Superfine wool grower to join AWI board nomination committee

Terry Sim, July 26, 2019

Simon Cameron.

TASMANIAN superfine wool grower Simon Cameron’s appointment as the grower representative on the revised Australian Wool Innovation board nomination committee has been welcomed by WoolProducers Australia.

Following industry lobbying of AWI to ensure Woolgrower Industry Consultation Panel chairman Ron Cullen chaired a meeting yesterday to decide the industry BNC representative, Mr Cameron was endorsed.

In a statement today, AWI said the independent process to appoint an industry representative on AWI’s BNC has been conducted and Mr Cameron was endorsed by the WICP in the formal nomination process. Mr Cameron is a former president of the Superfine Wool Growers Association of Australia.

WoolProducers president Ed Storey said Mr Cameron’s appointment was “a good result and a good process.”

“The meeting was well-chaired by the new WICP independent chair Ron Cullen.

“It was a much more transparent process and we welcome that.”

Mr Storey said WoolProducers has lobbied hard to have a much more independent BNC.

“It (the meeting) was transparent, it was independent of the (AWI) board and it has produced the outcome of producers and we strongly support it.”

AWI said this week’s meeting chaired by Mr Cullen and attended by the AWI WICP members, each with equal voting rights, signalled a new approach for AWI’s board nomination committee and board nomination process reflecting the recommendations in the Ernst & Young 2018 review performance and governance.

The process of appointing, by consensus, an industry representation on AWI’s board nomination committee is independent of the AWI board and reflects the highest governance standards, the AWI statement said.

The EY review last year recommended that AWI’s BNC member selection process be strengthened to increase its independence and that the BNC committee consist of a chair independent of the wool industry appointed by the Department of Agriculture secretary; a non-executive director of AWI, other than the chair; an experienced wool industry person nominated by the National Farmers Federation president, and; a senior executive from an international executive search firm nominated by the AWI CEO and subject to approval of the independent chair.

However, negotiations with AWI, industry and the department since the EY review have increased the number of AWI directors on the proposed BNC to two and led to the dropping of the NFF nomination. The members of the BNC yet to be declared include the department-appointed chair, the two AWI directors and the international search firm senior executive.

Prior to previous elections, the AWI BNC has consisted of two independent non-executive AWI directors and three people who were not AWI directors. However, these three people have at times been former AWI directors, in one case a relative of former AWI chairman Wal Merriman and/or individuals who were subsequently supported by AWI to nominate for the board, including current AWI consultant Will Wilson and AWI director Jock Laurie.

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

AWI is a not-for-profit company that invests in research and development, and marketing to increase the long-term profitability of Australian wool growers. The company is funded primarily through a 1.5pc wool sale levy paid by wool growers and a matching contribution from the Federal Government for eligible R&D activities that are capped at 0.5pc of the value of gross national value of wool production.


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