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New and returning faces welcomed to the GGA Board

One casual vacancy was ratified, and two grower group elected positions were filled at the Grower Group Alliance’s (GGA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 22, 2023. South East Premium Wheat Growers Association’s (SEPWA) Marie Fowler and Facey Group’s Audrey Bird were voted in by members to fill two Member Director vacancies on the GGA Board.

Chris Wyhoon from WA Regenerative Livestock Producers (WARLP) was also ratified by members to continue serving on the Board until the AGM in 2024, following his casual appointment to a Member Director vacancy in March this year. GGA Chair Peter Roberts said he was beyond pleased with the caliber of experience joining the GGA board.

“I wish to thank and congratulate all the nominees and the GGA grower group membership for providing an outstanding field of six candidates for this year’s board vacancies,” he said. “It is a positive reflection and recognition of the role of the Grower Group Alliance in advancing agriculture in Western Australia.”

Inaugural Life Member, former Chair, and current Vice Chair of Facey Group Audrey Bird brings extensive governance experience to the GGA Board, having served for 12 years on the Facey Group Board.

Audrey has also held positions with the West Australian Livestock Council (2018-2022), Meat and Livestock Association’s (MLA) Producer Adoption Reference Group (2018 – 2022) and served for five years on the West Australian No-Till Farmer Association’s Committee. Ms Bird said she was very excited to have been voted onto the GGA board. “I look forward to contributing and building on the impressive work that the GGA is doing to ensure that it adds value not only to grower groups but to farmers who make up the alliance,” she said. Joining her for the two-year term, the Director of her family’s mixed farming enterprise east of Esperance, Marie Fowler is an active member of SEPWA and chaired the Ladies Committee for several years. She also served on the SEPWA Executive during a time of strategic review, which led to changes to support the continued work of the group’s research, development, and extension. Marie holds an Honours degree in Agriculture and, prior to moving to Australia, worked with the UK Farmers Union, developing policy and lobbying in Brussels. Ms Fowler said she was delighted to have been elected to the board of GGA and looked forward to providing direction and oversight as a board member.

“I believe the opportunity for knowledge sharing and collaboration in research and extension between grower group members of GGA adds to the strength of the agricultural industry in WA,” she said. Member Director Chris Wyhoon was nominated by WARLP following the GGA Board’s call for expressions of interest from voting groups after one position remained unfilled at the September 2022 AGM. Mr Wyhoon said he was humbled to have been ratified as a Director by the GGA membership for another year.

“It is a very professional Board, with high-level skills in governance, strategy, and risk management – and with lots of challenges ahead in 2024, I look forward to being part of a skilled group that will help take the GGA to the next level,” he said. GGA Chair Peter Roberts thanked outgoing directors Dr Kelly Pearce (Facey Group) and Greg Curnow (SEPWA) for their service to the board. “I would particularly like to express my gratitude and best wishes to retiring directors Kelly Pearce and Greg Curnow,” he said. “Their contributions to GGA, both as Directors and grower group member participants, set the bar for our incoming Directors – something I am confident they will meet. “The Board recognizes Kelly's investment in leadership and guidance at a board and operational level over her many years of service, particularly as the inaugural chair of GGA. “On behalf of the Board, I wish both Kelly and Greg well in their future endeavors,” he said.

For more information:
Grower Group Alliance

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