Chris Mirams has 30 years’ experience in farm management and has served in senior governance roles in a range of organisations including Meat & Livestock Australia, the MLA Donor Company and Integrity Systems Company. He is part of the Graham Centre Industry Advisory Panel in NSW, providing advice to the board, and spent nine years as a director of the Holbrook Landcare Network. He brings knowledge in governance, finance, sheep production systems, research and the application of new technologies on-farm to combine with his leadership and organisational development skills. Chris has spent many years in hands-on roles on-farm as well, managing Woomargama Station in New South Wales for nearly 20 years and Humula Station for four years. Chris is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors ‘Company Directors Course’. Chris’ role at SPA is Executive Chair which involves providing leadership to a new skills based board, under a new governance structure.
Dr Anne Astin brings extensive governance experience to SPA. She chairs the Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre, Sir William Angliss Institute of TAFE and Dairy Food Safety Victoria. She was an inaugural independent director when Australian Dairyfarmers changed its governance model to a company limited by guarantee – as SPA did in November 2017. She has previously held directorships at Australian Dairy Farmers and Dairy Australia. During her career, she spent 30 years in senior executive positions in the Victorian public sector in food policy and regulation, public health, agriculture, minerals and petroleum, natural resources and environment, land administration and forensic science. Anne has a B.Sc in Chemistry, a B.Sc (Hons) in Biochemistry and a Ph.D (Biochemistry). She has a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Dairy Industry Association of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. She chairs SPA’s Audit and Risk Committee.
Michael, with his wife and two boys, manages a broadacre mixed livestock business located at Harrow, in western Victoria. He started farming in 2000, and has focused on innovation to improve productivity and ease of management. Currently all 24,000 sheep and 900 cattle have complete lifetime traceability through electronic identification. Initially his business and interests focused on wool production, but over time the innovations being adopted in the sheepmeat sector, led to diversifying his business to include a sheepmeat focus and improving knowledge about the sheepmeat value chain. This change led to Michael completing a Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 titled, Australian Lamb/Sheepmeat – Commodity or Premium Product? The challenge of moving from a supply chain to a value chain. Michael has been a member of the VFF Livestock Council, and a Board Director of Sheepmeat Council of Australia. He has undertaken the Company Directors Course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and held Director positions for family businesses. Michael also holds a Bachelor in Commerce and a Diploma in Financial Markets.
Jamie works with his parents on their 880ha sheep farm Ella Matta on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, which comprises a White Suffolk, Poll Merino and Maternal Composite seed-stock operation. The main focus of the seed-stock operation is increasing genetic gain through the use of LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT. The other part of the business is a commercial self-replacing 18.5-micron ewe flock. He completed a Bachelor of Business (International Business) with a sub-major in Marketing at the University of South Australia. Following this he worked for three years at Thomas Foods International in its meat export and livestock departments. In 2014 Jamie was selected as the Sheepmeat Council of Australia Youth Ambassador, and over three years has worked with SCA to forge relationships in international markets and to build leadership capability in the sheep industry. Jamie holds a position on the Board of Livestock SA and is a Board Member at Ag Kangaroo Island. Jamie is currently undertaking a Nuffield Scholarship on the topic Key factors needed to attract and retain young people in the sheep industry. He completed the Sheepmeat Council of Australia ‘Governance in Action’ Course in 2016.
Ian owns and manages a mixed farming enterprise at Koorawatha, NSW, producing up to 2000 lambs and 100 steers. In 2017 he entered into a joint venture feed lotting lambs. Ian’s experience as a past President of Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Board Director of the Red Meat Advisory Council, Member of the National Farmers’ Federation and a Partner of Safemeat has given him a diverse knowledge of sheep industry systems, markets, market access and food safety. He has also held Board positions with Central West Landcare and Executive Council and Committee positions with NSWFarmers. Ian’s experience and depth of knowledge of animal health, welfare and biosecurity systems has been affirmed through his roles as Chair of the NSWFarmers Biosecurity Committee, Vice Chair of the Johnes Disease Taskforce, SCA Animal Health and Welfare Committee member and a long-term representative to the committee for National Livestock Identification System for Sheep & Goat Committee. Ian was an active leader through the reform of the National Ovine Johnes Disease changes in 2013, the changes to the live export industry through the implementation of ESCAS, the development of the Sheep Industry Strategic Plan 2020 and part of the industry negotiations for key free trade agreements, particularly with China.
Bindi is a commercial sheep producer at Woodanilling, Western Australia, running about 6500 Merino ewes as part of the wool enterprise and 2000 Merino ewes mated to terminal sires. The enterprise provides to local processors as well as the live export market, and works constructively to improve through strong relationships and developing knowledge of the supply chain as a whole. Bindi’s belief that science is at the heart of agriculture led her to complete a Bachelor of Animal Science, where she focused her Honours thesis on the link between high wool production and meat quality. She has also been a research officer for breech-strike trial projects, and now a regular host of producer trials and technical updates. Bindi has also taken on the Chair of LambEx 2018 organising committee, with a view to ensuring that producers are provided with good science and practical solutions. She is a Board Director of the WA Meat Industry Authority Board. Her involvement in advocacy has been an important aspect of Bindi’s career. She has held roles as a policy director, Pastoralists and Graziers Association Committee Member and involvement in national policy issues, such as traceability. In undertaking these roles Bindi has also built business development skills through small business management studies. She has completed the SCA Governance in Action course, the Company Directors Course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently undertaking the Rabobank Executive Leaders program.
With a first-class Honours degree in Agribusiness Marketing and a Master of Business Administration, Elizabeth has held various management positions at the CBH Group and in other Western Australian agribusinesses. In 2008, Elizabeth completed an ARC-Linkage PhD studentship to study for the WA wool industry. She then worked at Newcastle University (UK) where she was the Degree Programme Director of the BSc Agribusiness Management degree and published on food marketing, supply chain management and maritime economics. In 2014, Elizabeth moved to the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College where she became a Senior Lecturer in Business Management and published on agribusiness and food supply chains. She was the Course Director for the College’s Professional Doctorate degrees in agribusiness and veterinary practice. Elizabeth is now a Senior Lecturer within Curtin Business School where her teaching relates to supply chain management, procurement and distribution and she continues to investigate agri-food systems.
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