The Rural Research and Development for Profit Expert Assessment Panel - Round Three

​NameBiography
Dr Mary Corbett (Chair)Dr Mary Corbett has more than 20 years' experience as a company director in scientific research and development, education and training.

Dr Corbett is currently a Board Member of DairyBIO, Adjunct Professor with the University of QLD, Faculties of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Managing Director of Australian Business Class, an organisation specialising in executive leadership development.

Previously, Dr Corbett was Chair of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Chair of the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service and a board member on the Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre.

She has also been Deputy Chair of the Southbank Institute of Technology, Deputy Chair of the Australian Agriculture College Corporation, and a board director of the Sugar Research and Development Corporation and Food Science Australia.

Mr Alex Campbell AM

Mr Alex Campbell has extensive experience in agricultural production for sheep, cattle, farm forestry and viticulture.

Mr Campbell is involved with regional natural resource management and his role as Chair of the CRC for Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity, as well as his work in the Western Australia State Salinity Council, Land and Water Australia and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, gives him an excellent understanding of the value of research, resilience and adaptation.

Mr Campbell has on-the-ground experience of the issues facing producers and what research can achieve to address opportunities and challenges in Australian agriculture.
Prof John GibsonProfessor John Gibson brings over 30 years’ experience and international recognition in a wide range of disciplines including genetics, genomics, farming systems, livestock nutrition and economics of livestock production.

Professor Gibson is currently Professor and Director at the Centre for Genetic Analysis and Applications, and Director International Development Activities in the School of Environmental and Rural Science at The University of New England (Armidale, NSW).

Professor Gibson also holds the following Board appointments:

  • Director, CRC for sheep Industry innovation;
  • Director, Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit;
Dr Sasha CourvilleDr Sasha Courville is Head of Social Innovation at the National Australia Bank (NAB). She leads NAB’s Shared Value work, driving initiatives that create business value while also addressing social and environmental challenges. One example is NAB’s Natural Value Strategy - an enterprise wide initiative with an initial focus on agribusiness, looking at managing natural capital risks and identifying business opportunities arising from an increased focus on issues such as water, energy and soil health.

Dr Courville has over 17 years of experience driving market transformation through sustainable value chains: as an international consultant, as a researcher at the Regulatory Institutions Network, at the Australian National University and as the Director of the London-based global association of sustainability standards initiatives (the ISEAL Alliance).

Dr Tony Gregson AMDr Gregson was an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Management at the University of Ballarat. Currently he is Chairman of the University of Melbourne School of Botany Foundation, a director of Rural Industries Skills Training in Hamilton, a Commissioner of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and a member of the Foundation for Arable Research Board in NZ. He is a former chairman of the Plant Science Cooperative Research Centre and the Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centres.

Dr Gregson is a former inaugural member of the CSIRO and Grains Research and Development Corporation Boards, and a former member of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre based in Mexico, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria.

David AnthonyMr David Anthony’s professional background of over 35 years has largely been involved with the agronomy, processing, exporting and marketing of broad acre crops especially irrigated cotton. Mr Anthony has also had significant participation in research, development and extension funding and management over several decades.

Mr Anthony is Chairman of the Australian Farm Institute and Chairman and former CEO of Auscott Limited, a key agribusiness in Australia which produces significant volumes of agricultural commodities including cotton and grains.

Mr Anthony is also the director of the Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre and a member of the NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ministerial Advisory Council for Primary Industries Science.

Mr Anthony’s other directorships have included Cargill Oilseeds Australia, Cargill Processing Limited, Cotton Seed Distributors (Director and Treasurer), Australian Cotton Growers Research Association (Vice Chairman), the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (Vice Chairman) and the Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre (Chairman).

Dr Merilyn SleighDr Merilyn Sleigh was trained as a Biochemist and was formerly CEO and Managing Director of EvoGenix Limited and Dean of Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of NSW.

Dr Sleigh spent the early part of her career in the pharmaceutical industry and was Research and Development Director of Peptech Limited, from 1993 to 1997. Dr Sleigh has extensive scientific research and management experience as a Chief Research Scientist and Assistant Chief of Division with CSIRO from 1978 to 1993.

Dr Sleigh has served on a wide range of government committees, Boards and Councils and also undertakes consulting work.

Other roles held by Dr Sleigh include:

  • Independent Non-Executive Director of Clover Corporation Limited since July 2008.
  • Director of Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation from 2008-2014.
  • Director of Adalta Limited until July 2014;
  • Independent Non-Executive Director of Tyrian Diagnostics Ltd. from 2008 to 2016.
  • Member of the University Council, University of Technology Sydney since November 2015
Jane BennettMs Jane Bennett has over 20 years of experience in vertically integrated food businesses working in the United Kingdom and Tasmania and extensive experience in regional provenance branding serving for over 10 years on the Brand Tasmania Council and six years as Chair of the Tasmanian Food Industry Council.

Ms Bennett is the Managing Director and CEO of ASX listed company TasFoods Ltd. Headquartered in Launceston TasFoods is a growing branded food business marketing premium Tasmanian food products under The Tasmanian Food Company master brand.

In 2008 Ms Bennett won a Nuffield Farming Scholarship studying the Role of Regionality in the Marketing and Branding of Food.

Ms Bennett has worked as a Non-Executive Director in a number of companies that currently include Food Innovation Australia Ltd and Nuffield Australia. Previous board positions include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CSIRO, Tasmanian Ports Corporation, Van Diemen’s Land Company and Australian Farm Institute.

Ms Bennett was named 2010 Tasmanian Telstra Business Woman of the Year, 1997 Australian ABC Rural Woman of the Year, 1998 Regional Development winner in the Young Australian of the Year Award and 1994 Tasmanian Rural Achiever of the Year.

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