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Executive Committee

The purpose of the Executive Committee is to oversee the management of the CRC to ensure that Programs comply with the objectives of the CRC, that co-operation of the communication between Programs is maintained and liaison with the Commonwealth is consistent. The committee includes the Management Team, Program Leaders, the Industry Engagement & Training Coordinator plus two External Members (one from AWI and one from MLA).

Management Team

Professor James Rowe
Chief Executive Officer

Sheep CRC Ltd
Phone: 02 6773 1317

Professor James Rowe holds a PhD in animal nutrition. His research on sheep and cattle production has resulted in a number of new products and innovative feeding systems. He has worked in the public sector (Department of Agriculture & Food, WA) with international organisations, large private sector companies and at the University of New England. In 2002 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sheep Industry CRC and currently holds the position of CEO with Sheep CRC Ltd.

Stephen Potts
Chief Financial Officer/Company Secretary

Sheep CRC Ltd
Phone: 02 6773 2762

Stephen Potts is the CRC CFO and Company Secretary. He holds a degree in International Finance, is a CPA and has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance. He is experienced across a range of industries incorporating hospitality, insolvency, mining and agricultural research, during which time he has held management, finance, accounting, commercial, governance and community focused roles. Prior to joining the CRC Stephen worked for a number of years for a major multinational company in its corporate, asset and project divisions, gaining broad regional, national and international experience.

Program Leaders

Dr Andrew Thompson
Program 1 Leader - Transforming sheep and their management

Dept of Agriculture & Food, Western Australia
Phone: 0437 316 117

Dr Andrew Thompson studied Agricultural Science at the University of WA and completed a PhD in Wool Science at the University of Adelaide. Over the last 20+ years he has worked on a range of wool and lamb production projects. He has experience in leadership and science management at a National level, including leadership of the National ‘Lifetime Wool’ project which developed new guidelines for managing ewes and their progeny to increase whole farm profits and improve animal welfare. Andrew is employed by DAFWA and is Program 1 Leader with the Sheep CRC. He is closely involved in new research related to maternal efficiency and methane production and adoption of strategies to improve reproduction efficiency.

David Tester
Program 2 Leader - Wool Quality

Phone: 0434 600 164


David Tester was a senior scientist at the CSIRO Division of Wool Technology and completed research relevant to much of the wool processing pipeline. In later years at CSIRO his role changed to commercialisation and technology transfer of R&D outcomes to the wool textile industry in Australia, Europe and Asia. David made the change into wool textile production as technical director and general manager of a wool textile mill in England which allowed the application of much of the earlier research outcomes. David returned to Australia to join Macquarie Textiles and manage Australia’s largest wool textile mill in 2000 before taking on the program leader role in the Sheep CRC in 2008.

Professor Dave Pethick
Program 3 Leader - Meat Quality

Murdoch University
Phone: 08 9360 2246

Professor Dave Pethick holds a PhD qualification from Cambridge University (UK) and an undergraduate Degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Adelaide. His research in fundamental and applied meat science in beef, lamb and sheepmeats has made a major contribution to the understanding of meat quality and its management. He is head of Production Animal Research at Murdoch University and is Program Manager for Meat Science in both the Beef and Sheep CRCs. Dave is employed by Murdoch and is Program Leader of the Meat Program with the CRC.

Professor Julius van der Werf
Program 4 Leader - Information Nucleus

University of New England
Phone: 02 6773 2092


Professor Julius van der Werf holds a PhD (1990) in Animal Breeding from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He moved to the University of New England (Armidale, NSW) in 1997, where he is now Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics. His expertise varies from genetic evaluation and breeding program design to analysis and use of genomic information.

Professor Steve Walkden-Brown
Program 5 Leader - Education and training

University of New England
Phone: 02 6773 5152

Professor Steve Walkden-Brown is currently a Professor in Animal Health and Production at the University of New England. He graduated in Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland in 1981. At the end of 1995 he took up a lectureship at the University of New England teaching sheep production and animal health. He has continued teaching in these areas, including involvement in the education programs of the Premium Quality Wool CRC and the previous Australian Sheep Industry CRC. Steve also has research interests in sustainable parasite control in sheep.

Industry Engagement & Training Coordinator

Lu Hogan
Industry Engagement & Training Coordinator

Sheep CRC
Ph: 02 6773 3597

Lu Hogan joined the CRC in 2009 to coordinate industry training activities. Prior to joining the CRC, Lu was General Manager, Wool Production at AWI, where she was responsible for on-farm research, development and innovation relating to animal health, welfare, genetics, genomics, wool harvesting, pastures, natural resource management, education and adoption of innovation within industry. Lu comes from a farming background and until 2002 was a wool, sheep and grain producer in the Riverina region of southern NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne and has previously worked with CSIRO and the Victorian Department of Agriculture.

External Members

Geoff Lindon
Program Manager, Sheep Technologies

Australian Wool Innovation Ltd
Phone: 02 8295 3100


Dr Alex Ball
Manager, Eating Quality R&D

Meat & Livestock Australia Limited
Phone: 02 6773 2493