Cattle Australia announces new full-time CEO

Beef Central, 06/11/2023

The Cattle Australia (CA) board of directors have today announced the appointment of a full time Chief Executive Officer, effective from 15 November.

Dr Chris Parker

Well known to Industry for his recent role as First Assistant Secretary Biosecurity Animal Division and National Animal Disease Preparedness Coordinator within the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Dr Chris Parker was raised and educated in Western Australia and graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

He commenced work in private veterinary practice in the south east of South Australia, before owning and operating a livestock grazing and farming property in the mid north of the state. During this time, Dr Parker was highly engaged in the livestock industry as chairman of the South Australian Farmers Federation Livestock Section.

Today, outside of his external roles, he operates a small grazing enterprise near Murrumbateman in New South Wales.

During his career at DAFF, Dr Parker’s work included key leadership roles with great relevance to Australian grassfed beef production, including:

  • Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Minister Counsellor Agriculture, Australian Embassy, Washington DC
  • General Manager Multilateral Trade Branch with the Trade and Market Access Division
  • First Assistant Secretary, Biosecurity Plant Division
  • Ministerial adviser and senior adviser with responsibility for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and Biosecurity Australia.

Cattle Australia Chair, David Foote, said Dr Parker’s experience will bring extensive knowledge and experience that will benefit CA members.

“Chris is not only highly technically trained, with a deep understanding of government and policy, but is a primary producer himself, ideally positioning him to work in collaboration with our board and members to be a powerful voice representing grassfed cattle producers throughout the country,” Mr Foote said.

“The CA board also extends its gratitude to fellow director, Adam Coffey, who has led the organisation admirably over the past few months as interim CEO, while a full-time appointment was recruited.”

About Cattle Australia

CA is the legislated peak industry, and representative body for the nation’s single largest agricultural sector and levy payer – the grassfed cattle industry.

With an annual value of production of approximately $20bn, directly employing 35,000 people and managing an estimated 42 percent of the Australian landmass, the grassfed cattle industry forms the backbone of rural, regional and remote Australia.

“Chris will hit the ground running and is looking forward to meeting our members at the inaugural Regional Consultative Committee and AGM in Albury on Friday, 17 November,” Mr Foote said.

Source: Cattle Australia


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  1. Baden Cameron, 10/11/2023

    Congratulations Chris for this appointment. I was the very first Director of Australia’s first cattle industry body, the Australian National Cattleman’s Council that with the formation of the NFF became the Cattle Council of Australia. The big issues in 1970s were eradicating TB and Brucellosis for our national herd, the 1973 Yom Kipper war in the middle east that triggered the oil shock and the subsequent collapse of international red meat market and the slow economic recovery for producers. I hope for your stewardship, policy issues are more clear cut.

  2. David Ryan, 07/11/2023

    By the look of the grin in that picture he appears as though he can be micheveous as well….. good stuff

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