Dairy Food Safety Victoria's 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.
Dr Anne Astin PSM, FAIFST, MAICD – Chair
B.Sc Chemistry, B.Sc (Hons) Biochemistry, Ph.D (Biochemistry), GradDip Public Sector Management
Anne is the former inaugural CEO of the Victorian government’s authority, Dairy Food Safety Victoria. She previously held senior executive positions in the Victorian public sector for 30 years working in food policy and regulation, public health, agriculture, minerals and petroleum, natural resources and environment, land administration and forensic science. Prior to this, Anne was a Senior Tutor at Monash University where she conducted biomedical research and lectured to science and medical undergraduates.
Anne is currently Chair of the Board of the Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre, the Sir William Angliss Institute of TAFE, the SafeFish Partnership, the Australian Industry Skills Council’s Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Reference Committee and the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council’s Code of Practice Complaints Committee. She is a Director of the Australian Packaging Covenant and a member of Australia’s Health Star Rating Advisory Committee, and independent member of EnergySafe Victoria’s Audit and Risk Committee. In 2016, she was appointed as a Trustee of Kildare Ministries, elected to the Council of Catholic Social Services Victoria and appointed to New Zealand’s Food Safety Science and Research Centre’s International Science Advisory Panel.
She is the immediate past Chair and President of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST), the Australia and New Zealand Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR), CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food Advisory Committee and Wellsprings for Women Inc, She has previously held Directorships at Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd., Dairy Australia, the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens and until April 2011, was Chair of the Victorian Minister’s Women in Primary Industries Advisory Panel.
In 2016 Anne was awarded the John Bryant Gold Medal for outstanding service to the dairy industry. In 2011, she was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Victorian Division of the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the dairy industry, national food regulation and rural women. In 2010, she was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for her work in biochemistry and as an advocate of women’s leadership, and in that year, was awarded the Australian Dairy Industry Council’s Outstanding Service Award in recognition of her leadership to the Australian dairy industry, the first woman to receive this.
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.
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.