Dairy Australia Board
Dairy Australia's Board is made up of skilled business and community leaders who are all advocates of the industry. They are governed by Dairy Australia's key principles of accountability, legal compliance and ethical behaviour.
The Board determines the policies and directions for investing in industry service activities. It approves strategic and operating plans and performance targets.
The Board ensures 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 Chair) 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.
James is the owner of Donovan’s Dairying Pty Ltd at Wye, South Australia, which is one of the nation’s leading dairy businesses and milks 2,000 cows. James has been involved in the Australian dairy industry for over 30 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. James was the Chair of the DairySA Regional Development Program from 2002–2015 and has also performed other dairy industry leadership roles.
Appointed Chair in July 2020
Appointed November 2015
Ex officio member – Audit and Risk Management Committee
Ex officio member – Human Resources Committee
Dr David Nation
David has over 25 years’ experience in the dairy industry and has led large scale innovation projects, brought new technology to the dairy industry, and forged significant international partnerships in research projects. He has a background in agricultural science and broad experience in senior management, including further studies in NZ and the US. David has extensive national and global networks in commercial, research and sustainability sectors. David has also had technical and commercial roles in the animal breeding and herd fertility service industries.
Appointed July 2018
Prof Alan Bell
Professor Alan Bell grew up on a dairy farm in South Gippsland, Victoria. He was educated at the University of New England (B Rur Sc, Hons, 1969) and the University of Glasgow (PhD, 1976) and has held research and teaching positions in Australia, Scotland and the United States. He was Chairman and Extension Leader of the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University from 1997 to 2007, with responsibilities for teaching, research and extension in livestock biology and management. From 2007 until his retirement in 2012 he was Chief of CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australia, with responsibility for research operations in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia. During this period, he also was seconded to be interim CEO of Food Science Australia and interim Chief of CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences. He continues to be professionally engaged through writing, reviewing, chairing several national scientific committees, and taking the occasional consultancy.
Appointed November 2022
Chair – Human Resources Committee
Paul grew up on the family farm at Elizabeth Town, Central-northern Tasmania. He is married to Bernadette and has two sons, William and Angus, who are currently studying at university. Paul is owner and manager of Ashgrove Farms which has five dairy farms milking 3,500 cows, and a dairy beef grazing operation with over 4,000 cattle, across 3,500 hectares of Northern Tasmania. Paul was Tasmanian Apprentice of the Year then progressed on to graduate from Marcus Oldham Agricultural College in 1991 with a distinction in farm management. Paul is currently Chairman of Ashgrove Cheese, the Bennett family value-adding business. He was Chair of DairyTas 2010-2013, and a member of the Dairy Moving Forward Steering Committee 2013-2016. He was a graduate of the Rabobank Executive Development Program in 2015. Paul is an active member of his local community.
Appointed November 2023
Simone with her husband Neil have been farming on the Murrumbidgee River near Wagga Wagga in NSW since July 2000, starting out as sharefarmers and later purchasing the property in 2008. Simone has nearly 20 years’ industry involvement outside their farm business in local, state, and national roles. She has held various leadership roles in industry research, development and extension as well as advocacy and representation through her roles including Dairy NSW, Australian Dairy Farmers, DataGene and the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework. Simone has a Bachelor of Rural Science and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program as well as the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Member – Audit and Risk Management Committee
Andrew grew up on a family farm in the Goulburn Valley which influenced much of his professional life. Currently Andrew is Managing Director of corporate advisory and investment firm Somerset Capital, Chair of AgLink Australia, AGnVET Services and Langdon Group, and a Director of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation (retiring November 2022). He has previously been Chair of The Pastoral Pork Company and a Director of the Pork CRC, Beischer Medical Research Foundation and the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort. Before founding Somerset Capital, Andrew worked in the US, Canada and Australia with Cargill and as a lawyer with Herbert Smith Freehills. Andrew has a Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Science and has completed MBAs in Strategy and Finance from the University of Chicago and the University of Melbourne. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed November 2022
Chair - Audit and Risk Management Committee
Kären is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from the Mitta Valley, North-east Victoria. She is a partner in the dairy operation Arajarra, milking 280 Aussie reds, in a predominantly pasture-based farming system and presently, in a share farm arrangement with the next generation. Kären is the co-owner of Auzred XB, an AI import distribution company focused on three-way crossbreeding and the use of Aussie Red genetics. She has dedicated many years to contributing not only to projects that empower her local community but also to the broader dairy industry, by stepping up to lead on boards and industry groups. These include regional board roles at Murray Dairy and Agbiz Assist, where Kären is presently Chair of both the Projects Board and Governance and Risk Committee. She is a member of the Goulburn Murray Water Services Committee for North-east Victoria and is currently the president of the Mitta Valley Landcare Group.
Kären is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Diploma in Human Resources Management (Dairy).
Appointed November 2023
Paul Roderick has operated his family dairy farm at Harrisville, south-east Queensland for the last 30 years. Paul has been involved in all facets of dairy off-farm with roles in advocacy, research, development and extension. He was previously Chair of Subtropical Dairy, Dairy Australia’s Regional Development Program, and had a role in setting up the Young Dairy Network (YDN) Queensland as the young farmer delegate on the Inaugural Strategic Steering Committee. He was a Director on Premium Milk Ltd (negotiating group with Lactalis) for 11 years and is a member of the Australian Dairy Conference Board. He is an active member of both the local and dairy communities which include roles in the Fassifern Rugby League Football Club for over 28 years (current President), Hayes Oval Inc, the local ANZAC Committee, and is a current EastAUSmilk District Councillor. Paul is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed November 2020
Member - Audit and Risk Management Committee
Paul van Heerwaarden
Paul’s family farming background led him to a career path in agribusiness. He commenced with Cargill and spent 10 years based in Australia, the United States and Asia working in the meat, oilseeds and grains industries. Paul joined Bega Cheese Ltd in 2009 where he gained commercial, operational and supply chain experience in the Australian dairy industry and international markets. He stepped down as CEO of Bega Cheese Ltd after six years in February 2023. Paul has served on a number of company and joint venture boards including for several years as a member director of Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd.
Paul has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), completed an MBA at Melbourne Business School and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Appointed January 2023
Member - Human Resources Committee