @EY_Australia and Facebook.

photo of Michael Robertson

Michael Robertson


Michael is the Deputy and Science Director of CSIRO Agriculture & Food. He grew up in New Zealand where he studied agricultural science, followed by a PhD at the University of Queensland on the tropical grain crop sorghum.  Michael’s research background is in crop agronomy and simulation modelling where his work has aimed to analyse and understand broadacre farming systems to inform better management regimes. 

He has worked on agricultural systems in the tropics, subtropics and temperate zone on a wide range of crops and pastures. As part of his current role Michael is leading an initiative in digital agriculture to bring together agricultural researchers and information and communication technology experts in CSIRO to explore new ways in which digital technologies can improve the way research is conducted and results are delivered to end users.

“The session on the current state of the agriculture innovation system in Australia is timely and essential. Examination of its fitness for purpose is necessary in order for the sector to grasp the big opportunity in front of us. I'm looking forward to a lively and stimulating debate.”

photo of Richard Dickmann

Richard Dickmann

Bayer Australia and New Zealand

Richard is committed to advancing Australian agriculture through strengthening sustainable industry partnerships and creating new business opportunities which capitalise on innovation. His career with Bayer spans more than 25 years and five countries in roles ranging from marketing, technology scouting and sustainability.

Hailing from rural Victoria and educated in Melbourne, Richard obtained an honours degree in Forestry from the University of Melbourne and a Master’s degree in agriculture, focusing on satellite remote sensing, from the University of Sydney.  Richard is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As the Head of Public and Government Affairs, Richard is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding among political stakeholders of the critical role innovation plays in meeting the food supply and health challenges of the future.

Richard is a proud ambassador for Australian agriculture and is married with four children.

“Bayer views Australia as both a market, and source for high tech agriculture. I am looking forward to discussing how Australia can retain a world class R & D system as this is critical to Bayer’s engagement in Australia, and Australian agriculture’s long term success.”

photo of John Harvey

John Harvey

AgriFutures Australia

John Harvey joined AgriFutures Australia (formerly RIRDC) in May 2016 as Managing Director, accepting the challenge to set a new, more commercial direction for the organisation.

John aims to make AgriFutures Australia a change agent for transforming existing industries with new technologies and seeding new, high value industries that ensure Australian agriculture continues to grow.

Prior to this appointment, John held various positions at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) spanning 18 years, including five years as Managing Director. As a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, John was a Director of Australian Crop Accreditation System Limited and a Director of the Value Added Wheat Cooperative Research Centre. He has served on the boards of Pulse Breeding Australia, Barley Breeding Australia and the National Soybean Breeding Program. He was also a member of the Australian Winter Cereals Pre-Breeding Alliance and the CRC for Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity.

“I am looking forward to a robust discussion about the future of rural innovation in Australia, hitting the $100b target by 2030 and the growing role of agri-tech globally.”

Connect with John on Twitter @AgriFuturesAU and Facebook.

photo of Jared Greenville

Jared Greenville


Jared recently joined ABARES as an Assistant Secretary after working for the OECD, where he managed work related to agro-food trade policy, global value chains in agriculture and food security and risk (focusing on Southeast Asia) along with monitoring and evaluating agricultural policy developments in Indonesia, Australia and India.

Prior to joining the OECD, Jared worked for the Productivity Commission on diverse issues ranging from Australia’s involvement in bilateral and regional trade agreements, domestic drought support policy to issues related to infrastructure policy and the challenges posed by an ageing population. Jared has a PhD in agricultural and natural resource economics from the University of Sydney.

photo of Tina Dong

Tina Dong

Access CN

Tina is now a Senior Account Manager with Access CN, in a career spanning 10 years in the FMCG marketing industry in China and three years in marketing research in Australia.  Tina has extensive experience in marketing strategy development, consumer database marketing, CRM and consumer insight analysis.

Tina started in TNT Direct Marketing Service China, then moved to Head of Account Management. She joined Research Now SSI Australia as Account Manager. Her latest role prior to ABM is Account Director in Acxiom. Tina now leads a team that manages all marketing resources to develop the marketing strategy of Australia brands entering the Chinese market.

Tina has a Master in Project Management from the University of Adelaide and Bachelor of Arts from Shanghai University.

photo of Dion Santamaria

Dion Santamaria

Cutri Fruit

Dion is the Domestic Sales Manager and CFO for Cutri Fruit, Australia’s largest stone fruit orchard. Over five harvests Dion has seen firsthand the impact of market access on the Cutri Fruit business.

In prior roles, Dion has worked in finance, business management and business development for BHP, Spotless and Macquarie Bank. During his seven years with Macquarie in banking, finance and agricultural funds management, Dion spent three and a half years working in the Macquarie Pastoral Fund as a key member of the team that established and expanded the operating company into one of Australia’s largest landholders.

Cutri Fruit is a third generation stone fruit farm in the Mallee region growing peaches, nectarines and plums for the domestic and export markets. A vertically integrated farming business, it owns exclusive intellectual property, breeds its own trees, and grows, packs and sells its own fruits.

photo of Warwick Long

Warwick Long


Warwick has worked for the ABC as the rural reporter based at Shepparton for the last ten years and reported on issues such as water politics and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the dairy crisis and Murray Goulburn, SPC Ardmona’s fortunes and the first planting of GM canola in Victoria.

Warwick has been a regular fill-in for the Country Hour, Drive on ABC Melbourne as well as a host of other ABC radio programs. With a passion for listening, a loud voice and a want to understand how policy changes Australian agriculture, Warwick thinks he has the best job in the world.

Connect with Warwick on Twitter: @Warwick_long and Facebook

photo of James Bentley

James Bentley

National Australia Bank

James leads NAB’s Natural Value strategy; a long term initiative to improve the way financial institutions value and make decisions about natural capital. Natural capital describes the valuable services society derives from our soil, water, biodiversity and air. Traditionally, markets have undervalued natural capital, leading to underinvestment.

James is an experienced environmental economist having worked in UK government, international consulting firms and Australia’s largest irrigation company providing advice on water resources and carbon market economics, environmental policy and natural resource risk management. He is currently a board member of Victoria’s Trust For Nature.

“Extreme challenges have always inspired ingenuity across Australia’s agricultural sector. With pressure from drought, water management and climate change escalating Outlook 2019 is the industry’s opportunity to reflect and inspire the sector forward.“

photo of David Marsh

David Marsh

Mid Lachlan Landcare

An award-winning regenerative farmer - having won the 2018 National Landcarer of the Year award and the 2017 NSW Landcarer of the Year award; professional speaker and author from Boorowa on the southwest slopes of New South Wales, David has been a regenerative farming practitioner since 1999.

David is a current member of the Growing the Grazing Revolution Board (Mid Lachlan Landcare) and holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Sydney. He was the founding President of the Boorowa Community Landcare Group in 1989 and has sat on the NSW Sustainable Grazing on Saline Land Committee; the NSW Native Vegetation Advisory Council; the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority and Soils for Life Board.

David is a founding member and co-ordinator of Alliance for Regenerative Landscapes and Social Health (ARLASH.com) where he has published blogs on many land-related issues. He won the Central West Conservation Farmer of the Year in 2004.

photo of Tess Herbert

Tess Herbert

Gundamain Feedlot, NSW

Tess and her husband Andrew own several properties in Central and southern New South Wales which includes two cattle feedlots, an Angus breeding herd and a first cross merino operation.

Tess Herbert is the current Chair of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework, immediate Past President of the Australian Lot Feeders Association and a past director of the Red Meat Advisory Council.

Tess is currently completing a Masters in Agribusiness at the University of Melbourne. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of NSW and a Master of Letters from the University of New England. She is also a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

“The theme of the ABARES Outlook 2019 is one that should resonate with every Australian food and fibre producer, and with policy makers and industry representatives. As a producer, the last twelve months have been the toughest on record. Exploring how we cope with difficult decision making under these circumstances is vital for the entire agricultural supply chain.”

photo of James Madden

James Madden

Flinders + Co

James is jack of many trades and a master of none. His childhood was spent on the farm, his adolescence in the suburbs, and his early adulthood in the city. He studied to be a pilot, his first job was in a sheepskin salting shed, and now he runs a meat company.

In 2018 James changed the identity of the company that he and his father started – from Flinders Island Meat to Flinders + Co. They had grown from a primary processor with a small abattoir and a boutique brand, into a full-service meat distributor to some of the top restaurants throughout Victoria. Flinders + Co is a purpose driven organization with a vision they are proud of – To cultivate a better food world. As James says “We’ve got no idea what we’re doing, but we are learning and trying to do our best at every step of the way.”

“I’m looking forward to sharing our story and some of the insights we have picked up along the way. I’m hoping that they might be of use to someone out there in whatever field they are in. I’m keen to find some inspiration – some amazing stories of people who are working to push things forward in a positive way.”

photo of Deanna Lush

Deanna Lush


Deanna Lush is a strategic communication specialist working in primary production, natural resources and agripolitics. She is a former journalist and editor for the Fairfax rural group and media adviser to the South Australian Minister for Water during the Millennium drought.

In 2013, she co-founded AgCommunicators, a consultancy which coordinates communication, marketing, events and education projects for rural and regional Australia. Deanna’s Churchill Fellowship report investigating trust in agriculture was published in 2018, following her travel to the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Her work won the Australian Farm Institute John Ralph Essay Competition in October 2018 and she is working with the National Farmers’ Federation on a cross-commodity approach to building trust. Deanna and her husband Steen Paech run a mixed cropping and sheep property spanning 4500 hectares in South Australia.

photo of Tom Maguire

Tom Maguire

Teys Australia

Tom Maguire is the Chief Value Chain Officer with Teys Australia and has worked in the Australian meat industry since 1995.

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 that the relationship that agriculture develops with the Australian public is critical to its future success. Not only is the public a key consumer of home grown agricultural produce but through its ability to influence governments at all levels, a key determinant of Industry's social licence.

Connect with Tom on Twitter @TeysAustralia.

photo of Ross Hampton

Ross Hampton

Australian Forest Products Association

Ross Hampton is Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), the peak industry body representing growers (native and plantation), processors (native and plantation) and the pulp, paper and bioproducts sector. AFPA’s focus is on national policy making.

Ross is an energetic and effective champion of the issues which confront the forestry and forest products sector including training and safety, skills shortages, diversity, energy, water, climate change, trade and the environment.

Ross has worked as a reporter, adviser and policy advocate for hte last three decades in Canberra and overseas. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ross is a member of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations and the UN FAO Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest Based Industries.

photo of Rowan McMonnies

Rowan McMonnies

Australian Eggs

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.

Connect with Rowan and Australian Eggs on Facebook and YouTube.

photo of Sarina Locke

Sarina Locke


Sarina is Planning Editor for ABC Regional. She has been a senior reporter with ABC Regional, and has won an international prize for agricultural journalism and the Crawford Fund prize for food security.

She has reported on Australia’s international agricultural aid programs in Indonesia and East Timor. 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.

photo of Angeline Achariya

Angeline Achariya

Monash Food Innovation Centre

Angeline Achariya, CEO of the Monash Food Innovation Centre, is a globally recognised and respected leader in commercialising innovation to market, a practitioner of building innovation capabilities and export pathways into Asia.

In a career spanning over 20 years of diverse international innovation and leadership experience in blue chip multinational companies like MasterFoods Japan, Fonterra, Yum! Brands and Mondelez International, which has resulted in more than 800 innovations launched in grocery retail, foodservice and quick service restaurants.

Angeline is on a number of advisory boards and committees, including Victoria’s Food & Fibre strategy development in 2015.  Angeline’s strong commercial and innovation skills saw her lead and establish a world first industry shared model - the Mondelez International Food Innovation Centre (FIC). The FIC transitioned to Monash University in 2016 as a neutral industry shared innovation services start up to support the growth and revitalisation of the Australian food and beverage industry.  Angeline’s qualifications include BSc-Honours; Doctor of Philosophy; Graduate Certificate in Food Business Management; and member of MAIFST and GAICD.

“I am looking forward to hearing from the incredible line up of speakers, connecting with movers and shakers in the food and agribusiness sectors. The future for food and agriculture is endless and boundless for Australia and I look forward to potential collaboration opportunities together.”

Connect with Angeline on Twitter @DrAAAchariya and LinkedIn.

photo of Peter Jones

Peter Jones

Australian Consolidated Milk

Peter is passionate about Australian agriculture and has over 30 years of experience in FMCG, sales, dairy ingredients, agriculture, politics, commodities trading, risk management, derivatives, chartering, supply chain logistics, transport and executive management.

During his career Peter has held senior roles with three ASX top 100 publicly listed companies, the Victorian Farmers’ Federation and is now a shareholder and General Manager - Commercial of the Australian owned and run dairy company Australian Consolidated Milk. ACM is in its eleventh year of operation and has approximately 450 million litres of milk under its management and a new processing plant that commenced operations in early 2019.

Peter has travelled extensively within Australia and abroad visiting and transacting business in 38 countries across South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, North America and South America, the Middle East and Europe.

Peter has a strong affinity for the land and agriculture, having grown up in rural areas and working with farmers for many years. He is passionate about helping to create an Australian agricultural sector that is globally competitive and ensuring our farmers get the rewards they deserve for their produce.

“Australian agriculture is facing many challenges but Australians, and especially our farmers, are incredibly resilient, resourceful and adaptive to change. It will be great to be at Outlook 2019 to hear perspectives from the leaders in Australian agriculture about the state of play and most importantly the outlook for the future.”

photo of Krista Watkins

Krista Watkins

Natural Evolution

Krista Watkins is a leader in agricultural innovation and the co-founder and Managing Director of Natural Evolution, a company specialising in green banana and other waste produce products. Krista won the prestigious AgriFutures Australia Rural Woman of the Year 2018.

Krista is an advocate for innovation and disruption, and passionate about reinvigorating the Australian food manufacturing industry. Her interest in reducing waste and finding uses for unsaleable produce led to the development of Natural Evolution in 2015. Following tireless work and research, she and husband Rob built the world’s first and still the only pharmaceutical grade green banana processing facility and pioneered the process of turning produce into functional foods and cosmetics.

Natural Evolution now produce a range of value added products from excess farm produce using their patented Nutro-Lock processing technology. Nutro-Lock naturally preserves any fruit or vegetable in powder form within 10 minutes, proving to lock in valuable plant phytochemicals 20-50 times higher than conventional food processing techniques.

The business has experienced remarkable growth, expanding into international markets and winning sustainability and innovation awards in Australia and overseas. Krista’s long term goal is to create a dreams factory, where rural and regional innovators can work together in a creative space to bring their ideas to reality.

“I’m very passionate about rural and regional industries. Outlook 2019 will be a great opportunity to connect and establish partnerships with both national and international delegates and speakers who are motivated and seeking sustainable change and growth for agricultural industries.”

Connect with Krista on Twitter @BananaFlour, Facebook and LinkedIn.

photo of Andre Roberts

Andre Roberts

Patties Foods

From Ballarat to Baltimore and from Echuca to Egypt, Andre’s 20 year career in innovation in the food industry has taken him around the world and back again.  His initial career was at Mars Snackfood in Ballarat where he was author of a patent for M&Ms.

Since then he has worked in innovation roles at Cadbury Egypt, for Fonterra in New Zealand and for McCormick Foods across the Asia Pacific. Now, as Head of R&D and Innovation at Patties Foods, Andre looks forward to sharing the Patties journey that’s underway.

“People are passionate about food.  I’m looking forward to sharing how we innovate with consumers to continually come up with irresistible foods.”

Connect with Andre on Twitter @PattiesAustralia

Josephine Laduzko

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Josephine is the head of Biosecurity Policy and Response at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

She is also the Australian Government representative on the Environmental and Invasives Committee and the National Biosecurity Emergency Preparedness Expert Group, subcommittees of the National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) and an acting member of the Steering Committee for the $400 million Red Imported Fire Ant eradication program in southeast Queensland.

Her responsibilities include development of strategic policy across biosecurity issues, national response policy across the various emergency response deeds and the conduct of NBC meetings. Prior to this, Josephine was most recently responsible for Commonwealth - State relations at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Her previous experience covers tax and superannuation policy, foreign investment and competition policy with the Australian Government The Treasury. Her tertiary qualifications are in economics and management.

Connect with Josephine on Twitter @DeptAgNews.

photo of Nancy Schellhorn

Nancy Schellhorn


Nancy is co-inventor and co-founder of RapidAIM Insect Sensing Technologies, which provides a service of real-time pest maps for targeted insect pest control and evaluation. RapidAIM Insect Sensing Technology can remove barriers to insect detection and monitoring, pest data consumption and communication, and coordinated pest control.

Prior to co-founding RapidAIM, Nancy was a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO in Brisbane where she developed and led concepts to achieve pest-suppressive landscapes focusing on the movement of entomophagous arthropods. Nancy has led several national projects including as the Chief Investigator of ‘Area-wide management of QLD Fruit Fly: Guidelines for SIT’, PI for the National Grains Research and Development Corporation project on Pest Suppressive Landscapes, National Diamondback Moth project, and Revegetation by Design. She has worked across cotton, grains, vegetable and fruit systems in temperate, tropical, sub-tropical and Mediterranean climates. 

Nancy has contributed to many national and international committees and advisory panels, and served 10 years on the Australian Government Office of Gene Technology Regulator’s Technical Advisory Committee, the GRDC’s National Grains Pest Advisory Committee, the Cotton Industry Bt Technical Advisory Committee, and the OECD Integrated Pest Management Advisory Committee.

“The agricultural landscape, and especially ag tech, is changing rapidly, with the need for greater transparency and traceability of sustainable food and fibre production. I'm excited to participate in the ABARES Outlook 2019 conference to hear national and international views, and engage in provocative discussions.”

Connect with Nancy on twitter @rapid_AIM.

photo of Hillary Cherry

Hillary Cherry

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

Hillary is a Weed Management Coordinator working with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the National Parks and Wildlife Service where she coordinates state-wide weed strategy, policy and planning for biodiversity conservation.

Hillary assists in managing the NSW Hawkweed Eradication program, working to refine remote detection and surveillance technologies for improved weed management outcomes. From 2005-2013, she coordinated the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) programs for bitou bush, boneseed and asparagus weeds. Hillary is originally from Florida, where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Botany from the University of Florida. She worked in Florida on terrestrial weed research, applied management and weed risk assessment before moving to Australia in 2002. She is an executive member of the NSW Weeds Society and the Council of Australasian Weeds Societies.

“The ABARES Outlook conference allows us to look across disciplines, from biosecurity to food security to NRM, to learn from each other and share information that helps NRM and agricultural practitioners to get the best from new technologies and adaptive management. Looking forward to it!”

photo of Dianne Gleeson

Dianne Gleeson

University of Canberra

Dianne Gleeson heads the EcoDNA team at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Applied Ecology, leading development of DNA-based technologies for detecting invasive species. Originally from New Zealand, she obtained her undergraduate degree in science at the University of Auckland before undertaking a PhD at the Australian National University on the genetics of sheep blowfly. 

Dianne returned to New Zealand and established an ecological genetics laboratory at Manaaki-Whenua, Landcare Research (a Crown Research Institute). There she held a number of leadership positions and founded a successful science business unit, resulting in a national award for Women in Science Entrepreneurship. Dianne returned to Australia in 2012 and focussed on the translation of fundamental research into applied outcomes, working with agencies and policy makers to ensure the research meets the needs of stakeholders by being relevant and timely.

“I am looking forward to the networking opportunities with key influencers and decision-makers within the agriculture sector and being able to share our research advances to a wider community.”

Connect with Dianne on Twitter @Di_GleesonNZ.

photo of Luise Sigel

Luise Sigel

Agriculture Victoria

Luise Sigel has worked for Agriculture Victoria since 2013, where she has built industry networks to provide timely and accurate information to growers as well help keep Victoria free of exotics pests.

Luise joined the CropSafe project as a plant pathologist and diagnostician in 2016. This project contributes to providing area of freedom data for the grains broadacre industry in Victoria as well as diagnostics and training for agronomists involved in the CropSafe network. The success of CropSafe was acknowledged with a National Biosecurity Award in March 2017. Prior to CropSafe, Luise worked with the Cereal Pathology Program in Horsham, running glasshouse and lab experiments but her interest in plant pathology started whilst she was studying at the University of Adelaide.

“To develop new networks and learn more about how others are innovating in the agricultural space to bring about change. And to present CropSafe to a national audience.”

Connect with Luise on Twitter @LuiseSigel.

photo of Robert Poole

Robert Poole


Robert is KPMG’s National Lead Partner – Food & Agribusiness, working across the agri-business and food supply chain to help businesses build profit and growth, solve complex problems and harness new ideas.

He is a passionate and experienced leader in the agribusiness, food and fibre sector.  He grew up on the family farm and studied agricultural science and business leadership then worked for many outstanding agri-businesses across finance, genetics, policy and operations. Robert’s goal is to ensure that KPMG’s clients current and/or future investments in agri-business and food are profitable and sustainable.

In March 2018 Robert released Talking 2030 a thought leadership paper written for the National Farmers Federation (NFF). The paper was designed to ensure that the key emerging issues and trends in food and agriculture were considered by NFF stakeholders when they developed the policy roadmap for 2030. The goal is to double agricultural output.

“The ABARES conference is one of the landmark events on the agribusiness calendar and I look forward to networking with the many industry participants and also sharing my views on how agriculture can achieve the aspiration of $100 billion of revenue at farm gate by 2030.”

photo of Richard Heath

Richard Heath

Australian Farm Institute

Richard is the Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute (AFI), an independent policy research organisation whose objective is to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of farmers and the agricultural sector in Australia by conducting highly credible public policy research and promoting the outcomes to policy-makers and the wider community.

Previous to this role Richard was Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management at the University of Sydney and before that was involved in a large family farming business in North West NSW. Richard is a director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation and sits on the Advisory Committee for CSIRO Agriculture and Food. He is a Nuffield Scholar and was a director of Nuffield Australia.

“I’m looking forward to participating at Outlook 2019 and am particularly interested in the sessions and discussions on world class R&D and winning hearts and minds. For agriculture to continue to thrive in Australia both of these areas will need considerable attention.”

Connect with Richard on Twitter @AustFarmInstitu, Facebook and LinkedIn.

photo of Emma Germano

Emma Germano

I Love Farms / Victorian Farmers Federation / Nuffield Scholar

Emma Germano is the Managing Director of her family mixed farming operation, I Love Farms, Vice President of the Victorian Farmers Federation and President of the VFF Horticulture Group and Industrial Association.

I Love Farms has a firm focus on sustainability and strives to connect consumers with Australian famers to increase community understanding of food and fibre production.

Emma also sits on the Vegetable Industry Market and Value Chain Strategic Investment Advisory Panel and was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2014 where her research examined global export opportunities for Australian primary producers.

Emma has been recognised as an emerging agricultural leader passionate about Australian farming. In November 2016 Emma launched her new business – ag tech software called ‘hellofarmer’ that assists farmers to recruit and induct farm labour and encouraging farm employment best practice.

Connect with Emma on twitter @germanoemma or Facebook @ilovefarmsaus

photo of Liam Lenaghan

Liam Lenaghan

Managing Director
goFARM Australia

Liam Lenaghan is Managing Director of goFARM Australia. His career has progressed from applied research and extension, through to agronomy and farm management consultancy and on to leading private investment in Australian agricultural industries.

Since the inception of goFARM Australia, Liam and his team have identified and project managed the acquisition, development and execution of investment-grade opportunities and the ongoing management of more than 50,000 hectares of land across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The common focus in these investments has been unlocking productivity and capital growth in underutilised assets.

Prior to establishing the goFARM business, Liam was director of DRAPAC Agricultural and General Manager Agribusiness, Warakirri Asset Management. Liam holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons.) and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment.

photo of Rohan Rainbow

Rohan Rainbow

AgTech Centric

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 investment 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. 

He has previously worked as the national crop protection manager for the Grains Research and Development Corporation and was recently a consultant to the Cotton Research and Development Corporation as P2D Project Leader - Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture, which was the first project to have all 15 RDCs involved. Rohan is currently the Program Coordinator - National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, a committee member of the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia and also a consultant advisor to Grain Producers Australia on agricultural chemical access, policy and regulation.

Connect with Rohan on Twitter - @agtechcentric

photo of Amelia Fyfield

Amelia Fyfield

Beanstalk Agtech

With more than ten years' experience in primary industries and deep expertise and networks across Southeast Asia, Amelia is passionate about realising the transformative potential of agtech for the APAC region. As Beanstalk's Head ANZ she works with agrifood companies to solve their biggest challenges by scouting and trialling innovative technologies and business models.

photo of Jared Mondschein

Jared Mondschein

United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

Jared Mondschein is a Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor at the US Studies Centre. His research focuses on the US-Australian trade and investment relationship as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.

Previously, Jared was a Research Analyst at Bloomberg BNA in Washington, DC, where he focused on cross-border tax issues. Prior to joining Bloomberg BNA, Jared was a Research Associate in the Asia Studies program of the Council on Foreign Relations, an editorial assistant at Foreign Policy magazine, and an assistant editor at a policy journal in Beijing.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and international affairs from Skidmore College and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from King’s College London.

Connect with Jared on Twitter @jaredmondschein and @USSC, and on Facebook.

photo of Robert Edwards

Robert Edwards


Robert Edwards is Managing Director of automed Australia, part of the global company automed INC. based in the United States of America.

Starting as an Australian company, automed was founded by David Edwards, the youngest of Robert’s three sons. In late 2017 it was resolved to reverse merge to become automed INC. based in Ames, Iowa in America. Robert’s role changed from an investor director to Managing Director of the Australian division.

Robert is a lifelong farmer at their property “Lagonda” in Tullamore with wife Lynn, where the main enterprise is now grazing cattle. In past years Robert farmed using direct drilling techniques, ran a large intensive piggery, as well breeding merino sheep using objective measurement principles.

Since his youth Robert has always been interested in the rural sector and innovation, and being involved with rural organisations, as well as devoting time to his small community.

Connect with @automed_OS on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

photo of Royce Bell

Royce Bell

John Deere

Royce is the Regional Training Manager for John Deere Limited, responsible for dealer, product and associated training and development activities.

Royce’s experience with John Deere over the past 17 years includes marketing large production system equipment, notably the 7760 Round Module Cotton Picker and its associated data technology systems. The collaboration with advanced engineering in developing the processes of the round module data systems earnt him John Deere’s Senior Vice President’s innovation award.

Royce grew up on a mixed cropping farm on the Darling Downs and has a background in manufacturing, engineering, sales and marketing with short line agricultural manufacturers which initiated the journey into precision agriculture.  Royce has an engineering degree from the University of Southern Queensland as well as trade and training / assessing qualifications. He enjoys the outdoors, fishing, mountain biking, hiking and motorcycling.

photo of Kim Houghton

Kim Houghton

Regional Australia Institute

Dr Kim Houghton is the co-CEO of the Regional Australia Institute and leads the think tank’s policy and research work. Kim was previously the Institute’s General Manager Policy and Research, and in both these roles works to ensure the Institute’s work has practical application and supports a better policy environment and more vibrant regional economies.

Having worked on regional economic development in Australia for almost 20 years, Kim has a passion for engaging, motivating, informing and connecting regional leaders from business, community and government.

“I’m looking forward to hearing about the prospects for Australian agricultural production and processing, and what this will mean for regional Australia. Outlook is a well-respected forum for industry leaders and researchers to share knowledge so that communities can get inside knowledge on what’s expected in coming years.”

photo of Rochelle Ball

Rochelle Ball

Pacific Labour Facility / The Palladium Group

Rochelle is the Research Lead for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Labour Facility, overseeing the development of a strategic portfolio of research to build evidence on the impacts of Pacific labour mobility for partner Pacific countries, and for Australia’s regional industries and communities.

Rochelle is one of Australia’s leading researchers on international labour mobility and a long term advocate for Pacific labour mobility to Australia. She has held academic positions at leading universities in Australia, the USA and Hong Kong, and has significant public policy experience working for the Australian Government and as a workforce development advocate for the agrifood industry.

As a policy researcher and consultant, Rochelle has led labour mobility initiatives at the ANU and as a consultant to the Office of the Pacific’s Chief Trade Negotiator, the ILO and DFAT. She has led analyses of the potential for increased labour supply from the Pacific to regional Australia. Rochelle co-authored the Oceans of opportunity: how labour mobility can help Australia and its neighbours report, which was submitted to the Foreign Policy White Paper deliberations at the request of the then Minister for Foreign Affairs.  

photo of Romy Greiner

Romy Greiner

River Consulting and James Cook University

Romy Greiner is the director of River Consulting and an adjunct professor at James Cook University. She is a research scientist with 25 years’ experience in environmental and resource economics with much of her empirical work focusing on northern Australia. Romy’s career spans the university, government and private research sectors.

Romy is recognised internationally for her contributions to behavioural economics, and policy analysis and design. Her empirical research has explored social and psychological factors driving behaviours and adoption of innovations relating to the environment. Many insights have been derived from social surveys conducted with landholders and Aboriginal people, as well as water users, tourists and recreational anglers.  Equally, Romy has contributed to the understanding and design of market-based instruments, regulatory approaches and industry self-regulation for biodiversity conservation, water quality improvement, water use, water resource development, energy supply, and coastal and marine protection.

Romy has held a series of science impact positions including as chairman of the Northern Territory Water Resources Review Panel, director of the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Board, and member of the National Cultural Flows Technical Advisory Panel convened by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

“I look forward to participating in the Outlook 2019 conference for various reasons. It is insightful to hear expert speakers from the public and private sector delving into all matters related to agriculture. It is inspirational to learn how businesses and communities have forged successful strategies to shore up their futures. And it is always refreshing to meet up with friends, peers and colleagues from across the nation, and to make new contacts.”

Connect with Romy on LinkedIn

photo of Dianna Somerville

Dianna Somerville

Bridge Hub

Dianna established Regional Grants, Tenders and Corporate Services (RGTC) in 2014 following a distinguished military career in the Royal Australian Navy. Most recently Dianna joined Bridge Hub as the Community Manager.

Bridge Hub helps commercialise Australian start-ups and research in the agri and food tech arena and also helps build Australia as the test bed for globally leading agri and food technologies. Bridge Hub is based in Wagga Wagga, Sydney and Israel.

In addition to RGTC, Dianna founded the national programs Australia Post Regional Pitchfest, Agrihack and 8.8 – Regional Innovation and Small Business conference. She is also the co-CEO of Working Spaces HQ which manages three co-working and events facilities in Wagga Wagga.

Dianna co-created and delivered five cohorts of a regional incubator program and has a deep understanding of building start-up ecosystems through observing the Silicon Valley, Silicon Prairie and Tel Aviv models and also a deep engagement with regional Australia, leading start-up communities such as Toowoomba, Bunbury, Hobart, Byron Bay and others.

“I am looking forward to engaging with industry and government and learning. I want to ensure the regional voice is heard and the opportunities for regions to prosper from innovation are more widely appreciated.”

photo of Patrick Hone

Patrick Hone

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Dr Patrick Hone is Managing Director of the FRDC, a member of the National Marine Science Committee, and a member of the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations. Patrick has extensive knowledge of all sectors (Indigenous, Commercial and Recreational) of fishing and aquaculture.

With more than 20 years working for the FRDC he has played a key role in the planning, management and funding of fishing and aquaculture related research, development and extension in Australia. In recent years Patrick has become one of Australia’s leading spokespeople on the role of aquatic science to inform the ecological sustainable development of fishing and aquaculture.

photo of Robert Curtotti

Robert Curtotti


Robert Curtotti leads ABARES Fisheries Economics section, which is responsible for the annual Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics publication and economic indicators reports for Commonwealth fisheries. Robert has authored many ABARES publications that focus on fisheries issues. Robert holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master’s degree in the Economics of Development, both from the Australian National University.

photo of Matt Rutter

Matt Rutter

Geraldton Fishermen's Cooperative

Matt Rutter is the CEO for one of the world’s largest rock lobster exporters, the Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative (GFC). He has over 20 years of experience trading and marketing food and food commodities to the world.  Prior to becoming CEO, Matt was General Manager of Marketing responsible for overseeing all sales and business development activities, including the establishment of GFC’s China operations.

Before joining the lobster industry, Matt held a number of senior positions with Australian export firms, notably as Head of Trading at Australia’s largest grain trader, CBH and General Manager of Trading for US based food commodity trading firm, Gavilon. Matt has built a reputation for developing new markets for food products in nearly every continent of the globe.

Matt holds an honours degree in agribusiness marketing, a graduate diploma in applied finance and investment and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also is also an active non-executive director in the not for profit sector.

photo of Stephen Mayfield

Stephen Mayfield

South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)

Stephen is the Science Leader (Fisheries Science Program Area) and Molluscan Fisheries Sub-Program Leader at SARDI Aquatic Sciences. His primary research interests are the biology, ecology, profitability and sustainable management of nearshore living marine resources, spatial scales of fishery management and optimising the efficiency of the commercial industry.

Stephen has 20 years of fisheries experience, 17 of these on abalone, and is recognised nationally and internationally for his work.

photo of Serena Zipf

Serena Zipf

Rocky Point Aquaculture

Serena and her husband Murray have been aquaculture pioneers in southeast Queensland for 30 years. Rocky Point Prawn Farm was the first in the prawn farm in the world to gain the environmental quality assurance 19001 certification, and Rocky Point Hatchery supplied prawn larvae to the domestic and international industries in Chile, Canada and New Caledonia.

Their achievements include world first R&D projects with the CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University and the University of Queensland / United Nations Centre for Cleaner Food Production.

Serena has sat on state and federal government committees as well as small listed company boards. She is qualified in Law and Arts.

“Outlook 2019 provides an excellent opportunity to hear about how other agricultural sectors are dealing with their challenges and to hear about the dynamic trading environment which we are all trading in.”

photo of Steven Clarke

Steven Clarke

South Australian Research and Development Institute

Steven Clarke has been engaged in fisheries and aquaculture development, research and management since the mid-1980s. 

He led the South Australian Research and Development Institute’s (SARDI) Aquaculture Program for more than 20 years over which time the state’s’ aquaculture industry grew from an annual value of about $0.2 to $200 million and include the abalone, algae, freshwater crustacean, coastal and onshore finfish, oyster and tuna sectors. 

He was also leader of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Bluefin Tuna Aquaculture Subprogram and of the Production and Value Adding Subprograms of the Aquafin Cooperative Research Centre. Steven is presently Science Initiatives and Support Manager, Aquatic Sciences at SARDI, and Executive Officer of Marine Innovation Southern Australia (MISA) and the Australian Government Kingfish for Profit Project, Rural R&D for Profit Program, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Future Oysters Cooperative Research Centre – Program, in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Sciences.

Connect with Steven on twitter @SA_PIRSA.

photo of Andrew Reynolds

Andrew Reynolds

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Andrew joined the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in 2013 and is now Executive Director, River Management. 

Andrew Reynolds has over 24 years’ experience in the water industry, managing major water supply infrastructure, and the past six years with the MDBA. He has worked extensively in engineering project delivery, dam safety and river management. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Agricultural) Hons. from the University of Melbourne. Andrew is currently the deputy chairman of the Australian National Committee on Large Dams.

"Managing rivers is always very complex, and even more so in dry times like now. Outlook 2019 provides an opportunity to hear a range of perspectives and share some of the challenges in managing the iconic River Murray for all stakeholders."

photo of David Galeano

David Galeano


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 with 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 spend 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.

Connect with David on twitter @ABARES and on Facebook

photo of Jody Swirepik

Jody Swirepik

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder

Jody Swirepik was appointed as the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder in February 2018 following the retirement of David Papps.

Immediate prior to taking up the CEWH position Jody spent three years with the Clean Energy Regulator learning about the parallel universe of carbon accountancy and renewables, working with big industry. Jody has more than 25 years of experience in the water sector where she has been responsible for driving a range of initiatives including state water reforms, The Living Murray and parts of the Basin Plan. In her early career, Jody worked for the NSW Environment Protection Authority for a decade, and in planning and regulatory roles for the ACT Government.

Connect with Jody on Twitter @theCEWH

photo of Noel Baxter

Noel Baxter

Namarang Farms

Noel Baxter is a fourth generation irrigation and dryland cropping farmer in southern NSW. Together with his brother, father and families they farm 9500 hectares spread across the Murray and Murrumbidgee irrigations areas.

Risk management is a business focus with a geographic spread of the location of properties, a mix of irrigation schemes, various crops including wheat, canola, barley, faba beans, corn and cotton. They also run a bulk tipper transport business Australia wide.

The farm has also participated in multiple rounds of on-farm efficiency projects exchanging water for Commonwealth funds to help fast-track efficient water use. Water advocacy has always been a strong part of the business with Noel currently on the board of Murray Irrigation.

Noel and the family are passionate irrigation farmers and look to do everything they can to help the industry and the local communities.

photo of Karl Braganza

Karl Braganza

Bureau of Meteorology

Karl is the Head of Climate Monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology. The Climate Monitoring section is responsible for preparing and analysing Australia's instrumental climate record, including the official reporting of climate variability and change in Australia, and in collaboration with international agencies.

Karl plays a key role in briefing government agencies on the science of climate change, while advocating for a more integrated approach to managing climate risks, with greater collaboration between science, technology and policy experts.

Karl received his PhD from the School of Mathematics at Monash University. His research work centred on understanding climate change through numerical modelling, observations and palaeo-climate evidence. He has been a lead author for the joint Bureau of Meteorology/CSIRO State of the Climate publications and the Climate Change in Australia Technical Reports.

“I am very much looking forward to Outlook 2019. I am keen to hear from our stakeholders in agriculture talk about their first-hand experience in managing climate risk over what has been a difficult period in many regions. ”

photo of Tony York

Tony York


Tony York is the President of the Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFarmers), the largest and most influential agricultural advocacy group in Western Australia, representing more than 3500 farmers.

Tony is a third generation farmer from the central Wheatbelt town of Tammin, where with his family and brother Simon, he farms more than 13,000 arable hectares of wheat, barley, canola, various legumes, a merino-based sheep flock and 4000 hectares of salt affected land.

Tony hosts salinity research on his property on perennial pastures on salt land, which is a significant land degradation issue for much of the Wheatbelt. This work has involved him with CSIRO, the University of Western Australia, the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, and industry research funds. He also has an interest in the Awassi sheep venture specialising in the Middle East live sheep trade.

As President of WAFarmers, Tony is actively involved with the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), serving on its council and committees, and was recently elected as a NFF Board member. His passion for making a positive contribution to regional Western Australia and the agriculture sector has been evident in his role with WAFarmers and will continue in his capacity as a NFF Director.

“This is an opportunity to engage with industry and speak on the critical importance of risk management in having a sustainable farming business, and discuss the strategies we have applied at Anameka Farms such as grain and hay reserves, geographic spread, best farming practice, new technology adoption, insurance policies including multi-peril crop insurance, and farm management deposits.”

photo of Bill Malcolm

Bill Malcolm

University of Melbourne

Bill Malcolm researches and teaches agricultural economics at the University of Melbourne and has done so for many a long day. He has a particular interest in farming, farm management economics and managing risk in farming, and efficient public-private responsibilities in risk management.

“I am looking forward to attending ABARES Outlook 2019 to be part of debate about the question of public and private responsibilities in managing drought, and meeting up with other people involved in and engaged with tackling drought management.”

photo of Alexandra Gartmann

Alexandra Gartmann

Rural Bank

Alexandra joined Rural Bank as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in October 2015, having been a member of the Board since November 2014.

Before joining Rural Bank, Alexandra was CEO of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), a charitable foundation based on a partnership between philanthropy, community, government and business supporting the economic prosperity of rural, regional and remote communities across Australia. Prior to this, Ms Gartmann held the position of CEO of the Birchip Cropping Group for 10 years — a not-for-profit agricultural research organisation based in the Mallee Wimmera region.

She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, a member of the Victorian Agriculture Advisory Council, a Trustee of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Director of the Australian Farm Institute. Alexandra was previously a member of the Board of the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria and was Chair of the CSIRO Agriculture and Food Advisory Council until 2017. She has been a member of the Crawford Fund and National Rural Advisory Council. She continues to be a champion for rural and regional Australia.

“Every year, ABARES provides an opportunity for Government, business and farmers to come together and explore those big challenges facing our industry. It’s this collective of bright minds and keen intelligence discussing how we can tackle really big challenges that helps to ensure we can adequately navigate them as and when they arise.”

Connect with Alexandra on twitter @AEMGartmann.

​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​