Key appointments to strengthen integrity systems and R&D impact

25 August 2016

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has announced the appointment of respected research and development (R&D) manager Dr Jane Weatherley as chief executive officer (CEO) of the red meat industry’s new Integrity and Information Systems Company.

The new role will see Dr Weatherley lead the evolution of an expanded NLIS Limited into a new company to streamline the management of Australia’s traceability and quality assurance programs for beef, sheep and goat meat.

The changes follow a decision by industry and government – through their SAFEMEAT partnership – that one company be given responsibility for delivering a fully integrated integrity system. The system includes the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and National Vendor Declaration (NVD) programs, which have been separately managed until now.

“After an extensive executive recruitment process, I’m delighted that Dr Jane Weatherley has accepted the role of CEO of industry’s new Integrity and Information Systems Company,” MLA Managing Director Richard Norton said.

“Jane has made excellent progress in her previous role as MLA’s General Manager, Livestock Productivity, which included management of the Meat Standards Australia program, and she will bring the same energy and leadership to this important new role.

“I’m also pleased to announce that Jo Quigley, who has been acting CEO, will take on the role of chief operating officer (COO) in the new company, which will be a subsidiary of MLA.

“In addition to managing industry’s integrity systems, the new company will also be charged with building a fully integrated information platform for delivery of MLA's component of the industry's Value Chain Digital Strategy. Jo will play a key role with Jane in delivering these important industry outcomes.”

In other changes, On-farm Innovation and Adoption Manager Dr Matt McDonagh has resigned to pursue family interests in Armidale. Dr McDonagh will maintain a strong association with MLA, working with the leadership team to ensure a smooth transition from his current role and explore opportunities to support the expansion of MLA’s Donor Company (MDC) activities in key livestock production areas.

“In light of these developments, MLA is making a series of changes to further enhance our delivery of R&D services and sharpen the focus on producer consultation and their adoption of new research and technology,” Mr Norton said.

“The new arrangements include structural changes and process efficiencies within MLA.  They reflect the learnings from the recent independent review of MLA’s performance by ACIL Allen, as well as feedback from within the business.

“Sean Starling will take on a new role of General Manager – Research, Development and Innovation. Sean will manage all MLA’s R&D programs and innovation throughout the red meat and livestock value chain.

“Mick Crowley has accepted the role of General Manager – Producer Consultation and Adoption. Mick and his team will be responsible for adoption, R&D consultation, genetic operations and MSA, and will work closely with producers to drive adoption of R&D that contributes to their prosperity. 

“MLA is also investing in new efficiencies and administrative processes to continue strengthening our R&D commercialisation and project evaluation – and to enable MLA’s program managers to concentrate on their core business of delivering new R&D outcomes and their adoption.

“This is integral to building the profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness of the red meat and livestock industry.”

The changes are effective from today.

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