News Article

Media Release - Personnel Changes at Food & Fibre Gippsland

   Thursday 26th March, 2020

The Board of Food & Fibre Gippsland would like to announce changes to the organisation at both a board and operational level.

The changes will support growth in strategic development and expansion whilst continuing mutually successful collaborations and sector projects that are engaging industry, government, academia and community.

Barry Rogers has been appointed Chair, contributing many years of Board, industry and community experience in the Gippsland region. Barry is a graduate of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program and a member of the GCLP Advisory Committee.

Barry is also chair of the Latrobe Youth Space Consortium and of the board of Baw Baw Communities that Care, as well as chairing the Rotary District 9820 Youth Exchange Program committee.

Nicola Pero has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, stepping down from her Food & Fibre Gippsland Board member role to assume this position, and she is looking forward to connecting with members and stakeholders around the region in the coming weeks and months ahead. Nicola is a current Board Director at Destination Gippsland, Governor-in-Council Appointee to Federation University Australia Council and the former CEO of Lardner Park.

In the 12 months since the amalgamation of the East Gippsland Food Cluster and Agribusiness Gippsland to form Food & Fibre Gippsland there have been transitional changes at the Board and operationally.

Initial Chair of the organization was Peter Schutz, who at that time was also Chair of F & FG’s National Cluster Program Partner, Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL). The position was then taken up by Joanne Butterworth-Gray who has recently stepped down. Gippsland Local Government Network (GLGN) representation has changed as GLGN appoints Observer representatives annually to the Board. Mr Schutz has also now formally joined the Board as an Observer.

Operationally, changes include the departure of previous acting CEO Dr Nicola Watts and VegNET Industry Development Officer Shayne Hyman. Shayne has mentored her replacement Bonnie Dawson into this important role for the horticulture sector.

The Board is confident Food & Fibre Gippsland is evolving positively in reflection to expansion which will ensure a cohesive strategic development for the entire region of Gippsland.

Food & Fibre Gippsland remain focused on delivering both bottom up and top down development and engagement, deepening membership and broadening stakeholder alliance at local, state and federal levels.

The organisation is excited about the future direction, building upon the success of this past amalgamation year and supporting the entire value chain in which * $7 billion of the $16 billion gross regional product (GRP) comes from Gippsland’s food and fibre sector.

(*Ref: Victorian Future Industries Food & Fibre Strategy)