WAMIA Board Members

The Accountable Authority is the Western Australian Meat Industry Authority, which consists of eight (8) Members representing producers, processors, retailers, industry employees and government appointed by the Minister and one (1) Member nominated by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development as a representative. The Authority reports to the Minister for Agriculture and Food.

The Authority Members as at 20th August 2019:

Name of Member Position Held Term Expires
Sally O'Brien (Chairman) Representing the Minister 31/07/2022
Mark Panizza Representing Private Abattoirs 31/03/2022
Julie Cox Representing Wholesale & Retail Meat Industry 30/06/2020
John Da Silva Representing Employees of the Industry 31/03/2022
Belinda Murray Representing Producers of Meat 31/03/2020
Mark Ritchie Representing Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Not applicable
Kelly Pearce Representing Producers of Meat 31/07/2022
Kim McDougall Representing Private Abattoirs 31/03/2020


Sally O'Brien (Chairman)

O'Brien was appointed Chairman of the Western Australian Meat Industry Authority from 1st August 2019 prior to being Deputy Chairman from June 2018. O'Brien was previously reappointed to the Board for a third three-year term in April 2017. She operates a family mixed broad acre agricultural business located at Irwin in WA's Midwest producing grain, beef cattle, wool and prime lambs. O'Brien was Vice Chairman of the Mingenew Irwin Group (2010-2017) (1998-2001 Treasurer). O'Brien is a founding board member of MIGO (Mingenew Irwin Group Operations) a commercial division of the Mingenew Irwin Group.

Mark Panizza 

Panizza was reappointed to the Board for a third three-year term in April 2016. Panizza is a CPA and represents the interests of private abattoirs. He has worked in various regional areas throughout the State as an accountant in public practice before taking up a position in the private sector. Panizza is currently a Director and CEO of Dardanup Butchering Company. He is the Chairman of the Australian Meat Industry Association’s Western Australian Processor Council and is the State’s representative to that organisation’s national body, the Australian Processor Council.

Julie Cox 

Cox was appointed to the Board in August 2018. Cox held the position of General Manager - Business Development of Craig Mostyn Group for six years until September 2018. She was responsible for the mergers & acquisitions strategy and execution that doubled the earnings of CMG during that period, including the staged acquisition of the V&V Walsh lamb and beef processing business to complement the group’s existing Linley Valley Pork operations. Prior to 2012, Cox had a 30 year career with Pricewaterhouse Coopers specialising in M&A, business valuation, financial evaluation and strategy.

John Da Silva 

Da Silva was appointed to the Board in May 2019. Da Silva has been involved in the meat industry since his teenage years. He is currently the Assistant Secretary for the South and Western Australian Branch of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union based in Perth. He has represented the interests of employees across the retail, smallgoods, manufacturing and processing sectors of the meat industry across three decades. Da Silva is a board member of the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council as well.

Belinda Murray 

Murray was appointed to the Board for a three-year term commencing 31 March 2017 as a representative of producers of meat. Murray is currently the Executive Director at Kunmallup Pastoral Co, a family owned agricultural enterprise located in Katanning. Previously, Murray was a Genetics Research Officer at the Department of Agriculture and Food WA and a Policy Director at Pastoralists and Graziers Association. Murray holds a Bachelor of Animal Science, First Class Hons, from the University of Western Australia. Since 2015, Murray has been a Director of Sheep Alliance of WA (formerly Sheep Industry Leadership Council).

Mark Ritchie

Ritchie was appointed as the Delegate of the Director General of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in November 2018. Ritchie is currently responsible for broad departmental beef industry policy development and review and has previously been responsible for project and supply chain management initiatives and strategies within the northern WA beef industry. Ritchie is a Churchill Fellow and holds formal qualifications in Agricultural Science and Project Management, together with more than thirty years industry experience in executive, strategic, commercial and operational management across a range of agricultural industries, largely within the livestock industry. Richie has a track record of successfully engaging with and building industry and stakeholder relationships and has significant leadership, corporate governance, business management and communication skills within the agricultural sector. Ritchie has held Executive leadership positions with Landcare Tasmania and Regional Development Australia - Riverina and several past board and committee positions.

Dr Kelly Pearce

Dr Pearce was appointed to the Board for a three year term from 1st August 2019. Dr Pearce is a Grain and Prime Lamb Producer from Yealering in Western Australia along with her young family. Kelly has had a 16-year career in Agricultural Research and continues to coordinate a number of regional science and innovation projects through her regionally based business Wheatbelt Science Pty Ltd. Kelly is also a Director of Farmers Mutual Limited, 2012 Nuffield Scholar, Committee member of the Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, the WA Sheep & Goat Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Kelly has recently retired as a Director of co-operative sheep meat processor WAMMCo International and moved from Chair to Director of the Grower Group Alliance in WA.

Kim McDougall

McDougall was reappointed to the Board as the representative for Private Abattoirs for a three-year term in April 2017. His career has spanned in excess of 30 years in the Western Australian livestock industry principally dealing with producers in the marketing of both cattle and sheep. He has represented the agribusiness agency sector at "WALSA" (Western Australian Livestock Salesmen's Association) as well as in the role of a management committee member of "Livestock Logistics". He is currently the General Manager for Livestock, of the Forrest families "Harvest Road Group", which include the procurement strategy for Harvey Beef and the management of the vast pastoral properties held by Forrest family. McDougall is currently on the Red Meat Advisory Councils (RMAC) "sustainability steering group" a national group that provides the overarching vision for Australia's beef and cattle industry. He was awarded a scholarship sponsored by (AMPC) Australian Meat Processors Corporation to participate in the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program. He holds an advanced diploma in leadership and management from the University of Western Australia.

For further information contact WAMIA.