Our board

The GRDC Board is established under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act) and operates in accordance with the requirements set out in the PIRD Act and the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The GRDC Board is accountable to the Australian Parliament, through the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and to Australia’s grain growers through the organisations appointed under the PIRD Act as the grains industry’s representative organisations. The GRDC Board has between seven and nine directors.

The Chairman is selected and appointed by the Minister.

The Managing Director is appointed by the GRDC Board.

The Board Charter sets out the responsibilities and processes of the GRDC Board, including the code of conduct for directors.

The GRDC Board periodically commissions an external review of its performance. A review was completed in March 2017.

Directors

 

Image of Mr John Woods

Mr John Woods, BAppSc, MAICD

Chair (Non-executive)

New South Wales/Queensland

Appointed: 8 March 2012 to 30 September 2017

Appointed as Chair:
First term - 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2019
Second term - 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2022

John is partner and manager of a broadacre agribusiness based in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. He has responsibility for all business aspects, including financial management, production and crop husbandry, marketing and logistics, resource management and work health and safety. He is also Chair of R&R Hire Services in Queensland.

John has a history of working collaboratively with a range of public and private organisations in the development, extension and adoption of new technology.

He was Chairman of the Science Advisory Group of the National Agricultural Monitoring System (NAMS) between 2005 and 2009, and a member of the NAMS Advisory Reference Group and Steering Committee. He also spent six years, to 2005, on the National Rural Advisory Council.

John was Chairman of ChemCert Training Queensland from 2002 to 2004 and has held positions with Cotton Australia and Farmsafe Queensland.

 

Mr Anthony Williams, Managing Director, GRDC

Mr Anthony Williams

Managing Director

Australian Capital Territory

Appointed: 3 August 2020

Mr Anthony Williams has over 25 years of commercial leadership in senior executive roles, spanning across grains and oilseed value chains worldwide.

Anthony returned to Australia from the Netherlands where he held a global executive position with Bunge Loders Croklaan, a global fats and oils food ingredients business.  His experience in the global grains trade will assist in driving Australian agriculture to its goal of being a $100 billion sector by 2030.

Prior to that, Anthony led the $2.6B Bunge North American Food Oils business, after spending two years overseeing Bunge’s Global Grain Milling business.

Anthony began his career as a teacher before shifting gears and entering the business world with Kraft Foods and Goodman Fielder (Australia) in 2001. His role at Goodman Fielder was expanded to include General Management responsibilities before joining Bunge’s Food and Ingredient business in 2012.

Anthony brings his successful global commercial and business processes to GRDC to help strengthen Australian grain production in the future and increase enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.

 

Richard Dickmann

Mr Richard Dickmann, BForSci (Hons), MAgrSc, GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

Victoria

Appointed: 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Growing up on a southern Victorian farm, Richard obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Forest Science at the University of Melbourne and a Master of Science in Agriculture degree at the University of Sydney.  Richard has worked in state government agricultural extension in New South Wales and Victoria and the crop insurance industry. Richard undertook a 20-year international career in agribusiness, which involved postings to France, Singapore, Japan, China and Germany. Richard grained broad experience in research prioritization, marketing, global product management, product development and commercial operations.

Since returning to Australia in 2009, Richard has worked in New Business Development and Public and Government Affairs. Richard worked to identify new business opportunities combining the innovation power of Australian and international organizations. Richard also developed sustainability programs seeking to better demonstrate the critical need for modern technology to address the twin challenges of food security and environmental responsibility.

Richard is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently sits on the advisory board of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility. Richard was formerly a Director of Cotton Grower Services Pty Ltd and a member of the Bayer Australia Ltd Board.

 

Image of Ms Roseanne Healy

Ms Roseanne Healy, BA(Econ), MBA, MBR(Com), GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

South Australia

Appointed: 4 November 2014, reappointed to 30 September 2023

Roseanne has over 20 years of corporate advisory experience and expertise in strategy, investment analysis, due diligence and corporate governance; starting her career as an economics and market research analyst with a number of Australia’s ASX 200.  Later; a tribunal member for the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (South Australia) and CEO of SA Great, she influenced South Australia’s economic credentials for investment attraction, spanning agriculture, aquaculture, food and wine, technology and infrastructure.

Roseanne is Chair of Vinehealth Australia, Dairysafe and Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd and a non-executive director of Airborne Research Australia Ltd, Enterprise Corporation Pty Ltd, GP Partners Australia and Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd.

Previously a director of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Great Artesian Oil & Gas Ltd, Maximus Resources, Marmota Energy Ltd, Tidewater Funds Management Ltd and HomeStart Finance.

 

Image of Mr Richard Heath

Mr Richard Heath, BSc (Hons), GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

New South Wales

Appointed: 1 October 2017, reappointed to 30 September 2023

Richard grew up on a family farm on the Liverpool Plains in North West NSW. He managed the cropping operations of the farm for nearly two decades. Crops grown included wheat, barley, chickpeas, faba beans, canola, sorghum, sunflowers, mung beans and cotton. Richard has been an early adopter of new farming technologies and travelled on a Nuffield Scholarship in 2003 researching precision applications of fertiliser.

Richard was appointed the Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute in May 2018. Prior to this, he was General Manager of Research for the AFI, responsible for carrying out research projects and compiling reports on a broad range of farm and agriculture related issues. Before joining AFI in 2016 Richard was Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management at the University of Sydney responsible for management of the Universities North West farms group including the Plant Breeding Institute at Narrabri. Richard was a member of the Northern Panel of the GRDC from 2005 – 2011 and was a director of Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars from 2011 – 2017.

 

Mr Bob Nixon

Mr Bob Nixon

Director (Non-executive)

Western Australia

Appointed: 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Bob manages a family farming business in the 300mm annual rainfall North Eastern Wheatbelt of WA. The family grow wheat, barley, canola, lupins, field peas and serradella cover crop. He has a strong interest in crop agronomy, soil health and resilient farming systems and communities.

Bob is past Chair of the Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) from 2017 to 2020.  He currently sits on the WA Soil and Land Conservation Council, GRDC Soils Constraints West steering committee and is an active member of his local Liebe Grower Group. He completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2014 looking into ‘Mitigating Risk in a Dry and Variable Climate’ in response to the drying out and increase in seasonal variability of the WA cropping belt. Bob was awarded the GRDC Seed of Light in 2019 for his work in managing soil constraints.

 

Adam Spencer

Mr Andrew Spencer, BAgSc, GAICD

Director (Non-executive)

New South Wales

Appointed: 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Andrew is the manager of his own consulting business in the Monaro Region of NSW, typically carrying out contractual work for some of Australia’s rural research and development corporations. He has previously been a senior executive of diverse agriculture and agribusiness organisations, spanning more than 30 years in four countries.

From 2005 to 2019, Andrew was the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Pork Limited, the industry services and representative body for Australia’s pork producers.

Prior to this time, he worked in the agricultural biotechnology, chemical and seed business in Australia, Europe and Africa particularly working in crops such as cereals, cotton, canola and rice. Roles included country management, global product management, crop business management and business development.

Andrew is Chair of the Australian Farm Institute and PorkScan Pty. Ltd., a small technology company in the pork industry.

Andrew studied agricultural science at the University of Melbourne.

 

Image of Sharon Starick

Mrs Sharon Starick

Director (Non-executive)

South Australia

Appointed: 30 November 2018, reappointed to 30 September 2023

A grain and pork producer from South Australia, Sharon Starick has combined primary production interests with conservation and natural resource management. Sharon is highly active on and off the farm in a range of areas including senior roles in natural resource management and has worked as a Landcare officer with PIRSA, executive officer to three Soil Conservation Boards and the Soil Boards CARE Committee. Sharon has served on the Mallee Sustainable Farming Board, Pork Industry Development Board, Natural Resource Management Council and Community Advisory Committee for the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council. She is a graduate of the Murray-Darling Basin Leadership Program and the AICD CDC.

 

Image of Gemma Walker

Ms Gemma Walker

Director (Non-executive)

Western Australia

Appointed: 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Committees

The Board has three committees:

Audit and Risk 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, People and Performance Committee – reviews and makes recommendations to the Board on matters relating to:

  • the recruitment, remuneration, development, performance and retention policies of GRDC including strategic workforce planning and organisational development
  • a performance culture
  • the selection, remuneration and performance of the Managing Director
  • the development and performance of the Board.

Commercial 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.