Key Staff

Richard Heath

Executive Director


  • Director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation - former director Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars
  • Previous to AFI was Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management for the University of Sydney responsible for managing their North West Farms group
  • Served for six years on the Northern Panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation advising on research priorities for the Australian grains industry
  • Owned a consulting business advising on the application of new technology in Australian agriculture.
  • Travelled on a Nuffield Scholarship researching precision application of fertiliser
  • Grew up on a family farm on the Liverpool Plains and was part of the family business for 20 years following university. Was responsible for the cropping operations of the farm

Katie McRobert

General Manager


  • Editorial, communications and project management 
  • Co-author of AFI research reports Reinventing Australian agricultural statistics; Australian agriculture: an increasingly risky business and Change in the air: Defining the need for an Australian agricultural climate change strategy
  • Former roles include: Content & Community Manager – Rabobank (building an international knowledge-sharing platform,, to foster best-practice agriculture and address growing food security issues) and Editor – FarmOnline (responsible for the editorial direction and daily running of Fairfax Media's stable of online agricultural publications)
  • Keeper of ridiculously content backyard chooks in the Blue Mountains 

Samuel Admassu



  • Samuel trained as an economist in Ethiopia, Europe and Australia, with experience working as a researcher and lecturer in various institutes
  • In Australia, he participated in research and teaching activities at Deakin University, where he received a doctoral degree in Economics. Samuel was also a teaching associate at Monash University where he was involved in teaching different economic courses. He also taught economics as a lecturer at Box Hill Institute and Torrens University Australia in Melbourne
  • In Ethiopia, Samuel worked as a lecturer of Economics at the Addis Ababa University and a senior research assistant at the International Livestock Research institute (ILRI)
  • Samuel was born and grew up in Ethiopia and has lived in Australia for five years now

Teresa Fox



  • Teresa grew up on a sugarcane farm in North Queensland located between Mackay and the Whitsundays
  • She completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness majoring in Economics at the University of New England in 2016
  • Her previous experience includes grain export coordination and livestock purchasing for a pork manufacturing plant in Western Sydney

Sally Beech

Designer and Editor


  • Sally has worked in publications design and editorial for over 20 years
  • Her previous employment includes roles as Studio Coordinator at AGSM; Editorial Assistant at UTS; Designer/Illustrator at Science Press; and Scientific Illustrator at the Australian Museum
  • Sally grew up in Canberra, and comes from a family that pioneered the cultivation of Australian native plants


Tracey Bligh

Administration Officer  


  • Tracey is originally from Burnie on north-western coast of Tasmania
  • She has worked in a variety of roles for both the Commonwealth Bank and TNT couriering services
  • Tracey looks after AFI members and subscribers and to provide administration support to Institute staff


Kylie Smith

Events Officer