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Nominations are open for three vacancies on Dairy Australia’s Board. Board Selection Committee Chair, Professor Paul Wood, explains the process for selecting future Directors ahead of elections at this year’s AGM.

Why did you join Dairy Australia’s Board?

I have spent my whole career in Research & Development in animal health and leading large R&D teams, so when I saw that Dairy Australia was looking for a Board Director with R&D and commercial experience it was a natural fit. One of my earliest R&D grants when I was at CSIRO was from Dairy Research Development Corporation, so it was also an opportunity to re-engage with the dairy industry.

When did you become Chair of the Board Selection Committee?

I became a Dairy Australia Director in 2016 and was appointed Chair of the Board Selection Committee by the Board at the beginning of this year, taking over from David Lord.  The appointment is for 12 months. 

What is the purpose of the Board Selection Committee?

The Board Selection Committee is a standing committee of Dairy Australia’s Board and is appointed for a 12-month period. Its role is to identify and nominate to the Board, people who will ensure that the Board collectively has an appropriate balance of skills and experience with respect to the business and affairs of Dairy Australia. There is also the opportunity to use a pre-selection committee chaired by Australian Dairy Farmers to review applications for milk producer roles on the Board.

Who sits on the Board Selection Committee?

The Board Selection Committee has five members comprising two representatives from both Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and the Australian Dairy Products Federation (ADPF), with a Dairy Australia board member serving as Chair of the committee. This year the Board Selection Committee will be assisted by an executive search consultant Rimfire Resources in sourcing applicants for the non-milk producer Director role.

Board Selection Committee members
  • Paul Wood - Chair
  • John Versteden (ADF)
  • Victoria Taylor (ADF)
  • Corrie Goodwin (ADPF)
  • Steve Oldridge (ADPF)

What is the process for selecting Board Directors?

Skills required of incoming Directors are selected according to the Board Skills Matrix, which is a summary of skills areas which the Dairy Australia Board considers to be required of the Board as a whole (more information is available here). Position Descriptions are then drafted for the upcoming Director vacancies which target these skills. The Board Selection Committee identifies, interviews and nominates to the Dairy Australia Board people it considers best meet these requirements.  If these people are endorsed by the Board, they then stand for election by Dairy Australia members at the organisation’s next Annual General Meeting.

Separately, under Dairy Australia’s Constitution, levy paying milk producers who have elected to become Group A members of Dairy Australia can also nominate a candidate who is supported by the signatures of at least 100 current Group A members.  Candidates then stand for election at the Annual General Meeting.

What is involved in being a Director and the time commitment?

Director’s serve for three years and the time commitment is approximately 20-25 days a year. The Board meets every month, usually at Dairy Australia’s offices in Melbourne, however if physical meetings are not possible then they are held online. 

Each Director is also expected to sit on one of the three sub-committees of the Board (Audit and Risk Management, Human Resources and Board Selection), each of which meet 3–4 times per year. Directors are required to attend and represent Dairy Australia at industry events.

What attributes and experience are required for a successful candidate?

In addition to the skills outlined in the Position Descriptions for Director vacancies, successful candidates should have an open mind and a desire to make a difference to the dairy industry is vital. 

Why are there three Director vacancies on the Board this year?

Three serving Directors’ board terms are expiring this year. In line with Dairy Australia’s Constitution and Board Skills Matrix, two of the vacant positions must be filled by milk producers, with the other vacancy requiring a Director with skills in agribusiness, innovation and change management. Current Directors Tania Luckin (a milk producer Director) and Roseanne Healy (a non-milk producer Director) have indicated that they will be re-standing for election and Graeme Nicoll (a milk producer Director) has indicated that he will be retiring from the Board.

Who should I contact for more information?

Applications for milk producer vacancies should be emailed to Elizabeth Parkin (Secretary to the Board Selection Committee) at elizabeth.parkin@dairyaustralia.com.au no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 1 July 2020. If you wish to discuss the application process or receive an information pack, please feel free to contact Elizabeth on (03) 9694 3836.

Applications for the non-milk producer vacancy and enquiries in relation to this role should be directed to Mick Hay of Rimfire Resources on 1300 380 701 (toll free).

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