Red Meat 2017

Presenters and panelists

A range of speakers from across the red meat and livestock industry will offer expert insights on the opportunities and challenges ahead. Presenters and panelists include:

Michele Allan

Dr Michele Allan, Chair, MLA

Dr Michele Allan is a food industry and agribusiness specialist who has held senior executive and director positions in the food and education sectors, and has an academic background in biomedical science, management and law.

Chair of Meat & Livestock Australia since November 2011, Dr Allan is Chancellor of Charles Sturt University and Chair of the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council. Dr Allan is also Chair of the MLA Donor Company Ltd, a director of NLIS Limited and a member of the MLA Remuneration Committee. Read more

Don Mackay

Don Mackay, Independent Chair, Red Meat Advisory Council

Don Mackay joined the Board of RMAC in October 2016, bringing with him over 40 years’ experience in major corporate agriculture in Australia.

Don has been actively involved in industry not-for-profit associations in key leadership roles, and is the immediate past president of the Australian Lot Feeders Association and past president of the Australian Council of Livestock Agents (ACLA). Read more

Richard Norton

Richard Norton, Managing Director, MLA

Richard Norton is the fifth generation of a beef and sheep farming family from Monaro NSW and began his working life as a rouseabout and jackaroo, then spent more than 20 years serving livestock producers as a stock agent and auctioneer across NSW.

His drive to see Australian agribusiness thrive led him to hold various executive positions, including Head of Live Export and International Trade and then Managing Director of Landmark Operations Australia. Read more

Sean Starling

Sean Starling, General Manager, Research, Development & Innovation, MLA

Sean Starling is responsible for managing MLA’s $170 million annual R&D investment across the Australian red meat industry value chain. Innovation areas cover: global innovation insights; value chain innovation; food safety and industry traceability and integrity systems; product development and value-adding; automation technology; and building industry innovation capability.

Sean has been engaged in food value chains for most of his career, with experience across a range of organisations and positions from factory engineer to general manager in manufacturing, R&D and engineering organisations, underpinning his ability to work with business and scientific thinkers to turn concepts into commercial reality. Read more.

Lisa Sharp

Lisa Sharp, General Manager, Communication, Marketing & Industry Insights, MLA

Lisa Sharp joined MLA in April 2015 and leads the Communications, Marketing and Industry Insights (CMII) team. Lisa has an extensive background in consumer goods marketing, product innovation, global strategy development and general management.

The CMII team delivers world-class data and insights, marketing strategy and communications for the Australian red meat industry, both domestically and around the globe. Read more.

Jane Weatherley

Dr Jane Weatherley, CEO, Integrity Systems Company

Dr Jane Weatherley has worked for Meat and Livestock Australia for almost 10 years. Most recently Jane was General Manager, Livestock Productivity managing Meat Standards Australia, livestock genetics and sheep productivity RD&E. Since then, she has moved to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Integrity Systems Company (ISC), a subsidiary company of MLA. In her role as CEO, she is responsible for managing Australia’s red meat industry integrity systems including the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and National Vendor Declarations (NVD).

Other roles Jane has held include working for Rabobank in far north west Tasmania, conducting extension research and evaluation projects at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and worked as red meat extension officer for the (then) Department of Primary Industries in Tasmania. Jane maintains an active role in her family beef breeding operation on Bruny Island, Tasmania and has a PhD from the University of Tasmania in farming systems RD&E. Read more.

Michael Crowley

Michael Crowley, General Manager, Producer Consultation and Adoption, MLA

Michael Crowley leads MLA's Producer Consultation and Adoption (PCA) team. Michael has extensive experience right across the red meat supply chain, including on-farm, livestock marketing and trade access, processing and quality assurance.

Michael's PCA team are focussed on the commercial drivers that improve on farm profitability. The PCA team manages MLA’s investment in Meat Standards Australia, beef and sheep genetics and genomics and industry consultation through regional research committees. Read more.

Christine Pitt

Dr Christine Pitt, Chief Executive Officer, MLA Donor Company

Christine Pitt is the inaugural CEO of MLA Donor Company, a fully-owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia. MDC accelerates innovation across the value chain so the Australian red meat and livestock industry can remain competitive on the world stage. It does this by attracting commercial investment from individual enterprises and others that share a mutual interest to co-invest in innovation that will benefit the industry.

Prior to joining MLA, Christine’s career included extensive commercial experience at CEO and director level across a range of industries spanning health, finance, retail, manufacturing and food. Read more

Michael Finucan

Michael Finucan, General Manager, International Markets, MLA

Michael Finucan was appointed to oversee MLA’s international markets programs in 2015. Michael's International Markets team is responsible for favourably positioning Australian red meat through promoting its superior product integrity and positive brand image through the True Aussie positioning.

MLA's international programs include delivering improvements in market access conditions, growing demand for red meat and improving the welfare and performance of animals through the livestock export supply chain.

Michael oversees seven international offices in key export markets around the world. Read more.

Howard Smith

Howard Smith, President, Cattle Council of Australia

Howard Smith is the President of the Cattle Council of Australia, bringing over 30 years’ experience in beef production and marketing in a family business.

He is an owner and partner SA&B Smith & Sons Land & Cattle Co which runs up to 7000 head of breeding and fattening beef cattle for premium grass fed brands, feedlots and live export as well as 7000 acres of grain throughout Central Queensland. Read more

Jeff Murray

Jeff Murray, President, Sheepmeat Council of Australia

Jeff Murray is the President of the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and an Owner/Partner of Hillside Farms in Western Australia. Jeff runs his family farming enterprise with a focus on high quality production of prime lambs and cereal crops in the 14 inch winter rainfall zone of south Western Australia.

He brings a wealth of industry experience as Vice President of Sheepmeat Council of Australia and Chair of the Western Australian Farmers Livestock Committee. He has also held a range of advisory roles in relation to live export, market access, marketing, NLIS and R&D. Read more.

Tess Herbert

Tess Herbert, President, Australian Lot Feeders' Association

Tess Herbert was elected as President of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association in September 2015, bringing with her a lifetime experience in high end feedlot business management.

Tess is an owner and Director of Gundamain and Ladysmith Feedlots, an Australian leading lot feeding business winning the 2015 Feedlot of the Year award in the 3000 to 10,000-head category and recognized as a “Top 25” Australian feedlot operation. Read more

Rick Gates

Rick Gates, President, Goat Industry Council of Australia

Rick Gates is President of the Goat Industry Council of Australia, the peak national body representing the interests of goat producers. Read more


Simon Crean

Hon. Simon Crean, Chair, Live Exporters Council

Simon Crean joined the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council as Chair in 2014. Simon served in the Australian Parliament from 1990 to 2013. During this time, Simon was leader of the Australian Labor Party and Federal Leader of the Opposition and held various Cabinet positions.

Prior to politics, Simon worked in a number of trade unions including as General Secretary – Federated Storemen and Packers Union and was President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Read more.

Lachie Hart

Lachie Hart, Chair, Australian Meat Industry Council

Lachie Hart is Chair of the Australian Meat Industry Council and brings in excess of 30 years’ experience in all facets of the beef supply chain from breeding and backgrounding; lot feeding; processing and international marketing.

He has played a key part in diversifying trade and market access for the Australian beef industry through key roles such as Chair of Industry’s Market Access Advisory Committee, Chair of the National Export Beef Council, Committee Member of Australian Meat Industry’s Language and Standards Committee and Chair of the crucial Australia/Japan Free Trade Agreement Taskforce. Read more.

Lachie Hart

James Campbell, Chair, Australian Processor Council

In August 2015, James was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sanger, a Senior Executive role within the Bindaree Beef Group. This followed a 15-year professional career spanning Chartered Accounting at KPMG and Institutional Banking at ANZ with a consistent specialist focus on agricultural business.

James was elected to the Australian Meat Processor Council (AMPC) Board as a Processor Director in November 2015. In July 2016 he was elected Chairman of the Australian Processor Corporation (APC) within the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), and Director of the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC). Read more.