Board of Directors

Board of Directors

The Sheep CRC Board comprises a non-executive Chairman and six non-executive members elected by the Members of the Sheep CRC Company.

The role of the Board is to govern the Company rather than to manage it. In general, the Board is responsible for, and has the authority to determine, all matters relating to the direction, policies, practices, management and operation of the Company. It is the role of senior management to manage the Company in accordance with the direction and delegations of the Board and the responsibility of the Board to oversee the activities of management in carrying out these delegated duties. The Board is accountable to the Members and Participants of the Company for the business operations and affairs of the Company. The principal functions and responsibilities of the Board include the following:

  • Strategic management;
  • Corporate governance;
  • Key personnel management; and
  • Financial management.

Ian Wilton - Chair

Ian Wilton has extensive experience as a non-executive director and senior agribusiness executive; He currently serves on the Board of Elders Ltd and is Chair of that company’s Audit Committee. He is also a non-executive director of One Harvest Holdings Pty Ltd.  He has undertaken senior management roles in a number of companies including President and CEO of GrainCorp Malt and CFO and interim CEO of Ridley Corporation Ltd. Ian is a CPA with considerable corporate, finance oversight and governance experience.


Professor John Gibson - Member

John Gibson brings over 30 years' experience and international recognition in a wide range of disciplines relevant to the Sheep CRC, including genetics, genomics, farming systems, livestock nutrition and economics of livestock production. He is currently Professor and Director at the Centre for Genetic Analysis and Applications at The University of New England (Armidale, NSW) and has experience in leading research, development and the successful delivery of innovatoin to industry in Australia, Europe, North America and Africa.

Dr Ian Johnsson - Member

Ian Johnsson is a rural RD&E management consultant, having held positions such as General Manager for on-farm RD&E investment in both Meat & Livestock Australia and Australian Pork Ltd.  He has over 25 years' experience in managing national RD&E programs. Ian was a Board Member of the Animal Biosecurity CRC for Emerging Infectious Disease (2004-6). He is a graduate of Rural Science, UNE, holds a PhD from University Reading (UK) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Stuart Mitchell - Member

Stuart Mitchell is a commercial wool and sheep producer from Bollon in Queensland. He has extensive experience in commercial sheep production systems and a good understanding of the value and practical application of the research outcomes expected from the Sheep CRC. Previously Stuart has been a member of the Australian Wool Innovation Sustainable Production Systems Advisory Panel, the Falkiner Memorial Field Station Advisory Panel, the Bestprac National Steering Committee and the Woolmark Company’s Pastoral Zone Advisory Committee.

Mr Peter Trefort - Member

Peter Trefort manages his family's property at Narrogin, Western Australia. He has over 40 years' experience in sheep and cattle production as well as management across the meat supply chain. He has worked extensively developing on-farm and processing R&D strategy with the Department of Agriculture and Food (WA), University of Western Australia and Murdoch University. Peter has been successful in developing and commercialising an innovative new range of lamb cuts to extend markets both domestically and internationally.

Mike van Blommestein - Member

Mike van Blommestein recently retired from his position as VP/Country Manager in animal health and prior to that was in senior Director roles with Pfizer Animal Health and SmithKline Beecham. He has also recently finished a stint as President of Animal Medicines Australia. Mike’s expertise is in pharmaceuticals and vaccine biologicals, genetic and diagnostic plus strategic marketing of products, acquisitions and corporate governance and much international experience especially in the Asia Pacific markets.