Agribusiness Association Board Members
Dr Theresa Craig - President
Theresa brings the perspective of science and practical business implementation to the Board. Theresa has a PhD in nutrition, across all species. She has both domestic and international experience in twelve countries in operations, research, and management in both animal and human nutrition. Raised on a ranching/ feedlot operation in Alberta Canada, Theresa has always been associated with agriculture; her first business was raising purebred Suffolk sheep. For the past 14 years, Theresa has owned the Australian production management and consulting company, Tara – Technical Assistance and Research Analysis Pty Ltd. Together with her husband, Clif Hefner, she owns and operates a purebred Charolais stud in, Queensland. In addition, she is currently on the Queensland committee for the Charolais Society of Australia. Theresa completed the Company Directors Course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors in November 2008. She is passionate that agriculture and the food industries need to attract the best and brightest to help feed the world, and that agribusiness needs to be better understood by the general public.
The Hon. Caroline Schaefer - Past PresidentGraduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Certificate of Rural Office Practice. Caroline grew up, lived and worked on Eyre Peninsula in marginal wheat farming country, until 1998, when she and her husband Roy shifted to a property at Clare where they planted Shiraz grapes. Her primary schooling was by distance education, so she has a real affinity with and understanding of remote areas. She has a particular interest in agri-politics Caroline entered State Parliament in August 1993, and has been actively involved on a great number of committees and councils. She was the first (and to date, only) woman in Australia to be appointed Primary Industries Minister. Caroline has been responsible for a number of initiatives promoting agricultural women in SA, including the delegation to Washington and the rural woman's award. She instigated the SA Rural Network and helped acquire funding for the 'Paperbark' magazine.
Travis Morgan - Vice PresidentBachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide 2000. Born and raised on a mixed farm near Yongala, in South Australia’s Upper Mid north and involved with a family seed grading business, Travis has been working directly in the agribusiness sector for over 11 years. This involvement began as an agronomist within IAMA Agribusiness, then later with National Australia Bank in a number of finance, product and marketing management roles based in SA, NSW and VIC. In 2006, Travis joined Landmark in Melbourne, as a Financial Services Product & Marketing Manager and continuing with ANZ when they acquired the Landmark Financial Services business in March 2010. Member AAA and Director since 2007.
Tim Burrow - Treasurer
Inducted at Annual General Meeting held 28th July 2011 in Sydney
Associate Diploma in Farm Management – University of Adelaide - Roseworthy, Graduate Diploma in Agriculture – University of Western Sydney – Hawkesbury
Tim’s skills and experience include some 30 years of experience across the Agribusiness sector of Australia & NZ including a number of senior management positions within The Emerald Group of Companies, Chemtura & Monsanto. His career is notable for his significant involvement in the establishment of a number of now every day cultural practises including returnable Ag Chemical containers, minimum tillage practise and on farm seed processing. Tim is passionate about Agriculture and Australian Agriculture in particular and the need to feed the world by being involved with farmers to facilitate growing more food and fibre more effectively, with integrity.
Brian Healey - Director
Brian Healey is a partner in the Holding Redlich Agribusiness & Rural Industries Group. Specialising in rural and commercial property and realestate transactions, he has acted for some of Australia's largest corporate agribusinesses and family based primary producers in the beef, grain, cotton, forestry and other agricultural industries. Brian is a frequent speaker at industry and legal conferences on legal issues affecting the agribusiness sector.
Russell Caird - Director
Russell has in excess of 20 years of working within agribusiness in Australia and New Zealand. Having established the boutique business consulting practice of Commercial & Strategic Solutions in 1997 continues to provide a wide range of advisory services predominantly to the agribusiness and energy sectors. Russell holds an Master of Business Administration (MBA) and is a Nationally Accredited Mediator holding a Practitioners Certificate in Mediation and is a member the Australian Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators (IAMA). He has advised and held various positions on Agribusiness related Company, Advisory Committees and Industry Boards providing him with relevant skills and experience to contribute positively to the Australian Agribusiness Association. He has served as a National Council member since 2004.
Geoff Lucas - Director
Diploma Farm Management Marcus Oldham College. Member since 2000 part of the initial team to re establish the Australian Agribusiness Association. Part of the committee for the review of the Managment of Executive Officer services for the company. Outside interests: Managing Director of The Lucas Group Pty Ltd, Member of the Industry Standing Committee for the Primary Industry Skills Council of SA, Member of the Agriculture Programme Advisory Group for Adelaide University, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Australian Human Resources Institute and Director of the Primary Industries Skills Council SA.
Lucy Purcell - Director
Bachelor of Business Agricultural Commerce, University of Sydney, Orange 2003 University of Sydney, Orange, Campus. University of Sydney Student Association President 2002-03. Since 2005 Lucy has worked for the specialist agribusiness recruiting company Agricultural Appointments. Her background is in agribusiness, horticulture, animal production, viticulture, wine marketing, food industry and rural advertising. In 2002 she was granted a university scholarship to visit China on an agricultural and agribusiness exchange and has been a Director of the Agribusiness Association of Australia since 2007. Lucy has many connections in rural Australia as well as being successful at fostering professional relationships with national and international agribusiness companies.. She has served as an AAA board member since 2006 based in NSW.
Simon Venus – Director
Simon Venus is a corporate and commercial lawyer and partner at national law firm Piper Alderman. He is head of the firm’s Agribusiness Practice Group. Having spent many years as a jackeroo and overseer on large pastoral station properties, he has developed a keen interest in agriculture. He utilises his drafting skills on a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions for major Australian corporations, Australian and international private clients, family enterprises and SMEs. He has been involved in many legal projects in the agribusiness sector, including agricultural asset acquisitions and divestments across Australia, business and share sales and acquisitions as well as equity capital raisings and due diligence investigations, soft commodity and horticultural supply contracts. Simon has completed a program on Agribusiness Cooperative Leadership and Governance with Monash University, and has chaired sessions on “Innovation in Agribusiness” at the annual Agri-food Forums held in Melbourne.
Charlie Blomfield – Director
Charlie Blomfield is the Managing Director of Agricultural Management Company (AMC). Charlie has grass-roots operational experience with large scale beef operations, sheep enterprises and broadacre farming. He has held numerous station level positions throughout the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. After working on various properties throughout NT, QLD and NSW, Charlie moved to Brisbane and began working with RMP in the Operations Team in 2004, at the time managing a portfolio of properties running up to 150,000 cattle. Charlie is active with clients throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East frequently visiting these locations for Business Development and Client Relations. Charlie has extensive on-ground experience across a number of production areas and commodities and maintains a strong network of industry professionals.
Michael Blake - Director
Inducted Annual General Meeting held 28th July 2011 in Sydney
Michael has worked in the wool industry for over 30 years and has lived and worked in Australia, New Zealand, the Americas and Europe. Michael is currently a consultant for the Wool Industry based in Adelaide. Previous roles include Marketing Manager Michell Wool in AdelaideSenior Manager Agribusiness unit at Elders; Marketing Manager - Wool at Elders and BWKElders; Commercial Manager Australasia with Chargeurs. He is a Director and Vice Chairman Australia Latin American Business Council; has been a Director of Elders Primary Wool (N.Z.), on the South Australian Sheep Industry Development Board, on MLA/AWI Product Advisory Board and has participated in numerous Agribusiness events in Australia and other agricultural production countries. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wyoming, USA.
Rob Salmon - Director
Inducted at Annual General Meeting held 23rd Aug 2012 in Melbourne
Rob is the Product Development Manager at PGG Wrightson Seeds (Australia) and current Chairman Australian Grasslands Association. Rob has a Masters of Agribusiness Degree from the Univeristy of Melbourne and Bachelor of Applied Science for Agriculture from Univesity of Tasmania