Our Board

Dairy Australia’s Board determines the policies and directions for investing in industry service activities, and approves strategic and operating plans and performance targets.

The Board ensures that policies and systems are in place to manage risk and ensure high standards of accountability, ethical behaviour and legal compliance. The board is comprised of eight non-executive directors (including the Chairman) and the Managing Director.

In short, the Dairy Australia Board:

  • Guides and monitors Dairy Australia on behalf of its members
  • Is accountable to Dairy Australia members
  • Meets about 10 times each year - in regional and metropolitan locations

Under Dairy Australia’s Constitution, a third of the positions on the Board are vacated each year and an election held is to fill the vacancies. Directors are nominated on a skills basis by an industry selection committee. Group A members are able to vote for nominated Directors at Dairy Australia's Annual General Meeting, which is held in November.


Mr. Geoff Akers, Chair  Geoff Akers
Mr Akers is a dairy farmer from Tallygaroopna in Northern Victoria. He has extensive experience in dairy research,   development and extension. He worked for Victoria's then Department of Agriculture (Target 10 and Operation Mid Lactation) and at the Kyabram Research Institute. He spent four of six years on the Murray Dairy Board as Chairperson and two years on the National Dairy Alliance Board. He has also served as a Director of Australian Dairy Farmers Board, a Central Councillor of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria and is a former Chair of the Victorian Farmers Federation Water Council. He is also a former Director of the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project.
Appointed November 2005

Ex-officio member – Audit and Risk Management Committee and Human Resources Management Committee

Mr. Ian Halliday, Managing Director Ian Halliday

Mr Halliday was appointed Managing Director of Dairy Australia in January 2010, bringing to the position the experience of a career which has spanned across the supply chain. His expertise includes an extensive range of management roles with SPC, Goodman Fielder, Kraft Foods, KR Castlemaine and Vesco Foods.
Appointed January 2010

Mrs Jan West AM Jan West

Mrs West brings a very strong background in finance, audit and Board membership. She has 36 years’ experience with Deloitte, 23 as an audit partner, operating across a diverse range of industry sectors, and was Leader of its National Professional Standards Review function. Since 2011, Mrs West has concentrated her career on Board and advisory roles. She currently sits on three Boards, including Australian Red Cross, and two government department audit and risk committees. Her Board experience commenced in 1990 and includes The Institute of Chartered Accountants, where she was National President in 2001, and the Financial Reporting Council. Mrs West was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for services to the accountancy profession and the community. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of CPA and Member of the Institute of Company Directors (GAICD, Order of Merit).
Appointed November 2014
Chair – Audit and Risk Management Committee

Mr. John McKillop John McKillop

Mr John McKillop has extensive agribusiness experience with national and international corporations. He is currently a Director of Dairy Australia, Primary Industries Education Foundation and is the Chief Executive Officer of Hassad Australia.. He was previously the Managing Director of AgCAP, and has held senior leadership positions with Clyde Agriculture, Elders and Stanbroke Pastoral Company. Key responsibilities have included operations management, strategic planning, business development and marketing.
Appointed November 2012
Chair – Human Resources Management Committee

Mr. James Mann
James Mann

James Mann is the owner of Donovan’s Dairying Pty. Ltd. at Wye, South Australia, which is one of the nation’s leading dairy businesses. Mr Mann has been involved in the Australian dairy industry for over 25 years, with experience in farm systems used in dairy farming and agriculture more broadly, across different regions in Australia as well as New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Donovan’s Dairying is a major supplier to Murray Goulburn Co-operative, supplying over 20 million litres per annum and milking 2000 cows. Mr Mann has been the Chairperson of the DairySA Regional Development Program since 2002 and has also performed other dairy industry leadership roles.
Appointed November 2015

Member – Human Resources Management Committee

Mr Jeff Odgers Jeff Odgers

Jeff Odgers is an agribusiness leader with an in-depth understanding of the Australian dairy industry. Mr Odgers is a director of Bega Cheese Limited and Dairy Australia Limited. He and his wife have owned and operated farm enterprises in both Tasmania and northern Victoria and currently own two dairy properties near Shepparton, milking 570 cows. He has a strong understanding of pre-farmgate research and extension, with a particular interest in farm productivity, systems and business management. Mr Odgers has Bachelor of Business (Agricultural Management) and an Associate Diploma in Farm Management. He is the former Chairman of Murray Dairy Inc (2008-12) and served as a director of the Murray Dairy Inc. Regional Development Program (2006-12). He is also a former director of Tatura Milk Industries (2009-11).
Appointed November 2013
Member – Audit and Risk Management Committee

Mr David Mallinson David Mallinson

David Mallinson is the Executive General Manager – Business Operations for Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited (MGC). Mr Mallinson brings a strong operational background in business transformation and operations. Mr Mallinson has had a range of roles across MGC and other processors and has extensive operational line experience. Additionally, he will bring finance and managerial skills, with his current full P&L responsibility for an MGC division, which sells products in Australia, South East Asia, China, Japan, USA and the Middle East. He is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Snapsil Corporation. He has undergraduate qualifications in business and finance, has undertaken postgraduate business studies at Monash University and has been a participant on the Executive Management Program at Stanford University. David is a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, a Fellow of the National Institute of Accountants (Australia) and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed November 2015

Member – Audit and Risk Management Committee

Professor Paul Wood Paul Wood

Professor Paul Wood has over thirty years’ experience in agricultural R&D.  Professor Wood has been successful as both a research scientist and as an R&D leader.  He is internationally recognized for his research in veterinary immunology, tuberculosis and vaccine development and is the inventor on a number of patents.  He has led R&D teams from CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis).  He has been responsible for bringing a number of innovative products to the market, receiving recognition for his work including the CSIRO medal and the Clunies Ross award.  He has served on several boards with both R&D and commercial entities, currently serves as the Chair of the Agriculture and Foodtech Committee for AusBiotech, and is an Adjunct Professor at Monash University.  Professor Wood is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
Appointed – November 2016
Member – Human Resources Management Committee

Graeme Nicoll Graeme Nicoll

Graeme Nicoll is a dairy farmer from South Gippsland.  Together with his wife Gillian, he owns and operates a perennial pasture based dairy business, milking a crossbred herd, at Fish Creek in South Gippsland.

Graeme holds qualifications in Science, Land Rehabilitation and Horticulture and was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2010, which provided him with the opportunity to study the global dairy industry.  His industry roles have included Deputy Chair and subsequently Chair of the GippsDairy Regional Development Program.  He is a member of UDV and has a strong national and international network of agricultural contacts.

Graeme brings a deep passion for the dairy industry and extensive knowledge of dairy farming systems and technologies to the Dairy Australia Board.
Appointed January 2017.
Member – Human Resources Management Committee

Ms Emma Braun Emma Braun

Ms Braun is Dairy Australia’s Company Secretary.  With over 20 years’ experience practising as a solicitor, primarily as in house counsel, Emma offers significant depth and breadth of expertise in in-house legal services across multiple jurisdictions, in both developed and emerging markets, including countries in South East Asia, South America and the United States.  Her experience has included leading the legal function and providing company secretarial support to Boards and Board committees and working with senior management and Boards to implement and maintain corporate governance and risk management frameworks.

Emma completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne (BA, LLB (Hons.), LLM).  She has undertaken further postgraduate governance studies (GradDipACG)with the Governance Institute of Australia and the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University.  She is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK) and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed February 2017.