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 - former roles have included:
  • Content & Community Manager – Rabobank: Building an international knowledge-sharing platform ( with farmers, for farmers, by farmers, to foster best-practice agriculture and address growing food security issues
  • 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 of NSW

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


Anne Laurie



  • Anne is currently completing a Bachelor of Economics with a major in Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney
  • Anne grew up in Sawtell on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales
  • She has a strong interest in Australian farming and food sustainability



Kate Trotter

Events and Communications


  • Kate is in her final trimester of studying a double degree in Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Business with the University of New England
  • She was previously involved with GrainCorp managing operations and recivals over the busy harvest season in Central West New South Wales
  • Her passions lie in food and fibre production, rural politics, women in agriculture and her kelpie pup