People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Sheep Central, January 27, 2023

Sheep Central publishes an occasional summary of appointments, departures and achievements occurring across the red meat and livestock supply chain.

Send details for entries to [email protected]

  • Former MLA manager joins Stockyard
  • Rabobank’s new Australian CEO and research team
  • AMIC appoints new industry affairs, trade and tech affairs managers
  • Chris Norris signs off from Elite
  • Fresh start for agribusiness coordinator
  • New director general for International Livestock Research Institute
  • New grass-fed cattle body starts search for inaugural CEO
  • New regional management meat sales role for Kilcoy staffer
  • Brahman Breeders seek general manager
  • Beef Australia’s Stud Cattle Championship Committee
  • New manager at AA Co’s Brunette Downs
  • Search for new manager for NH Foods’ Oakey Beef


Former MLA manager joins Stockyard Group

Queensland-based grainfed beef supply chain Stockyard Group has appointed Lisa Sharp as the company’s general manager for marketing and innovation.

Lisa Sharp

Ms Sharp has spent the most recent two years as chief executive of Herefords Australia, having previously worked with Meat & Livestock Australia for six years as chief marketing and communications officer, and later as chief marketing and insights officer responsible for the global marketing of Australian beef, lamb and goat meat.

A Stockyard statement said the appointment was in line with the group’s 2030 strategic plan, which will see it focus on solidifying on its reputation as a high-quality and sustainable vertically integrated beef producer and building on its global brand presence.

Ms Sharp is a familiar face within Stockyard, having sat as a non-executive board director of the Stockyard Group since 2020. She has an extensive consumer marketing background which has seen her develop innovative and data-driven fast moving consumer goods brands for Uncle Tobys, Kraft Foods, and Coca Cola.

Stockyard managing director Lachie Hart said Ms Sharp would lead the development of the innovation pillar within the company’s strategic plan, giving this space a dedicated resource for the first time in our Group’s history. The role sees Ms Sharp join Stockyard’s executive leadership team and take responsibility for marketing and innovation across the supply chain.

Ms Sharp starts in the new role in April.

Rabobank’s new Australian CEO and research team

Agri-financier Rabobank last month appointed a new regional manager for Australia and Zealand.

Rabobank chief executive Mark Wiessing.

From May, Dutchman Mark Wiessing will succeed Peter Knoblanche, who moves into retirement following seven years in the role and 27 years with the bank.

Mr Wiessing has served as regional manager for South America and CEO Brazil for Rabobank for the past seven years. He joined Rabobank in 2006 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial sector, including postings in South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Prior to Rabobank, he served with other leading financial institutions, including Standard Bank of South Africa, Citibank and ING.

Announcing the appointment, Rabobank Australia chair Sir Henry van der Heyden paid tribute to the outstanding contribution of outgoing CEO Peter Knoblanche. He said Mr Wiessing’s extensive international banking experience, including his past 16 years within the international Rabobank network – made him ideally suited to take over the role leading the global food and agribusiness bank’s fast-growing operations in Australian and New Zealand.

Sir Henry thanked Mr Knoblanche for his exceptional commitment and contribution to Rabobank, the bank’s clients and employees” throughout his lengthy career with the bank.

Meanwhile Rabobank has announced two new appointments to its Australia/New Zealand food and agri research team.

Vitor Pistoia has joined the specialist agribusiness bank in the position of analyst covering farm inputs – including fertiliser, crop protection products, ag tech and agricultural land – while Edward McGeoch has been appointed associate analyst covering cotton, wool and sheepmeat.

RaboResearch general manager for Australia and NZ Stefan Vogel said the two appointments brought a mix of international experience and local knowledge to the Australian and NZ arm of the agribusiness bank’s global food and agricultural research division, RaboResearch.

Vitor joins us with a strong international background in farm inputs and agronomy, while Edward has been fully immersed in Australian agriculture, not only professionally but through a lifelong family involvement in farming,” he said. “Their appointments provide an excellent complement to round out the bank’s research capabilities for our clients in this region.”

RaboResearch Australia/NZ comprises a team of nine specialist agri commodities analysts, who are part of a network of 75 research analysts worldwide focussed on providing comprehensive, leading-edge food and agribusiness research for the bank’s clients.

AMIC appoints new industry affairs, trade and tech affairs managers

The Australian Meat Industry Council has expanded its complement of staff, appointing Tim Ryan as its new general manager for industry affairs, and Sam Munsie as trade and technical affairs manager.

Tim Ryan

The expanding task workload in each field saw the joint position previously held by Mary Wu, who has moved to a new role at the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (see references in December’s People on the Move), divided into the two new roles.

Mr Ryan will lead AMIC’s industry affairs team, managing biosecurity, traceability, sustainability, animal welfare, industry standards and economic programs and advocacy work.

He has ten years’ experience in the red meat industry, with roles spanning market research, economic services, business development, and trade and market access. Prior to joining AMIC, he worked with Meat & Livestock Australia for eight years serving most recently as global trade development manager including a three-year stint in Singapore, and previously as market insights manager and global market analyst. He worked across an array of program areas, including industry forecasting, supply-chain and market analysis, and non-tariff barrier alleviation.

Mr Ryan was a committee member of the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association for seven years, with stints as treasurer and national team coach, where he developed a passion for supporting young people entering the red meat industry. He grew up on a sheep property in central Victoria.

AMIC’s new general manager for trade and technical affairs, Sam Munsie, brings ten years’ experience in international trade and negotiations to his role, which he commenced last year.

His extensive background within the Federal Government included roles with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade. While in the public sector he director for meat market access, and previously held positions managing multiple markets to deliver trade policy and programs covering plant and animal market access, as well as international trade and logistics.

Mr Munsie has a history of delivering trade outcomes for Australian meat and agricultural industries, which includes leadership of the agriculture stream to develop the International Freight Assistance Mechanism at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. He has represented Australia at a number of international forums, including the World Trade Organisation.

New director general for International Livestock Research Institute

The International Livestock Research Institute has a new director general, following the appointment this month of Professor Appolinaire Djikeng to the role.

Prof Appolinaire Djikeng

Prof Djikeng will also act as senior director of livestock-based systems with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), of which Australia is a participant.

Born in Cameroon, Prof Djikeng is the first African to be appointed director general of ILRI. He will assume the post on April. He is a world-leading scientist with 20 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and global research and development programs focused on agricultural development, livestock development and human health.

He joins ILRI and CGIAR from the University of Edinburgh, where he is a Professor and Chair of Tropical Agriculture and Sustainable Development, as well as the director of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health. He has received numerous awards, including the 2020 Nelson Mandela Justice Award from the UNESCO Centre for Peace.

Australia is a contributor and participant in the CGIAR global research partnership program.



Chris Norris signs off from Elite Livestock Auctions

Chris Norris, the founder of the online livestock marketing platform Elite Livestock Auctions, will sign off from the business after eight years to shift focus to further developing his online business focused on the machinery and equipment market.

Mr Norris built Elite to become one of Australia’s leading online auction platforms, broadcasting cattle, sheep and stud stock sales with live video and sound, allowing buyers and sellers to connect in real-time.

Despite being at the forefront of an online revolution when he founded the company in 2014, he said he “could barely turn on the computer” at the time.

“When Elite started, we needed IT gurus to be at the auctions with us to help with the technology,” he said. “No-one in Australia had ever broadcast a saleyard auction from selling pens with live video of the cattle and live audio from the auctioneer.”

However the platform gained momentum quickly and completed 53 successful auctions in the first year.

“I wasn’t reinventing the wheel – I could see how well this technology was working overseas and in other industries and modified the systems to apply to livestock auctions,” Mr Norris said.

Like most new technologies, uptake was not immediate, but with transformation and acceptance it is now widely used at livestock sales.

“I was fortunate to have a lot of connections in the livestock sector from my time at an ALPA (Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association) young auctioneer school, and working with the great team at GDL, so when I came back to the livestock industry, they trusted me and were willing to give the platform a go,” Mr Norris said.

“We’ve definitely had our challenges – mainly with telecommunications services – but that’s been probably the biggest area of development too. It’s becoming easier and cheaper for people in rural areas to access technologies, that has enabled the platform to be so successful.

“It’s created a lot more transparency by exposing the market to everyone. Gone are the days you’d hear ‘gee those cattle were cheap’ – online platforms have helped to put a floor in the market and eliminated sales that fall through the cracks.”

In 2017, Elite was purchased by privately Australian-owned AAM Investment Group and has since formed part of the StockLive Group (StockLive). Today, StockLive delivers services to all sectors of the livestock and agricultural industry from the largest commercial sales, equine and working dogs’ auctions, while Elite, which focuses on the seedstock industry, has expanded its operations to all states.

Libby Tyrell has been the operations manager of StockLive since 2020, working with Chris and the broader team to achieve significant growth and to expand the company’s service offerings including growing and enhancing its technology.

In 2022, StockLive simulcast almost 900 auctions Australia-wide with that number set to expand in this year.

As technology has enhanced, the team has introduced new features including the ability to sell stud stock through a selling ring complex providing multiple camera angles and shots to ensure buyers have an all-encompassing view of livestock, enhancing their online experience.

“The ability to provide a genuine real time, live, experience is why the platform outshines alternate service offerings in the industry today. Clients often refer to the unique ability to buy online with a real-time experience , including the superior audio, live video as the reasons to keep returning to Elite and StockLive,” Chris said.

Fresh Start for agribusiness coordinator

The Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) is set to take a fresh approach to supporting the region’s agriculture industry, with the appointment of a new agribusiness coordinator.

Noella Powell has moved to Emerald from Sydney, where she worked as an agriculture project manager for Australian Eggs for three and a half years.

CHDC CEO Peter Dowling said Ms Powell’s appointment marks a reset for the Corporation’s work in the agricultural space.

“Our first priority is to take stock of the economic opportunities for the Central Highlands’ agriculture sector, what’s needed to bring them to fruition, and how we can use Noella’s skillset, experience and connections to do this,” he said.

Ms Powell will help to coordinate CHDC’s annual Farm to Fine Dining regional showcase in Brisbane and the biennial AgTech field day and forum with the CHDC team.

New manager at AA Co’s Brunette Downs

The Australian Agricultural Co has appointed Cheyne Williams as the new manager on the company’s Barkly breeding property flagship, Brunette Downs.

Mr Williams previously worked with Paraway Pastoral Co where he was a station manager for 13 years, managing Davenport Downs in the Channel Country, Clonagh north of Cloncurry and Malvern Hills near Blackall.

He will report to AA Co’s head of pastoral operations Michael Johnson, who previously managed Brunette, but has now relocated to Labelle Downs, closer to Darwin.

Now managing Paraway’s Davenport Downs and Springvale, southeast of Boulia on the Diamantina River are Lachlan & Emma Lynch. More in a separate article to come.

Search for new manager for NH Foods’ Oakey Beef

NH Foods has started a recruitment campaign (see ad among Jobs Central listings) seeking a replacement for Grant Coleman as general manager of the company’s Oakey Beef processing operations on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

Grant Coleman

Mr Coleman resigned from his role at Oakey late last year. In his words, he is taking a ‘gap year’ from processing operations management, after 35 busy years.

Mr Coleman is currently in the US, pursuing his well-known passion – competitive low-and-slow barbecue cookery. Some years back, he finished runner-up in the world championship BBQ finals in Texas.

Prior to moving north to manage the Oakey Beef operations following the departure of Pat Gleeson, he managed the NH Foods Wingham Beef processing operations north of Sydney.

New grassfed cattle body launches search for inaugural CEO

Cattle Australia, the grassfed cattle industry’s new peak representative body, has launched its search for the body’s inaugural chief executive officer.

As this article describes, Cattle Australia came into existence in December, succeeding the old SFO-based Cattle Council of Australia model.

A new industry representation model may in itself attract a wider range of high quality candidates for this high-profile position, some stakeholders suggest (details set out in this Jobs Central recruitment listing).

The CA board says it is looking for a commercially-astute CEO to deliver clear leadership and direction by developing and driving contemporary policy; guiding research, development and adoption and marketing investment for the sector; and advocating on all matters important to the grassfed cattle industry.

The CEO will be responsible for the overall management and delivery of operational and strategic priorities, and must have the ability to effectively advocate and communicate on behalf of the grassfed cattle industry to the Federal Government, key industry stakeholder groups, members, media and the general public on matters that impact the red meat sector. Click here for a full job description and details about how to apply. Applications close 10 February.

New regional management meat sales role for Kilcoy staffer

Young Kilcoy Global Foods meat salesman Bede McAlpin has continued his rapid rise through the ranks, taking on a new role this month as Kilcoy’s regional manager for Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Kilcoy Global Foods Bede McAlpin and Sally Morrissey with the company’s blue ribbons earned at last year’s RNA branded beef awards.

Since joining Kilcoy’s grainfed beef sales team in 2018 he has taken on new roles, becoming senior relationship manager with SEA/MENA customers in 2021.

Prior to joining Kilcoy he worked as sales and production coordinator with Arcadian Organic, and as business development manager with PrimeXConnect, an online marketplace startup connecting red meat processors and exporters with global markets through sales and order management software.

Bede is a graduate from the Graeme Action Beef Connections mentoring program from two years ago, leveraging off the wisdom and vast industry experience of meat sales veteran Richard Rains during his year-long engagement.


Brahman Breeders seek general manager

The Australian Brahman Breeders Association is actively seeking a new general manager to replace Anastasia Fanning, who left the role in December.

The ABBA provides a range of services to seedstock producer members including registration, representation, marketing, performance recording, technical support and R&D. The general manager is responsible for strategic and operational activities from the association’s office in Rockhampton.

The position description seeks experience in managing administrative and strategic functions of a multi-disciplined office; human resource management, finance and accounting, marketing and stakeholder engagement; leadership and supervisory skills. Ideally candidates will have experience in the agribusiness sector and technical knowledge of the Brahman breed or a background in genetics.

Click here to view the position on our popular recruitment platform, Jobs Central.

Beef Australia announces Stud Cattle Championship Committee

Ten experienced livestock industry stakeholders have been selected to be part of the national industry event’s Stud Cattle Championship Committee for Beef 2024.

The committee, responsible for advising the Beef Australia Board and staff on the conduct of the Beef2024 Stud Cattle Championship, have many years’ combined experience in stud cattle championships including judging, showing stud cattle and organising stud stock shows.

The Stud Cattle Championship Committee includes:

  • James Kent (chair), Ooline Brahmans and Kent Beef
  • Margaret Olive (championship coordinator)
  • Marty Rowlands, KBV Simmentals
  • Bonnie Geddes, Couti-Outi Brangus
  • Tammy Robinson, AAM Investment Group
  • Anthony Ball, Elders Mareeba
  • Cindy McNaught, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Ruby Canning, Mavstar Simmentals
  • Maddie Morgan, The Grove Shorthorns
  • Nick Hughes, Farogan Valley Droughtmasters
  • Leonie Nicholls, Cambroon Park Droughtmasters
  • Rodney Bell, Beef Australia director

The 30-breed Stud Cattle Championship is one of the jewels in the triennial Beef Australia event.

“Our Stud Cattle Championship is recognised by the seed stock sector as Australia’s premier stud cattle awards,” Beef Australia CEO Simon Irwin said.

“For Australian producers, this event is where they can showcase the result of years, and in some cases decades, of stud breeding work and we want to ensure Beef 2024’s Stud Cattle Championship amply rewards and recognises their hard work and efforts.

The Stud Cattle Championship Committee chosen for Beef 2024 has many years’ combined experience in stud competitions and showing cattle, and with this experience I am confident the committee will work with us to ensure Beef 2024’s Stud Cattle Championship lives up to its prestige in the Australian beef community.”

Stud Cattle Championship Committee Chair James Kent said he’s looking forward to working with his fellow committee members to help deliver a well-run and smooth championship.

“Over the next 15 months the committee will work together to develop Beef 2024’s Stud Cattle Championship including deciding on classes and criteria, prize money and entry fees, scheduling of events, junior competitions, selecting stewards and judges and more,” Mr Kent said.

“While it’s a big task, the committee are looking forward to working together to develop a Championship that seed stock producers want to pursue to demonstrate excellence in their field.

“The majority of the committee have either shown or judged cattle, or been on the organisation side of stud cattle championships, and are all looking forward to donating their time back to the wider beef industry to ensure Beef 2024’s iconic Stud Cattle Championship is one not to be missed.”

Careers choices galore on Jobs Central

There’s been more than 80 new operations, and middle and upper management jobs posted on our recruitment platform, Jobs Central, since we returned to work this year. Click here to access.  



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -