People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 19/06/2019

Beef Central publishes an occasional summary of appointments, departures and achievements occurring across the red meat and livestock supply chain. Send details for entries to

  • Crombie to retire from AA Co Board
  • McKillop fills CBRE agribusiness chair
  • New Qld/NT State Manager at Ruralco
  • RIC appoints QLD/NT/northern WA manager
  • New president for Australian Vets Association
  • SALRC appoints Ian Rogan as Chair
  • Animal nutritionist joins Virbac
  • New GM for Santa Gertrudis breed
  • National student award to NSW ag scientist

Crombie to retire from AA Co Board

Long-serving non-executive director David Crombie will retire next month from the Australian Agricultural Co board.

Mr Crombie has served as a director since 2011, sitting on various committees including the Staff and Remuneration, Audit and Risk Management and Nomination Committees.

David Crombie

AA Co will continue to benefit from Mr Crombie’s expertise and experience, as he takes on an advisory role in the pastoral area of the business.

In a statement, AA Co chair Don McGauchie thanked Mr Crombie for his dedicated service and the support he had offered the chairman, the board and the publicly listed company over almost eight years.

“With his background in agribusiness, breeding cattle and farming, Mr Crombie has been invaluable to AA Co, and his love of the land and understanding of the beef industry has guided the direction of the company,” Mr McGauchie said.

“He’s been instrumental in helping to develop the branded beef strategy that AA Co is pursuing with its unrivalled ability to produce the highest quality beef at scale.”

A replacement director is expected to be nominated by the board during July’s AA Co annual general meeting.


McKillop fills CBRE agribusiness chairmanship

Well known agribusiness executive John McKillop will fill a newly-created role as chair of property agency CBRE’s Pacific Agribusiness group.

John McKillop

Mr McKillop has held a series of senior executive roles in the Australian agribusiness sector working earlier for Stanbroke, Elders, the Sustainable Agriculture Fund and Clyde Agriculture. Most recently he served as chief executive of Hassad Australia, a Qatari backed sovereign fund which owned 17 rural properties across the country.

His non-executive roles have spanned the Meat & Livestock Australia board, Dairy Australia, Cubbie Cotton, Harvey Beef and the Primary Industries Education Foundation. Mr McKillop is a current board member of both Marcus Oldham College and Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative.

CBRE Agribusiness regional director Danny Thomas said the appointment would help drive the continued growth of the firm’s agribusiness platform, which comprises 50 sales and valuation professionals across Australia.

“We are fortunate to have secured the services of an executive of John’s calibre who has vast sector experience across broad geographies and commodities,” Mr Thomas said. “He can assist us in delivering even better outcomes for our clients and will also play an important role in mentoring the up-and-coming agribusiness professionals in our team.”

New Qld/NT State Manager at Ruralco

Ruralco has appointed well-known agribusiness professional Mick Collings as the national agency’s Queensland/Northern Territory regional manager.

Mr Collings has shifted into the agency field after a lengthy career in the animal identification and monitoring field working with Allflex, as national accounts manager and national sales and marketing manager. Prior to that he was Queensland state manager for crop protection company Adama.

RIC appoints QLD/NT/northern WA manager

Federal Government-backed specialist finance provider, the Regional Investment Corporation, has appointed Craig Turner as the organisation’s first Queensland/NT/northern WA manager, based in Brisbane.

Mr Turner is well known in farm finance circles having worked previously with QRIDA in Brisbane.

RIC was launched by the Federal Government last year, to deliver commonwealth farm business concessional loans and the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility. Loan programs are designed to encourage growth, investment and resilience in Australia’s regional communities.

The Corporation last week launching a new loan product specifically for livestock producers struggling to recover for Northwest Queensland’s February flood event. The specialised AgRebuild loan will join a suite of farm investment and drought finance products already in place through RIC, and other specialised agri start-up loan products to be developed over the next 12 months. Mr Turner will help build awareness and provide guidance among producers seeking to access the low-interest loans.

Animal nutritionist joins Virbac

Animal nutrition and health company Virbac Australian has appointed an animal nutritionist to its team.

Dr Paula Gonzalez-Rivas

Taking on the position of technical services manager for nutrition is Dr Paula Gonzalez-Rivas, who will bring a wealth of experience in animal nutrition following her previous role as a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Agriculture and Food.

As an expert in livestock production, Dr Gonzalez-Rivas is a veterinarian from Chile with a Masters in animal studies from the University of Queensland and a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. She brings five years of experience in small and large animal practice in Chile, and six years of experience in research applied to nutrition and heat stress in ruminants.

During her research career, Dr Gonzalez-Rivas conducted cutting edge research into the relationship between nutrition, the environment and livestock production. During her Masters, she studied Northern beef phosphorous deficiency, while in her PhD she focused on heat stress amelioration in ruminants using nutritional approaches.

She then completed a post-doctorate fellowship that explored the effects of heat stress on meat quality in feedlot cattle. With this experience, Dr Gonzalez-Rivas brings world class knowledge relating to the impact of animal nutrition on health and production, particularly during periods of high demand such as joining, calving and weaning, and during challenging environmental conditions.

She will have the opportunity to interact with farmers and veterinarians across the country and provide advice on animal nutrition and the benefits of the company’s MultiMin trace mineral injection, one of its best-known products for immunity, health and fertility.

New president for Australian Veterinarians Association

Dr Julia Crawford is the newly-elected national president of the Australian Veterinarians Association, having served for the past four years on the board. Dr Crawford has a passion for communicating, interacting and exchanging skills and information, and is looking forward to leading the AVA as it continues to advocate for the health and welfare of Australia’s animal industries.

Dr Julia Crawford

“We have come so far as a profession and association and are in times of rapid social and environmental change. As we approach our centenary, we look forward to promoting and advancing veterinary science in Australia and growing our wonderfully engaged and collegial veterinary community,” she said.

The role that veterinary science played was crucial and it was important that the AVA anticipates the future needs of the profession, Dr Crawford said.

She thanked the AVA’s immediate past-president, Dr Paula Parker, for her leadership, particularly her strong governance and communication skills. Dr Parker will remain on the Board for another two years.

Also leaving the board this year were Drs Chris Reardon and Malcolm McLennan, who both served for many years. New to the board are Drs Bronwyn Orr, Nick Sangster, Warwick Vale and David Petersen.

SALRC appoints Ian Rogan as Chair

The Southern Australia Livestock Research Council (SALRC) has appointed Ian Rogan as its new chair.

Ian Rogan

Mr Rogan has more than 40 years’ experience in southern production systems, including previous roles with NSW and SA Departments of Agriculture, Hassall and Associates and Australian Wool Innovation. With extensive Board experience relating to business, research, development, extension, water and natural resource management, he is well credentialed to provide leadership to SALRC in its important roles to increase efficiency, collaboration and industry outcomes from research, development and extension.

In his role as SALRC chair, Mr Rogan will lead the organisation’s strategic planning initiatives, provide direction to the Council’s regional committee structure, and assist in the collation of RD&E investment priorities on behalf of SALRC’s producer and investor members. In addition he will manage the annual collection and collation of producer research priorities for MLA’s levy-funded project call and join the Red Meat Panel to inform MLA Research, Development and Adoption investments.

Mr Rogan will take over from current chair Angus Hobson, who was eligible for reappointment but chose not to apply for a second term. Transition arrangements between the ingoing and outgoing chair are underway. Mr Hobson was appointed SALRC chair in February 2017, and through the course of his tenure has been instrumental in the council’s growth, and the increased recognition SALRC has achieved throughout the red meat industry.

The council and regional committees are jointly funded through MLA and through investment partners, including state departments, universities and other industry bodies.

SALRC is an independent, apolitical body comprising commercial producers and research, development and extension (RD&E) co-investors. SALRC focuses on identifying and addressing RD&E issues that are impacting the red meat and livestock industries of south-eastern Australia, and works closely with its northern and western counterparts (the North Australia Beef Research Council and Western Australia Livestock Research Council) in progressing national RD&E programs, and supporting Meat and Livestock Australia’s Annual Project Call process.

New GM for Santa Gertrudis

The Santa Gertrudis Breeders (Australia) Association has appointed Chris Todd as the breed society’s new general manager, replacing Stephen Ware.

Mr Todd has a strong agribusiness background in stock and station and property agency, meat processing and lotfeeding sectors. He has served on the Beef Australia event board in Rockhampton, including terms as treasurer in 2003 and vice chairman in 2006.

Previous roles have included terms as Queensland and Northern Rivers livestock manager for Primac Elders, general manager of livestock procurement at Consolidated Meat Group, general manager of Mort & Co lotfeeders, and director of rural sales for Colliers International.

National student award to NSW ag scientist

The 2019 Ag Institute Australia national student award, one of the most prestigious honours for agricultural science students across the country, has gone to Stephanie MacKillop from NSW.

Stephanie MacKillop receives the AEV Richardson Memorial Award as the 2019 National Student Award-winner from AIA chair Turlough Guerin

Stephanie, from the University of Sydney, was presented with the AEV Richardson Memorial Award after winning the NSA final in Tasmania recently.

AIA is the peak industry body for agricultural and natural resource management professionals, supporting and enabling the development and broader industry recognition of members. AIA recently developed the Chartered Agriculturalist (CAg) scheme, a long-awaited and well-received industry-first professional accreditation program.

Five outstanding agricultural science students represented their State in the NSA final by presenting their research and findings to attendees at an AIA conference near Launceston. Stephanie also won the People’s Choice Award.

Second place went to Max Weidenbach (Tasmania) and in third was Daniel Petersen (SA).

As the AIA Director responsible for Awards, Dr Daniel Tan said the 2019 student awards final showcased why the future of Australian agriculture was in safe hands. This year’s student presentations were on diverse topics including soil science, plant pathology, weed science and entomology.

AIA has also announced five new directors from a strong pool of nominees presenting with diverse and extensive experience and talents from a wide geographical background across Australia. They included Sarah Hunter (NSW), Adrian James (TAS), Margaret Jewell (QLD), Elizabeth Read (VIC) & Scott McKinnon (NSW).










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