Our People

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Directors and small team are extensively networked across the dairy value chain. We have a genuine desire to engage and listen to new ideas.


Interim Chief Executive Officer

Dr Clive Noble

CPD Project Coordinator

Ashley Eldridge

Ashley joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation in August 2017.

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Program Manager, Innovation

Dr Aaron Gosling

Aaron brings a practical approach, helping guide projects to deliver a real world outcomes for the Victorian dairy industry.

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Aaron was appointed as Program Manager Innovation in May 2011. He has a strong background in biochemistry research, focusing on milk processing, authoring articles on enzymatic lactose conversion that have been widely cited in scientific literature. His practical approach is helping guide projects to deliver a real world outcome for the Victorian dairy industry.

Email: Aaron.gosling@gardinerfoundation.com.au Connect on Linked In

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Finance Manager and Company Secretary

Jainesh Lal

Jainesh brings valuable expertise as the Gardiner Dairy Foundation's Finance Manager, having worked in roles across a myriad of industries for 14 years.

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Jainesh was appointed to the role of Finance Manager in May 2014 and took over as the Company Secretary following the 2014 AGM. Jainesh possesses over 14 years of experience in various Finance and Accounting roles held over a myriad of industries, of which the previous eight years have been in the not-for-profit sector. Jainesh’s notable roles include Program Finance Manager at the United Nations Development Program based in Fiji, and most recently as the Finance Manager at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, a subsidiary company of the University of Melbourne.

Email: jainesh.lal@gardinerfoundation.com.au Connect on Linked In

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Business Manager

Caitlin Scholfield

Caitlin brings her agricultural sales, marketing and business development experience to the Gardiner Dairy Foundation team.

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Caitlin was appointed as Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Business Manager in February 2015. She is a Director of the Future Farmers Network Board and spent almost three years as Industry Development Manager with the Australian Fodder Industry Association. She has social media and sales and marketing experience in the agricultural space and spent a year in Scotland as an Agricultural exchange student.

Email: caitlin.scholfield@gardinerfoundation.com.au Connect on Linked In

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Office Manager

Jenny Walsh

Jenny brings extensive administration and dairy industry experience to her role as the Office Manager and in team support function.

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Having an extensive background in the dairy industry, Jenny joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation in June 2007 and is responsible for the office management, administrative, financial and team support functions. She also provides administration support to the Chairman and Chief Executive.

Email: Jenny.walsh@gardinerfoundation.com.au Connect on Linked In

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Bruce Kefford PSM

Bruce Kefford joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in November 2014. Bruce was appointed Chairman at the AGM in November 2015. An experienced strategic leader with an in depth knowledge of the food and agriculture sectors, and the dairy industry in particular, he is passionate about the application of innovation and science to improve industry competitiveness and sustainability.

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Bruce is recognised nationally and internationally as a thought leader in the reshaping of the national primary industries innovation system. Until July 2013, Bruce was Deputy Secretary with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, fulfilling senior advisory roles to industry, State and National Governments. Bruce also has a deep understanding of the investment, evaluation and delivery of research, development and extension, extensive relevant Board experience as well as a track record of brokering significant partnerships and joint ventures. 

Special Responsibilities: 

Member: Finance, Audit, Investment & Risk Committee

Member: Human Resources, Governance & Communications Committee

Member: Community & People Development Committee 

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René Dedoncker

René Dedoncker joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in 2017. He is currently the Managing Director of Fonterra Australia. He joined the Fonterra Co-operative, a global dairy nutrition company, in 2006 and has held global leadership roles with responsibility for managing businesses and customers in over 50 countries. Most recently René was responsible for leading the strategic agenda for Fonterra’s Global Brands, Research & Development, and Food Safety & Quality.

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René successfully led Fonterra’s global foodservice business to double digit growth using world-leading technology, innovative products and a breakthrough business model. He is particularly passionate about driving positive change and empowering leaders to grow. Prior to joining Fonterra René worked in senior sales, marketing and operations positions with the Mars Corporation.

René holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia. He has served as non-executive Director on the Riddet Institute Board since March, 2016; is on the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board as the manufacturers representative Director; is on the board of Darnum Dairy Products a joint venture between Darnum Park Pty Ltd and Beingmate (Australia) Pty Ltd; and is on Monash University’s Food and Agriculture Initiative Advisory Board. Born in Belgium and raised in Orange NSW, René lives in Melbourne with his wife and two children.

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Andrew Maughan

Andrew Maughan joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in October 2015. Andrew is a lawyer, corporate advisor and experienced company director. His background spans international trade and agriculture, strategy and risk management, corporate finance and investment management.

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Andrew is currently Managing Director of corporate advisory firm Somerset Capital and is Chairman of food and agriculture companies AgLink (IDH Pty Ltd), Langdon Group, The Pastoral Pork Company and AGnVET. He is a Director and Investment Committee member of the Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation. 

Andrew has previously been an Independant Director of the Pork CRC, Chairman of Bradflow and a Director of the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort. Before founding Somerset Capital in 1999, Andrew worked for Cargill (USA, Canada and Australia), Hudson Conway Limited and legal firm Freehills.

Special Responsibilities 

Chair: Finance, Audit Investment & Risk Committee 


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Naomi Pye

Naomi Pye joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in June 2016. Naomi is Director and Manager of Bolderwood Dairies Pty Ltd, a multi-generational family dairy farm. She holds qualifications and experience in education and agriculture.

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Naomi has been an active member of the dairy industry for over 20 years through roles with United Dairyfarmers Victoria, Victorian Farmers Federation, Australian Dairy Farmers Federation and WestVic Dairy. She has ten years' experience on government boards, previously Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and currently Southern Rural Water. Naomi is a graduate, and member of Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Special Responsibilities 

Member: Finance, Audit, Investment & Risk Committee 


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Dr Judith Slocombe

Judith Slocombe was appointed as Director of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board at the AGM in October 2015. From entrepreneurial beginnings in the business of Veterinary Pathology to senior executive roles, Judith's extensive board experience covers the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors.

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Judith is the former Chief Executive Officer of the not-for-profit community organisation, Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Chair of the Consumer Advisory Panel at Walter + Eliza Hall Institute. She also holds director positions with the Cure MND Foundation, Children's Rights International, Leadership Victoria and the Young and Well Co-operative Research Centre. Judith was named the Telstra Australian Business Women of the Year in 2001 and awarded the Centenary Medal for service to the Australian Society in Business Leadership in 2003. 

Special Responsibilities

Chair: Community & People Development Committee 

Chair: Human Resources, Governance & Communications Committee 

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Governor of Victoria

The Honourable Linda Dessau, AM