Julie Bird has been re-elected chair of Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation), with Paul Harker to remain in the deputy chair position.
Board elections were held at the organisation’s virtual annual general meeting today (26 November).
Voting members elected two new directors, Catherine Oates and Robert Mullins, who replace the outgoing Stephen Lynch and Sue Finger. Bird was also re-elected to the board, hence her eligibility to be re-elected chair.
Oates will serve as a non-executive director, bringing 20 years of international senior management experience in the wine sector to the board.
“Catherine has a strong understanding of agri-business, effective stakeholder engagement, global marketing, market access, and sustainability, and will prove a real asset,” said Bird.
Mullins has held senior technical and commercial leadership positions in the horticulture sector.
“Bob was raised on a farm and has enjoyed an international career in businesses that create value through plant-based technology in agriculture, particularly in high-value horticulture,” Bird said, adding that the board changes come at an exciting time for the industry.
“Horticulture is the fastest-growing agricultural sector in Australia – with a 27 per cent hike in value over the past five years to A$15.1bn, and our modelling shows that figure could double by 2030.
“There is a wealth of research, development, marketing, extension and trade activities that will underpin that growth and we are working with industry and delivery partners to deliver meaningful outcomes that serve horticulture now, and for decades to come.”