Grains Research and Development

Date: 30.05.2014

GRDC Board Selection Process 2014

Non-Executive Directors

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is an Australian Government statutory corporation that coordinates and invests in research and development for the benefit of all stakeholders in the grains industry and the community at large. 

Applications are sought for non-executive directors for a three year term, commencing in October 2014. Candidates must be able to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following fields: 

  • grains production, processing or marketing 
  • conservation and management of natural resources
  • good communication skills
  • capacity to represent GRDC to all stakeholders
  • environmental and ecological matters
  • science 
  • technology and technology transfer 
  • economics
  • finance and business management 
  • administration of research and development 
  • an understanding of corporate governance and responsibilities
  • public administration 

Applicants are requested to provide a brief CV and description of relevant listed capabilities and expertise (not more than 3 pages), by email to the selection committee presiding member, Ms Joanne Grainger by email to

Closing date for applications is Friday 13 June 2014. Further information about GRDC can be found at and by email.

General Information

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a statutory corporation, founded in 1990, under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act), it is subject to accountability and reporting obligations set out in the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) and, from 1 July 2014, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The GRDC’s portfolio department is the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

The functions of the GRDC under the PIRD Act include coordinating or funding R&D activities; monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the impact of R&D activities on the grains industry and the wider community; and facilitating the dissemination, adoption and commercialisation of the results of R&D.

Information about GRDC is at  Copies of relevant legislation, including the PIRD Act, the CAC Act and the PGPA Act, are available at

Selection and Appointment as a GRDC Board Member

The Federal Minister for Agriculture appoints a dedicated selection committee that has advertised for between 5 and 7 non-executive directors for the GRDC.  The appointments, made by the Minister under the PIRD Act, are for a 3 year term.  The current term of appointment of GRDC’s non-executive directors – other than the GRDC Chairperson - finishes on 30 September 2014.

1.        What is the closing date for applications? How do I apply?

Applications close on Friday 13 June 2014.

Applicants are requested to provide a brief CV and description of relevant skills and experience against the above competencies, of no more than 3 pages, by email directly to the selection committee via email at:

All enquiries should be directed to the selection committee via the above email address, and not to GRDC.

Note: The Board appointment process is undertaken by an independent selection committee appointed by the Minister for Agriculture. 

GRDC will not receive applications for Board appointments.

2.        When are interviews?

It is intended that the Selection Committee will conduct interviews with shortlisted candidates in the first 2 weeks of July 2014.  

3.        What skills is GRDC looking for?

The Board selection process is undertaken by the selection committee in accordance with the requirements of the PIRD Act (See Part 4 of Division 2).

Under section 131 of the PIRD Act, directors must have expertise in one of more of the following fields:

(a)           commodity production;

(b)           commodity processing;

(c)           commodity marketing;

(d)           conservation of natural resources;

(e)           management of natural resources;

(f)            science;

(g)           technology and technology transfer;

(h)           environmental and ecological matters;

(i)            economics;

(j)            administration of research and development;

(k)           finance;

(l)            business management;

(m)          communication;

(n)           public administration.

The selection committee must ensure that the directors collectively possess:

(a)      an appropriate balance of expertise in as many as possible of the fields above, having regard to the grains industry; and

(b)      experience in board affairs.

4.        What is the Board’s role?

The Board Roles and Responsibilities [hyperlink – PDF ATTACHED] sets out what the Board and its committees do. This will be discussed in detail with new directors at the Board induction (see below).

5.        How are conflicts of interest managed?

The GRDC recognises that conflicts of interest must be carefully managed.  GRDC directors are under specific legal duties to disclose certain interests they may have that relate to the affairs of GRDC.  Each director will need to be alert to, and disclose, conflicts of interest including any material personal interest relating to the affairs of GRDC.  The GRDC Corporate Secretary maintains a register of declared interests, which is updated at the start of each Board meeting. The detailed processes for managing conflict of interest are at Part 6 of the Board Roles and Responsibilities (see link above).

Note: Members of the executive of the GRDC’s representative organisation (Grain Producers Australia Ltd) are not allowed to be appointed as a director of GRDC, under section 18 of the PIRD Act.

6.    How much are directors paid?

GRDC directors are paid an annual fee based on remuneration rates set by the Remuneration Tribunal under its determination relating to Remuneration and Allowances for holders of Part-time Public Office.  Daily travel allowances are also payable to directors at the Tier 1 rate under the Remuneration Tribunal’s determination relating to Official Travel by Office Holders. 

Remuneration Tribunal Determinations (as updated from time to time) are available via The annual fee and travel allowance rates is subject to change according to rates set by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Annual Fees - For example, under Determination 2014/08: Remuneration and Allowances for holders of Part-time Public Office, from 1 July 2014:

  • GRDC Directors are, entitled to an annual fee of $35,840; and
  • The chair of the GRDC Finance, Risk and Audit Committee receives an extra $15,060 per year, whereas members of that Committee receive an extra $7,527 per year. 

Note: Members of other GRDC committees do not receive additional remuneration above the annual fee for all directors described above.


7.        How many days will I need to spend on GRDC business each year?

The Board meets six or seven times each year. An annual calendar of Board meetings is maintained by GRDC.  From 1 October 2014, the following is scheduled:

Board Meeting

October [date TBC] – initial meeting of new Board to take place in conjunction with induction for new Board members

F, R&A Committee

6 November 2014

Remuneration Committee

December [date TBC]- likely to align with Dec Board meeting

Board Meeting

Thur 4 & Fri 5 December 2014

Meetings are usually one and a half or two days in duration. Most meetings are at GRDC head office in Canberra although there is generally one Board meeting a year held in Melbourne to align with the Australian Grains Industry Conference. 

There may also be teleconferences from time to time throughout the year to deal with inter-sessional decisions of the Board.  There is also a regional Board tour each year, of approximately three to five days.

The Board is supported by a Corporate Secretary.  Board papers are generally issued to the Board two weeks before each Board meeting.  Directors will need to allow 1 to 2 days to review and consider the papers before each Board meeting.

GRDC also has the following committees, on which directors are also members:

  • The Finance, Risk and Audit Committee, at least three (3) and not more than five (5) members all of whom are GRDC non-executive directors. There are normally four half-day meetings or teleconferences each year. F,R&A Committee members are paid extra fees, as discussed above.
  • The Remuneration Committee currently has four members – the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and two other directors. It normally meets twice a year.
  • The Commercialisation Committee currently has four members – the Deputy Chairperson and three other directors. It normally meets three or four times a year.

The timing and number of meetings may change into the future depending on overall requirements.

8.        What other involvement do directors have?

Directors can regularly attend significant events such as:

  • one or two days of Investment Planning Week in July or August (Canberra)
  • Australian Grains Industry conference in late July (Melbourne)
  • Regional Panel spring tours in September (regions)
  • conferences, grower updates and regional updates (everywhere)

GRDC pays directors’ travel costs and allowance at the Remuneration Tribunal rates. Because directors are entitled to be paid a flat annual fee, GRDC does not pay any extra fees for directors’ time in such other events or activities.

9.        Where are the GRDC’s key corporate publications?

See for corporate information about GRDC, including:

  • GRDC stakeholder reports
  • GRDC’s Strategic R&D Plan
  • GRDC Annual Operational Plan
  • GRDC annual reports
  • GRDC growers’ reports

10.     What induction / briefing will I receive?

GRDC Management will provide all new directors with a comprehensive briefing on the GRDC’s strategy, and the administration and governance issues you need to know as a director of GRDC. This briefing will be arranged as soon as possible after the appointment of the new directors by the Minister. 

At this stage it is intended that an induction for new directors will take place in early October 2014, together with an initial Board meeting to deal with essential business of the new board (eg constitution of relevant sub-committees etc).

11.     Will the GRDC fund training?

The GRDC recognises the importance of directors and staff having up-to-date and relevant skills. The GRDC will fund appropriate training for GRDC directors.  In the past, training offered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors has been particularly encouraged.

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