The Board comprises up to nine directors who are appointed, in accordance with sections 17 and 77 of the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (the PIRD Act), as follows:

  • The Chair is selected and appointed by the Minister
  • The Executive Director is selected and appointed by the Board on terms and conditions determined by the Board.
  • The other directors are appointed by the Minister on the nomination of a selection committee. The Minister appoints the selection committee based on the nominations of the FRDC's representative organisations.

List of current Directors

  • The Hon. Ron Boswell - Chair
  • Dr Renata Brooks - Deputy Chair
  • Dr Patrick Hone - Executive Director
  • Professor Colin Buxton
  • Mr John Harrison
  • Dr Lesley MacLeod
  • Professor Daryl McPhee
  • Mr John Susman

Directors are selected based on their expertise in one or more of the following fields:

  • commodity production,
  • commodity processing,
  • commodity marketing,
  • conservation of natural resources,
  • management of natural resources,
  • science,
  • technology and technology transfer,
  • environmental and ecological matters,
  • economics,
  • administration of research and development,
  • finance,
  • business management
  • communication
  • government policy and public administration.

Directors are appointed for a term not exceeding three years. The Executive Director, holds office at the Board´s pleasure. All directors other than the Executive Director are appointed on a part-time basis.

The Hon. Ron Boswell: Chair

Appointed as Chair 1 September 2016.

Ron Boswell represented the Nationals in the Australian Senate for Queensland from 1983 to 2014 and led the party in the Senate from 1990 to 2007. In 2008 he became Father of the Senate.

Over the course of his political career Ron was the leader of the National Party in the Senate from 10 April 1990 to 3 December 2007, holding many positions in the Coalition shadow ministry including Shadow Minister for Regional Development and External Territories (from September 1988 to April 1990), Shadow Minister for Northern Australia and External Territories (April 1993 to May 1994) and Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs (May 1994 to December 1994). Boswell was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services in July 1999 but left the position in October 2003.

Ron is a strong advocate for Australia’s primary producers and improving their productivity and profitability based on the best knowledge available.

Renata Brooks: Deputy Chair

Appointed Deputy Chair 5 November 2015

Renata Brooks is an independent director and consultant. Previously she was Deputy Director General, Land and Natural Resources in the NSW Department of Primary Industries, with responsibility for the NSW crown land estate, natural resource policy and programs, and coordination of primary industry policy. She has held senior executive positions within the NSW Department of Primary Industries in the areas of science and research, agriculture, fisheries, biosecurity, compliance and mine safety. She holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney with first class honours, a Graduate Certificate in Bioethics from the University of Technology Sydney, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Patrick Hone: Executive Director

Appointed Executive Director from 21 April 2005

Patrick Hone is Executive Director of the FRDC and a member of the National Marine Science Committee. Patrick has extensive knowledge of all sectors of the fishing and aquaculture industries. He has more than 20 years working for the FRDC and has played a key role in the planning, management and funding of fishing and aquaculture related research, development and extension in Australia. In recent years Patrick has become one of Australia’s leading spokespeople on the role of marine science.

Patrick has a PhD from Adelaide University, and previously worked for SARDI on a wide range of aquaculture research for Southern Bluefin Tuna, Pacific Oysters, mussels, Yellowtail Kingfish and abalone.

Professor Colin Buxton

Colin Buxton is an independent director and principal consultant at Colin Buxton & Associates. Previously he was director of the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Coasts Centre at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). He has held senior management positions at the Port Elizabeth Museum, Rhodes University and the Australian Maritime College, as well as being the inaugural director of the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute at UTAS. Colin is currently an adjunct professor at IMAS, and holds board positions at the Seafood CRC, Southern Rock Lobster Ltd, Tasmanian Environment Protection Authority and the Royal Hobart Golf Club to name a few. He has been a frequent consultant to government and industry in both South Africa and Australia, and is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and Rhodes University where he obtained a PhD for his work on the life histories and effects of exploitation on reef fishes. Much of his research has been focused on understanding the role of Marine Protected Areas as a conservation and fisheries management tool.

Mr John Harrison

John Harrison was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council in November 2013. In August 2017 he was appointed to the Board of the WA Marine Science Institution. Previously he was CEO of the Western Rock Lobster Council and executive officer of the Professional Fishermen’s Association in NSW. He has been a member of many committees including estuary floodplain management, NSW Seafood Industry Advisory Council, and NSW, Northern Territory, Commonwealth and Western Australian Fisheries Research Advisory Body. He was CEO of Recfish Australia, participating in the National Oceans Advisory Group, National Shark Recovery Group, Co-management of Fisheries Task Force, and the Aquatic Animal Working Group under the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. He was also executive director of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory from 1998 to April 2005.

Dr Lesley MacLeod

Lesley MacLeod is the former CEO of Dairy Innovation Australia and a former board member of Murray Dairy, Barley Australia and MBQIP Ltd. Lesley was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland and has a first class honours degree in marine biology and PhD from Heriot-Watt University. Following a 12-year research career in Edinburgh and Adelaide focusing on grains research Lesley moved into industry in Victoria where she gained over 20 years’ experience in senior agribusiness management for Australian and multinational companies. Lesley has a focus on research management, innovation and commercialisation and has established of a number of national R&D programs and not-for-profit companies. Lesley has a Diploma in Business Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Daryl McPhee

Daryl McPhee is Head of Higher Degree Research at Bond University. His core expertise is in fisheries and marine ecology. He has published over 90 reports and publications include Fisheries Management in Australia (Federation Press) and the Environmental History and Ecology of Moreton Bay (CSIRO Publishing). Daryl has undertaken consulting projects on a range of projects including the impacts of dredging and spoil disposal, LNG plants and pipelines, sand extraction, bauxite mining, port developments, desalination, thermal discharge from power generation, and fisheries and marine aquaculture. He is internationally recognised as a leader in fisheries management research and in terms of recreational fishing, is one of the most well-published researchers in Australia. Much of his recent work has focused on understanding and mitigating the risk of unprovoked shark bites on people, and the environmental history of Australian coastal areas.

Mr John Susman

John Susman is Managing Director and owner of FISHTALES, a seafood industry marketing consultancy. While completing a Bachelor of Arts (commerce) and his postgraduate studies, John ventured into restaurants at a crucial stage in the evolution of the Australian hospitality industry. Cutting his teeth alongside a cadre of legendary chefs provided him with a thorough knowledge and passion for what it takes to prepare, cook and present great food. He set up the legendary Flying Squid Bothers, an integrated scallop fishing business which became Australia’s first water to plate operation. He is consistently regarded as a foremost authority on seafood, not only in Australia, but globally, John is a regular judge in consumer and industry awards and regularly appears on television, radio and print media to lend his expertise and views on sustainability and seafood. In 2004, John was admitted in to the Fairfax Australian Food Industry Hall of Fame, for his services to the Australian food industry and in 2012 Delicious magazine also awarded him Outstanding Provedore of the Year.