Canberra, Tuesday 15 October 2019


Gabrielle Chan, Richard Eckard, Lorraine Gordon, Mick KeoghManu Saunders, John Woods 

Richard Eckard

Director, Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre

Richard Eckard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne. His research focuses on carbon farming and options for agriculture systems to respond to a changing climate.

Richard is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the European Union, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture. He is also a network leader in Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses.

Lorraine Gordon

Founder, National Regenerative Agriculture Alliance

Lorraine Gordon is the Founder of the National Regenerative Agriculture Alliance based out of Southern Cross University. As Director of Strategic Projects at Southern Cross University and Associate Director of the University’s Centre for Organic Research, Lorraine acts as a conduit between industry and research, delivering sustainable and regenerative agriculture solutions nationally.

She has assisted over 28,500 farmers, fishers and foresters around the country to progress collaborative projects which will benefit their various industries as Director of the Commonwealth Government’s Farming Together Program. Last year Lorraine was awarded the 2018 Rural Community Leader of the Year for Australia.

Lorraine is a beef cattle trader at Ebor in the New England Tablelands of NSW turning off up to 1000 steers per annum.

Mick Keogh

ACCC Deputy Chair

Mick Keogh was appointed as Commissioner of the ACCC in February 2016, and then as Deputy Chair of the ACCC in 2018. Mick has a long and diverse history of involvement with the agriculture sector, which has included periods of employment as a farm manager, a university researcher, an agribusiness consultant and an agriculture policy advisor.

Mick’s role at the ACCC includes involvement in a range of committees, as well as oversight of the small business, franchising and agriculture units of the ACCC.

Mick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to agriculture in 2015.

John Woods

Chairman GRDC

John Woods owns and operates an integrated cropping enterprise in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, where he also participates in summer crop R&D trials and innovative new techniques. He has a strong interest in economic policy that affects agriculture, reflected in the positions he has held in industry and on community advisory bodies such as the National Rural Advisory Council, National Agricultural Monitoring System and Agricultural Finance Forum.

John also has experience in technology transfer and extension of R&D, which he demonstrated in his role as Chairman of Chemcert Training Queensland, and as a Chemcert Trainer to the grains and cotton industries.

Gabrielle Chan MC

Journalist and author

Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She has been a political journalist and politics live blogger at Guardian Australia since 2013. Prior to that she worked at The Australian, ABC radio, The Daily Telegraph, in local newspapers and politics.

Gabrielle has written and edited history books, biographies and even a recipe book. Gabrielle moved from the Canberra press gallery to marry a sheep and wheat farmer in 1996. In 2017, she swapped interviews with politicians with interviews with ordinary people on her main street to discover why they think politics has moved so far from their lives. The result is Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up.

Manu Saunders

Ecologist, University of New England

Dr Manu Saunders is an ecologist at the University of New England and an internationally-recognised science communicator. She has a B Arts in English and Journalism and a B Environmental Science in Ecology, both from the University of Queensland.

She earned her PhD in Ecology at Charles Sturt University, researching wild pollinator communities in almond plantations of north-western Victoria. Her current research focuses on the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes.

IMAGE: Greenfleet Australia