Board

Fiona Simson | Chair

Fiona Simson is a prominent innovator and influencer in the Australian agrifood sector and brings a wealth of leadership and governance expertise, gained in roles including President of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), Deputy Chair of NRMA, Director of the Australia Made Campaign and a Director of AgStewardship Australia, to the Future Food Systems CRC Board.

Peter Schutz | Director

Peter Schutz OAM has over 50 years experience and achievement in the Food and Agriculture industry. He retired as Executive Chair of Food Innovation Australia Ltd in July 2019. His current Board roles include Chair of The Lupin Co, Chair and President of Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and Director of Fermentation Tasmania Ltd. Peter and his wife also have an active involvement in the family farm in South Western NSW growing mixed cereal crops and rice.

Peter’s recent Board and Advisory roles include Ministerial Appointee to Growth Centre Advisory Committee, Chair of Food Safety Advisory Committee at Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, Co Chair of CSIRO Agriculture & Food Advisory Committee and Chair of the Federal Government’s Food Waste Reduction Initiative. He has previously served on the Boards of Value Added Wheat CRC and Grain Foods CRC.

Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology. He was formerly Group Technical Director of George Weston Foods Ltd and CEO of George Weston Technologies.

Professor Valerie Linton | Director

Professor Valerie Linton is Executive Dean, Engineering and Information Sciences, at University of Wollongong, a fellow of Engineers Australia, a chartered engineer and chartered materials professional, and a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors. Valerie has held a number of governance roles and, in addition, brings specific expertise in CRC operations. As CEO of the Energy Pipelines CRC, Valerie was instrumental in developing the strategic and operational processes for what is now an internationally recognised engineering research centre.

Carolyn McNally | Director

Carolyn McNally has more than 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments, most recently as Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. She has overseen a broad array of NSW Government policy initiatives, many focused on improving strategic planning, processes and systems and undertaking planned, coordinated investment.

As Deputy Director-General of Transport for NSW, McNally led the state’s first transport master-planning process, successfully implementing a comprehensive overhaul of 40-year-old state planning legislation. As a federal government senior executive, she was the first to hold the role of Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure; she’s also held positions in regional development, human services and health, managing major Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits initiatives and programs. In all her roles, McNally has led major policy development to achieve key government objectives.

In recognition of her outstanding public-sector work, the NSW Government recently named McNally one of the top 50 women in the public sector; The Sydney Morning Herald called her one of the 20 most influential women in Sydney.

Prior to joining the CRC Board as a Director, McNally sat on the Boards of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Infrastructure NSW and the Greater Sydney Commission.

Bob Mullins | Director

With wide experience in senior roles within the agriculture sector, Bob’s areas of expertise are extensive. He is well versed in agri-business strategy development and implementation internationally both in in start-ups and in a world leading agribusiness.

His current position, as Regulatory and Stewardship Lead of Syngenta Australasia, sees him lead a team to develop and implement regulatory strategies and sustainability initiatives, and to strengthen links to government and industry.

In earlier roles, Bob lead fast growing crop seed businesses in North East Asia and across APAC  delivering extended periods of business development, profitable growth and commercialisation of new technologies. Other roles within the sector saw Bob based in North Carolina as a Member of the Global Leadership Team for Syngenta Vegetables. In this role, Bob piloted new business models and technologies in north and south America, implementing a new global strategy for bringing seed and crop protection together into a single grower focused business.

Bob has Director experience in agribusinesses in start-up companies as CEO and Director of ForBio Asia Pty Ltd and ForBio Robotics Pty Ltd and in Asia as President and Director of Seoul Seeds Korea. Such experience has provided Bob with a broad and deep understanding of what it takes to be a Director in the agriculture sector, especially in start-up businesses and those that focus on plant technologies.

Maggie Dowling | Director

With a passion for the food and research sectors and an appreciation of the specific operating challenges faced by NFPs, Maggie Dowling brings business acumen and extensive Board, Committee and executive-management experience to the CRC Board.

She has 15 years’ experience in the grains and food industry, including Director of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and Chair of the Malting Barley Quality Improvement Program, and has has held numerous directorships in the NFP and private sectors (notably, as an executive in a top ASX-listed company) as well as positions on state and federal government committees – including establishing the South Australian Food Strategy for the SA Government.

Dowling holds an MBA from the University of Adelaide and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As General Manager of CRC CARE Ltd (the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination and Remediation of the Environment), she has first-hand experience of what it takes to run a successful CRC.

Her strong practical understanding of the governance, operational, financial, and human-resource issues that face 21st-century organisations, especially those undergoing significant growth and sector reforms, will be of immense value to the Board.