AWI announces director candidates as Chick fights on

Terry Sim September 30, 2019

Former Australian Wool Innovation director Chick Olsson.

AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation has announced eight candidates for its 2019 board election while New South Wales grower and former director Chick Olsson continues to contest his elimination from consideration.

Mr Olsson today was maintaining that valid shareholder signatures on his nomination form had not been counted toward the 100 signatures he needed to present by 5pm 24 September.

AWI company secretary Jim Story last week ruled that Mr Olsson is ineligible to stand in the 2019 election after AWI and Link Market Services validated only 97 of the 137 signatures he presented by the deadline last week. However, Sheep Central has verified that at least one signatory to Mr Olsson’s nomination form is a registered AWI shareholder who has already received his voting entitlement papers for the 2019 election.

Mr Olsson said Mr Story told him today “the whole board” has met and decided his contesting of the ruling was not successful.

“I am still going to contest this because clearly at least some of the signatures (disallowed) were valid,” Mr Olsson said.

“I believe there are valid signatures there….I’m sure there are other signatures there that haven’t even been looked at that could be validated.”

Prospective candidates in the 2019 AWI director election, apart from re-standing directors, had until 5pm Eastern Standard Time yesterday had to produce more than 99 eligible shareholder signatures supporting their nomination.

Mr Olsson said he was still seeking details of which signatures on his nomination form were rejected by AWI and Link Market Services.

“There were pages (of signatures) that were rejected.”

AWI announces eight board candidates

AWI announced today that shareholders will choose between eight candidates for the three board director positions to be decided at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Friday, 22 November 2019.

AWI said its Board Nomination Committee met on Wednesday, 25 September to confirm the eligible candidates, each of whom met the requirement of obtaining more than 99 shareholder signatures, as outlined in the Rules and Procedures Governing the Election of Directors (Rules and Procedures) under 13.3(f) of the Constitution, by the closure of the nomination period at 5 p.m. (Sydney time) on Tuesday 24 September.

The AWI board candidates are:

NSW wool grower and former director Paul Cocking

NSW wool grower and stud breeder George Falkiner

Victorian Merino breeder and wool grower Noel Henderson

South Australian wool grower and former researcher Janelle Hocking Edwards

NSW consultant Philip Holmes

NSW veterinary consultant Michelle Humphries

Current director, stud breeder and former AWI chair Wal Merriman

Current director David Webster

Current director Dr Meredith Sheil has advised she will not stand for re-election and will retire at the conclusion of the AGM.

AWI said the Board Nomination Committee – independent chair Dr Mary Corbett, independent industry representative Simon Cameron, international executive recruitment firm Heidrick and Struggles managing partner Guy Farrow and AWI directors Dr Meredith Sheil and James Morgan – assessed the nominations to identify the necessary and desirable director competencies.

AWI said the Board Nomination Committee will provide a report to the board, for dissemination to shareholders of the company. The committee’s non-binding recommendations will be provided with the Notice of Meeting, which will be sent to shareholders in October ahead of the AGM.

Shareholders do not have to follow the recommendations of the Board Nomination Committee, AWI said in the release.

AWI said it is critical that a balance of gender, skills, knowledge and experience is reflected in the composition of the company’s board.

The outcome of the election for three AWI director positions will provide a renewed opportunity for the industry to work together for the benefit of the woolgrowers of Australia and their interests and for the industry to move on from the politicking of industry activists and detractors who are a minority in one of the nation’s great industries, AWI said.

AWI will hold its 2019 Annual General Meeting at 10 am on Friday 22 November 2019 at Amora Hotel Jamison Whiteley Ballroom, 11 Jamison Street, Sydney NSW.

More details related to the election of directors, together with the nomination form, consent to nomination form and AWI’s Rules and Procedures governing the election of directors are available from AWI’s website at


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  1. Andrew Farran, September 30, 2019

    Is this indicative of more skullduggery on the part of AWI?

    Keeping things within the cabal?

    One might note that on the face of the article there are no Victorians nominating.

    Curious, as usual.

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