Patrick  Hone picture
Dr Patrick Hone
Managing Director

Appointed Managing Director from 24 December 2004

 

Patrick Hone is Managing Director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), a member of the National Marine Science Committee (NMSC), a member of the Australian Fisheries Management Forum, Chair of the Seafood Industry Safety Initiative, Australian Agrifood Data Exchange Advisory Council and a member of the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations (CRRDC). Patrick has held board positions on the Aquafin CRC and Seafood CRC. Patrick has extensive knowledge of all sectors of the fishing and aquaculture sectors. He has more than 25 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 and aquatic science, and evidence based decision making. 

 

Patrick has a PhD from Adelaide University. Patrick previously worked for South Australian Department of Fisheries and then the newly formed South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). Patrick has worked on a wide range of research including on Southern Bluefin Tuna, Pacific Oysters, Blue Mussels, Yellowtail Kingfish and Abalone.

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Jennifer Marshall
A/g General Manager

Jen joined the FRDC in January 2018 as the research project manager for the National Carp Control Plan. In her previous work as a research technician for NSW DPI Fisheries, Jen gained experience with testing commercial and recreational fishing gear modifications, and compiling observer data for the charter industry. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon, and both a Master of marine science and management and a PhD in marine ecology studies from Southern Cross University. 

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Jamin Forbes 
Business Development Manager
Jamin joined the FRDC in April 2022. Jamin has a diverse skillset whose working career includes: the Director, Business Development at Charles Sturt University; a freshwater fishing scientist with NSW DPI Fisheries; operated a charter fishing business; a revenue analyst for an airline; and a media and policy officer for an Australian Government Member of Parliament. Jamin is an avid recreational fisher, author and holds Bachelor, Masters and PhD qualifications from Charles Sturt University.
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Robert Smits
Strategic Program Manager
Joining the FRDC in April 2024, Rob brings an external insight into the development of strategy and innovation from livestock industries. Having spent over 30 years in the pig and pork industry, Rob is science trained with a Masters and PhD in Animal Science to extend his Bachelor in Agricultural Science degree. He has a long history in research and innovation in commercial industry and collaborative engagement with universities, private research providers, and government. Rob gained experience in working within Research Development Corporations whilst at Australian Pork and managed cross-sectorial themes in biosecurity, cost of production and automation, antimicrobial stewardship, and climate changed sustainability. He is looking forward to using his skills and experience now in the fishing and aquaculture industry.
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Crispian Ashby
General Manager

Crispian joined the FRDC in February 2002, starting as a Project Manager before taking over as the Program Manager in June 2005. Formerly with Victoria's Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute as a senior field scientist, he worked with industry on various FRDC projects assessing bycatch reduction measures in the South East Trawl fishery. Prior to this, he worked with New South Wales Fisheries on bycatch issues in the South East Trawl, estuarine prawn and finfish haul fisheries.

 

He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Fisheries Technology from the Australian Maritime College and a Graduate Diploma in Biological Science from the University of New South Wales.

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Josh Fielding
Senior Research Portfolio Manager
Josh joined the FRDC in April 2014, being in a Project Manager and Senior Research Portfolio Manager role for his time here. Josh has previously worked for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority in a range of fishery areas and spent time working for Tasmanian Salmon farming company Tassal as a technical officer. Josh has looked after projects in a range of different areas in his time at the FRDC, working across various aquaculture and wild catch sectors as well as Indigenous and recreational fishing. Currently he works with a team looking after aquaculture IPA’s, coordination programs and several RACs (Tasmania and Commonwealth). He has a Bachelor of Zoology with Honours in Marine Science from the University of Tasmania.
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Dr Carolyn Stewardson
Research Portfolio Manager

Carolyn grew up on a sheep and cattle property in the Western District of Victoria. Prior to commencing her university studies, Carolyn worked with State Government assisting the local farming community with disease management of livestock. Carolyn has completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of New England, and a PhD at the Australian National University in the field of marine science. While doing her PhD, Carolyn worked extensively with the South African fishing industry.

 

From 2003 to 2008, Carolyn work as a scientist at the Bureau of Rural Sciences, in the Fisheries and Marine Sciences Program. In this position, Carolyn also worked on the BRS Fisheries Status Reports and is a recipient of the Alison Furbank Award for Communications Excellence in 2007 for work with the fishing industry. Over 12 months Carolyn was on secondment with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority working on Marine Bioregional Planning before joining the FRDC in May 2009. Outside of work Carolyn enjoys teaching Marine Biology and camping with her family.

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Wayne Hutchinson
Research Portfolio Manager

Wayne started with the FRDC in February 2016. He has an extensive background in aquaculture and holds a Master of Applied Science in Aquaculture (Research) from the University of Tasmania. His research career primarily addressed hatchery-related issues ranging from egg supply through to fingerling production of a range of local marine finfish species including Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter, Snapper, King George Whiting, Yellowtail Kingfish, Mulloway and Southern Bluefin Tuna.

 

In his current Research Portfolio Manager position, he oversees the Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity Subprogram and aquaculture sector Industry Partnership Agreements with Oysters Australia, the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, the Pearling Consortium, the Australian Abalone Growers Association and the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association. 

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Dr Chris Izzo
Senior Research Portfolio Manager

Chris is part of the FRDC Adelaide Office as a full time Senior Research Portfolio Manager. Chris has a diverse research background in fisheries and fish biology, obtaining his doctorate at the University of Adelaide, having worked on various commercial species ranging from cockles to sharks.

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Dr Toby Piddocke
External Partnerships

Toby has a background in fisheries biology, including the age and growth, reproductive biology, acoustic telemetry, and freshwater fish surveys.

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Adrianne Laird
Research Portfolio Manager
For over 20 years Adrianne has worked across commercial fisheries research and management and aquatic habitat conservation having worked within state and federal fisheries management agencies and the commercial fishing industry. Much of her work has involved directly engaging with the fishing industry, particularly in regard to bycatch and threatened species mitigation, co-management and research.
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Deepika Satchithananthan
Research Portfolio Manager
Deepika has joined the FRDC with a degree in Animal Science from Charles Sturt University and Masters in Marine and Antarctic Science from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies. With a focus on R+D, her recent professional endeavors have centered on advancing commercial Murray cod farming in regional NSW.
Ben Jones picture
Ben Jones
Research Portfolio Manager
Ben has recently joined the FRDC after a decade-long employment in the commercial barramundi aquaculture industry and an additional decade performing applied research. He has commercial experience working across all life-stages of barramundi and has performed applied research and development at a range of research organisations. Obtaining his PhD at James Cook University, Ben has also worked at The University of Adelaide and Deakin University. His research has primarily focussed on assisting industry to develop techniques that optimise post-harvest quality.
Annette Lyons picture
Annette Lyons
Support Officer

Annie joined FRDC in 1992 as an office assistant when the team consisted of just five members. Over three decades, she has witnessed the organisation's growth from 51 to over 400 projects. Her dedication, loyalty, and adaptability have been instrumental amidst various transformations, from manual administrative processes to the transition towards a paperless office. Annie values the relationships forged with stakeholders and colleagues throughout her time here, embodying the organisation's core values of resilience and commitment.

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Sally Roberts
Capacity Capability & Culture Change Manager

Sally is driven by inspiring, enabling and unlocking individual and collective potential through developing people. Sally previously worked at Dairy Australia, leading research and development projects focussing on attracting, retaining and transitioning people to enable a capable workforce and safe, positive workplaces by transforming behaviour and practices.

 

Prior to dairy, Sally has worked in a variety of roles at the Department Education & Training Victoria and lived in London during the global financial crisis, working for a large charity to support civil society to navigate change, access funding and explore new business structures.

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Kyaw Kyaw Soe Hlaing
General Manager
Kyaw Kyaw combines his deep technical knowledge and experience in information and communication technology (ICT) and his innate curiosity and inquisitiveness with a human-centred approach to problem solving to help drive digital transformation in fishing and aquaculture. Over 10 years working with FRDC, Kyaw Kyaw has successfully led and delivered many impactful digital transformation projects working closely with a variety of stakeholders.
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Dennis Payne
ICT Manager

Dennis has experience working with Research and Development Corporations since 2006 delivering technology solutions and innovation to industry and regional areas. Examples include the extensionAUSTM digital extension platform to transform the way farmers source and digest information. Dennis is passionate in using user-centered interaction design to create efficient and practical digital products, focused on meeting the needs and optimising the experience of the users.

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Dean Stacey
ICT Support Officer
Dean joined the FRDC as an ICT Support Officer in 2023, bringing with him a passion for technology and a dedication to supporting the organisation's IT infrastructure. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Honours) with focuses in Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security, and with plans to pursue a Master of Computer Science in 2026, Dean possesses a strong academic foundation complemented by his practical experience in administering IT support.
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Nicole Stubbing
Digitalisation Insights Manager

With a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources (Honours) and experience in fisheries and water management, Nicole has spent seven years at FRDC holding diverse roles, including being a Research Portfolio Manager overseeing multiple Research Advisory Committees (RAC). Nicole is keen to improve the accessibility and utilisation of data for informed decision-making, as reflected through her experience across numerous digitalisation initiatives within the agricultural sector.  

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Meg Forestier-Wardley
Digitalisation Insights Officer

In her current role at the FRDC, Meg's primary focus lies in data analysis, extracting valuable insights, data visualisation, and statistics.

 

Simultaneously, while at the FRDC, Meg is pursuing her undergraduate studies in chemistry and political science at the Australian National University (ANU) and plans to embark on an Honours year in 2025.

Cheryl Cole picture
Cheryl Cole
General Manager Finance and Business

Cheryl joined the FRDC in April 2004 as Office Administrator, and is now the General Manager Finance and Business.  She comes from an extensive background in Finance Management, Human Resources, Governance and Compliance. Her role is to lead the Finance and Business team to deliver the corporate services for FRDC including Company Secretary functions.

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Priti Narayan
Finance Manager

Priti joined FRDC as the Finance Manager in Feb 2021. Priti is a Chartered Accountant with over 17 years experience, providing business advisory and tax compliance to a wide range of clients across many industries. Her experience includes working within private sector and Federal Government Departments.  Her personal goal is to ensure that all of her stakeholders feel valued, knowing they are receiving the best possible attention

Ryan Mullins picture
Ryan Mullins
Finance Officer
Ryan joined the FRDC as a finance officer in 2022. He comes from a background of accounting, finance and business and is committed to responding to stakeholder's needs as effectively as possible.
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Phillipa Nott
Executive Support Officer

Phillipa comes to the FRDC with 17 years of experience in accounts and payroll. She was previously with Australian Pork Ltd. She has also run her own bookkeeping business and holds a Diploma of Education.

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Leah Fergusson
R&D Business Support Officer

Leah previously worked at the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (Seafood CRC) for five years and her background is in Training and Office Management. 

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Stephanie Cooper-Vassalakis
Office Administrator

Stephanie joined FRDC in 2013 to assist with records management. Since then, she has expanded her role to include assistance with diverse office administrative activities.

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Kylie Dunstan
General Manager Stakeholder Engagement
Kylie is a dedicated professional with over 25 years’ experience in corporate affairs, communication and extension in government, not-for-profit and private sectors. Having served on several Board and Committees, Kylie is focused on ensuring exceptional leadership, a positive organisational culture, good governance and a clear strategic direction. She is committed to meaningful stakeholder engagement and developing strong, capable teams. Former roles include Head of Government Business at Isentia, Head of Corporate Affairs at Grains Research and Development Corporation, Communication and Public Affairs Manager at the Bureau of Rural Sciences and Communication and Extension Officer with FRDC. She has a GradDip in Marine Resource Management and a Bachelor of Business (Comms) from QUT. Kylie is the co-owner and Director of seafood business, Paulsen Fisheries Pty Ltd, operating fishing trawlers operating in Queensland and the Torres Strait. She is happiest near, on or in the water and loves fishing, diving or listening to waves crash onto the beach.
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Sue Rana
Corporate Affairs Manager

Sue joined FRDC in February 2022. She has extensive experience in senior public affairs roles across several sectors including, grape & wine production, grain production, minerals mining & processing and not-for-profits. Sue has expertise in delivering strategic communications, engagement activities and policy development for diverse stakeholder groups nationally and globally. In her role at FRDC, Sue leads the external communications functions and events for the organisation. She is passionate about developing the skills and knowledge of the Communication team and ensuring that communications outputs are inclusive and relevant to all FRDC stakeholders.

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Dempsey Ward
Communication Coordinator
Dempsey has joined FRDC with a background in marketing communication and business. He has been involved previously in brand management and strategic communication projects.
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Blair Ewart
Digital Communications Officer

Blair is creative with a passion for good design and narratives that leave a lasting impression. He comes from a varied background and has worked in industries such as aviation, universities and cyber security. Out of the office, Blair enjoys gardening, wine and of course - feasting on Australian seafood.

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Jamie Allnutt
Transformational Extension and Adoption

Jamie has a diverse background in agricultural extension, community engagement, planning and evaluation. He has previously worked as a coastal and marine facilitator and more recently has completed a national evaluation of extension. Jamie is passionate about the outdoors and especially sailing and surfing. 

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David Maynard
Extension Officer (TAS)

David studied fishing gear technology at the Australian Maritime College. He has worked in the seafood processing sector as a microbiologist/export officer, as a research scientist with the South Australian rock lobster industry, and as a lecturer and trainer at the Australian Maritime College and the University of Tasmania. Most recently David was the Senior Curator Natural Sciences at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, Tasmania, working on biodiversity and climate science and anthropogenic impacts. David is passionate about the marine environment and the seafood industry.

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Kris Cooling 
Extension Officer (NSW)

Kris grew up on the Mid North Coast of NSW, and spends any available time in and around the water. After completing his honours in Marine Science and Management, Kris has worked in a wide range of roles across the fisheries and marine sector. These include as a fisheries researcher and technician, commercial fisheries observer, rec fishing retail manager, aquaculture technician and field technician for on-country aquatic conservation research with Traditional Owners and Rangers. Kris is passionate about connecting people and projects that strengthen the resilience of both our aquatic habitats and the communities that rely on them.

Matt Jones  picture
Matt Jones 
Extension Officer (VIC)
Matt has a strong foundation in fisheries and aquaculture education and sustainability, with over a two decades of industry experience under his belt. After relocating to Tasmania at 18 to pursue aquaculture, Matt pursued research in salmon health and nutrition, paving the way for a career focused on education within the industry. Matt has led various initiatives to develop educational programs that link scientific knowledge with sustainable industry practices. An effective communicator and educator, Matt is skilled in simplifying complex concepts to foster a better understanding and implementation of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices. Their efforts have supported the growth and development of many professionals in the sector, emphasizing the importance of sustainability for the health of aquatic ecosystems and the industry’s future. Driven by a passion for education and the environment, Matt continues to advocate for responsible aquaculture practices, contributing to the industry’s efforts towards ecological stewardship.
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Steve Eayrs 
Extension Officer (QLD)

Steve’s involvement in the commercial fishing industry commenced 40 years ago catching prawns, scampi, and orange roughy. He was then a fishing technologist at the Australian Maritime College and a research scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Maine, USA. For most of his career, Steve has worked closely with fishers and others to improve fishing gear performance, including bycatch reduction and fuel conservation. Steve is also the Principal Investigator to the SeSAFE project, a nationwide effort to provide online safety training to fishers (www.sesafe.com.au). In his spare time Steve enjoys fishing from his kayak or stand-up paddle boarding.

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Nathan Bicknell
Extension Officer (SA)

Nathan grew up in a rock lobster fishing family in Port Lincoln regional, South Australia and studied environmental science, majoring in fisheries management. Nathan has worked across a variety of government, no-government, and associations and co-operatives. Roles which have required working closely with key stakeholders to navigate complex natural resource management issues and change.

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Felicity Horn
Extension Officer (WA)

Felicity grew up in a commercial fishing family who were involved in rock lobster, wet line and trawl fisheries in WA's mid-west region. Felicity worked at WAFIC for a number of years representing commercial fisheries across WA on a range of resource access issues. More recently, Felicity worked with the Shark Bay Prawn Trawler Operators’ Association as EO and held Director positions on the ACPF and WAFIC Boards. Felicity is an avid recreational fisher and a strong advocate for sustainable and profitable fisheries and continued supply of local seafood.

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Lauren Thornton
Extension Officer (NT)

Lauren's professional journey has been dedicated to bridging the gap between people and the natural world. With experience in community engagement and natural resource management, she has been privileged to provide interpretation and education to a diverse range of stakeholders, including Aboriginal communities, scientists, media, community groups, tourists and schools.

 

She is experienced in facilitating events, conducting workshops, presentations and attending events across Australia, particularly fishing shows, to connect with people and share knowledge on topics such as eco-friendly fishing practices.

 

Laurens passion is to inspire and educate, and to support healthy relationships and communication. 

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