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Faces both fresh and familiar: AHA announces Board appointments

30 Nov 2018

Two returning Directors and one fresh face have joined the Board of Animal Health Australia (AHA), reinforcing the Board’s commitment to best-practice governance through the selection of skills-based leadership.

Directors Paula Fitzgerald and Sharon Starick have returned to the Board for another term, joined by Ms Catherine Cooper (pictured right).

The three candidates were endorsed by AHA’s members – consisting of the Australian Government, state and territory governments and national livestock industries – at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, following recommendations made by an independent selection committee.


AHA CEO, Ms Kathleen Plowman, is looking forward to continuing the company’s valuable work alongside the appointees.

“It’s been my pleasure to work with Directors Fitzgerald and Starick over the past few years and I look forward to seeing the new insights that Director Cooper will bring to the mix,” Ms Plowman said.

AHA Chairman, Mr Peter Milne AM, agreed that a fresh face always invigorated a Board.

“Ms Cooper brings with her a wealth of experience as a non-executive director across agriculture, agribusiness and aquaculture,” Mr Milne explained.

“I believe Ms Cooper, along with Ms Fitzgerald and Ms Starick, will be an asset to the Board as we look to the future of AHA.”

At the AGM AHA also farewelled Mr David Palmer (pictured right with CEO Kathleen Plowman), who had sat on the Board since 2011.

“Mr Palmer has been a great supporter of the livestock industry and significant contributor to agriculture. He has been a valued part of AHA for many years,” said Mr Milne.

“We are sad to see him go and wish him all the best.”

In brief: AHA’s new Directors

Catherine Cooper has over 18 years’ experience as a director across a wide portfolio of positions, including extensive experience as a chair, deputy chair and on audit and remuneration committees. Ms Cooper has demonstrated her passion and longstanding commitment to the agriculture, agribusiness and aquaculture sectors, combined with relevant experience and a thorough understanding of the important role played by directors.

Paula Fitzgerald (right) returns to the AHA Board following her previous two-year term. Her extensive background in stakeholder relations, member engagement, communications, policy development and advocacy has been an asset to AHA and the agriculture sector across a diverse portfolio of prior roles. Ms Fitzgerald’s passion and vision make her the ideal person to drive innovation and positive change within the industry.

Sharon Starick (left) also returns to the AHA Board having served two full terms. Her experience as a chair and director across a range of agricultural and rural support organisations is complemented by her experience chairing AHA’s Governance Committee and Audit and Risk Committee. Ms Starick’s personal experiences as a broadacre cropping and pig producer make her uniquely qualified to address the issues facing the sector.


Last reviewed: November 30, 2018

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