People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 18/10/2022

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

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  • New station managers for CPC
  • 26 years’ service for MLA’s longest-serving Japan staffmember
  • JBS staffer competing in WorldSkills finals
  • Top gong for NT cattle exporter
  • AWN appoints new director
  • Life membership for trucking contributor
  • Nutrien Australia MD promoted to new global role
  • JBS appoints Global Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Retiree spent 35 years in the beef import/export industry
  • Seedstock identities join international genetic solutions team
  • New CEO for Port of Darwin
  • Beef Central’s James Nason elected Rural Press Club president

New station managers for CPC

Andrew O’Kane and his partner Brooke Harwood have recently taken up the management of Consolidated Pastoral Co’s 475,000ha Carlton Hill Station near Kununurra in the Kimberley. This is a return to Carlton Hill for Andrew and Brooke, who moved from Carlton to Bunda Station to take up their first management role some years back.

Andrew O’Kane & Brooke Harwood. Click on images for a larger view

Andrew joined the CPC team in 2014 as a first-year station-hand at Wrotham Park and Brooke joined as a station hand at Bunda in 2017. Both bring their experiences from other CPC stations to their new role.

Dylan (DJ) Wall and Rebecca (Bex) Thorpe

Meanwhile Dylan (DJ) Wall and Rebecca (Bex) Thorpe recently moved from CPC’s Isis Downs near Blackall into the management of Bunda Station, in the Victoria River District of the NT.

DJ started with CPC in 2014 in the camp at Bunda, and since then has worked at Newcastle Waters, Carlton Hill, and Isis Downs. After arriving in Australia from the UK, Bex joined CPC in 2015 at Newcastle Waters and has progressed her career within the company, most recently managing the Early Weaning Program on Isis Downs.

Former managers of Carlton Hill, Glen and Lisa Brooker, are embarking on a new adventure with their family in NSW.

Meanwhile CPC was recently announced as NT exporter of the Year for the agribusiness, food & beverages division (see more references to the awards below).

26 years’ service for MLA’s longest-serving Japan staffmember

One of Meat & Livestock Australia’s longest serving staffmembers does not work in the Sydney or Brisbane offices, or managing research projects in Armidale – but in distant Tokyo.

Suichi Kitano

Suichi Kitano (SK, to his friends) joined MLA’s predecessor, the Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation way back in 1996, meaning he has served 26 years with the industry service delivery company. He turns 60 next year, suggesting he has plenty of time left to add to his service record.

He originally worked in an AMLC regional office in Nagoya in Australian red meat market development, under Japan manager Mike Hayward, followed later by Neil Butler and Samantha Jamieson.

Prior to joining AMLC, he worked with a Japanese meat importing company in sales and marketing. Good conversational English made his transition to AMLC easier, having to deal regularly with Australian exporters, as well as Japanese importers and end-users.

Kitano San currently serves as MLA’s Japan region senior manager for trade and insights, and spent time with the Australian Wagyu Association’s Japan Wagyu tour group in Tokyo earlier this month.

MLA’s longest-serving staffmember was Alister Lugsdin, who retired in 2018 having worked for the industry service delivery company and its predecessor AMLC for an unbelievable 41 years and 132 days.

So why has Kitano San stayed so long? “I enjoy working with MLA and representing the Australian beef and lamb industry in Japan,” he said. “Australian beef has forged a strong reputation in the Japanese market over many years, and I’ve very much enjoyed helping build that.”

JBS staffer competing in WorldSkills finals

JBS Australia staffmember Lisiate Hull has flown out with his expert coach Brandon Gillett to compete this week in the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in industrial mechanics at Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

WorldSkills competitor Lisiate Hull, left, with Brandon Gillett before flying out to Canada.

Lisiate is a fitter and turner at JBS’s Bordertown meat processing plant in South Australia.

The WorldSkills finals were to have been held in Shanghai, but due to infrastructure delays caused by China’s zero tolerance for COVID, the competition events have been spread throughout the world. They involve 62 skill competitions over 12 weeks in 15 countries and regions over three months ending 26 November.

Lisiate competed regionally in South Australia to compete for the state and then win a gold medal in fitting at the 2021 WorldSkills National Championships last September to book his place for the international competition.

“It will be pretty unreal to go against the best in the world,” he said.

Other teams will come from Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria and Germany to compete after an opening ceremony today.

Top gong for NT cattle exporter

Northern Territory based livestock exporter Australian Cattle Enterprises has been recognised for outstanding export achievement, taking home the NT Emerging Exporter of the Year award at the Chief Minister’s NT Export & Industry Awards held recently.

ACE Chief Financial Officer Louis Le Roux and Managing Director Patrick Underwood.

Established in 2019, Australian Cattle Enterprises (ACE) is a Darwin-based integrated livestock business providing cattle and buffalo to Southeast Asia. Collecting the award were ACE managing director Patrick Underwood and chief financial officer Louis Le Roux.

In less than three years, the company has established an extensive network of customers delivering 127,500 cattle and buffalo across 84 consignments to markets including Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Philippines, West Malaysia, East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) and Thailand.

“ACE ships livestock to more SE Asian countries than any other Australian livestock exporter and has the capacity and experience to meet the unique specifications of the different markets. Our team of livestock specialists invest a great deal of time and money to ensure the best control and traceability systems are in place to meet and exceed Australia’s rigorous regulatory requirements for livestock exports,” Mr Underwood said.

AWN appoints new director

Diversified agribusiness AWN has appointed agricultural consultant Su McCluskey as a non-executive director, commencing 1 November.

AWN chairman John Maher said Ms McCluskey’s appointment followed an extensive and highly competitive selection process.

“Su’s wide experience in governance, finance, and agriculture in a non-executive director and senior executive capacity is a valuable addition to the AWN board as we continue to expand our operations,” he said.

Ms McCluskey is currently a director of ASX-listed Australian Unity, LiveCorp, Australasian Pork Research Institute, and a Commissioner for International Agricultural Research. She is also the special representative for Australian Agriculture for the Australian Government.

“I look forward to applying my experience and expertise to Australia’s third largest wool, livestock, and property rural agency business and contributing to the next chapter of AWN’s growth,” she said.

Life membership for trucking contributor

Victorian stock transport operator Gavin O’Sullivan’s strong support for rural trucking was acknowledged at a national industry conference in Bendigo recently.

Kevin Fechner (left) and Scott McDonald congratulate Gavin O’Sullivan on receiving honorary Life Membership of ALRTA

Mr O’Sullivan was presented with an honorary life membership of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association during the group’s 2022 national conference.

Serving as the inaugural President of the (then) Livestock Transporters Association of Victoria, he steered the state and national rural transport associations in their efforts to bring about many significant changes to improve the safety, working conditions and productivity of livestock transport. Mr O’Sullivan represented transport industry members before local, state and federal governments, lobbying them on important issues like volume loading and crate heights.

Presenting the award to Gavin was long-time Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) member Kevin Fechner, who told the audience about early days in the association and Gavin’s ongoing and current personal support of the transport industry through participation in ALRTA’s Large and National Member Chapter.

“Gavin has been instrumental in the formation and growth of our state and national livestock transport industry associations,” he said.

Gavin and his brother Peter built O’Sullivan’s Transport from a small family business carting sheep and cattle to and from farms, saleyards, feedlots and abattoirs, to a fleet of 70 predominantly Kenworth and Western Star prime movers carting a wide range of agricultural products across the nation.

Nutrien Australia MD promoted to new global role

Nutrien Ag Solutions managing director Rob Clayton will move offshore to Colorado in the US later this year, to take up a newly-created role as Nutrien’s global head of retail operations.

Rob Clayton

He is handing over the reins as head of the national Australian farm services business to Nutrien’s current Canadian division boss, former accountant, Kelly Freeman.

Mr Clayton, 47, was made managing director of Landmark in 2018, before the Ruralco merger that formed Nutrien. He previously served as Landmark’s southeast regional director for six years, covering Victoria, South Australia and lower NSW. He has worked with Nutrien and its predecessor Landmark for 21 years, having grown up on his family’s farm near Coonamble.

In other Nutrien international news, parent company Nutrien Ltd, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, last month announced the appointment of Ken Seitz as the company’s President and CEO. Mr Seitz has also joined the Nutrien board of directors.

Mr Seitz has served as interim CEO since January, and brings more than 25 years of global management experience working across more than 60 countries, with deep experience in agriculture and mining sectors.

In other recent appointments, Nutrien Australia has hired Tyson Cattle as the company’s new senior manager of government and industry affairs. Mr Cattle was previously national affairs manager for vegetable growers group, Ausveg and editor of the Stock and Land newspaper.

JBS appoints Global Chief Sustainability Officer

Global protein producer JBS has appointed its first Global Chief Sustainability Officer.

Taking up the assignment is Jason Weller who previously worked as president of the US sustainability advisory and management business Truterra. At Truterra he led the company’s efforts to help farmers participate in market-based opportunities for sustainability practices, including carbon credits and other ecosystem service incentives, as well as help consumer packaged goods company partners achieve their supply chain sustainability goals, including validating Scope 3 emission reductions. Before this, he served as chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“To become net zero is JBS’ commitment to society. It will generate a great impact on our future to have a person of Jason’s knowledge leading our sustainability efforts,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS Global CEO.

“His experience in carbon markets with regard to agriculture and his passion for the vitality of the agriculture system qualify him to lead JBS going forward, in line with our focus on fighting climate change and achieving our ambitious sustainability goals.”

Retiree spent 35 years in the beef import/export industry

After more than thirty-five years in the beef import and export industry, including 19 years in the McDonald’s supply system, Kim D’Anella has stepped back from her role as Fulton Marketing Group’s Global Supply chain director.

Kim D’Anella

FMG chief executive Matt Toll said Kim was the third employee to join Agrifood Global Australia (now FMG Australia), managing North American logistics for Australian beef before taking on the role of Global Supply Chain Director following FMG’s acquisition of Agrifoods in 2019. With operations in the US and Australia, FMG covers beef markets in North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, North & South Asia, South Africa and the Middle East.

Throughout her career, Kim has served on the US Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board, was the first chairwoman to be appointed to the Meat Importers Council of America in its 55-year history and has been actively involved in McDonald’s Global Ocean Freight Committee for a decade.

She finishes up on 28 February, but will continue with some project work.

Seedstock identities join international genetic solutions team

US-based International Genetic Solutions (IGS) has contracted Shorthorn seedstock identities Graham and Kylie Winnell from Wagga Wagga, NSW to act as national liaisons for IGS in Australia and New Zealand.

Graham Winnell

The Winnells own and operate Australian Genetic Solutions, a consulting firm focusing on helping Australian and NZ beef producers maximise profitability through herd data collection, submission, and interpretation. They will work with commercial and registered cattle producers, as well as beef breed societies, on performance data collection and submission into the IGS database so that those producers can receive IGS Multi-breed EPD and economic selection indexes on their cattle.

Luke Bowman, Director of International Business for IGS said having known Graham and Kylie for many years, he had always appreciated their curiosity in data analysis and deep interest in making Australian and NZ seedstock some of the most powerful populations in the world.

“They have always had a forward-thinking vision in the cattle breeding space, and make a great addition to our team. Their staunch voice of progress in genetic selection makes them a great asset to the Australian and New Zealand beef industries,” he said.

The Winnells will operate out of their home base in Wagga Wagga while traveling and teaching the animal breeding science and engaging producers with the genetic tools offered by IGS.

New CEO for Port of Darwin

The Darwin Port Board has appointed Peter Dummett as the facility’s new chief executive officer.

Mr Dummett has been acting as the Port’s CEO for the past three months and will now continue to be responsible for the overall operations and management. He joined Darwin Port Corporation in 2011 as general manager port development and has continued in that role since the leasing of the port by Landbridge in 2015.

New Rural Press Club committee takes helm for 2022-23

The Rural Press Club of Queensland has announced a new look committee for 2022-23.

The club’s recent Annual General Meeting in Brisbane marked the completion of Stacey Wordsworth’s maximum three-year term as president. Stacey is an experienced rural journalist, agricultural communications specialist and founder of Blue Hill PR in Brisbane.

James Nason

Newly elected president, Toowoomba-based rural journalist James Nason thanked Stacey and the previous committee members for their hard work and dedication in successfully steering the club through a period of unprecedented upheaval during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone who is a regular attendee of Rural Press Club events understands how fortunate the club has been to have had Stacey’s exceptional leadership and guiding hand at the helm  over the past three years,” Mr Nason said.

“Her role in steering the club successfully through a period of massive upheaval due to COVID cannot be overstated.

“Stacey has left big shoes to fill, but most importantly, she has also left them pointing in the right direction, which makes life much easier for those of us who follow.”

Mr Nason is co-founder and publisher of Beef Central and its associated rural news websites, and was previously a long-serving rural reporter and senior editorial staff member with Rural Press Ltd and Fairfax Agricultural Media (now Australian Community Media).

He also acknowledged the substantial contribution and valued service to the club of committee member and former club vice-president Mark Neville, who stepped down at this year’s AGM after six years of continuous service on the committee.

Announcing the new committee members elected at this year’s AGM, Mr Nason said it was a huge honour to welcome the new executive team for the year ahead.

Lawyer Fran Becker from Hamilton Locke returns as Vice-President and financier John Bourke from Westpac as Treasurer, while fund manager Michael Blakeney from Riparian Capital Partners takes on the role of club secretary.

Continuing on the committee in 2022-23 are Will Banks from Rabobank, who completed his maximum three-year term as secretary at the recent AGM, Mark Phelps from Queensland Country Life, Carolyn Martin from QAAFI and Wendy Brownscombe.

The club also welcomes two new faces this year, with ABC Queensland Country Hour Co-Host Arlie Felton-Taylor, and the Australian newspaper’s national rural reporter Charlie Peel, being elected onto the committee.

Mr Nason also expressed his gratitude to the club’s three major home paddock sponsors for their ongoing support of the Rural Press Club of Queensland – McCullough Robertson Lawyers, Collier’s Agribusiness and Australian Retirement Trust.

For further information about Rural Press Club Queensland committee, events or to become a member visit the website







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