Our Board

Chris Mirams


Chris Mirams brings considerable agricultural and governance experience to SPA, as well as an extensive industry network. He is a director of Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) (Chair A&R) and Norther East Water Corporation (A&R) and is a member of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation Advisory Panel. He is a past director of Meat Livestock Australia, Integrity Systems Company, MLA Donor Company, Scots School Albury, Chair Holbrook Landcare Network, Chair Evergraze and Deputy Chair Alpine Valley Community Leadership Program (AVCLP).

Chris is a farm management consultant, following a 30 year hands on career in farm management. He has a special interest in research and development, farmer education and the adoption of new technologies on farm.

Chris has a Diploma in Financial Markets, Diploma in Farm Management and is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course. Chris is also a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and particularly enjoys bringing out the best in individuals and organisations.

Dr Anne Astin

Independent Director

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.

Jamie Heinrich


Jamie grew up on his family’s 880-hectare sheep farm, Ella Matta, on Kangaroo Island. He completed a degree in international business at the University of South Australia, followed by three years working at one of Australia’s biggest meat processors, Thomas Foods International, in the meat export and livestock departments. For the past five years, he has been a joint owner and manager of his family farm. The Heinrichs operate Australia’s first registered White Suffolk stud and a Poll Merino and Maternal Composite seedstock operation as well as a commercial 18-micron Poll Merino flock. Their core breeding philosophy is about maximising genetic gain through the use of performance recording and ASBVs, while keeping a balanced focus on ease of care and visual structural selection. In late 2014, he was the Youth Ambassador for the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, and has attended the past five American Sheep Industry Conferences. He is a board member of Sheep Producers Australia and Livestock SA and is the vice-chair of Agriculture Kangaroo Island. He was a 2017 Nuffield Scholar, studying ‘attracting and retaining young people in the sheep industry’ which took him to 17 countries over 20 weeks.

Allison Horswill


Based in Tasmania, Allison works in both the domestic and export agricultural markets in trade and international relations. Her work is primarily post-farmgate and focuses on finding opportunities and solving challenges in the value chain in order to bring high quality food and agribusiness products and services to the marketplace. Allison is experienced in strategic analysis and advice, branding, marketing, communications, risk and crisis management and stakeholder engagement in membership-based organisations. With a background in operations management, food safety and quality assurance, supply chains and logistics, she has a special interest in projects that create innovation, efficiency and value throughout the agrifoods value chain. She is currently employed in a management role with the Trade and International Relations unit of the Tasmanian State Government. She also coordinates market access across all agrifoods sectors, working with government, businesses and industry to address barriers to trade, and has participated in international industry and trade delegations. She is a member of the SPA Marketing, Market Access and Trade Policy Committee; vice-chair of the Cattle Council of Australia Marketing, Market Access and Trade Committee and a former non-executive director of Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association.

Dr Elizabeth Jackson


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.

Ian McColl


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 Murray


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.

Robert Herrmann


Roberts’ career has been intertwined with sheep, in fact before he began working in the sheep & wool industry in an advisory role, growing up the family farm (a prime lamb & wool producing business) was essentially an apprenticeship for the career that has evolved.
My journey led to a number of years in woolsheds as a shearer and wool classer, before joining Elders as District Wool Manager based in Hamilton, known then as the “Wool Capital of the World”.
This was a seminal event, with experience across all types of sheep expanding, and providing advice to sheep producers a critical element in the daily activities of the role.
Coupled with growing up on a sheep farm, this experience gave Robert a wide breadth of understanding of the sheep industry with an emphasis on efficient production. The principle areas covered breeding, productivity, harvesting, wool preparation, marketing & sales.
Starting the Mecardo business in 1996 allowed Robert to expand his experience to all corners of the country, and to further build relationships within the sheep industry.
Robert says, “The opportunity to act as a board member of SPA is an important step in contributing experience and enthusiasm to address the challenges the sheep industry faces into the future.”

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