Our board

The GRDC Board is accountable to Australia's grain growers, through the industry peak organisation and to the Commonwealth Parliament, through the Minister for Agriculture. The GRDC Board normally has between seven and nine directors.

The Chairman is selected and appointed by the Minister.

The Managing Director is appointed by the Board of the Corporation.

Five to seven Directors are appointed by the Minister, on advice from a selection committee selected by the Minister.


Andrew Barr BAgSc, PhD, GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

Term: 4 November 2014 to 30 September 2017

Member: Finance, Risk and Audit Committee

As a plant breeder at the South Australian Research and Development Institute and the University of Adelaide, Andrew took part in releasing 25 varieties of oats and barley. He also taught plant breeding and genetics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Andrew has worked in international agriculture and food security, including with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

Andrew is an adjunct professor in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide and a director of the Australian Grain Growers Co-operative. He manages a broadacre cropping enterprise in the lower north of South Australia.

Jeremy Burdon BSc (Hons), PhD, Hon DSc, FAA, FTSE, MAICD

Director (Non-executive)

Term: 4 November 2011 to 30 September 2017

Member: Commercial Committee; Remuneration Committee (Chair)

Jeremy has an international reputation in evolutionary biology, with particular expertise in epidemiology and genetics. He has contributed to research in areas such as cereal rust control, pre-breeding and the biological control of weeds.

From late 2003 to 2012, Jeremy led CSIRO Plant Industry, taking responsibility for the development of its scientific capability; the strategic direction of its work; and its financial health and staff training.

Since then he has continued his research interest in the application of evolutionary principles to farming systems through an appointment as an Honorary Fellow in CSIRO.

He served for six years on the Board of Trustees of Bioversity International and currently serves as the Chair of the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In that role he is leading the production of a decadal plan for agricultural science.

Helen Garnett PSM, BSc (Hons), PhD, FTSE, FAICD

Director (Non-executive)

Term: 4 November 2014 to 30 September 2017

Member: Remuneration Committee

Helen is an accomplished director and leader, building on an earlier research career, including with industry, in pathogenesis and the development of diagnostics. She was awarded the Public Service Medal (2004) and the Centenary Medal (2000) for scientific and institutional leadership.

Helen is Chair of Delta Electricity and Chair of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. She is a non-executive director of Carbon Energy Limited, ABM Resources NL, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, the Crawford Fund and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

Helen was previously Chair of the Australian Biosecurity Intelligence Network, a non‑executive director of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, a director of Energy Resources of Australia Ltd, Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University, and Chief Executive of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Kim Halbert BComm, GAICD

Deputy Chair (Non-executive)

Term: 4 November 2011 to 30 September 2017

Term as Deputy Chair: 10 April 2012 to 3 November 2014; 27 January 2015 to 30 September 2017

Member: Finance, Risk and Audit Committee (Chair); Remuneration Committee

Kim is a grain producer in the mid-west region of Western Australia, where he undertakes numerous production trials and engages in innovative farming practices.

He has experience in the management and conservation of natural resources, which he demonstrated in his role as a member of the management committee overseeing Natural Heritage Trust project funding for the Arrowsmith Catchment Group.

Kim has a strong interest in the marketing of grain, which is reflected in his participation on a number of boards, including the board of Wheat Exports Australia. As a director of the Geraldton Port Authority, the second largest grain-exporting port in Australia, he consulted with grain marketers, bulk handlers and grower organisations.

Roseanne Healy BA(Ec), MBA, MBR(Com), GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

Term: 4 November 2014 to 30 September 2017

Member: Finance, Risk and Audit Committee

Formerly an economist and business analyst, Roseanne is a corporate adviser specialising in strategy, enterprise risk management and corporate governance.

Roseanne was previously a director of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

She is Chair of the Dairy Authority of South Australia, Chair of Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd, and a non-executive director of HomeStart Finance, CUFA Ltd, GP partners Australia, and Vinehealth Australia.

Roseanne is Independent Director of Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd, one of Australia’s largest native title holder corporate groups, and Board Advisor to the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation.

David Shannon B.Arch(Hons), NCFM (Durham), GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

Term: 4 November 2014 to 30 September 2017

Member: Commercial Committee

David is a grain and livestock producer with more than 30 years experience of farming in South Australia and Tasmania. In 1987, David was awarded an Australian Nuffield Scholarship to study grain legume production in Europe.

David has held many chair and director positions in the agricultural industry. He spent 15 years on the GRDC’s Southern Regional Panel, including eight years as Chair.

David is the Independent Chairman of Mutooroo Pastoral Company.


The Board has three committees:

Finance, Risk and Audit Committee — assists the Board in fulfilling its corporate governance responsibilities and reviews the GRDC's:

  • financial reporting process
  • internal control system
  • risk management strategy and processes
  • internal and external audits
  • process for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations and the Board’s code of conduct
  • financial statements.

Remuneration Committee — reviews and makes recommendations to the Board on matters relating to the remuneration and performance policy of the GRDC and the remuneration and performance of the Managing Director.

Commercialisation Committee — reviews, evaluates and makes recommendations to the Board and management on matters relating to:

  • the strategic oversight of the GRDC in regard to its planning processes related to the integration of research, development, commercialisation and adoption processes
  • the commercial and R&D interaction between the GRDC and the private sector, including R&D partnerships, commercial structures and other joint ventures
  • the development of draft policies regarding ownership of project intellectual property, risk-sharing and licensing conditions with research and commercialisation partners to assist with the adoption of the results of R&D
  • corporate governance and risk management in the area of commercialisation and adoption of the results of R&D, including oversight of the GRDC’s role and investments in companies that undertake such commercialisation and adoption
  • intellectual property management, protection and enforcement as necessary for the commercialisation of the results of R&D.

All Board members except the Managing Director are paid at the rates set by the Remuneration Tribunal, in accordance with Schedule C of Determination: Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Part-Time Public Office.

Governance review

The Board periodically commissions an external review of its performance. In late 2013 the board engaged Ashurst Australia (formerly Blake Dawson) to conduct a detailed review of the Board’s performance, including by testing the Board’s performance against the findings and recommendations of the reviews that were conducted by Blake Dawson in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2010 (the earlier reviews are described in annual reports for those years).

In May 2013, Ashurst Australia provided its latest report which included a number of recommendations for ongoing improvement. The report concluded that:

It is evident from the 2013 Review that the GRDC places value on good governance, and implements a range of measures to achieve this. Similarly to previous reviews, the GRDC has strengthened its approach to and implementation of governance requirements since the 2010 Review.

The Board and GRDC management are implementing the recommendations of the review. The next review is scheduled for 2016.