Mr Brent FinlayChair
Mr Brent Finlay has 40 years’ experience in the agricultural sector. He runs a sheep and cattle property called Cooinda in the Traprock region of South East Queensland. Brent is also the Managing Director of Finlay Agricultural Industries, which provides specialist strategic advice to both existing and emerging enterprises across the agricultural sector. His business interests include developing the next generation of agricultural products and travelling to developing countries.
Brent spent 10 years working in agricultural industry representative roles, representing Australian farmers as the President of the National Farmers’ Federation for three years where he chaired the NFF’s Drought Committee, as well as a term as the President of AgForce Queensland. He was elected to the board of the World Farm Organisation based in Rome, where he represented the Oceania region. Key issues negotiated while Brent was in these roles include trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea and the Trans Pacific Partnership, drought packages, backpacker tax and responses to natural disasters. Recently Brent has been the independent chair of the Emu Swamp Dam Detailed Business Case, now known as Granite Belt Water, which proposes the development of an irrigation project for the Granite Belt’s high value horticulture.Read Bio
Dr Kate AndrewsCommittee member
Director, Agrifutures. EO, NRM Regions Australia (p/t). Senior lecturer, ANU (p/t). Now based in Moruya, regional NSW.
Previously based in Darwin, Dr Andrews worked across northern Australia as an advisor/consultant, chaired the Northern Territory’s regional natural resource management body (an NGO), and participated in numerous national committees, including the Australian Landcare Council and CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Committee. Kate previously worked across the Lake Eyre
Basin (based in Longreach) designing and establishing the Lake Eyre Basin Coordinating Group - Australia’s only community designed and run cross-border NRM organisation, and was appointed its first CEO. Kate contributed to the establishment of the LEB Intergovernmental Agreement, winner of the 2014 Australia River Prize. Worked with Land & Water Australia (a national research and
development organisation) as their first Knowledge and Adoption Manager, as Business Development Manager for Greening Australia Ltd (national); and as a consultant on community participatory processes, collaborative initiatives and knowledge exchange. PhD explored the history of cropping and policy learning in northern Australia.Read Bio
Dr Wendy Craik AMCommittee member
Dr Wendy Craik is recognised as one of Australia’s leading independent public policy advisors, particularly on issues related to natural resource management. Currently Chair of the Climate Change Authority (starting her five-year appointment in 2015). Dr Craik has over 25 years' experience in senior roles in public policy, including as Commissioner of the Productivity Commission, Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, President of the National Competition Council, Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Executive Director of the National Farmers' Federation and Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority.
Dr Craik has been a director on a number of boards. She is currently Chair of the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority, Chair of the National Environmental Science Program Climate Science and Earth Systems Hub Steering Committee and a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Australian Farm Institute. Invested as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to the natural resource sector of the economy, particularly in the areas of fisheries, marine ecology and management of water reform, and for contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.Read Bio
Dr Elizabeth (Liz) PetersenCommittee member
Dr Petersen is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Environment, Faculty of Science at the University of Western Australia. She is also the founding director and Principal Applied Economist in the consulting firm Advanced Choice Economics Pty Ltd. She has previously held positions at the Australian National University (2000-2003) and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia (2013-2019).
Dr Petersen has more than 20 years of experience in agricultural and environmental economics in Australia and internationally. Her areas of expertise include investment prioritisation in the agrifood industry; behaviour change and the extension and adoption of new technologies; public policy evaluation; and the economics of climate risk and agricultural industry development.
Kate has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (with honours) and a PhD in Agricultural Economics, both from the University of Western Australia.Read Bio
Ms Caroline WelshCommittee member
Ms Caroline Welsh is the former Chair of Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), which improves the prosperity of Australia’s broadacre farmers through applied science-based research and extension. Caroline has been a Director of the BCG for twelve years and was Chair for seven. Caroline is also Deputy Chairman of GWM Water which successfully built one of Australia’s biggest pipeline projects the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline in western Victoria. Caroline was previously a member of the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee.
Caroline has a degree in Agricultural Science and a Master of Marketing (Agribusiness). She worked in the irrigated horticulture section of the state Department of Primary Industries for 19 years in the areas of industry development, export marketing, extension, irrigation and climate. Caroline received a Churchill Fellowship in 1998 travelling to Asia, South Africa and Chile to investigate markets and competitors of Swan Hill’s fresh stone fruit exports.Read Bio