Company Information


RIRDC is a statutory authority established by the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act).  

The Corporation was established by the Australian Government to work with industry to invest in research and development for a more profitable, sustainable and dynamic rural sector.

The Strategic and Rural Research Priorities of the Australian Government provide an over-arching framework for public investment in rural research and development. RIRDC’s investments are closely aligned with these priorities.

Our vision

Enhanced prosperity for Australian rural industries and their communities.

Our purpose

To invest in research and development that is adopted and assists rural industries to be productive, profitable and sustainable.

Our goals

  • Goal 1: Promote leadership and innovation in the rural sector
  • Goal 2: Increase profit and productivity in rural industries
  • Goal 3: Enhance sustainability across the rural sector

Through successfully implementing our vision, purpose and goals RIRDC will achieve the following outcome:

Increase knowledge that fosters sustainable, productive and profitable new and existing rural industries and furthers understanding of national rural issues through research and development in government-industry partnership.

Corporate Plans

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation Corporate Plan 2012-17 sets a new direction for the Corporation; a direction with the aim of enhancing prosperity for our current and future portfolio industries and the wider rural sector.

The Plan sets the framework in which the Rural Industries R&D Corporation will conduct its RD&E activities for the period 2012-2017.

In developing the Corporate Plan 2012-2017 the Rural Industries R&D Corporation identified nine priority areas:

  • Productivity growth to support rural industry profit and sustainability
  • Building evidence about emerging issues impacting on the rural sector
  • Ensuring new industry (and innovation) potential is explored in a rigorous way and the knowledge gained is shared
  • Applying a life-cycle approach to supporting rural industries
  • Collaborating to respond to cross sector RD&E needs
  • Supporting new industries
  • Maintaining and building rural research capacity
  • Investing in rural sector people
  • Enhancing the adoption of RD&E

Within these priority areas the Corporation has set three main goals:

  • Promote leadership and innovation in the rural sector
  • Increase profit and productivity in rural industries
  • Enhance sustainability across the rural sector.

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation is specifically charged with managing investment in RD&E for those primary industries which are too small to set up their own RD&E entity and to address multi-industry and national interest RD&E needs. In doing so, RIRDC investments must contribute to the delivery of outcomes against the Strategic and Rural R&D priorities set by the Australian Government.

RIRDC's core business is to maintain and enhance the productivity of the rural industries it supports and to address national rural issues through government-industry partnership. The Corporation is the primary funding source for RD&E that investigates the potential of new plant and animal industries for Australia, and for providing support to new industries as they progress along the development life-cycle.

Download the Rural Industries R&D Corporation Corporate Plan 2012-17

Consultation Plan for the development of the RIRDC R&D Plan 2016-2021

From July 2015 RIRDC will be undertaking consultations with key stakeholders as part of its development of the RIRDC R&D Plan 2016-2021.

A consultation plan has been developed to provide clear direction for this process, including outlining the process, key milestones and stakeholders to be engaged.

Download the Consultation Plan for the RIRDC R&D Plan 2016-2021 here

Employment Information & Opportunities

General Manager - Communications & Capacity Building
Position Summary

General Manager - Research & Innovation
Position Summary

Program Manager - Research & Innovation
Position Summary

Applications close Friday 5th August 2016.

For confidential enquiries and for a copy of the position description (including selection criteria), please phone Mick Hay or Sharon Moloney on 07 3878 3411, or David Compton 02 9066 1214 or apply via www.rimfireresources.com.au

Manager Business and Finance
Position Summary

Executive Support Officer
Position Summary

Applications close Friday 5th August 2016. To find out more information and to receive a position description and selection criteria, give Rhyley Hunter a call on 02 69 214 488 or apply via www.waggarecruitment.com.au

Workplace values

RIRDC values social and cultural diversity and is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and the provision of a safe and healthy work environment.

Enterprise Agreement

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s Enterprise Agreement 2013-2016 was approved under the Fair Work Act 2009 and came into operation on 1 July 2013.

Contacts & Related Information

Contact us

Rural Industries R&D Corporation

Phone:  02 6271 4100
Email:  rirdc@rirdc.gov.au
Fax: 02 6271 4199
Address:  Level 2, 15 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
Postal Address:  PO Box 4776, Kingston ACT 2604
Publication phone enquiries: 02 6271 4160
Publication email enquiries: publications@rirdc.gov.au
Follow us on Twitter

Key Contacts

John Harvey, Managing Director
Phone: 02 6271 4111

Christine Quick, General Manager - Corporate
Phone: 02 6271 4150

Dr John de Majnik, Senior Program Manager
Plant Industries
Phone: 02 6271 4138

Dr Dave Alden, Senior Program Manager
Animal Industries
Phone: 02 6271 4128

Dennis Payne, Senior Manager, Information and Communications Technology
Phone: 02 6271 4153

Key Contacts (External Research Managers)

Julie Bird, External Research Manager (New & Developing Animal Industries)
Phone: 0407 455 580

Dr Kylie Hewson, External Research Manager (Chicken Meat)
Phone: 02 9927 4077

Tab 1 Content Title

Board of Directors

Tab 1 Content

Our Directors

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation currently has a nine-member Board, consisting of eight non-executive Directors and the Corporation’s Managing Director.

Professor Daniela Stehlik - Chair

Professor Daniela Stehlik is Professor of Sociology and previously, inaugural Director of the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory. 

Professor Stehlik's involvement in community development activities, and the impact of change on communities has led to a number of publications focusing on issues associated with social sustainability, community capacity building and evidence based policy. She is particularly interested in the generative capacity of women's energy and enthusiasm as an important component of community flourishing.

In 2008 Professor Stehlik was a member of the Expert Social Panel involved in the Federal Government's Review of Drought Policy.  Professor Stehlik is presently Adjunct Professor at ANU, JCU and QUT. 

Appointed on 21/04/10 until 20/04/13. Extended to 30/06/13. Reappointed on 02/08/13 until 01/08/16. 

BA (ANU); M. Soc Sci (ECU); A. Dip Bus Admin (SAIT) Uni SA; PhD (UWA)

Mr Kevin Goss

Mr Goss has served in chief and senior executive roles in research companies, statutory authorities and government agencies covering natural resources and agricultural R&D, water resources and environmental policy, integrated catchment management, natural resources management, land conservation, agricultural extension and communication, and rural social development.

Currently Mr Goss is a member of the Biosecurity Council of Western Australia, an Honorary Research Fellow with The University of Western Australia and the independent chair of the Western Australian Marine Science Institution’s R&D Committee. He also consults to clients in agricultural and natural resources R&D.

Previously, Mr Goss was Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for the Future Farm Industries Co-operative Research Centre Ltd (2007-2011) and CEO of the CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity (2004-2007).

Prior to that he was General Manager Natural Resources and Deputy Chief Executive for the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (1998-2004), Chair of the National Dryland Salinity Program for Land & Water Australia (2000-2004), and Executive Director, Sustainable Rural Development in the Western Australian Department of Agriculture (1995-1998).

Mr Goss has a strong professional interest in integration of R&D, industry and community engagement, and education and training in innovation, adoption of new practices and development of public policy to improve farm productivity and natural resource management.

Appointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17.

M.A. (Communication), Michigan State University; B.Sc. (Agriculture) Hons (UWA)

Dr Tony Hamilton

Dr Hamilton is a farmer from Forbes, NSW who is currently the managing director of a diversified cropping and livestock business.

Dr Hamilton has an interest in new crops, having been involved with the azuki bean industry in NSW, which was also the subject of his doctoral thesis.

Dr Hamilton is Chair of the Australian Jojoba Industry Association and former chair of RIRDC's New and Emerging Plant Industries Committee. Dr Hamilton is a current member of the GRDC's Regional Cropping Solutions - Irrigation panel. 

Dr Hamilton also holds a graduate diploma from the Securities Institute of Australia and is a Nuffield Scholar. Dr Hamilton has a keen interest in agricultural RD& E and evidence-based agriculture.

Appointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17.

Bsc.Agr (Hons), PhD (Uni of Syd)

Dr Jan Mahoney

Dr Jan Mahoney is currently a member of Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Council, Riding for Disabled Victoria and Secretary of Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association.

Dr Mahoney has previously held board positions with Victorian Catchment Management Council, Parks Victoria, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water, Woor Dungin Ltd, Mali Initiative, ACAS Ltd and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Dr Mahoney has had a long career in agriculture, beginning as a research scientist to executive roles in the grains and dairy industries and as CEO of the Grainfoods CRC. Dr Mahoney has worked with many organisations in the not-for-profit sector, assisting with strategic and business planning, policy development, performance management, mentoring, project development and implementation.

Dr Mahoney has worked in communities in Mali and in Cape York.

Appointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17.

BA; PhD; Grad Dip Business; Grad Cert International Health; Advanced Company Directors Diploma, FAICD

Dr William Ryan

Dr Ryan is currently the Chairman of the Agricultural Produce Commission of Western Australia and a member of GRDC’s Western Panel. Dr Ryan also provides independent consulting services to a range of clients in the agricultural sector and has been a member of an international team that reviewed the agricultural education, training and research system of Morocco.

Dr Ryan has previously been the CEO of the Kondinin Group (2003-2008) and a senior executive with the Heytesbury Group (1994-2002).

In 2005-06 Dr Ryan was a member of the Federal Government’s Agriculture and Food Policy Reference Group. Prior to this, Dr Ryan was involved in animal production research with the Western Australian Department of Agriculture.

Appointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (UWA); PhD (UWA)

Ms Heather Stacy AM

Ms Stacy has extensive agribusiness experience with a career in non-executive and executive roles in the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors within Australia and internationally.

From 2008 to 2014, Ms Stacy held senior roles with the Fonterra Co-operative Group in Australia and New Zealand. Previous executive roles included positions with BlueScope Steel, United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, Simplot and Metro Meat International.

Ms Stacy has considerable experience in strategic planning and execution, as well as strong skills in commercial management, supply chain, stakeholder engagement, innovation and leadership. Her corporate experience spans the agribusiness, industrial and fast moving consumer goods sectors.

Ms Stacy is passionate about the agricultural industry and rural and regional Australia. Ms Stacy is a recipient of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and an ANZAC Fellow. 

Ms Stacy has held board positions previously with the Victorian WorkCover Authority and Central Bayside Division of General Practice.

Appointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17

Dip App Sci (Ag); MBA (UofSA); GAICD; Grad Cert Rural Leadership (JCU)

Dr Keith Steele

Dr Steele has served as a Director on numerous company boards, including as Deputy Chairman of Beef CRC Limited (2006-2013), Deputy Chairman of eWater Ltd (2005-2012), Chairman of eWater Innovation Pty Ltd (2007-2011), Chairman of the South Australia Natural Resource Management Research Alliance (2008-2010), Non-Executive Director of AgResearch Australia Pty Ltd (2000-2001) and Chairman of Analytical Research Laboratories Ltd in New Zealand (1998-2001).

Dr Steele is currently Managing Director of Steele Business Solutions Pty Ltd and is also contracted by AusIndustry as a Case Manager for Commercialisation Australia.

Previously Dr Steele was Chief Executive Officer of AgResearch Ltd in New Zealand (1997-2003), a company that had annual revenues exceeding $130 million and a staff of 980.

Dr Steele has also served as Chief Scientist (1991-1995) and then Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (1995-1997). 

Appointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17.

DPhil (Chemistry) (Waikato University, NZ); MAgrSc (1st Class Honours in Soil Science) (Massey University, NZ);  BAgrSc (Massey University, NZ)

Dr Len Stephens

Dr Stephens is currently the Managing Director of the Seafood CRC Company Ltd, a Cooperative Research Centre involving 30 industry and scientific partners focused on seafood productivity and market development.

His previous positions and experience are: Company Director - Dairy Australia Ltd (2007-2010); Principal - Global Innovation Options Pty Ltd - Management Consultancy (January 2007-June 2007); Chairman - Australian Wool Exchange, Industry Standards Advisory Committee (2007); Chief Executive Officer, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd (2003-2006; General Manager, Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (1996-2003, Southern Program Manager, Meat Research Corporation (1996-1998); Inaugural Director, Victorian Institute of Animal Science (1987-1996; Company Director, Daratech Pty Ltd (1990-1995); Director, Regional Veterinary Laboratory, Bairnsdale, Victoria (1982-1987. 

Appointed on 01/07/11 until 30/06/14. Extended to 30/09/14. Reappointed on 16/10/14 until 30/09/17.

AICD; Dip Agr Sci; BVSc; MSc; PhD 

Ms Heather Stacy

Dr Keith Steele

Ms Heather Stacy

Dr Keith Steele

Tab 2 Content Title

Advisory Panels

Tab 2 Content

Advisory Panels

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation is committed to working with industry to deliver the research and development outcomes that rural Australia needs.  The Corporation works closely with advisory panels (listed below) to decide on research priorities and to make investment decisions each year.

Chicken Meat

Mr Gary Sansom (Chairperson), Dr Pat Blackall, Mr Greg Underwood, Dr Tom Grimes, Dr Margaret MacKenzie, Mr Tim Wilson, Mr Greg McDonald, Mr Greg Hargreave, Dr Kylie Hewson (RIRDC, Research Manager)

Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership

Mr Gordon Gregory (Chairperson), Mr Simon Winter (RIRDC, Research Manager), Mr Tom McCue (GRDC), Ms Sally Knight (CRDC), Ms Irene Sobotta (MLA), Mr Justin Roach (AMPC)


Mr Shane Templeton (Chair), Mr Anthony Rehbein, Dr John de Majnik (RIRDC, Senior Program Manager), Dr Mike Smith, Mr Jason Keating, Mr Noel Stevens, Ms Alison Robb (RIRDC, Senior Program Coordinator)

Honey Bee and Pollination

Dr Michael Hornitzky (Chairperson), Dr Saul Cunningham, Ms Kathryn Young (HIA), Dr Peter Whittle (HIA), Mr Brett Rosenzweig, Mr Angus Crawford, Dr Boris Baer, Mr Ben Hooper, Mr James Kershaw, Dr Dave Alden (RIRDC, Senior Program Manager)

Animal Industries (New, Developing and Maturing)

Dr Paul Donnelly (Chair), Dr David Falepau, Mrs Fiona Vanderbeek, Mr Doug Jobson, Dr Doug Stapleton, Mr Athel Smith, Ms Julie Bird (External Research Manager - RIRDC), Dr Dave Alden (RIRDC Senior Program Manager)

New and Emerging Plant Industries

Mr David McNeil (Chair), Ms Prue McMichael, Mr Russell Glover, Mr Chris Joseph, Mr Peter Philipzen, Mr Phillip Butlin, Dr John de Majnik (RIRDC, Senior Program Manager), Ms Alison Robb (RIRDC, Senior Program Coordinator), Mr Ian Southwell

Pasture Seeds

Mr Chris Martin (Chair), Mr Joe Cook, Mr Keith Glasson, Ms Mary-Jane Rogers, Mr Shane Oster, Ms Margie Heath (RIRDC, Program Manager)


Mr Ian Mason (Chairperson), Mr Drew Braithwaite, Mr Peter Kaylock, Mr Garry Knagge, Mr Peter Herrmann. Dr John de Majnik (RIRDC, Senior Program Manager), Ms Alison Robb (RIRDC, Program Coordinator), Mr Barry Kirkup, Dr John Sheppard (technical advisor)

Technical advisers: Dr Laurie Lewin, Mr Russell Ford

Tab 3 Content Title

Corporate Governance

Tab 3 Content

Corporate Governance

Funding Agreement 2015-2019

On 4 June 2015 RIRDC signed a Funding Agreement with the Australian Government. This Funding Agreement sets out expectations about performance, transparency and accountability to levy payers, the Government and to the public.

Download the Funding Agreement 2015-2019

RIRDC Board Governance Manual

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s Board Governance Manual is publicly available.

Download the Board Governance Manual

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s Audit Committee Charter is publicly available.

Download the Audit Committee Charter

Indexed lists of the Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s files

As part of Standing Orders of the Senate the Rural Industries R&D Corporation is required to provide access to an indexed list of the titles of all relevant files, including new parts of existing files, that it has created from 1 January 1998.

The most recent index files can be downloaded here:

January to June 2016 list

July to December 2015 list

Privacy Policy

More information about RIRDC's privacy policy can be found on the privacy policy page of this website.

Click here to go to RIRDC's privacy policy page.

Evaluation Policy

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation's Evaluation Policy is publicly available.

Download the RIRDC Evaluation Policy

Fraud Control

The RIRDC Fraud Control Policy and Plan sets out the approach for the prevention and management of fraud or allegations of fraud within the Rural Industries R&D Corporation. The Corporation’s risk appetite for fraud is zero tolerance.

The Fraud Control Plan includes the process for notification of any suspected fraud and the relevant contacts. The template and guidelines for reporting an allegation of fraud are located below.

The RIRDC Fraud Control Plan 2014-2016

The RIRDC Fraud Control - Allegation reporting template and guidelines

Public Interest Disclosure

A Public Interest Disclosure may be lodged with the RIRDC Authorised Officer, who is the General Manager, Corporate, via email: pid@rirdc.gov.au

Public Interest Disclosure logo

Download RIRDC's Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedures.

Portfolio Budget Statement

The purpose of the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) is to inform Senators and Members of Parliament of the proposed allocation of resources to Government outcomes by agencies within a portfolio.

Agencies receive resources from the annual appropriations bills, special appropriations (including standing appropriations and special accounts) and revenue from other sources.

The 2015-16 RIRDC Portfolio Budget Statement

Freedom of Information

Information about making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and RIRDC's FOI response procedures can be found on the Freedom of Information page of this website.

Click here to visit RIRDC's FOI page.

Tab 4 Content Title

Annual Reports