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Niki Curtis | Chief Executive Officer

Niki (Nicole) Curtis joined GGA in September 2020 following nine years as Executive Officer for South East Premium Wheat Growers’ Association (SEPWA)

Niki has been in the agricultural industry for most of her career. Born and bred in Esperance on a cattle farm, she began her career as a journalist at the Countryman then moved to general news reporting at WA Newspapers. She has been Executive Officer for Farmsafe WA and Communications Officer for the Department of Agriculture (8 years) based in Esperance prior to her nine years service at the helm as Executive Officer at SEPWA.

Niki has lived overseas in Chile, South America and Capetown, South Africa and has four children. Niki graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) program in 2019 and the Leadership Western Australia Signature program in 2018.

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Kallista Bolton | Stakeholder & Communications Manager

Kallista joined GGA in March 2020 bringing experience in marketing and stakeholder management. Kallista has a Bachelor of Business (marketing major) from University of Technology, Sydney combined with recent studies from Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability Leadership in High Impact Leadership (2020) and Communicating for Influence and Impact (2021).

Kallista’s career in WA started with indigenous food and Margaret River wine marketing which segued into a decade in tourism. Roles across domestic and international marketing followed with Australia’s South West and later WA’s largest tour operator, Australian Pinnacle Tours which included 3 years in Broome & the Kimberley. Kallista transitioned into agriculture working 3.5 years with Elders Narrogin before moving to the Grower Group Alliance.

Kallista has 3 sons, and over the last decade establishing her own olive oil e-commerce enterprise in Crossman, Kallista has taken a personal interest in regenerative agriculture which lead to her complete a Permaculture Design Certificate (2016) and starting 2021, a Graduate Certificate in Regenerative Agriculture with Southern Cross University (finishing 2022).

Developing collaborative relationships, supporting innovation and driving strategy are Kallista’s flagship strengths.

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DPIRD Assigned Staff

Mark Holland | Program Broker

Mark was the first DPIRD staff assignee as part of the GGA-DPIRD collaboration agreement joining GGA in January 2020. With a Masters of Business Administration under his belt, Mark brings strong governance, program and project management skills, with a particular emphasis on new program development and business administration.

Mark is a passionate supporter of the grower group network and has worked with many groups through his various roles with DPIRD/DAFWA over a 35 year period. This includes, most recently directing the Agribusiness Innovation Fund, which included the Grower Group Grants Program.

Mark founded DAFWA’s highly regarded AGWEST Plant Laboratories business unit, and managed it for over 14 years. In this role he guided the delivery of the State’s high risk plant import quarantine, plant disease diagnostics and seed testing services, seed certification and seed potato health services. Mark was also the inaugural Registrar of the Industrial Hemp Act 2004 and the Officer in Charge of the Seeds Act 1981, until 2010.

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Tanya Kilminster | Program Broker

Joining the GGA in April 2020, Tanya brings nearly 20 years of experience in systems research and development, specifically focused on sheep production, management and the role of sheep in the farming system. Based in Merredin with DPIRD since the early 2000’s, Tanya has worked across a number of projects and conducted numerous sheep and feedbase projects.

During the last five years Tanya has worked closely with the Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group (MADFIG) and the Far Eastern Agriculture Research (FEAR) Group developing new projects to improve long term profitability and sustainability of farming businesses in low rainfall areas, specifically through the adoption and utilisation of digital technology and decision support tools to manage risk. After sitting on the board of MADFIG for three years, Tanya has a good understanding of grower group operations and the importance of strong governance and strategic planning.

Tanya farms with her husband Dean at Bruce Rock with grain production the main focus of their business and on poorer performing soil types, wool and meat are significant contributors to whole farm profitability.

Scientifically minded with a degree in Pharmacology and Molecular Biology and Honours in Microbiology she places importance on the R&D process. Tanya is passionate about identifying research gaps recognised by the groups, working collaboratively across the industry and facilitating strategic investment for grower groups in the GGA.

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Michelle Condy | Engagement & Innovation Officer

Joining the GGA in February 2020, Michelle works closely with the GGA Program Managers and our members to develop projects and opportunities for the grower group network.

Michelle is a passionate collaborator and believes it is an essential component of innovative research. She has spent her career working in a wide range of marine sciences including aquaculture, biofouling, marine geophysics, molecular biology, and aquatic disease. One of her career highlights was her honours research, where she ran a participatory research project with Kenyan fishers, where the project investigated the ecological and economic impact of modifying the design of fishing traps. In her most recent role, Michelle moved to the South West to take up a Community Education Officer position with the Department of Fisheries.

Outside of work Michelle thrives on learning new skills – often self-taught by YouTube tutorials. She is currently learning to ride a dirt bike and looking forward to her first broken bone(!).

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Alison Maughan | Finance & Administration Manager

Alison joined the GGA team in April 2020 with a consortium of accounting, finance and administration knowledge to add to the organisation.

Alison launched her career in a role at the Australian Tax Office while studying her Bachelor of Business with a major in accounting. After a 15 year tenure in primarily advisory roles with the ATO, Alison migrated away from the corporate sector into the world of not-for-profits. At the Small Business Centre Bunbury-Wellington she spent two years advising before moving up the ranks to Manager of the Centre. This experience was pivotal to Alison’s career giving her insight into what it takes to run an not-for-profit entity.

Alison spent a brief time as an administration and project manager for a Land Surveying Company but a passion for regional and rural work was ultimately what saw her commence a role with DPIRD in 2018 before transitioning to GGA.

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On Leave

 Annabelle Bushell | Chief Executive Officer (on Parental leave)

Annabelle lead GGA for over 3 and a half years from Feb 2017 to Oct 2020 in the role of CEO during which time she steered GGA through becoming an incorporated entity and a watershed collaboration agreement with DPIRD. Annabelle is currently on parental leave until late 2021.

Annabelle’s passion for rural and regional communities has origins from a family farm in the Avon Valley and is a formative component to her diverse career. She has a Bachelor of Science with Honours and has worked with pastoralists and land managers, researchers, growers and natural resource management professionals and is a key collaborator across science, community and industry to develop and drive new initiatives.

After completing a Masters studying local food systems across Europe, she returned home and relocated to Queensland where she worked with the horticulture supply chain.

Having returned home to WA and bringing her community & stakeholder engagement, commercial acumen and industry collaboration skills, she is keen to support and sustain the networks that build the intellectual and social capital of our regional communities.