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Director Major Innovation Projects

  • Leading Agriculture Research Leadership Role
  • Attractive Remuneration package
  • Melbourne CBD location

Lead the delivery and future of Dairy Research in Australia

Dairy Australia is the national services body for the dairy industry. It is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that is funded by a levy paid by dairy farmers with matching payments from the Australian government for research and development activities. With an annual budget of $55-60 million and approximately 150 staff, Dairy Australia is committed to helping farmers adapt to a changing operating environment and achieving a profitable, sustainable dairy industry. The organisation acts as the investment arm of the industry, investing in projects that can't be done efficiently by individual farmers or companies.

The success of DA's innovation agenda has been driven by a collaborative approach to working closely with key industry and government organisations, including the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Agriculture Victoria Research (AVR) and selected commercial partners.

Reporting to the CEO, the role has three primary responsibilities:

  • Co-director of the DairyBio Initiative
  • Co-director of the DairyFeedbase Initiative
  • Director of Strategic Dairy Collaborations

These key projects have multi-million annual budgets to deliver innovation that drives farm profitability and competitiveness of the Australian Dairy Industry. As a Co-director,
this role partners with their counterpart at AVR, providing leadership, governance and strategic advice to the Deputy Secretary, AVR and the Managing Director of DA.

The role is responsible for:

1. Provide active yet indirect people leadership to dedicated scientists and team members, whom themselves are juggling multiple responsibilities
2. Maintain the integrity of the collaboration between JV partners
3. Juggle three distinct roles within one portfolio, ensuring each initiative meets its business case objectives
4. Develop and maintain a strong connection with the needs and recipients of the innovations being developed

DA and their JV partners are searching for a unique individual who is:

  • Passionate about the dairy industry and driving innovation
  • Empathetic about the challenges faced by dairy farmers, scientists and other players in the industry
  • Strongly driven to deliver pragmatic and impactful solutions to the industry
  • Highly collaborative and determined to work with all parties for the best possible solution
  • Demonstrates genuine humility in interactions with others
  • Ability to understand and navigate a complex and evolving political landscape
  • Ability to operate as an expert influencer and comfort in driving deliverables without exercising positional power

Qualifications and Experience

  • Tertiary qualification in agricultural science, veterinary science or related scientific discipline
  • Deep experience in the agricultural sector, preferably with a strong research and development background
  • Strong understanding of the issues facing the dairy industry and farmers
  • Experience in leading large, multi-disciplinary teams and a comfort in providing leadership without direct reporting lines
  • Credibility in representing the Industry's innovation agenda to all relevant parties

Highly commercial outlook with experience in working with investors and commercial partners to ensure the delivery of ROI from R and D activities.

Momentis Group has been engaged to conduct a senior executive search for this role. For a confidential discussion or to register your interest, please contact:

Craig Taplin
Managing Director

+61 (0) 430 288 885


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Our Farm, Our Plan is a new program designed to equip farmers to clarify their long term goals, identify the actions needed and to manage uncertainty and risk.

Hay and grain reports

The hay and grain report is commissioned by Dairy Australia to provide an independent and timely assessment of hay and grain markets in each dairying region. The report is updated 40 weeks per year.

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