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Don Heatley OAM – Chair, ACIAR Commission

Master of Ceremony

Mr Don Heatley OAM is a North Queensland cattle farmer who produces beef for highly specialised export markets including Korea, Japan and the United States, giving him a strong understanding of the livestock export industry and international agribusiness value chains. Mr Heatley is the Chair of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Commission, and has held previous roles on state livestock councils, the Cattle Council of Australia and as Chair of Meat and Livestock Australia. Mr Heatley has taken a strong personal interest in provision of research and development support to domestic beef industries throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

C Chilcott

Dr Chris Chilcott BSc (Hons) PhD – Research and Site Leader for the Northern Territory, CSIRO – Land and Water

Dr. Chris Chilcott is a rangeland ecologist with over 20 years’ experience in the agricultural sector, largely in livestock industries.  Chris leads CSIRO’s work on developing Northern Australia based at our Darwin laboratory. He is responsible for facilitating strategic, multidisciplinary and collaborative research relevant to the development of the north. Chris’ most recent research has focused on identifying the scale and location of opportunities for developing northern Australia including work relating to mosaic irrigation, transport logistics and biosecurity.

Chris has professional experience in animal industries, pastoral production and rangeland management. He has been instrumental in leading complex industry development, development of strategic policy and advising on international trade and market developments to enable growth. Chris has strong experience and relationships with governments across the north –  Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia as well as with our South-east Asian trading partners. 

Prior to joining CSIRO Chris led a strategic policy team providing leadership on industry development in Queensland. This included beef, sheep and wool, goats, chicken meat, eggs, pigs, and minor industries, as well as providing support to  the Northern Australian Beef Industry Agricultural Ministers Forum.  Chris has also held the position of Regional Director for the Rangelands region in the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food, which included the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne and Murchison, Goldfields and Nullarbor regions.

Chris has a PhD in Ecosystem Management from the University of New England, and a BSc in Environmental Science from Murdoch University. He brings to CSIRO a strong strategic acuity, an impressive depth of knowledge of industry supply chains and a strong commitment to the sustainable development of the north. 

Steve Coleman – CEO, RSPCA New South Wales

Mr Coleman is the Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA NSW. He joined RSPCA NSW as an Inspector in 1991, and contributes to animal welfare in many ways. This includes sitting on numerous government and industry committees and advisory councils, such as the Animal Welfare Advisory Council that reports directly to the Minister for Primary Industries. Mr Coleman will be discussing ‘The Greyhound racing ban and subsequent reversal’.

Kimbal Curtis – Director, Livestock Dynamics

Former Department of Agriculture and Food researcher, Kimbal Curtis will be considering industry sustainability as he discusses: ‘From 40 million to 14 million – where to for the WA sheep industry? What price would it take to turn the ‘production’ tide?’.

Dr Sarah Hyland – Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology

Dr Tomas Norton – Harper Adams University

Greg Sheridan – Foreign Affairs Editor, The Australian

Dick Slaney – Indonesia-Australia Commercial Cattle Breeding Program

David Carter – Austral Fisheries

Dr Kristen Stilt – Professor, Harvard University