Our Staff

Graham Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Graham joined Sheep Producers Australia as Chief Executive Officer in August 2018.

This appointment saw Graham return home to Australia after spending most of the last 15 years working and raising his family in New Zealand.

Originally from Melbourne, Graham has worked in every Australian state and overseas. He is passionate about the role that agriculture (particularly farmers) and innovation plays in producing world-class, safe food.

Graham joined the largest agri research group in New Zealand, AgResearch, as a Commercial Manager in 2001. This role began his introduction to the dynamic and innovative agricultural industry. Whilst in NZ, he also helped developed the Waikato Innovation hub – the largest technology park in the country – and also ran the Institute for Environmental Science and Research, one of the country’s principal science organisations. His last role before joining Sheep Producers Australia was running Federated Farmers, the ‘voice’ of farming in NZ.

Graham spent the first chapter of his working life in the Australian food industry initially as a young economics graduate with CSR, followed by multinational company Cadbury’s in Melbourne, then moving into the Australian dairy industry with Dairy Vale in Adelaide.

Technology commercialisation experience has also been gained from his time as Chief Executive of the commercial arm of the University of South Australia.

Graham takes more than a casual interest in a variety of sports, especially three football codes, cricket and motor racing, with an active lifestyle of hiking, running and exploring.

Stephen Crisp

Policy Manager

Stephen joined SPA in July 2017 after previously working as Agribusiness Manager at the Australian Food and Grocery Council where he managed policy issues that affected the agribusiness sector. These mainly centred on free trade agreements and major infrastructure policy.

Prior to this, he spent three years with the Australian Agricultural Company (AACO), where he set up the logistics operations for the new abattoir at Darwin, while also managing the Wagyu and grain fed shipments (air and sea freight) across the globe. The majority of Stephen’s working life has involved working for abattoirs or shipping lines, managing export supply chains for agriculture-based production.

Stephen’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics (Hons) from the University of New England, as well as holding a licence as a Non-Packer Exporter. He also has a background in the livestock industry, having recently returned to the family sheep and cattle enterprise near Yass in New South Wales. This mixed enterprise is based mostly around the production of fine wool, prime lamb and beef cattle.

For SPA, Stephen has principle policy responsibility for health, animal welfare and biosecurity.

Contact Stephen via email [email protected]

Melissa Neal

Industry Leadership Manager

Melissa coordinates leadership training and development for the sheep industry through her role as Industry Leadership Manager at SPA.

She has launched the SPA Leadersheep Network to accelerate the development of current and future leaders to ensure strong leadership for the long-term success of the Australian sheep industry. Melissa also works closely with SPA staff, board and policy committees to provide opportunities to enhance the leadership capability of the organisation.

Melissa is an experienced agribusiness and community development professional, having delivered training and events for over 15 years. Before joining SPA in April 2018, her main projects were in leadership, community development and engagement, as well as ag-finance and agricultural research, development and adoption.

She began her career as a Red Meat Industry Development Officer at the Department of Primary Industries in Bendigo, Victoria, delivering educational activities to producers and supply chains in the southern beef and sheep industries. She also led state and national development projects to improve productivity, profitability and quality for the red meat industry and consumers.

Melissa is inspired to influence and empower rural and regional leaders through challenging people to grow and develop themselves, their community and their business.

Contact Melissa via email [email protected]

William Oldfield

Sheep Health and Welfare Policy Manager

Will joined SPA as Sheep Health and Welfare Policy Manager in July 2018. He was previously a Senior Policy Officer at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Trade and Market Access Division, where he coordinated the strategic integration of agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry interests into government trade and investment policy and international negotiations.

Prior to this, he worked within the Animal Biosecurity Division to provide technical expertise and advice to mitigate animal health risks to Australia and to support the productivity, global competitiveness and sustainability of Australian animal industries.

Will’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Science (Animal Science and Management) from the University of Melbourne and a Diploma of Government from the Australian Institute of Management.

For SPA, Will has principle policy responsibility for health, animal welfare and biosecurity.

Contact Will via email [email protected]

Bonnie Skinner

Product Integrity Policy Manager

Bonnie joined SPA as Product Integrity Policy Manager in July 2018.

She previously worked as Manager of Biosecurity & Extension for the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) in NSW, encouraging red meat producers and supply chain participants to understand their role in disease surveillance and management of endemic diseases and promoting on-farm practices that support food safety and traceability.

Prior to joining LBN, Bonnie worked at Animal Health Australia coordinating delivery of several national livestock surveillance programs and projects such as the National Animal Health Information System and the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program. Her background also includes time working as a Territory Manager for Jurox, as a large animal Research Assistant, and Office Manager of a thoroughbred breeding property.

Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Equine Science, Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons 1) and a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture majoring in agricultural consulting.

Contact Bonnie via email [email protected]

Judy Taylor

Office Manager

Judy has a background in office and administration procedures and commenced at Sheepmeat Council of Australia in January 2009. She was involved with the organisation’s transition to Sheep Producers Australia which took place in November 2017.

Prior to SPA, Judy predominately worked in the community services sector including at Carers ACT, Gungahlin Regional Community Service and the Home and Community Care Program in ACT Health. She held various administration positions for these organisations.

Judy was also owner/operator of a catering business called Luscious Lunches, where she was responsible for all aspects of the business including keeping financial records and marketing the business.

Contact Judy via email [email protected]

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