Information and application guidelines for MLA non-executive director positions

In March 2018 MLA advised that George Scott and Allister Watson had resigned from the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), MLA Donor Company (MDC) and Integrity Systems Company (ISC) Boards to pursue other business opportunities.

The resignations are unrelated and the MLA Board is grateful for the contribution each made to the company’s progress. The MLA Board thanks George and Allister for their service and wishes them well in the future.

The MLA Board Selection Committee held its first meeting for 2018 on 11 April and has commenced the process for director selection in 2018 – see below for information on the Selection Committee process.

MLA Board composition

MLA’s Board is a skills based board.

Each year directors undertake a self-assessment of the skills and experience around the Board to ensure the Board is delivering maximum value to the red meat and livestock industry.

Following the resignation of two of its members and based on the skills audit for this year, the Board has resolved to reduce its number to nine director positions: eight non-executive directors and the Managing Director.

The MLA constitution requires a third of the non-executive Directors to retire each year. Appointments are for a period of three years, with retiring Directors able to nominate for re-election. Accordingly, there is a need for the recruitment of two Directors in 2018.

The MLA Selection Committee

Directors are elected by the Company’s members at the Annual General Meeting each year. Candidates put forward for election by the members are selected by a nine-person Selection Committee. This is made up of three industry representatives, four member-elected representatives, and two non-voting members of the current MLA Board. The number of candidates endorsed by the Selection Committee must be equal to the number of vacancies to be filled.

Time commitment required of MLA Board Directors

An indicative annual time commitment would be a minimum of 40 days per annum, usually comprising of 6 board/strategy meetings. The MLA Group Boards (including the subsidiary company boards) meet over 2 days approximately every six to eight weeks, usually in North Sydney at MLA’s Head Office, although meetings may be held each year at locations around Australia. In addition to the MLA Board meetings, a Director may sit on the following committees, which will usually meet four times per year.

  • Audit & Risk Committee
  • Remuneration Committee
  • Selection Committee

Where possible, committee meetings are held adjacent to Board meetings. Additionally, MLA Directors may attend associated industry events and meetings (e.g. peak council meetings and industry forums). These events and meetings will often be held outside the Sydney area.

MLA’s commitment to diversity

MLA takes into account the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations and is committed to providing an environment which respects and promotes diversity. MLA recognises that a workforce which represents a diverse range of backgrounds, age, ethnicity and gender will enable MLA to provide optimal service to its stakeholders. For the 2016-17 reporting period the Workplace Gender Equality Agency confirmed that MLA is compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act).

The Board has always monitored the shortlisting, selection and on-boarding of personnel into roles as well as changing community attitudes and the expectations of government in relation to gender diversity targets. At its meeting in March 2018 the Board reviewed and amended its Diversity Policy and resolved to adopt a 30% target for females on the MLA Board by 2019.

Apart from the obvious need for the Board to ensure compliance with the Act, it is important that the MLA Board also fosters a culture that encourages divergent views and robust discussion. In assessing candidates, the Selection Committee also considers diversity of education, the nature of the businesses and business functions in which candidates have gained experience and the roles held, as well as the more obvious aspects of diversity such as gender, age, ethnicity and cultural background.

The selection process

The Selection Committee meets in April of each year to determine the skills to be sought in candidates (to fill ‘skill gaps’), provide a balanced Board and to agree a selection process. National advertisements are then placed in print and online media, alongside other communications activity, seeking applications and a targeted search process occurs simultaneously. Applications are received via an online application and applicants will receive an automatically generated response to confirm receipt of their application.

Following the conclusion of the advertisement and search processes, the Selection Committee will meet in late-July to agree on a shortlist of candidates for interviews, with interviews to be held in Sydney on 10 August. Applicants in the process will be advised about the progress of applications in late-July.

Interviews will be approximately one hour in duration and will be a panel interview with the full Selection Committee. During the interview, candidates will be expected to present their credentials for inclusion on the Board (how they meet the criteria and how they can contribute to the Board, their ideas on MLA’s contribution to the red meat industry, their thoughts on industry issues etc) and the Committee will ask a series of questions. There will also be an opportunity for the candidate to ask questions.

Skills being sought - 2018

The skills and experience sought year to year in director candidates are guided by the skills and experience of the retiring Directors and the skills balance requirements of the Board. Skills sets considered relevant and required to be sought for 2018 include:

  • Strategic marketing, consumer and brand development and product management experience, at a domestic and international level
  • Nutrition, food science and value adding

Format and deadline for applications

Applications should include:

  • A short cover letter outlining the skills and experience the candidate brings to the Board.
  • A full resume detailing work history, relevant experience and qualifications. Please remember to include your full contact details.

Carnovale Recruitment is a specialist agribusiness search and recruitment business partnering with MLA to manage the selection process in 2018.

For a confidential conversation regarding these roles, please phone Tracie at Carnovale Recruitment on 0404 979 206. All applications should be emailed to

We will reply to the email address used for your application. Closing date: Friday, 1 June 2018

Please see PDF version of the guidelines here

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