DELIVERY TEAM & BOARD MEMBERS
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Dr Steve Lapidge (Adelaide)
Dr Steven Lapidge is the inaugural CEO of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). He has spent much of his 20-year career working for or with agribusiness CRC’s, with a strong focus on New Product Development and commercialisation. Steve led the development of the FFW CRC bid and in recent years has represented Australia at G20, OECD and national food waste forums. He is a member of the National Food Waste Strategy Steering Committee and a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Steve’s qualifications include a BSc(Hons), PhD and an MBA. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and European Summer School for Advanced Management (Denmark). Steve’s previous research saw him awarded the prestigious Fulbright Professional Business/Industry (Coral Sea) Scholarship in 2010. He has published over 70 scientific papers and reports.
Professor Vincent Bulone is the Director of Adelaide Glycomics, an analytical centre for complex carbohydrates, and Director of the Research Consortium Program for Agricultural Product Development supported by the South Australia Department for Industry and Skills. Vincent was also Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls until June 2018. His activities comprise fundamental research on plants and microorganisms as well as applied research in green chemistry and biotechnology for the development of products derived from carbohydrate polymers and other biomolecules. Vincent’s R&D activities are relevant to multiple sectors, including Agriculture and Waste Management; Biomaterials; Biorefinery; Bioenergy; Food Sustainability; and Disease Control. Prior to his recruitment in Adelaide in 2015, Vincent was Director of the Centre for Biomimetic Fibre Engineering and The Advanced Carbohydrate Materials Consortium in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the founder of the spin-out company CarbOzide Pty Ltd, which exploits his invention on UV protective materials based on carbohydrates and natural molecular sunscreens from algae
Program Leader - (REDUCE) Reducing Supply Chain Losses
A/Prof Karli Verghese (RMIT Uni, Melbourne)
Karli is the Reduce Research Program Leader in the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre. She is also a Principal Research Fellow in the Industrial Design program of the School of Design, RMIT University, Melbourne.
Karli is predominantly involved in designing, developing and leading industry applied and government funded research projects in the fields of food waste, packaging sustainability, waste management and life cycle assessment. She also supervisors Honours, Masters and PhD students and teaches into the Industrial Design program.
Her research projects have included the development of decision support tools for packaging, resource efficiency, food waste, eco-design and one currently being developed for Australia’s Antarctic research station (Casey). Karli is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Packaging.
Program Leader - (TRANSFORM) Transforming Waste Resources
Dr Luckman is a Chemical Engineer from the University of Queensland, with a Masters in Biological Engineering and a PhD in Biomaterials Engineering. Throughout his career he has developed a specialisation in bio-polymer process engineering technologies and materials. Dr Luckman has worked on the boundary between academia and industry with a range of companies from start-ups to several of the world’s largest users and manufactures of biopolymers to develop product solutions for a range industry sectors such as packaging, agriculture, mining, and food. His research career to date has been entirely collaboratively funded through industry-linked projects that have relied on close relationships with industry partners, including ARC-Linkages, Advance Queensland Innovation Partnerships, and is currently an Advance Queensland Research Fellow. Through these projects he has provided valuable research and teaching opportunities to Universities while maintaining on-going support to industry partners; improved processing methods and delivered novel products to market.
Program Leader - (ENGAGE) Education, Training and Behavioural Change
Professor David Pearson is the Engage Program Leader in the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre. The Engage Program is responsible for educating over 40 future industry professionals with PhD or Master level qualifications, disseminating research outputs through an Industry Training Hub, and encouraging behaviour changes amongst consumers to reduce the amount of food wasted.
David Pearson’s research expertise is in leading multidisciplinary collaborations addressing issues of concern in society. Most recently this has focused on encouraging consumers to make considered choices, such as dietary options to improve personal health and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable global food system. In addition, he has considerable leadership achievements in tertiary education as well as significant engagements with industry, government and charity sectors. He is a Professor of Marketing in the School of Business and Law, and the Appleton Institute, at the Sydney campus of Central Queensland University.
Theme Leader - Food Safety and Integrity
Dr. Valeria Torok is the Fight Food Waste CRC Food Safety and Integrity Theme Leader. She is also the Food Microbiology Sub-Program Leader with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Food Sciences Group based at the Waite Campus in Adelaide. Dr. Torok has a keen interest in food safety research, functional foods and the role of gut microbiota in livestock production and gut health. She also has product development interests in the creation of novel, rapid and sensitive diagnostics for foodborne hazards and foodborne virology. Her team has been instrumental in providing Australian capability for foodborne virus testing in foods implicated in recent foodborne outbreaks. Within the FFW CRC Valeria will ensure that any ingredient, food or packaging products developed demonstrate the upmost food safety and integrity.
During her 20 year career Dr. Torok has worked closely with both industry and regulatory bodies, and has formed multidisciplinary scientific collaborations both nationally and internationally. Her qualifications include a BSc(Hons) and PhD.
MR JOHN WEBSTER – BEc, GAICD.
John Webster is the inaugural Independent Chair of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre. John is a former CEO of Foodbank Australia, MD of Horticulture Australia, and GM of Meat & Livestock Australia. He is currently a Director of AgStrat Associates and Council Member of the International Meat Research 3G Foundation.
John has a degree in Economics and is a Graduate Member of the AICD with extensive experience in issues surrounding food waste and management of complex industry/research collaborations. His expertise includes strategy, governance, leadership, performance measurement, R&D project management, business and commercialisation in the food, agribusiness and food waste sectors. John has a history of delivering commercial impact from R&D and was awarded the 2001 Howard Yelland Award for his contribution to the Australian beef industry while his research team was awarded the 2000 IMS Millennium Prize for their contribution to meat science and the international beef industry.
MR TOINE TIMMERMANS – MSc (AgEng).
Toine Timmermans is Program Manager Sustainable Food Chains at Wageningen University & Research, and Coordinator of the EU projects FUSIONS and REFRESH. The overall aim of the project is to halve food loss and food waste across the post-harvest supply chain. With a focus on prevention and reduction of food loss and waste and maximizing the value from unavoidable food waste, the central ambition of the REFRESH project is to develop and implement National ‘Framework for Action’ models, based on strategic agreements across all stages of the supply chain www.eu-refresh.org.
Toine has an MSc in Agricultural Engineering 1989 (Wageningen University). In 2011 he completed a post-doc Business Strategy (University of Groningen). He is active in creating impact on food waste prevention via research, innovation and establishing partnerships.
MR GEOFF STARR – BA Hons, GAICD.
Geoff Starr has a wealth of experience in international branded foods and is a well-known figure in Australia’s agriculture and food industry.
Geoff has worked for Unilever, been CEO for Mars Inc. companies internationally and George Weston foods. He has run very large businesses and also enjoyed the involvement in smaller enterprises.
Geoff was chair of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australia’s first industry advocate to government, and is a director of Foodbank, Australian Pork Ltd, Food Innovation Australia Ltd, Birch & Waite foods and chair of Cannpal Therapeutics.
MS SANDRA HOOK – AGSM Management courses, GAICD.
Sandra has a track record in driving customer-centred business transformation and transitioning traditional organisations in rapidly evolving environments. She has extensive operational, digital, financial management and strategic experience built over 25 years as a CEO and in senior executive roles for some of Australia’s largest media companies including News Limited, Foxtel, Federal Publishing Company, Murdoch Magazines and Fairfax.
Ms Hook holds directorships of other companies including: RXP Services (ASX:RXP), MedAdvisor Limited (ASX:MDR), IVE Group Limited (ASX:IGL), Sydney Fish Markets, WYZA Limited, Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
MS CHRISTINE GIULIANO – BAppSc, GAICD.
Christine is Managing Director of Naturex Australia, responsible for the Australian and New Zealand operations of Naturex, the world’s largest processor of herbal and botanical extracts. Naturex currently manufactures specialty ingredients at the Kings Park site, which is also the focus of sales and business development activities relating to the Naturex portfolio of natural ingredients into the food, nutra and personal care ANZ markets. Christine was previously Managing Director of Kingfoods Australia and has had over 20 years’ experience in Australia’s food technology and processing sectors. Christine is professional Member of AIFST (Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology), and a member of the CMA (Complimentary Medicines Australia).
MS ROBBIE DAVIS - BAgSc, MBA, GAICD.
Robbie has business experience in both the private and public sectors domestically and internationally as a CEO and Director. She is also a primary producer (beef cattle) in the upper south east of South Australia. She has an intimate understanding of agricultural production systems, particularly sustainable whole of industry value chains from the paddock to the end-consumer. Following almost ten years living and working in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei), she was self-employed as an agribusiness consultant until her appointment as CEO of Potatoes South Australia in 2012. With food security, food safety and reduction of food waste among issues of predominant importance to her, Robbie aims to participate in the re-positioning of Australian agribusiness as the nation’s most significant industry.
She was profiled under PIRSA’s Women Influencing Agriculture and Regions in 2015 and is the RIRDC 2016 SA Rural Woman of the Year. Robbie has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Adelaide (BAgSc), a Master of Business Administration, University of Adelaide (MBA), and is a Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Mr ALAIN PILLAY – BEc, BBus, CPA, GAICD.
Alain Pillay is the managing director of Nexus Strategem Pty Ltd, a boutique financial and economic advisory firm specialising in corporate strategy and M&A. Since 2011 Nexus has been involved in acquisitions across the Sugar, Beef, Port and Technology sectors.
Prior to establishing Nexus, Alain was the Queensland state lead partner for Deloitte’s economics and strategy unit and was responsible for establishing and building the practice into one of the largest economic groups in Queensland. A member of Deloitte’s young leaders group and a member of Deloitte economics executive team, Alain worked extensively across Asia, Middle East and America.
Alain has a strong investment network both domestically and internationally and has experience in corporate governance as a company secretary of a listed company. Alain is tertiary qualified in both accounting and economics and is a member of the Australian CPA’s, Institute of Company Directors and Chartered Secretaries of Australia.