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Voting members of Hort Innovation, Australia’s national horticultural Research and Development Corporation (RDC), elected three board directors at the November AGM, increasing the female representation to four out of nine directors.

Newly-elected director Ms Julie Bird has a broad background in the Australian horticulture industry spanning over 25 years. Ms Susan Finger has been elected to serve another term, bringing to the table an all-round knowledge of the horticulture supply chain, from farm resource inputs to delivery and consumer relations. Mr Stephen Lynch has also been re-elected to serve another term. He has spent the last 20 years working with horticulture producers, including building farm operations.

The previous chair, Mr Selwyn Snell, was reappointed to serve another term and Dr Mary Corbett will serve as the new deputy chair. Outgoing director Mark Napper was thanked for his hard work, commitment and contributions over the years.

Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand congratulated all board members on their appointments and said the RDC was excited to welcome Julie Bird.

“I am especially pleased to see four women now serving on our board. This is almost equal representation at the highest level, which demonstrates the horticulture industry’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” he said.

“The calibre of our nominees this year was second to none. We are so fortunate to have such a skilled range of people from such diverse backgrounds who want to share their knowledge and skills with us in delivering Hort Innovation’s strategy.

“As Australia’s horticulture RDC, we must adapt to the changing world and embrace new technology, new ideas and new talent that will help to shape and guide our vision into the future.”

Resolutions and outcomes

Four resolutions were put forward for vote at the AGM.

  • Resolution 1, which sought to allow Industry Representative Bodies (IRB) to become eligible voting members of the company, was not passed. As a ‘special resolution’ it required a 75% passing vote by members.
  • Resolutions 2, 3 and 4, which all related to updating the constitution to adhere to current mandate and activities of the company, were all passed. These resolutions will see the removal of exclusive language relating to IRB’s, the removal of obscure terminologies and references to Industry Export Control Bodies and the deletion of redundant Articles from the Constitution.