Our board

The Board sets our strategic direction and monitors our ongoing performance. The Board consists of nine non-executive directors, including the Chair and Managing Director.

The GRDC Board is governed by a Charter. This document consolidates the policies and procedures for the Board and Board Committees which include the Audit and Risk Committee and the Remuneration, People and Performance Committee.

View our Board members and committees.


Image of Mr John Woods

Mr John Woods, BAppSc, MAICD

New South Wales/Queensland


Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 8 March 2012 to 4 November 2014; reappointed 4 November 2014 to 30 September 2017
Appointed as Chair (Non-Executive): 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2019; reappointed 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2022
Member: Remuneration, People and Performance Committee

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 long 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.


Image of Mr Nigel Hart

Mr Nigel Hart

Managing Director

Nigel grew up in southern New South Wales and has spent more than 25 years working in executive and leadership positions in large scale infrastructure, port, warehousing and supply chains operations for the grains sector, both within Australian and internationally.

Nigel has worked as an expert consultant on a range of projects in the grain supply chain from international bench marking of bulk and container supply chains, plant protein manufacturing, hybrid wheat commercialisation, digital strategies for supply chain optimisation and the design and development of a 1.3mmt grain export terminal.

He was previously Global Director (Ports) at Archer Daniels Midland where he led the development of a global port’s growth and productivity strategy across Asia, Europe, South America and the USA.

Prior to this he spent 15 years at GrainCorp culminating in his position as Group General Manager – Storage and Logistics where he led the storage and logistics operations, grain accumulation and domestic customer management teams across the east coast of Australia.

Nigel has a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Western Sydney University, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and successfully completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013.


Richard Dickmann

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


Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 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 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 gained broad experience in research prioritisation, 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. He has focussed on the identification of new business opportunities combining the innovation power of Australian and international organisations.

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 currently the Principal Consultant of his consultancy Apical Advisory. 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

South Australia

Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 4 November 2014 to 30 September 2017; reappointed to 30 September 2020
Appointed as Deputy Chair: from 6 December 2017.
Member: Audit and Risk Committee
Member: Remuneration, People and Performance Committee

Roseanne has over 20 years corporate experience on mergers, acquisitions, capital raising, and turnarounds informed by investment banking, venture capital and start up roles over the course of her career.

Roseanne started in corporate advisory and investment banking as an economics and market analyst for ASX 100 and 200 companies in the resources, retail and automotive sectors.

As a tribunal member for the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs and Chief Executive Officer of SA Great, she influenced South Australia’s economic credentials for investment attraction, spanning agriculture, aquaculture, food and wine, technology and infrastructure.

Roseanne is currently Managing Director of Corporate Advisory, Enterprise Corporation; Chair of Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd and Dairysafe and non-executive director of Dairy Australia Ltd, Airborne Research Australia Ltd, Cash Flow Manager Pty Ltd, GP Partners Ltd and Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd.

Roseanne was previously a non-executive director of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (now AgriFutures Australia).


Image of Mr Richard Heath

Mr Richard Heath, BSc (Hons), GAICD

New South Wales

Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2020
Member: Remuneration, People and Performance Committee

Richard grew up on a family farm on the Liverpool Plains in north-west New South Wales where he managed the cropping operations of the business for nearly 20 years, overseeing production of wheat, barley, chickpea, faba beans, canola, sorghum, sunflowers, mung bean and cotton.

Richard has been an early adopter of new farming technologies and travelled on a Nuffield scholarship in 2003 to research precision applications of fertiliser.

Richard is the Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute, an independent agricultural policy research organisation.

Prior to this role, Richard was Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management at the University of Sydney, with responsibility for the management of the university’s north-west farms group, including the Plant Breeding Institute at Narrabri.

Richard was a member of the Northern Regional Panel of GRDC from 2005 to 2011 and was a director of Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars from 2011 to 2017.

He is currently a member of the external advisory committee of CSIRO Agriculture and Food.


Mr Bob Nixon

Mr Bob Nixon

Western Australia

Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023
Member: Audit and Risk Committee

Bob manages a family farming business in the 300mm annual rainfall north-eastern Wheatbelt of Western Australia. 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 Western Australia (GIWA) from 2017 to 2020.  He currently sits on the Western Australia 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 has also been awarded the prestigious GRDC Seed of Light in 2019 for his work in managing soil constraints.


Adam Spencer

Mr Andrew Spencer, BAgSc, GAICD

New South Wales

Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023
Member: Audit and Risk Committee

Andrew is the manager of his own consulting business in the Monaro Region of NSW, typically conducting 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

South Australia

Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 30 November 2018 to 30 September 2020; reappointed to 30 September 2023
Member: Audit and Risk Committee

Since 1993, Sharon and her husband have been producing grain and pork in the Mallee region of South Australia. Her extensive knowledge of sustainable primary production was developed through her own on‑farm practices and past participation in Mallee Sustainable Farming and the South Australian No-Till Farmers Association.

Through Sharon’s strong interest in policy development and collaboration within Australian agriculture, she currently holds the positions of:

  • Chair of Animal Health Australia
  • Director of the Regional Investment Corporation
  • Committee Member, Murray Plains Farmers

She also has a passion for natural resource management and conservation that is reflected in her past involvement as Chair of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board and as a member of South Australia’s Natural Resources Management Council, the Australian Landcare Council and the Community Advisory Committee for the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council.

As a past director of Land & Water Australia, Sharon has experience in strategic planning for research and extension. She was also Chair of Rural Business Support until October 2020.

She is a past participant in the Murray-Darling Basin Leadership Program and was awarded the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award for South Australia in 2003.


Image of Gemma Walker

Ms Gemma Walker

Western Australia

Appointed as Director (Non-Executive): 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Gemma Walker and her husband run a mixed cropping and sheep property near Munglinup, in the Western Australia’s south-east. In addition, she has worked for many years managing farming systems groups to deliver development and extension activities. These included Mallee Sustainable Farming and the Southeast Premium Wheat Growers Association.

Gemma is passionate about empowering all stakeholders in the grains industry to work together to build a sustainable and progressive supply chain which enables Australian growers and processors to profitably produce high quality goods for new and existing domestic and international markets.

Gemma is currently a Non-Executive Director on Rural Edge Limited Board (formerly Partners in Grain), Non-Executive Director on Esperance Organised Primary Producers and is a committee member of the Southern Biosecurity Group. Her Board roles have included National and Deputy Chair of Partners in Grain and Committee roles in business development and human resource management.

She has previously served as a GRDC Western Region Panel Member for seven years and as a Board or Committee Member on Muresk Institute of Agriculture Board, the Wheatbelt Area Consultative Committee, Grains West Reference Group and the Rural Media Association (WA) Committee.

In South Australia, Gemma has held appointments on the Loxton Research Centre Consultative Committee and the AgExcellence Alliance Executive Committee in addition to her membership of the Mildura Young Professionals Network Executive Committee and Women Advancing Rural Communities group in Victoria.

Recognised for her significant contribution to sustainable agriculture at the National Landcare Awards, Gemma has also been a finalist in the AgriFutures Australia WA Rural Women’s Awards.


The board has two committees:

Audit and Risk Committee — assists the board in fulfilling its corporate governance responsibilities and reviews our:

  • external financial and performance reporting process
  • internal control system
  • risk management strategy and processes
  • internal and external audits
  • statutory reporting obligations.

Members of the Audit and Risk Committee are:

  • Ms Roseanne Healy
  • Mrs Sharon Starick
  • Mr Andrew Spencer, BAgSc, GAICD
  • Mr Bob Nixon.

Remuneration, People and Performance Committee – reviews and makes recommendations to the board on matters relating to:

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

Members of the Remuneration, People and Performance Committee are:

  • Mr Richard Heath, BSc (Hons), GAICD
  • Ms Roseanne Healy
  • Mr John Woods, BAppSc, MAICD.