Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

Our board is made up of skilled business and community leaders who are all advocates of the industry and are governed by our key principles of accountability, legal compliance, and ethical behaviour.

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 the supply chain. His expertise includes an extensive range of management roles with SPC, Goodman Fielder, Kraft Foods, KR Castlemaine and Vesco Foods. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of The Pastoral Pork Company Pty Ltd.
Appointed January 2010


Mrs Lisa Dwyer

Mrs Dwyer is a non-executive Director with the Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited. Mrs Dwyer’s early career was in finance before joining Racing Victoria Limited, where she was appointed to progressively more senior roles covering sales and marketing and as a Region Services Manager. For the past 10 years she has been in partnership in the running of a successful 344-hectare dairy farm. She has been actively involved in a number of key committees and boards in the dairy and agribusiness sector including as Chair of WestVic Dairy Board, Chair of the National Milk Quality Steering Group and as a member of the Australian Dairy Industry Animal Husbandry Steering Group and the Victorian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. She is a past Branch Secretary of the Macarthur Branch of UDV. Mrs Dwyer has a Graduate Certificate in Agribusiness from the University of Melbourne and an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture. She has further developed her professional skills and director expertise both as a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and as a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Retired November 2016

Member – Human Resources Committee



Dr Alan Grant


Dr Grant joined Dairy Australia after more than 30 years in R&D roles in the food industry. In various roles with Kraft Foods he has been responsible for leadership of the Research, Development and Quality function at business unit level or above in Australia, Canada, USA, Asia and Europe. He has broad experience in linking technology to business plans, with acquisitions, joint ventures, licensees and intellectual property management. In his last role at Kraft as Senior Vice President, R&D for Kraft International in Chicago, he was responsible for R&D and quality activities in all product categories for businesses in the developing markets of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. He holds BSc (Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne.

Retired November 2016
Chair - Human Resources Committee


Mr David Mallinson David Mallinson

Mr Mallinson is the Chief Financial Officer of 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 brings finance and senior managerial skills, along with his full P&L responsibility in his previous roles of Interim CEO and Executive General Manager Business Operations at MGC, which sells products in Australia, South East Asia, China, Japan, USA and the Middle East. He has previously been 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. Mr Mallinson 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 (from December 2016)
Member – Human Resources Committee (to November 2016)


Mr. James Mann James Mann

Mr 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 supplies over 20 million litres per annum and milks 2000 cows. Mr Mann was the Chair of the DairySA Regional Development Program from 2002 – 2015 and has also performed other dairy industry leadership roles.

Appointed November 2015
Member – Human Resources Committee (from December 2015)



Mr. John McKillop John McKillop

Mr 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 CEO 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. Mr McKillop holds a Diploma of Farm Management, a Bachelor of Business (Charles Stuart University), an MBA, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Appointed November 2012
Member - Audit and Risk Management Committee



Mr Jeff Odgers 

Jeff Odgers

Mr Odgers owns a dairy farming business near Shepparton Victoria milking 700 cows.  He has broad experience in managing large scale farm enterprises in northern Victoria and Tasmania.  Mr Odgers is a director of Bega Cheese Limited and was also a Director of Tatura Milk Industries prior to the successful merger of the two companies.  His formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Agricultural Management) and an Associate Diploma in Farm Management. He served as a Director of the Murray Dairy Inc. Regional Development Program (2006 – 12) and led the organisation as Chair (2008 – 12).

Appointed November 2013

Member – Audit and Risk Management Committee (from December 2015)

Member - Human Resources Committee (to November 2015)



Mrs Jan West AM Jan West

Mrs West has more than 35 years’ finance experience with Australian and international listed and private companies, government agencies and community organisations.  She was an audit partner of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and retired from the practice in December 2011. Mrs West is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a Graduate Member of the Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne.   Mrs West was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007.  Mrs West is a Non-Executive Director of Australia Post, the Australian Red Cross, Neurosciences Victoria Ltd. and Melbourne Forum Ltd.  She is also an independent member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.  

Appointed November 2014
Chair - Audit and Risk Management Committee


Professor Paul Wood 

Paul Wood

Professor 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 NicollGraeme Nicoll

Mr Nicoll is a dairy farmer from South Gippsland.  He owns and operates a perennial pasture based dairy business, milking a crossbred herd, at Fish Creek in South Gippsland. Mr Nicoll 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. Mr Nicoll 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.



Mr Ross Joblin

Mr Joblin was Dairy Australia’s Company Secretary and a member of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team as Group Manager of Business Operations. 

Retired February 2017

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