Dairy Food Safety Victoria's seven-member Board is an independent, skills-based board accountable to the Victorian Minister for Agriculture.
The Minister appoints the Chairman and may also appoint one member nominated by the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. The remaining five members are appointed by the Minister acting upon the recommendations of an industry selection committee.
Each member holds office for a term not exceeding three years and is eligible for re-appointment.
Michael Taylor AO FTSE - Chairman
B. Agricultural Science and Dip. Agricultural Economics
Mike has been associated with the dairy industry over four decades: including in his roles as a director of the Victorian Dairy Industry Authority, Chief Executive of Australian Dairy Industry Council, Chairman of the Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation and in policy roles over two decades in his capacity as Secretary to two Commonwealth and three State Government Departments.
He is currently Chair of the Victorian Agricultural Advisory Council, a Principal of Foursight Associates, a director of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Crawford Fund for International Agricultural Research. Previously he was the Chairman of Murray Darling Basin Authority, a director of the Melbourne University-Melbourne Business School, the Public Transport Development Authority and numerous other boards.
Mike has been extensively involved in preparing, negotiating and administering many International, Commonwealth, State and industry agreements and legislation, and in advising the Governments and Commonwealth State Ministerial Councils on a broad range of matters including regional development, water, agricultural and food issues.
M Agr Sc, B Agr Sc
Peter has over 30 years' experience working in animal biosecurity, animal welfare and food safety. He retired from full-time employment with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries in 2009, where prior to his retirement he was Victoria's Executive Director of Biosecurity. Peter has held several board positions including Deputy Chair of the Victorian Meat Authority from 1993 to 2003. He is presently a member of the Board of the Game Management Authority. Over the last seven years, Peter has been involved, on a part-time basis, in a range of projects relating to animal and plant biosecurity, invasive species control, food safety, animal welfare and game management.
Dr Michael Blake
BSc, PhD, MBA, AICD
Michael is a highly-qualified senior manager with many years’ experience in food, food packaging and agriculture organisations. He is the current Director, Biosecurity Centre of Excellence at Box Hill Institute and has previously served on the Food Safety Council of Victoria. He has a strong knowledge of commercial innovation and research development, and professional working knowledge of the dairy supply chain, having completed his PhD in dairy processing at Utah State University and previously led research and development at Bonlac Foods, and Dairy Australia’s pre-farmgate research and development portfolio for animal performance.
BSc (Hons), MBA, FAICD, FAIFST
Jo is a company director and consultant experienced in general management, food safety, innovation and product development in the dairy manufacturing sector. She has held senior commercial and technical roles in the Dairy Farmers Group and has served as President of the Dairy Industry Association of Australia and of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. She was a Director of Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd and its predecessor organisations and a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for CSIRO’s Food Futures Flagship for 10 years. Jo is presently a Director of Pirrama Consulting.
Helen is a senior executive with extensive experience in the dairy industry, including export reform, industry deregulation and restructure, issues management, industry reputation and quality assurance. In her current role with Dairy Australia Helen focuses on sustainability, food safety and integrity. She has worked with CSIRO Dairy Research, the Australian Dairy Industry Council and the Australian Dairy Products Federation and is currently Vice-president of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative. Helen has served on a number of International Dairy Federation and FSANZ committees related to residues, animal health and welfare, farm management and food standards.
BEc, GAICD, Chartered Accountant
Peter was appointed as a director in 2012. He is an experienced risk and audit practitioner, working over 32 years with a broad range of organisations across the public and private sectors. As a past Partner of Ernst & Young and William Buck, Peter was responsible for managing substantial risk practices in both organisations. Peter has held a number of board roles including William Buck and Friends of the Zoos and is also an audit committee member for Department of Justice; Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources; Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti- corruption Commission (IBAC); VicHealth and South Gippsland Water.
Dr Julie Simons
BSc (Hons), PhD, AICD
Julie is an experienced representative of the Victorian Government and brings expertise in strategic policy formulation and implementation, industry research and development, and agricultural and rural stakeholder engagement. Julie has worked for the Victorian Government since 1988 in various roles including Senior Research Scientist and currently as Director of Rural Development and Transition Policy in DEDJTR. She has led key rural industry achievements including the recovery response for farmers affected by natural disasters, establishing the Victorian Government's Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council, and overseen the State government's partnership with the Rural Financial Counselling Service.