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New Head For Food Standards Australia New Zealand

New Head For Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board

CANBERRA, July 7/ Medianet International-AsiaNet/ --

A former Commonwealth Ombudsman, Philippa Smith AM, has been appointed as Chair of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) board.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Jan McLucas, said today Ms Smith would take up the position for four years.

"In agreement with the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Philippa Smith AM as the new Chair of the FSANZ board," Senator McLucas said.

"Ms Smith has had a high-profile career covering wide-ranging roles including those of Commonwealth Ombudsman, and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.

"She has a strong governance, accountability and ethics background, which complements her continued involvement at a high level in federal and state health bodies representing health consumer and general consumer issues.

"This background will bring further diversity and expertise to the FSANZ Board."

Senator McLucas also announced that former New Zealand member of Parliament Dianne Yates had been appointed as a new member of the FSANZ board for four years.

Senator McLucas said Ms Yates had extensive experience across issues of international trade, health and consumer affairs.

"Ms Yates has vast experience in government and in voluntary sector governance," Senator McLucas said.

"She was, until very recently, Chair of the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee, Chair of the Education and Science Select Committee, and was a member of the Health Select Committee.

"Ms Yates has a firm grasp of current debates in science demonstrated through her Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, a scientifically detailed Private Member's Bill introduced and passed through the New Zealand Parliament," Senator McLucas said.

"The new board represents an excellent mix of experience with top people in their fields of expertise.

"This is an exceptionally strong board, which will continue to move us forward in food regulation in Australia and New Zealand.

"It will also maintain the strong representation of public health, food science and technology, human nutrition, international trade and consumer issues on the FSANZ Board."

Senator McLucas took the opportunity to thank the retiring board members for their hard work over the years.

"Rob Knowles and Owen Symmans both made major contributions to food standards in Australia and New Zealand," Senator McLucas said.

Mr Knowles and Mr Symmans have been on the board of FSANZ since its establishment in July 2002.

Senator McLucas commended Mr Knowles’ leadership as the inaugural Chair of the board.

"Mr Knowles was instrumental in establishing the operation of the board," Senator McLucas said.

"As Chair for six years, Mr Knowles is to be commended for his significant contribution to changes in the food regulatory system, especially with the implementation of the Council of Australian Government’s reforms."

As a board member for two terms, Mr Symmans’ contribution has also been significant.

"His experience and knowledge of primary industry, having worked for Federated Farmers of New Zealand, the government and the dairy and meat industries, has been of great assistance, particularly during the initial phase of the new food regulatory regime," Senator McLucas said.

FSANZ is the food regulatory authority in Australia and New Zealand. It develops food standards for both countries on behalf of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991.

Food standards are developed to protect the public and to provide information to consumers as well as supporting industry.

A full list of members and details of their backgrounds is below. Ms Philippa Smith is currently the Director of the Australian Institute of Public Health and the Vet Science Foundation. She is also the Chair of the Community and Ethics Committee, "45 up" Health Study Sax Institute. She has had a high profile career covering wide ranging roles including that of Commonwealth Ombudsman, and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. Ms Smith also has a strong governance, accountability and ethics background. Ms Smith has wide experience in dealing with complex issues and with diverse stakeholder groups across government, regulatory bodies, industry, consumer affairs and community groups.

Mr Steve McCutcheon was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of FSANZ. Mr McCutcheon has a B.Ec (Sydney) and Graduate Diploma of Public Law (ANU). He previously was the Executive Manager of the Product Integrity Animal and Plant Health Division, Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. He joined that Department in 1987 and has served in various roles as Assistant Director, Director and Manager and has been a Member of the Australian Government Senior Executive Service for the past nine years. During this time he led the team that developed the new food regulatory framework for Australia and New Zealand under the auspices of the Council of Australian Governments and has led the Australian delegations to the Codex Alimentarius Commission and Office of Economic and Community Development.

Ms Dianne Yates is currently the Chair of the New Zealand Education and Science Select Committee. She has a wealth of experience in international trade, health and consumer affairs as well as extensive experience in government and in voluntary sector governance. She has, until very recently, been Chair of the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee and was formerly a member of the Health Select Committee. Ms Yates also has strong links with the New Zealand primary sector due to her long involvement with the Waikato farming community. This involvement attuned her to issues within her local (Waikato) community as well as across science, health, trade and community building issues from a national perspective.

Dr Laurence Eyres has expertise in food science. His present research and professional speciality is quality assurance and research and development of food products, particularly oils and fats, at the University of Auckland. He has worked in industry for over 30 years and brings a food technology, industry and New Zealand perspective to the Board.

Ms Hikihiki Pihema is currently the Senior Dietitian at Gisborne Hospital, Tairawhiti District Health, Gisborne, New Zealand. She is a Maori dietitian with 32 years experience in a range of clinical, administration, management, community, public health, Maori health, education and policy settings within New Zealand. In 1994, Ms Pihema was awarded the New Zealand Dietetic Association’s (NZDA) highest honor, the Award of Excellence in Nutrition Education, for her involvement in the provision of nutrition education to Maori people. Ms Pihema is also a past President of the NZDA and has assisted in strengthening the collaborative links between the NZDA and the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Dr Pamela Williams has a broad knowledge of Australian consumer rights and consumer affairs policy. She lectured on consumer rights and responsibilities at several institutions, including Deakin University. Dr Williams is honorary secretary and health advisor to the National Council of Women of Victoria, chairs the Community Advisory Committee of Southern Health and the Steering Committee for Consumer Recruitment, Development and Support at Southern Integrated Cancer Service.

Dr Katrine Baghurst has been involved in research and in translation of research to practice in the nutrition field in both Australia and New Zealand over the past 30 years, notably at the CSIRO Human Nutrition Division. Her extensive experience makes her a specialist in relation to determining food choice, consumer needs, current dietary patterns in the community and nutritional and food education. Professor Baghurst is a member of the National Health Committee of the NHMRC and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Adelaide and currently works as a Nutrition Consultant.

Dr John Craven is a veterinarian with post-graduate qualifications in microbiology and pathology. His research interests have primarily been in the areas of identifying the causes of neonatal diarrhoea in animals and in preventing the spread of food poisoning organisms from animals to people. He has been Director of the central Victorian veterinary diagnostic and research laboratory and held other senior positions in the Victorian Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (now Department of Primary Industries). Dr Craven was, for seven years, a Portfolio Manager for the Dairy Research and Development Corporation and is currently Director of Terip Solutions Pty Ltd. He has considerable experience in working with rural communities to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability by development and subsequent adoption of technology.

Dr Michele Allan is General Manager for Risk and Sustainability at Amcor Limited. Other positions she has held are Interim Chief Executive Officer – Tasmanian Bioinformatics Centre of Excellence, General Manager Bioscience and Technology – Bonlac Foods and Corporate Quality and Environment Manager- Kraft Foods Limited. She is also a board member within Patties Foods Limited. Dr Allan has strong leadership experience across many facets of the food industry. Her areas of expertise include food science, food allergy, medical science, food safety, and biotechnology.

Dr Peter Williams has a strong background in public health, food science, food allergy, human nutrition and food safety. Dr Williams is an Associate Professor in the School of Health Science in the Department of Biomedical Science at Wollongong University and leads the regulatory affairs work of the National Centre of Excellence in Functional Foods. Before his employment at Wollongong, he was the Director of Scientific and Consumer Affairs at Kelloggs for three years and previously worked as the Chief Dietitian and Food Services Manager at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Dr Williams served a two-year term as President of the Dietitians Association of Australia from 2001, has served on NHMRC working parties for the review of Dietary Guidelines for Australia and the review of recommended nutrient intakes, and has been a member of the steering committee for the Heart Foundation’s Pick the Tick program.

Mr Peter Milne has worked all his life in the Australian cattle industry and managed Cracow Station in Central Queensland for many years. He has been active in rural industry organisations and involved in training, industrial relations, on-farm QA, R&D and marketing. He was Chairman of the Red Meat Advisory Council in 2001, on the Executive of the National Farmers’ Federation for four years, and President of the Cattle Council of Australia until November 2001. He is a member of the National Institute of Accountants and a Fellow of The Taxation Institute of Australia.

Mr Peter Boyden is an internationally experienced CEO with extensive general management and marketing experience gained in consumer foods businesses in Australia, UK, the Netherlands and Greece. His most recent roles were as Managing Director and regional Board member of the Unilever Australasian foods business and a Board member of the Australian Food and Grocery Council. He currently acts as a business mentor for senior executives. His areas of responsibility have included the management of consumer marketing, product and packaging development, food production and general management.

SOURCE: Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing


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