Director Elections



Each year Dairy Australia conducts a search for persons who are suitably skilled for nomination for election to the Board at its Annual General Meeting (AGM). The selection process is overseen by a Board Selection Committee (BSC), which recommends candidates for endorsement by the Board.

This process ensures that candidates are rigorously assessed against the skills needed for a Director position and that an open and transparent application process is followed.

Professional recruitment support is engaged to assist the BSC to identify qualified candidates for non-Milk Producer Director positions who have the appropriate skills, experience and outlook required for this position.

Board Composition and Board Committees

Dairy Australia’s Board comprises eight non-executive directors and the Managing Director. The Board provides oversight of the organisation and ensures the dairy levy is invested in programs that support the profitability and sustainability of dairy farmers. A Board Skills Matrix specifies the mix of skills required by Directors and is a requirement of Dairy Australia’s funding agreement with the Commonwealth Government. Dairy Australia’s Constitution requires that:

  • the Board as a whole has an appropriate balance of skills and experience, having regard to the nature of the business and affairs of the company
  • the Board has at least four directors with milk producer skills
  • the Directors rotate with either two or three directors retiring each year, so that no director serves longer than three years without having to present themselves for re-election. Directors cannot serve for more than three consecutive terms (i.e. nine years in total).

The Board has three standing committees that assist it in discharging its responsibilities: an Audit and Risk Management Committee and a Human Resources Committee (both comprised of Dairy Australia Directors), and a Board Selection Committee (four of its five members are appointed by industry).

Directors are required to understand the responsibilities and obligations of company directors, possess general commercial and financial literacy and are expected to act with integrity, honesty and in a collaborative manner.

Applications have opened for three Director vacancies on Dairy Australia’s Board ahead of elections at the 2021 AGM in November:

  • Two Directors with milk producer skills.
  • One Director with dairy supply chain and product promotion skills.

The terms of two serving Directors expire this year and another Director has retired. Current Directors James Mann (who serves as Chair of Dairy Australia) and David Lord have indicated they will stand for re-election, while Graeme Nicoll (who is serving in an interim capacity following the retirement of Jeff Odgers) will not stand for re-election.

Board selection process

The Board is assisted in its search for suitable Director candidates by the BSC. This is a standing committee appointed for a 12-month period.  It has five members comprising two representatives of each of Dairy Australia’s Group B Members (Australian Dairy Farmers and the Australian Dairy Products Federation), representing the Australian dairy industry, and the Chair of the BSC who is a Dairy Australia Director (not standing for re-election).

The BSC’s role is to identify and nominate candidates who will ensure that the Board collectively has an appropriate balance of skills and experience in relation to the nature of the business and affairs of Dairy Australia.

After assessing the applications received and interviewing candidates, the BSC recommends one candidate for each Director vacancy for endorsement by the Board. Endorsed candidates then stand for election at the AGM as Dairy Australia Board nominees.

In 2021, the BSC was assisted by:

  • a pre-selection committee made up of milk producer members whose role included identifying applicants for the directors with milk-producer skills
  • an executive search consultant (Rimfire Resources) to source applicants for the dairy supply chain and product promotion vacancy.

This process has now completed and the BSC has recommended candidates to the Board for its endorsement.

Board-endorsed nominees

Three industry-selected, Board-endorsed nominees will stand for election at Dairy Australia’s 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in November.

Directors with milk producing skills:

James Mann currently Chair of the Dairy Australia Board is standing for a third term. James has been dairy farming for more than 30 years, and has extensive experience in all aspects of dairy farming, having successfully built Donovans Dairying from a green-field site in 1998 to one of Australia’s largest dairy farm businesses. He has proven experience in adopting new technology on farm and managing an engaged workforce to improve profitability and productivity. He has extensive involvement in industry groups and has held Chair positions for over 15 years.

Simone Jolliffe has extensive experience in both governance and dairy farming. This includes senior director roles within the dairy industry including Chair of Australian Dairy Farmers, Director of Data Gene and Chair of the Herd Improvement Industry Strategic Steering Group. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Australian Rural Leadership Program. Simone has grown up in agriculture and has more than twenty years of experience in dairy farming in southern NSW. She is also a current member of the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework Steering Committee.

Director with dairy supply chain and product promotion skills:

Russell Abotomey has more than thirty years experience in the agricultural sector, with more than twenty years in the dairy industry, both in Australia and internationally. He has held senior executive roles in supply chain and product promotion with Murray Goulburn Co-operative and Fonterra Co-operative Group. Russell has strong financial experience and held non-executive director roles at Australian Sugar Milling Council and the MG - Danone Australia Joint Venture. He has a Bachelor of Business Degree from Swinburne University and completed the Agribusiness Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

Time commitment required of Dairy Australia Board Directors

The time commitment is approximately 20 - 25 days a year. The Board meets every month, usually at Dairy Australia’s offices in Melbourne. Some meetings may be held at regional locations or hosted online via web conference. In addition, each Director is expected to sit on one of the Board Committees, each of which usually meets three to four times per year. Directors will also be expected to make regional visits and attend industry events. Whenever possible, Committee meetings and regional events are scheduled to coincide with Board meetings.

Director Vacancies - How to Apply

The Board has endorsed nominations for each of the three vacant positions to be elected at the 2021 Annual General Meeting in November.

A candidate may also stand for election if their nomination is supported by 100 Group A members of Dairy Australia. Applications submitted via this method must be received by 13 August 2021 in accordance with Dairy Australia’s Constitution:

  • A nomination form specifying your skills and experience relevant to the business and affairs of Dairy Australia (please email membership@dairyaustralia.com.au to request a nomination form).
  • Signatures of at least 100 Group A members.

The BSC will determine the most appropriate Board-nominated candidate whom the Group A member-nominated candidate will stand against at the AGM.

Further information regarding Dairy Australia

For further information, please refer to the:

For all other general enquiries please contact membership@dairyaustralia.com.au or phone 1800 004 377.

2021 Director vacancy position descriptions

  • One Director with dairy supply chain and product promotion skills

    Dairy Australia operates a skill-based board and is looking for a Non-Executive Director with Dairy Supply Chain and Product Promotion skills.

    Essential Experience and Skills

    In addition to the general skills of governance and finance, this director should have the following essential skills and experience:

    • Demonstrated ability in leading and managing dairy processing, manufacturing and/or fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) operations at a significant scale, with a broad understanding of current and emerging dairy products, processing trends and issues.
    • Experience in linking manufacturing operations to the whole supply chain, including an understanding of:
      • commercial, financial and profitability drivers across the chain, including milk pricing and supply
      • dairy industry structure and networks
      • trade and world dairy markets and international/export and domestic market access
      • product promotion and marketing ideally including commercial sales and customer experience and management.
    • A demonstrated understanding of the use and application of innovation is also essential. This includes:
      • agricultural innovation/the use of innovative technology; and/or
      • management and evaluation of R&D; and/or
      • experience in implementing new technology at a commercial level.
    • Experience in leadership of an enterprise (or a large team within an enterprise) where that enterprise adheres to and demonstrates a values-based culture.
    • Understanding of the drivers in building community trust.
    • Experience in facilitating organisational change/transformation.

    Personal Attributes

    In addition to the essential skills and experience, Dairy Australia will be expecting Non-Executive Directors to demonstrate the following personal attributes:

    • Passion and commitment to improving the profitability and sustainability of the Australian dairy industry.
    • Preparedness to undertake dairy industry visits to understand the operating environment and engage with levy payers and regional management.
    • Business acumen and professional demeanour.
    • Ability to influence and to communicate/explain a point of view and consider alternative points of view.
    • Meets the required standards of honesty, integrity and collaboration expected of all Dairy Australia Non-Executive Directors.

    Desired Experience and Skills

    The following skills will also be considered favourably:

    • Experience in the management of performance and senior executive remuneration.
    • Public policy and regulatory environment.
    • Audit experience.
    • Strong understanding and experience in natural resource management and sustainability.

    Balance and Diversity

    Dairy Australia recognises and embraces the benefits of having a diverse Board and sees increasing diversity at Board level as an essential element in maintaining a competitive advantage. A truly diverse Board will include and make good use of differences in the skills, experience and backgrounds, including:

    • regional and geographic background
    • industry experience
    • research and development experience
    • farming systems
    • farm size
    • race, gender & other distinctions.

    These differences will be considered in determining the optimum composition of the Board and should be balanced appropriately so that the Board is reflective of the industry.

  • Two Directors with milk producer skills

    Dairy Australia operates a skill-based board and is looking for two Non-Executive Directors with milk producer skills.

    Essential Experience and Skills

    In addition to the general skills of governance and finance, the directors with milk producer skills are expected to demonstrate the following:

    • Broad perspective and general business acumen developed through involvement in industry or representative bodies, including experience in board and governance roles. Prior experience in developing and approving strategic and operating plans and associated budgets.
    • All facets of milk production/dairy farm systems particularly dairy processing, dairy industry structures and networks, understanding the impact of climate change on dairy farms, environment/natural resource management; and
    • Dairy industry knowledge particularly feedbase management, farm business management, including drivers of profitability and productivity in diverse dairy farm systems and animal performance and welfare.
    • Experience with research and development adoption, including innovative farming method adoption and change management to drive such adoption.
    • Experience in engagement and communication with levy payers, dairy industry groups and broader agricultural networks.
    • Understanding of the people challenges (including labour shortages) associated with dairy farm systems including competencies, career pathways, people management, ownership structures and health, safety and wellbeing issues.

    Personal Attributes

    In addition to the essential skills and experience, Dairy Australia will be expecting Non-Executive Directors to demonstrate the following personal attributes: 

    • Passion and commitment to improving the profitability and sustainability of the Australian dairy industry.
    • Preparedness to undertake dairy industry visits to understand the operating environment and engage with levy payers and regional management.
    • Business acumen and professional demeanour. 
    • Ability to influence and to communicate/explain a point of view and consider alternative points of view. 
    • Meets the required standards of honesty, integrity and collaboration expected of all Dairy Australia Non-Executive Directors.

    Desirable skills and experience:

    The following skills/experience will also be considered favourably:

    • Trade and world dairy markets and/or international/export and domestic market access. 
    • Product promotion and marketing.
    • Public policy and regulatory environment. 
    • Organisational/transformational change management. 
    • Building community trust.

    Balance and Diversity

    Dairy Australia recognises and embraces the benefits of having a diverse Board and sees increasing diversity at Board level as an essential element in maintaining a competitive advantage. A truly diverse Board will include and make good use of differences in the skills, experience and backgrounds, including:

    • regional and geographic background
    • industry experience
    • research and development experience
    • farming systems
    • farm size 
    • race, gender & other distinctions.

    These differences will be considered in determining the optimum composition of the Board and should be balanced appropriately so that the Board is reflective of the industry.


X
You are viewing our national site as your location could not be found.
To improve your website experience, you can change your location from the Region Selector in the top menu.
To improve your website experience based on your location, you are viewing our National site.
You can change your location from the Region Selector in the top menu.
X
Cookies help Dairy Australia improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Confirm