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Meet Our Team

WoolProducers Australia is led by a National Executive made up of woolgrowers from around Australia. Each state farm organisation member is represented on the executive, while another three members are independently elected by the growers Australia-wide.

Democratically elected independent members gives anyone involved with wool growing in Australia the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team. This sets WPA apart from other grower groups and gives it the mantle of the true democratic voice of the Australian wool industry.

Staff

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Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

Jo has a passion for the wool industry, having grown up on a wool and beef property in southern NSW, and has spent most of her working life in various facets of the industry.

Jo joined WoolProducers Australia as the Animal Health and Welfare Policy Director in February 2011 and was appointed as CEO in December 2014. Prior to that Jo worked for AgForce Queensland as the Sheep & Wool Policy Director.

Jo has represented the wool industry at state, national and international levels throughout her career across a range of issues affecting the industry.

Jo has worked in wool production, on-farm testing and shearing sheds across NSW and has a degree in Agribusiness from the University of Sydney.

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Adam Dawes

General Manager

Adam joined WoolProducers Australia in 2020. Adam grew up on a wool producing property near Yass, NSW and studied a Bachelor of Agriculture (Agronomy) at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.

 

Following studies Adam worked for 4 years as an agronomist in the Southern Tablelands of NSW before moving into the federal Department of Agriculture,  where he worked in various biosecurity and trade related roles.

Adam spent 4 years working for the Falklands Islands Government Department of Agriculture, initially as the agronomist and subsequently as the Senior Agricultural Advisor.

Adam is keen to contribute to the long-term sustainable growth of the Australian wool industry through informed investment in research and development, maintenance of benchmark animal welfare standards, sustainable environmental management, developing consumer awareness and advocacy for what is nothing short of the greatest natural fibre in the world. 

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Board of Directors

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Steve Harrison

President (Independent)

Steve lives in Gippsland, Victoria with his wife and three daughters. Steve owns Bindawarra Merino Stud and runs a successful commercial sheep flock of 4000 ewes. Steve is a Life Member of the Gippsland Sheep Breeders Association and has been a VFF Livestock Councillor for a number of years with the VFF Livestock Group.  He was appointed an independent WoolProducers director in 2011.

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Brett Smith

AgForce Queensland

Representing AgForce Queensland

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Makaela Knapp

WA Farmers

Makaela is a fourth-generation farmer in WA’s Great Southern region where here family run a merino stud, a commercial sheep operation and a substantial cropping program. Makaela has a degree in International Relations with International Management and Sheep & Wool Science. She is passionate and dedicated to shaping practical policy change. Makaela has been a member of the WAFarmers Livestock Council since 2020.

Representing WA Farmers

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David Young

NSW Farmers Association

Raised on a mixed farming operation in the Riverina, near Coolamon NSW and spending his youth wool classing throughout Victoria & western NSW, David has over 20 years’ experience working in senior positions in the Industrial and Agricultural industries. He runs a 5000-acre family sheep and beef grazing enterprise in the New South Wales tablelands.

Representing NSW Farmers Association

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Bradley Venning

VFF Livestock Group

Coming Soon!

Representing VFF livestock Group

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Simon Riddle

Acting Vice President (Independent)

Simon Lives in North-East Victoria with his wife and two children. They own and operate a 18-19 micron self-replacing merino flock and pol merino stud, currently lambing down around 2000 ewes. Simon joined WoolProducers in 2020 as the VFF Livestock Delegate and was elected in 2023 as an Indepent Director. Simon was also elected Acting Vice President until early 2024 when the Board will consider Directors for the position

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Glen Tilley

Livestock SA

Glen is a fifth-generation farmer in the Tarlee-Kapunda district. Over the past 25 years he has had a strong interest in the livestock industry, particularly the sheep industry. During this time, he chaired the Lower North Lamb Group; Milk-Fed Lamb Group; SA Lamb Development Team and the Producer Advisory Panel of SheepConnect SA. Glen joined Livestock SA as a Director in 2021.

Representing Livestock SA

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Skye Ward

Independent Director

Skye runs a fine wool enterprise near Bungendore in southern New South Wales with her husband and three young children. Experienced in rural finance, community engagement, event management, marketing, PR, media and communications. Skye also has experience as an agricultural economist, runs her own media and communications business and holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics with first class honours from the UNE

Independent Director

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Tim McShane

Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association

Tim is a fifth generation farmer in the southern midlands of Tasmania.  Together with wife Felicity, brother Andrew and his wife Allison they run a Poll Merino Stud and a flock of 30,000 fine wool merinos ewes.  Tim has an Advanced Diploma in Farm Management from Glenormiston and completed a Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program in 2005.  He has been a member of the Tasmanian Sheep Connect PAP and the TFGA Wool Council for 15 years.

Representing TFGA

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Angus Hobson

Independent Director

Coming Soon!

Independent Director

Health and Welfare Committee

Image by Sam Carter

Russell Hartwich

Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association (ASWGA)

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Brenton Heazlewood

Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA)

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Andrew Whale

Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA)

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Ben Wilson

Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB) 

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Jim Mekiff

MerinoLink

Image by Melina Kiefer

James Munro

SRS Genetics

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Michelle Humphries

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)

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