The Board of Sheep Producers Australia has appointed Graham Smith as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Mr Smith brings 30 years of experience working in the food and agriculture industries in a number of senior commercial positions, mainly in Australia and New Zealand.
For the past four years, he was CEO of New Zealand’s Federated Farmers and has previously run the Institute for Environmental Science and Research, one of the country’s largest science and innovation organisations.
SPA Chair Chris Mirams says Mr Smith brings a wonderful skill set and wealth of experience to the role, including knowledge of the strategic importance of the sheep industry to Australia and its contribution to rural communities and national exports.
“After an extensive recruitment process, the Board of SPA is thrilled to have a candidate of Graham’s calibre working with us,” Mr Mirams said.
“He joins SPA at an exciting time for the organisation, which transitioned to a company structure with a skills-based board late last year. This has meant a transition in governance, strategy and positioning as an organisation.
“We are looking forward to working with Graham as we develop and implement a range of new initiatives to further strengthen the industry and proactively support our key stakeholders.
“The SPA Board thanks Sue Dillon for the tireless work she has put into SPA as interim CEO during the transition period. We are extremely appreciative of her efforts during a very busy time for the organisation.”
Mr Smith will be based in Canberra and starts in the role in late August. Mr Mirams will move from Executive Chair to Independent Chair as planned. Mr Smith will attend LambEx in Perth from August 5-7 to meet with producers and other industry stakeholders.
“I’m excited to be taking up the role and working at a national level on behalf of Australia’s sheep producers and our state farming organisation members,” Mr Smith said. “It’s the start of a new chapter for SPA and I’m really looking forward to using the experience I’ve gained in other organisations for the benefit of SPA and the industry.”