Our People

Patron

The Honourable Linda Dessau, AC

Governor of Victoria

Board

Dr Len Stephens

Len Stephens joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in October 2019 as the Chairman Elect. Following retirement of the incumbent Chairman at the AGM in October 2020, Len was appointed as the Chairman.

Len is a veterinarian, with specialist expertise in research management. He also has extensive experience in governance and operations of industry owned rural R&D corporations.

In his early years Len worked with the Victorian Department of Agriculture, servicing the dairy industry in Gippsland, where he also has family connections to dairy farming. He moved from Gippsland to become the inaugural director of the Victorian Institute of Animal Science.

Len is currently Chairman of Australian Seafood Industries Pty Ltd, Chairman of Oysters Australia Ltd and a Director of Animal Health Australia Ltd. His previous positions include Managing Director of the Seafood CRC Company Ltd, Director Agrifutures Australia, Director Dairy Australia Ltd, Chief Executive Officer – Australian Wool Innovation Ltd, and General Manager – Meat & Livestock Australia. He also runs a small consultancy business.

Special Responsibilities

Member: Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee
Member: Human Resources and Governance Committee

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.

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.

Special Responsibilities:
Member: Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee
Member: Human Resources and Governance Committee

Conny Lenneberg

Conny Lenneberg joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in October 2021.  She is a community development practitioner, currently working as a consultant.

Conny’s previous roles include Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Regional Leader for World Vision in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Deputy CEO for World Vision Australia and Rural Development Advisor for the Danish Committee for Afghanistan.

Conny has a Master of Arts (Research) and Honorary Doctorate (2017.  She is a member of the Advisory Committee for La Trobe University’s Institute for Human Security and previously on that of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, the National Youth Employment Body and the Collaborative for Mature Age Employment.  She has held board positions with the Communities Council of Australia, the Australian Council for International Development, Oxfam Australia and World Vision International.

Special Responsibilities:
Member: Human Resources and Governance Committee

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.

Andrew is currently Managing Director of corporate advisory and funds management firm Somerset Capital and is Chairman of food and agriculture companies AgLink Australia, Langdon Group and AGnVET Services. Andrew has previously been Chairman of Pastoral Pork Company, a Director of the Pork CRC and the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort and a Director and Investment Committee member of the Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation. Before founding Somerset Capital in 1999, Andrew worked for Cargill (USA, Canada and Australia), Hudson Conway Limited and legal firm Freehills.

Special Responsibilities:
Chairman: Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee
Member: Human Resources and Governance Committee

Aubrey Pellett

Aubrey Pellett joined the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board in October 2021. Aubrey is a Dairy farmer in Hill End West Gippsland. For the last 20 years Aubrey has grown his dairy business from new entrant to cow ownership to a 200 ha pasture based dairy farm.

Prior to dairy farming Aubrey had a short career in banking after university and before a stint travelling and living in the UK. Aubrey has previously served as a Director with Rural Financial Counselling Service Gippsland (being Chair for last four years), GippsDairy and Deputy Chair Bonlac Supply Company.

Aubrey was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2014 where he travelled the world researching the future of pasture based dairy productivity.

Aubrey has a Company Directors Diploma (GAICD),Post Graduate Diploma in Information Systems from Victoria University in Wellington NZ, a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Farm Mgmt. Major) from Lincoln University NZ and a Diploma in Farm Management with Distinction from Lincoln University NZ.

Special Responsibilities:
Member: Human Resources and Governance Committee

Staff

Allan Cameron

Chief Executive Officer

Allan Cameron was appointed Chief Executive of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation in September 2021.

Allan has a deep understanding of Australian agriculture. His professional career has been spent in rural and regional communities developing a strong background in agriculture, agribusiness, financial services and rural extension. Allan is looking forward to utilising his extensive relationships across stakeholders of the Australian dairy industry to enable Gardiner Foundation to further expand our collaborations and partnerships to maximise benefits for the Victorian dairy industry and dairying communities.

Amabel Grinter

People and Community Development Project Coordinator

Amabel was appointed as People & Community Development (PCD) Projects Coordinator in September 2019.

She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences from La Trobe University. Her previous experience working on-farm has equipped Amabel with a proficient level of exposure to regional Victoria’s Dairy Industry. She brings her knowledge of the many challenges currently facing dairy farmers, particularly in Northern Victoria. She has also spent time visiting farms within the UK, USA and NZ which has given her exposure to the world dairy industry and Victoria’s place in it. Working with the PCD program, Amabel aims to share her passion for community and personal development with others across the dairy supply chain.

Email: amabel.grinter@gardinerfoundation.com.au

Jainesh Lal

Finance Manager and Company Secretary

Jainesh brings valuable expertise as the Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Finance Manager and Company Secretary, having worked in roles across a myriad of industries expanding over two decades.

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 20 years of experience in various Finance and Accounting roles held in a number of industries, of which the previous fifteen 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

Richard Meredith

Program Manager, People & Community Development

Richard Meredith has led organisations and teams as founder and managing director of a communication/ marketing consultancy for 15 years; director and chair of not for profit, arts and tourism organisations; managing editor, writer and reporter and corporate affairs executive.

He has worked in the agricultural sector, particularly dairy, for over 30 years and brings a broad range of skills and a great depth of experience in organisational leadership, relationship building and enabling teams and individuals to perform beyond their boundaries.

He is very experienced in project design, strategy and brand management with added strengths in collaborative project work and in personal communication, writing and editing.

Email: richard.meredith@gardinerfoundation.com.au Connect on Linked In

Ashley Rosewarne

People and Community Development Project Coordinator

Ashley brings her background in media, advertising, marketing and stakeholder management.

Ashley was appointed as People & Community Development (PCD) Projects Coordinator in August 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) from RMIT and has a strong background in media, advertising, marketing and stakeholder management. Her previous experience working in a creative advertising agency equipped Ashley with a proficient level of exposure to regional Australia and New Zealand working with Agricultural and Machinery clients. She has also worked in one of Australia’s leading media publications where she worked with motoring and machinery dealer associates. Working with the PCD program, Ashley has been able to develop strong relationships across the dairy supply chain as well as successfully plan and implement our events since commencing her role with the Gardiner Dairy Foundation.

Jenny Walsh

Office Manager

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

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