Dinner Speaker - Donald McGauchie AO, Chairman, Australian Agricultural Company Limited

Donald McGauchie has played a major role in the development of Australian agriculture over the past three decades. He served as President of the National Farmers' Federation from 1994 - 1998, and played a major role in the industrial dispute of 1998 which fundamentally reformed the Australian waterfront. Since that time, Don has served as an advisor to the Australian Government on a wide range of trade and foreign affairs advisory committees. He is, or has been a board member of a large number of major Australian companies and organisations including Telstra, Nufarm, James Hardie Industries, Graincorp, the Australian Wool Testing Authority, Ridley, National Foods, the Reserve Bank and the Australian Agricultural Company, of which he is currently chairman. He is also involved in family farming operations based in Victoria.

In recognition of his efforts, Don has been awarded Rabobank Agribusiness Leader of the Year, was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to agriculture, and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004.

Breakfast Speaker - Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator for Victoria

Richard Di Natale was elected to the federal parliament in 2010 and has been leader of the Greens since May, 2015. He is the Greens' first Victorian Senator and his portfolios include health, multiculturalism, youth, gambling and sport.

Richard was a GP and public health specialist before he entered parliament and is passionate about preventative health care. He has worked in Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory, HIV prevention in India and in the drug and alcohol sector. Richard cares about communities - that means accessible health and education services, state of the art transport, a safety net which ensures people are not left behind, a safe climate, clean air and water and a thriving natural environment. Richard, his wife Lucy and two young sons live on a working farm in the foothills of Victoria's Otway Range, and Richard has a strong interest in policies to promote agriculture and regional communities.

Colin Mues, Acting Executive Director, Environmental Management Division, Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Colin Mues joined the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) in 2014 and is the Acting Executive Director, Environmental Management Division. The Division is responsible for environmental water planning and management, ecological monitoring and evaluation, and for providing ecological science and model-based advice to support the implementation of the Basin Plan.

Before joining the MDBA, Colin was involved in managing the water recovery programs in the Commonwealth Department of the Environment. Colin also has considerable experience in natural resource management issues from his time with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Dr Arlene Harriss-Buchan, Healthy Rivers Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation

Arlene works on water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin, advocating for adequate environmental flows, improved environmental management and a fair go for our native flora and fauna. Based in Melbourne, she has almost fifteen years' experience with the Australian Conservation Foundation's campaign for Healthy Rivers.

Arlene sees sustainable food production as essential for the future of communities across the Murray-Darling Basin and our natural heritage. In her work, Arlene sees great opportunities for Australia to provide genuine leadership to the rest of the world on how to provide food and manage water sustainably without irreversibly damaging our natural environment.

Gavin McMahon, Chair, National Irrigators' Council

Gavin McMahon is currently the CEO of Central Irrigation Trust and a Director of Central Irrigation Pty Ltd. In his role with CIT he is responsible for the delivery of irrigation water to 1,200 families farming 14,000 ha in the Riverland of South Australian as well as 3,000 domestic customers and 17 industries.

Gavin is also a Director of the National Irrigators' Council and is currently the Chairperson. He is heavily involved in water issues within the Riverland District and across the Murray Darling Basin. Prior to joining CIT in 2004 Gavin spent 23 years with BSES Ltd, a research and development company servicing primary producers and processors in the sugar industry. He held several positions within the company commencing as an agricultural advisor and completing his time with BSES as the Manager of Customer Service. Gavin holds a BSc from Griffith University where he majored in Environmental Studies as well as a BBus from the University of Southern Queensland. Community involvement is also very strong on Gavin's list of priorities where he holds several positions in Riverland Hockey.

John Power, General Manager, Batlow Fruit Co-operative Limited

John Power is the General Manager of Batlow Fruit Co-operative Limited. John joined Batlow in July 2011. Prior to this John has managed large and diverse businesses including: CEO of Proserpine Co-operative Sugar Milling Association Limited in Queensland; Regional GM of four CSR Sugar Mills with large renewable electricity generation systems, milling 20% of Australia's sugar; CEO of Maryborough Sugar, a listed sugar grower and miller; Operations Director of a speciality chemical manufacturing compan; and he has 17 years' experience in a range of roles in Electricity Distribution.

John is a Graduate member of AICD, a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, is a Certified Practicing Marketer and holds a Bachelor of Business in Marketing.

Dalene Wray, General Manager, OBE Organic

Dalene Wray is the General Manager of a well-established Queensland company specialising in organic grass-fed beef. OBE Organic was among Australia's organic beef pioneers, developing animals in the remarkable Channel Country for export to markets including Japan, US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East. Dalene is the fourth generation of a family that has farmed in outback Australia, with an intimate knowledge of the land and the people who make OBE Organic's grass-fed beef a world-beater.

Dalene has performed practically every role in the company, including a number of years overseeing production at the slaughterhouse. Dalene now travels extensively through Asia, the Middle East and North America on behalf of OBE Organic, valuing the personal and lasting relationships that she has built with customers. Dalene is passionate about supporting gender and ethnic diversity in business and believes it significantly contributes to positive outcomes.

Professor Hans Hendrischke, Professor of Chinese Business and Management, The University of Sydney Business School

Hans Hendrischke is professor of Chinese business and management, University of Sydney Business School and chair of the executive committee of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

Hans was educated at universities in Germany, Taiwan and Japan and did postgraduate research at the Contemporary China Institute at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. Hans lived in China from 1979 working for the diplomatic service and the finance industry. In his academic career he headed the Centre for Chinese Political Economy at Macquarie University, was head of Chinese Studies and head of school at UNSW and served as director of the University of Sydney Confucius Institute.

Hans main research focus and publications are on emerging local entrepreneurship and business institutions. As an institutional economist he has conducted hundreds of interviews with Chinese private entrepreneurs and local officials over the last decades. He is author of China's Economy in the 21st Century: Enterprise and Business Behaviour (co-edited with Barbara Krug). Hans leads the Business School's Australia China Business Network and heads a multi-year strategic cooperation with KPMG which reports regularly on Chinese outbound direct investment in Australia and publishes thought leadership reports on Australia China business relations. Hans has co-authored the Australia China Business Council's 2014 Australia China Trade Report.

Brett Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Norco Co-operative Limited

Brett Kelly was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Norco in September 2008. Brett has over 25 years' experience in business management, holding several CEO and senior management roles prior to Norco in industries such as Pharmaceuticals, International Brand Retailing, FMCG's and Wholesale. Brett has a strong focus on business development and achieving both strategic and commercial KPI outcomes as set by the Norco Board. Brett has built a very strong and capable Senior Management Team at Norco which has been integral to the ongoing success of Norco over the past seven years.

James Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Sanger Australia Pty Ltd

James Campbell's career spans 15 years in accounting (KPMG) and banking (ANZ) with a consistent specialist focus on agricultural business. A mobile approach to his career resulted in roles managing Institutional Banking portfolios in China, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales.

James appointment to Sydney based Sanger sees him return to Australia after four years based in Shanghai as Head of Agribusiness, China at ANZ.

James is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), and holds a double degree in Commerce (Accounting) and Business Administration from the University of Canberra. During his time in China, James served two terms as a Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Professor David Lamb, Precision Agriculture Research Group, SMART Farm Project, The University of New England

David, a physicist, has worked in the area of Precision Agriculture for 20 years. He was part of the original team who introduced precision viticulture to Australia in the late 1990's and has worked in 'precision agriculture' (PA) since the very first forays into yield mapping technology, airborne video and electromagnetic soil surveys on farms.

He established the University of New England's Precision Agriculture Research Group (UNE-PARG; www.une.edu.au/parg) in 2002; a multidisciplinary team of 15 academic, research and technical staff working on PA sensors and applications across rain-fed and irrigated cropping, livestock and horticulture (including viticulture) enterprises. David leads the university's SMART Farm Project (www.une.edu.au/smart); a 2,900 ha sheep farm showcasing contemporary and future, precision agriculture and intelligence-gathering technologies. He also heads UNE's Applied Physics department within the School of Science and Technology.

Su McCluskey, Panel Member, Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee

Su McCluskey was the CEO of both the Regional Australia Institute and the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations. Su was Executive Director of the Office of Best Practice Regulation, was a Consultant Specialist Advisor to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources and held senior policy positions with the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers' Federation and the Australian Taxation Office.

Su was a Panel Member on the Competition Policy Review Panel (Harper Review) and is also a beef cattle farmer. Su is a member of the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) which recently released its report available at www.rtirc.gov.au

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More information about the conference is available here.