Elizabeth has strong capability to facilitate collaborative processes and generate consensus in diverse and divergent stakeholder environments. Her experience working in cross-cultural settings in Australia and Papua New Guinea provides her with an adaptive and perceptive skillset that informs her people-centred, deeply considered, and strategic approach. Elizabeth is a systems thinker that invites curiosity and creativity to problem solving for wide-ranging development processes, projects and programs.
Elizabeth’s past experience includes coordinating a multidisciplinary agricultural research program in PNG on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). She also led the marketing strategy development and implementation for one of the largest citrus operations in WA, Moora Citrus, as well as other international fresh produce brands such as Bravo Apples™, Family Tree Farms and Fruitico.
Elizabeth is ministerially appointed to the Industry Funding Scheme Appointments Committee and as a Commissioner for the Agricultural Produce Commission. She is currently Non-Executive Director with Wide Open Agriculture, Board Director for the RRR Women’s Network of WA, a mentor for the Australia Awards DFAT Women’s Leadership Initiative and ECU Career Alumni Mentoring Program, and volunteers on many agricultural advisory groups and committees. In 2017, Elizabeth was selected to participate in the Aus-PNG Network Emerging Leaders Dialogue facilitated by the Lowy Institute and DFAT, which brought together young and dynamic leaders from across the two countries. She has also been a Board Director with Australian Women in Agriculture for five years, being elected as Vice President, President and Company Secretary during her tenure.
Elizabeth is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Fellow with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (FARLF), having won a scholarship from Fairfax Agricultural Media to undertake the intensive 18-month leadership program. She has completed a Bachelor of Business and is currently studying a Master of Food Security. In 2014, Elizabeth was awarded Most Outstanding Emerging Leader at the inaugural Women in Australian Agribusiness 100 and in 2016 was awarded WA Young Achiever of the Year for her voluntary and community contributions.
Sue Middleton is recognized as an entrepreneur, skilled advocate and as a highly influential leader within regional and rural Australia. Sue has a wealth of connections in the Agribusiness, Food and Regional Development sectors throughout Western Australia and Australia.
Sue has worked for three decades holding successive and extensive Board and leadership roles across all levels of industry and government. Some of those roles include Landcorp Board, Chair of the Economics and Farm Business Committee of the National Farmers Federation, Chair of WA Regional Development Trust (oversights Royalties for Regions Program), Chair Landcare Advisory Committee, Ag Produce Commissioner, Fruitwest Board, National Rural Advisory Council, and Australian Research Council. Sue is currently a member of the Racing & Wagering WA Board.
Sue understands the nuances of Government policy and programs, and also how the agribusiness and regional development sectors work, and is an effective connector between the two.
Sue and her husband’s family developed a pioneer greenfields orchard project Moora Citrus in a new horticulture area in the Wheatbelt of WA which transformed the Citrus Industry and catalysed the development of Horticulture in this region. They brought private equity into their family farm business, capitalised the new development, and helped to develop the export market for citrus for WA, along with their business partners. In the past they managed a mixed cropping and livestock farm in WA’s wheatbelt growing grains, oaten hay, wool and pork.
Sue not only has “skin in the game” but works to help regional and local organisations to combine strategy and business development as a tool to create sustainable business models. Sue has worked for decades as a consultant working across Agriculture, Regional Development, and Natural Resource Management sectors. Sue has the ability to identify clear opportunities and bring together the right people to connect, think and take actions that create value on many levels.
Sue is a powerful and influential communicator and a sought-after presenter on topics relating to Regional Australia and the future of the Agrifood Sector. Sue is an inspiring speaker, MC and is a professional facilitator enabling groups to have crucial conversations to perform.
Sue believes in actively giving back and sits on the Board of the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR) and is a co-founder of AgZero 2030, a Collective formed to support WA Agriculture to be part of the climate solution by being Net Zero by 2030.
For her work, Sue has been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Regional Australia in 2002, awarded the 2010 RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year for Australia and Western Australia and in 2018 was inducted into the Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame.
Hellene has strong capability in building management systems for effective decision making. Hellene’s experience as an executive, consultant and farmer provides her with a unique ability to gather, explore and interpret data from a vast range of stakeholders to curate programs and provide recommendations to create sustainable business models.
Hellene aspires to create positive change and impact for regional communities and agriculture.
A city kid with a degree in Arts Management from WAAPA, Hellene isn’t your conventional farmer. On moving to rural WA in 2008, Hellene found a fit with not-for-profit ‘grower groups’ and has worked with some of WA’s leading producer-driven organisations including West Midlands Group, Rural Edge and Grower Group Alliance.
Hellene has a reputation as an astute executive and change manager. She leads teams in difficult and challenging markets to create sustainable business models that bring about success for the sectors they serve. As Executive Officer of the West Midlands Group she transitioned the fledgling Landcare group to a professional producer-driven NFP, setting it up to become one of Australia’s pre-eminent farm research, development and extension organisations.
Hellene has extensive knowledge and experience business development and creates and activates networks quickly. In her role as Executive Manager of the agricultural sector’s leading business skills provider, Rural Edge (then known as PinGWA) she implemented a growth strategy which resulted dramatic increases in demand (100%), delivery (30%) and participation (40%).
In addition to her role with Agdots, Hellene is the Co-owner and Business Manager of a successful broadacre cropping and cattle operation in the Midwest of WA, is a Shire of Mingenew Councillor and a member of the Ministerially appointed Grain, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee.