APRIL’s Structure

APRIL Board Members

Chairman

Dr Tony Peacock FTSE FAICD – Independent Chairman

photo of Tony Peacock

Chief Executive Officer of the Canberra-based Cooperative Research Centres Association since 2010, Dr Peacock is a former Managing Director of the Pig Research and Development Corporation and was CEO of a successful CRC for a decade. A reproductive scientist, he holds a Bachelor degree in agriculture and a PhD in veterinary science from the University of Sydney. He has board experience with start-ups, is a passionate advocate for applied research and has an outstanding track record in collaboration, science communication, research partnerships and effective innovation systems.

Board Members

Professor Robert van Barneveld B.Agr.Sc. (Hons), PhD, RAnNutr, FAICD

Rob van Barneveld

Professor Robert van Barneveld is Group CEO and Managing Director of Sunpork Group of Companies, which includes Sunpork Farms, Sunpork Fresh Foods, Swickers Kingaroy Bacon Factory and Sunpork Solutions. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Ridley Corporation, Deputy Chair of Autism CRC Ltd, Chairman of Social Skills Training Pty Ltd and a Director of Roseworthy Piggery Pty Ltd. He is a former Director of Australian Pork Ltd and Porkscan Pty Ltd. He has a PhD in pig nutrition and has worked as a consultant scientist and nutritionist in Australia and overseas for the past 20 years.

Dr Gerard Davis BSc, Ph.D, MBA, GAICD

Dr Gerard Davis is an executive with extensive experience in agribusiness, biotech and agtech and a demonstrated ability to derive value from commercialising technology in companies ranging from start-ups to multi-national global leaders. Dr Davis has experience consulting to a range of organisations from agtech start-ups such as Mastaplex, Research consortiums such as the CRC for Food Agility as well as major agribusinesses and organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These appointments have included developing strategic, organisational and technology commercialisation plans. The work has involved projects across Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South Asia.

Dr Davis has previously held senior roles with a series of major Australian and global companies, with more than 15 years’ experience in commercialisation of technology. Most recently he was General Manager of Innovation and Strategic Development at Australian Agricultural Company. Prior to that he held senior roles with ThermoFisher Scientific and Pfizer’s Animal Health Division, now Zoetis. In these roles he has been instrumental in enabling commercial success from the development and implementation of technology in the livestock and agri-food industries. Dr Davis spent 11 years as a researcher with Australia’s leading research agency, CSIRO.

He has a Bachelor of Science, a Ph.D and an MBA and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Neil Ferguson B.Bus (Agric)

Neil is CEO of Westpork, a multisite pork operation in Western Australia. He is also Chairman of the Western Australian Agricultural Produce Commission – Pork Committee and a member of Pork Training WA and Pork Innovation Western Australia. Currently an APL Delegate, he was also an APL Director for three years. He holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness. Neil commenced his current role in 1997. Before his involvement in the pork industry, he worked in the stockfeed and chicken industries.

Professor Frank Dunshea  B.Agric. Sci., PhD, FNSA, FAPSA, FASAP, RAnNutr.

Professor Frank Dunshea has had a research career spanning 35 years in farm animal and biomedical research. His area of expertise is in growth physiology and nutrition and understanding the interactions between the animal and the animal’s environment. Frank has focused much of his recent research on biomedicine and functional foods. His research has had a high scientific impact and the results of much of his research have been rapidly adopted by industry. He has maintained a balanced approach to research, combining fundamental with applied research, providing commercial and public good outcomes.  Frank is committed to ensuring that all animal industries operate in a responsible and sustainable manner and much of his work has focussed on improving efficiency through reducing inputs and outputs while maintaining product quality and consumer health. 

Ms Su McCluskey FCPA, B.Com, MAICD

Su is a highly experience senior executive and non-executive director. She is a Director of Australian Unity and the Foundation for Young Australians, Chairman of Energy Renaissance, a Commissioner for International Agricultural Research and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration. Su was recently a member of the Review Panel for the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Legislation and the Small Business Digital Taskforce. She was also a member of the Independent Review Panel for CPA Australia, the Harper Review of Competition Policy and the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review.

Su’s experience and expertise includes strong leadership, strategic thinking, financial management, policy, governance, advocacy and analytical skills. She has been a highly effective change manager in both the government and private sectors and has excellent networks across all levels of government and industry. Su was named the Westpac/Australian Financial Review Regional Women of Influence in 2013 and received the Women in Agribusiness award in 2014 for outstanding contribution to policy development.

Su was the inaugural CEO of the Regional Australia Institute, taking it from a start-up company to be the leading voice on regional issues, underpinned by solid research and evidence-based policy. Prior to this, Su was the CEO of the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations and the Executive Director of the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Su has held senior positions with the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Taxation Office. Su is also a beef cattle farmer at Yass, NSW.

Su’s professional qualifications include a Fellow Certified Practising Accountant (FCPA), Bachelor of Commerce (University of Canberra) and Member Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Ms Margo Andrae

Margo has been CEO of Australian Pork Limited since 1 August 2019. Prior to commencing with APL, Margo held positions with Cattle Council of Australia, CSIRO, University of NSW, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and QLD Local Government. She has extensive experience and networks across primary industries, regional Australia and research environments through these roles.

Margo has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, marketing, communications, business development, operations and resource management and is currently completing her MBA through the Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW.

APRIL Executive

CEO/Chief Scientist

Professor John Pluske BSc (Agric) (Hons), PhD (UWA), RAnNutr., R. Anim. Sci.

John Pluske

John Pluske is the inaugural Chief Scientist and CEO of Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL).

Professor Pluske from Murdoch University, Western Australia, will commit more than half his time to APRIL, while maintaining academic roles and duties at Murdoch University. His research career, including many years as a Pork CRC subprogram leader, has focused on nutrition-gut disease interactions in pigs, growth and development, feed and ingredient evaluation.

P.O. Box 466, Willaston, South Australia, 5118
T: +61 8 9360 2012 | M: 0410 436 871
E: j.pluske@april.org.auwww.april.org.au

Manager, Commercialisation and Research Impact

Dr Charles Rikard-Bell  BSc.Agr, MSc, PhD

Charles Rikard-Bell

As Manager, Commercialisation and Research Impact for APRIL, Dr Rikard-Bell is responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) generated by the company. Charles worked in UK, Belgium and USA as a pig geneticist before returning to Australia to work with a multinational animal health company for 11 years, holding technical, sales and marketing roles in Australia and Asia Pacific. Charles gained his PhD in nutrition and biology through the CRC for an Internationally Competitive Pork Industry.

T: +61 8 8313 7973 | M: 0439 513 723 | F: +61 8 8313 7686
E: c.rikardbell@april.org.au| www.april.org.au

Company Secretary

Mr Geoff Crook BSc (Hons), FCA

Geoff has over 15 years’ experience in senior financial roles in Australia. Geoff worked for the CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork as Business Manager, and as CEO for the final year of the CRC’s operations. Prior to that Geoff held the roles of Business Manager and Company Secretary with the CRC for an Internationally Competitive Pork Industry, Finance and Compliance Manager with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of an ASX listed software company.

APRIL Members

As at 18/11/18

Foundation Members

  • APL
  • Anatara
  • NZ Pork Industry Board
  • Windridge and Blantyre Farms
  • Rivalea Australia
  • Sun Pork Farms
  • Westpork
  • Apiam Animal Health
  • Feed Works
  • Ridley
  • SARDI
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Queensland
  • Murdoch University

Associate Members

  • Flinders University
  • Jefo Australia
  • DSM Nutritional Products
  • University of New England
  • Elanco Australia