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
Awaiting Ministerial Appointment Representing Wholesale & Retail Meat Industry TBC
John Da Silva Representing Employees of the Industry 31/03/2022
Belinda Lay Representing Producers of Meat 31/06/2021
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 for a three year term, prior to being Deputy Chairman from June 2018 and commencing her Board Membership in 2011. 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.

Position Vacant 


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 four decades. Da Silva is a board member of the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council as well.

Belinda Lay 

Lay was appointed to the Board for a one-year term commencing in May 2020 as a representative of producers of meat. Lay is currently a business partner at Coolindown Farms, a family-owned mixed sheep and grain enterprise near Esperance. Lay is a member of Asheep and SEPWA and has worked in the Agricultural Industry since 1994, she holds a double Diploma in Business Studies and Agriculture and is a recent graduate of AICD. In 2019, Lay won the WA Agrifutures Rural Women's Award for her pilot project looking at GPS tracking of lambing ewes for animal welfare and production outcomes.

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 in August 2019 representing the producers of meat. Dr Pearce is a grain and prime lamb producer based in Yealering. She has a 17-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. Dr Pearce is a Director of the Biosecurity Council of WA, Director of the Grower Group Alliance (WA) and a Committee Member of the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group and the WA Sheep & Goat Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee. Dr Pearce is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a 2012 Nuffield Scholar..

Kim McDougall

Mr McDougall was reappointed to the Western Australian Meat Industry Authority Board as the representative for Private Abattoirs for a further three-year term in April 2020. 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. Mr McDougall 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 WA". McDougall is currently the General Manager for Agriculture, of the Forrest families "Harvest Road Group", which includes the procurement strategy for Harvey Beef and the management of the vast pastoral properties held by Forrest family. Mr 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. Mr McDougall was awarded a scholarship sponsored by (AMPC) Australian Meat Processors Corporation to participate in the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program thus receiving a Fellowship and a Graduate Certificate in Rural Leadership from James Cook University. Additionally, Mr McDougall holds an advanced diploma in Leadership and Management from the University of Western Australia.

For further information contact WAMIA.