A new era of leadership for AHA
26 Nov 2019
It was the end of an era at Animal Health Australia’s (AHA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 26 November, as the company said farewell to Chairman Peter Milne AM and welcomed incoming Chair, Sharon Starick alongside new Board Director, Renata Paliskis.
Mr Milne is AHA’s longest serving Board member, appointed as Director in 2002, before becoming Chairman in 2011. During his tenure, Mr Milne has had a profound impact on AHA and the broader agricultural community.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving AHA over the past 17 years and greatly appreciate the support I’ve received, as well as the friendships I’ve made along the way. During my time on the Board, I’ve witnessed a lot of things change, but one thing that’s remained consistent is the dedication and passion of AHA’s Directors and staff to deliver the best possible outcomes for Australian livestock industries. I know this will continue under Mrs Starick’s leadership,” said Mr Milne.
AHA CEO, Kathleen Plowman reflected on her time working with Mr Milne, noting his enormous contribution to the company and the livestock sector.
“Peter is a leader who has been quietly bold and ready to embrace new ideas. His spirit, drive and determination has positioned AHA as a resilient, agile and effective organisation and secured its role as a leader and influencer in the animal health sector,” said Ms Plowman.
“Peter’s advice and guidance to me as CEO, to AHA and to many of our members has been absolutely invaluable. I thank him immensely for his service.”
Mrs Starick commenced her role as Chair at the November AGM. She has served on the AHA Board as Director since 2010 and is the first woman to hold the position of AHA Chair.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work on the AHA Board with Peter for the past nine years and feel honoured to be following in his footsteps. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to build upon Peter’s legacy and lead this great organisation into the future,” said Mrs Starick.
Mrs Starick brings to the role her extensive experience as a Chair and Director across a range of agricultural and rural organisations. This, combined with her experience as a pork and grains producer in South Australia, has given Mrs Starick a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that will impact Australia’s livestock sector now and into the future, making her uniquely placed to be a force for change in the sector.
“As a producer myself, I’m aware of the various challenges facing Australian livestock industries, such as increasing pressure on our biosecurity system, exotic diseases on our doorstep as well as drought and floods. With AHA now developing its next Strategic Plan, a key priority for myself as Chair is seeing how AHA can continue to work collaboratively with our members and stakeholders to ensure the resilience and sustainability of the livestock sector,” said Mrs Starick.
Joining the Board to fill the Director vacancy is newcomer Renata Paliskis, from Western Australia, bringing 30 years’ experience in the livestock sector.
“Ms Paliskis’ experience, coupled with her skill set, work ethic and passion will make her a valuable addition to the Board. I look forward to working with her and the other Directors to ensure AHA continues to strengthen Australia’s animal health system,” said Mrs Starick.
The changes to the Board were endorsed by AHA’s members – consisting of the Australian Government, state and territory governments, national livestock industries and CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory – at the AGM, following recommendations made by an independent selection committee.