MLA Board Director nominees announced

28 September 2017

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) members will be asked to vote on the election of three nominees as Directors of MLA at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) as endorsed by the Board Selection Committee.

Each year, Directors are elected by MLA members at the AGM, with the nominees for election selected by a nine-person Selection Committee.

The Committee is made up of four independent producer representatives, three peak industry council representatives and two MLA Board Directors (with no voting rights).  The Committee interviewed a shortlist of candidates from a pool of 85 highly skilled applicants.

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

  • Australian beef production – including demonstrated knowledge and/or experience of northern production systems and knowledge and experience in one or more of the following:
    • pasture management, genetics and nutrition
    • an understanding of Research Development & Extension
    • emerging technologies and their application and implementation (including but not limited to IT and data).
  • Australian sheepmeat production systems including demonstrated knowledge and/or experience in diverse production systems and knowledge and experience in one or more of the following:
    • pasture management, genetics and nutrition
    • an understanding of Research Development & Extension
    • emerging technologies and their application and implementation (including but not limited to IT and data).
  • Financial, audit and risk framework oversight with demonstrated knowledge and experience in and an understanding of issues relevant to the following:
    • Australian operations
    • global operations
    • compliance with statutory obligations under the Corporations Act and under the Federal Government funding arrangements.

The Selection Committee has endorsed three nominees for election as Directors of MLA (see full biographies below):

  • Alan Beckett
  • Russell Lethbridge
  • Andrew Michael

The candidates were assessed based on their skills and broad understanding of the Australian red meat and livestock industry, having strong business acumen, financial literacy, an understanding of corporate governance and a collaborative approach in making an active contribution to strategic and Board discussion.

“As a skills-based Board, the MLA Board’s role is to ensure appropriate performance goals for the company are set and achieved, while taking into account the interests of the industry and other stakeholders,” MLA Chair Dr Michele Allan said.

“This includes strategy development and review of governance, financial performance and risk management.”

Dr Allan thanked outgoing Board Directors, Geoff Maynard and Chris Mirams, for their service to the MLA Board over six and three years respectively. Their terms will end in November 2017.

“Mr Maynard and Mr Mirams have each made a strong contribution to the strategic direction and performance of MLA during their terms as MLA Board Directors and, on behalf of the company, I thank them for their commitment to the industry and for the role they have played,” Dr Allan said.

Register for Red Meat 2017

Australian red meat producers and stakeholders interested in attending Red Meat 2017 on 21-22 November 2017 in Alice Springs are encouraged to register. 

This red meat industry flagship event is open to all local and interstate producers and industry stakeholders, with the bumper program to showcase Australian beef, lamb and goatmeat and the very best of Central Australia.

The Red Meat 2017 program includes a producer tour, the latest innovation and marketing insights, a trade show and technology demonstrations, business breakfast, outstanding networking opportunities, industry and producer forums and the MLA Annual General Meeting.

To register and red more about the program please visit the Red Meat 2017 event page

Biographies of Director nominees

  • Alan Beckett

Qualifications: B Ec, 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 a non-executive director of Defence Health Limited, Westbourne Capital Pty Ltd and Westbourne Credit Management Limited. He is Deputy Chairman of the Department of Defence Audit & Risk Committee and is an independent member of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s wholly owned subsidiary, Note Printing Australia Limited. Mr Beckett is a director of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, MLA Donor Company Limited and Integrity Systems Company Limited, and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Previous roles:
Chairman of ASX listed Basper Limited (formally Berklee Ltd)

  • Russell Lethbridge

Qualifications: Dip Rural Business Management, Cert Animal Husbandry and Farm Engineering (hons).

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 114 years and with the current branch of the family in ownership since 1980. The Werrington business runs over 10,000 head of cattle and comprises a breeding program on 19,500 hectares of natural eucalypt forest country, approximately 250 km west of Townsville and 200km north of Hughenden in North Queensland and Rainmore Station a 27,000 hectare 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 Chair of the Hann Highway Action Group, a member of the rural fire board and a member of the Oak Race Club Committee and has been so since 1988.

Previous roles:
Mr Lethbridge was an elected representative on 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.

  • Andrew Michael   

Mr Michael is a fourth generation farmer, working his 1500ha family farm at Snowtown, and over the last 15 years has purchased grazing land in South Australia’s North East Pastoral area and in the South East of SA. Over the last 45 years Mr Michael has built and operated a large scale sheep meat and wool business that includes both Terminal and Maternal sheep. He has extensive experience in the use of breeding technologies in both the sheep and cattle industries, and over the last 35 years has incorporated all the latest leading edge animal breeding technologies available. He has been a great supporter and user of all the sheep industry groups, including The Sheep CRC – Sheep Genetics – Information Nucleus Flock – and many more.  Using these technologies and working with industry groups has contributed greatly to assist him to develop a highly productive business, by breeding some of the top performing sheep for quality red meat production, along with combining high value skins and wools on animals that do not require mulesing (he ceased mulesing in 2004). For many years Mr Michael has had a close association with commercial producers all round Australia, New Zealand and South America, holding presentation and educational field days, along with helping with their marketing and genetic selection programs. Mr Michael is enthusiastic, has a passion for progress and technology and a positive vision for Australia’s sheep flock.

Previous roles:
Andrew Michael has been a member of the Royal Adelaide Show Pastoral Committee having served 22 years, two of which were as President, he has just resigned and finishes this role in October 2017. He is a past board member of the Lumeah Trust (aged care facility), having served 15 years. He is a previous member with SA Sheep Disease Management Committee focusing on OJD and Spider Syndrome, he was one of the Australian White Suffolk Foundation Committee Members, having served 16 years, two of which were as President. Mr Michael is also an Honorary Life Member and Distinguished Service Award member of the Australian White Suffolk Association.

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