Dairy Australia 2021 Board Nominees

Dairy Australia announces three industry-selected, Board-endorsed nominees who will stand for election at its 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in November. 

In 2021, three of the eight non-executive director positions are vacant due to the expiry of three serving Directors’ board terms. According to its Constitution, the Dairy Australia Board is required to have an appropriate balance of skills and experience which relate to the nature of the business and affairs of Dairy Australia. The Board must have at least four directors with milk producer skills. Vacancies exist for Directors with the following skills:

  • Two milk producer positions, and 
  • One dairy supply chain and product promotion position. 

The Board Selection Committee (BSC) is responsible for undertaking a thorough and rigorous recruitment process before recommending nominees to the Board for its endorsement. The BSC comprises five members, including two representatives of each of Australian Dairy Farmers and the Australian Dairy Products Federation, representing the Australian dairy industry. The Chair of the BSC is Professor Paul Wood, who is a Dairy Australia Director. 

Applications were independently assessed. For the milk producer positions, a pre-selection committee, comprising four dairy farmers, reviewed the applications and recommended candidates to the BSC for interviews. For the supply chain/product promotion position, a professional recruitment firm, Rimfire Resources, was engaged to assist the BSC with the identification of qualified candidates. 

After interviews and reference checks, the BSC has recommended the following nominees to the Board for its endorsement. 

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, having successfully built one of Australia’s largest dairy farm businesses. He has extensive experience in all aspects of dairy farming, is heavily involved in industry groups and has held Chair positions for more than 15 years. 

Simone Jolliffe has extensive experience in 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. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Rural Leadership Program, Simone has more than twenty years 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 twenty years in the dairy industry. 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 has held non-executive director roles. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree and completed the Agribusiness Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. 

Current Dairy Australia Board members, Graeme Nicoll and David Lord will remain on the Board until the AGM in November, following which Graeme and David will retire. We thank them for their service to the DA Board and the Dairy Industry. 

Chair of Dairy Australia’s Board Selection Committee, Professor Paul Wood AO said: “Candidates have been recommended to the Board following a rigorous selection process, and each candidate has the skills, experience and outlook to positively represent dairy farmers and the industry to deliver on our strategy. It will allow us to bring fresh thinking to the table. 

“Congratulations to these candidates on their successful selection, and thank you to everyone involved in the process.” 

Levy payers will vote for Directors at the Annual General Meeting to be held in November. To be successfully elected into the vacant Director roles, each nominee will require a majority of the votes cast at the AGM. 

In accordance with Dairy Australia’s Constitution, candidates who wish to nominate separately to the Board Selection Committee process can submit their nomination in writing, supported by signatures from at least 100 Group A members of Dairy Australia. For details refer to dairyaustralia.com.au 

Completed nominations must be received by Dairy Australia by 5pm Friday 13 August 2021.

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