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MLA Board Director nominees announced

17 September 2020

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) members will be asked to re-elect three existing Directors of MLA at the service company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 19 November 2020.

MLA members will soon be receiving MLA AGM packs which will be mailed out on 8 October including voting entitlements and proxy forms, along with a copy of the 2019-20 MLA Annual Report if requested, providing an open and transparent insight into MLA's activities, performance and financial information.

As required under MLA’s constitution, one third of the Board must retire at the conclusion of the AGM. The retiring Directors, whose terms expire at this year’s AGM, are Alan Beckett, Andrew Michael and Russell Lethbridge.

The red meat industry’s nine-person Selection Committee called for nominations to fill the three vacancies and interviewed a shortlist of potential candidates from a pool of 98 highly skilled applicants through a rigorous selection process.

As a result of this process, the Selection Committee has endorsed Mr Beckett, Mr Michael and Mr Lethbridge for election as Directors of MLA.

MLA has a skills-based Board and in line with specific requirements this year, candidates with extensive skills and experience in at least one of the following areas were encouraged to apply:

  • Australian beef production including knowledge and/or experience in northern production systems, pasture management, genetics and nutrition, Research, Development & Extension and emerging technologies and their application.
  • Australian sheepmeat production including knowledge and/or experience in diverse production systems, pasture management, genetics and nutrition, Research, Development & Extension and emerging technologies and their application.
  • Financial, audit and risk framework oversight with demonstrated knowledge and experience in, and an understanding of, issues relevant to Australian and Global operations, compliance under the Corporations Act and under Federal Government funding arrangements.

In addition to the specific skills sought, all candidates were assessed based on their understanding of the Australian red meat and livestock industry, business acumen, financial literacy and understanding of corporate governance. The Selection Committee also considered applicants’ ability to collaboratively contribute to strategic and Board discussion.

To ensure MLA members receive their full voting entitlement, they must complete and return their personalised Levy Notice by 21 September 2020.

Click here for more information on the Annual General Meeting and voting entitlements.

Biographies of Director nominees

Alan Beckett
Qualifications: BEc, FICA, GAICD
Mr Beckett runs an Angus breeding and backgrounding operation in Yea, Victoria. He brings 40 years’ experience with a major professional services firm, practising in the area of audit and corporate services to large companies with an emphasis on listed public companies along with practical experience in doing business in Oceania, South-East Asia, China, Japan and India. Mr Beckett is Chair of Defence Health Limited, a non-executive director of Westbourne Capital Pty Ltd and Westbourne Credit Management Limited. Mr Beckett is the Chair of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, and a non-executive director of MLA Donor Company Limited and Integrity Systems Company Limited.

Previous roles:
Chairman of ASX listed Basper Limited (formally Berklee Ltd) and Deputy Chairman of the Department of Defence Audit & Risk Committee. He is a former independent member of the Audit & Risk Committee of Reserve Bank of Australia’s wholly owned subsidiary, Note Printing Australia Limited.


Andrew Michael
Qualifications: GAICD
Mr Michael is a fourth-generation farmer, working his 1,500ha family farm at Snowtown, South Australia, as well as grazing land in the State’s north-east pastoral area and in the south-east. Over the last 45 years he has built and operated a large scale sheepmeat and wool business including both terminal and maternal sheep. He has extensive experience in the use of breeding technologies in both the sheep and cattle industries, and has, for over 35 years, incorporated all the latest leading-edge animal breeding technologies available. Mr Michael is a great supporter and user of all sheep industry groups, including Sheep CRC, Sheep Genetics, Information Nucleus Flock and many more. Using these technologies and working with industry groups has assisted him to develop a highly productive business, breeding top performing sheep for quality red meat production, along with high value skins and wools on animals that do not require mulesing. For many years he has had a close association with commercial producers all round Australia, New Zealand and South America, holding presentation and educational field days and helping their marketing and genetic selection programs. Mr Michael is a director of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, Integrity Systems Company Limited and a member of the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.

Previous roles:
Mr Michael was a member of the Royal Adelaide Show Pastoral Committee having served 22 years, two as President. He was a board member of the Lumeah Trust, a member with SA Sheep Disease Management Committee focusing on OJD and Spider Syndrome, and an Australian White Suffolk Foundation Committee Member. Mr Michael is also Honorary Life Member and Distinguished Service Award member of the Australian White Suffolk Association.

Russell Lethbridge
Qualifications: Dip Rural Business Management, Cert Animal Husbandry and Farm Engineering (Hons), GAICD
Mr Lethbridge, with his family, runs Werrington Cattle Company, a commercial beef cattle, breeding, growing and fattening enterprise. Werrington has been in the Lethbridge family for 124 years with the current branch of the family in ownership since 1980. The Werrington business runs over 13,000 head of cattle and comprises a breeding program on 120,000ha of natural eucalypt forest country, approximately 250km west of Townsville and 200km north of Hughenden in north Queensland. The business also consists of Rainmore Station, a 27,000ha property near Alpha in central Queensland. Mr Lethbridge has a deep understanding of cattle production systems, managing breeder and feeder cattle under extreme environmental conditions and pasture nutrition levels, utilising genetic selection and strategic herd management to achieve production and business success. Mr Lethbridge is a director of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, Integrity Systems Company Limited and a member of the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.

Previous roles:
Mr Lethbridge was Chair of the Hann Highway Action Group, a member of the Rural Fire Board and a member of the Oak Race Club Committee. He was an elected representative of AgForce for seven years, beginning as Regional Vice President for the north region, then as Regional President and Board Member and member of AgForce Finance Audit and Risk and Agribusiness Finance Drought and Climate Policy Committees. He was a member of the steering committee for the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group to develop and promote a business improvement package for north Australian cattlemen.