Biosecurity Council - Membership

Page last updated: Friday, 14 April 2023 - 12:00pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

This page contains information on the current Biosecurity Council members. Nominations are sought from academia and community organisations, with appointments (for up to three years) made by the Minister for Agriculture and Food.

Biosecurity Council membership is drawn from people who are experienced or actively involved in agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, pearling or related commercial activities; or natural resource management, environmental protection and/or regional communities.

Prof. Simon McKirdy (Chairperson) has a long history in the biosecurity/quarantine area. He is currently Professor in Biosecurity and Pro Vice Chancellor of the Harry Butler Institute at Murdoch University. Prior positions held include the Biosecurity Science and Risk Manager for Chevron Australia and Chief Executive Officer of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre. Simon has worked on various biosecurity-related committees including seven years with the Plant Biosecurity Quadrilateral Scientific Collaboration Working Group, which included representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

Dr Regina Flugge (Deputy Chairperson) has a long history with natural resource management, including as a member of the Rangelands Regional Assessment Panel for the Natural Heritage Trust in the late 1990's. Regina has over 30 years of experience in environment and sustainable development roles and has worked in the education, government, not-for-profit and corporate sectors. Regina was Chair of Rangelands NRM, the largest natural resource management region in WA, to the end of April 2019. Regina’s career includes substantial experience in the resources industry including 16 years in the Pilbara region. Regina also has a keen interest in environmental biosecurity following previous Ministerial appointments to the Conservation and Parks Commission, Conservation Commission of WA, Coastal Planning and Coordination Council, and the Air Quality Coordinating Committee. In 2014 and 2015 Regina was a WA Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Mr Bradley Adams is a third-generation fisherman who has been involved in the commercial abalone industry all his life. Brad was a commercial abalone diver for many years and pioneered sea-based abalone culture technology. He is the founder and Managing Director of Ocean Grown Abalone Ltd, an ASX listed seafood company based in Augusta. Brad has a keen interest in aquatic biosecurity as healthy marine ecosystems are essential to the future of sustainable fishing and aquaculture production of seafood. Brad was also a Director of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), 2009-2011 and the Chairman from 2011-2013. WAFIC is the peak industry body representing the interests of the Western Australian commercial fishing, pearling and aquaculture industries. He currently serves as President of the Abalone Association of Australasia and is a director of the Aquaculture Association of Western Australia.

Ms Nicole Batten is a Director of Batten Farms - an 8000 hectare broadacre grain and livestock property 500km north-east of Perth. She has worked in natural resource management and community development in the northern agricultural area of Western Australia for many years, and is a Councillor for the Shire of Chapman Valley. Nicole also sits on the Rabobank Local Client Council as well as the Grower Group Alliance board, and is the former National and State Chairperson for Partners in Grain (now known as Rural Edge). She is an Australian Institute of Company Directors member and heavily involved in her local grower group.

Mr Justin Bellanger is the current Chief Executive Officer for South Coast National Resource Management (NRM). Justin has over 26 years’ experience in environmental, agricultural and aquatic biosecurity, at a senior level, and currently represents Australia’s NRM organisations on the national Environmental Biosecurity Advisory Group. With a strong focus on aquaculture, his past roles in the Department of Fisheries saw him working across WA in various research and development roles, providing him with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the state’s biosecurity challenges.  Justin has chaired, and is a representative on numerous state and national Boards and advisory groups, where his active involvement, enthusiasm and strong leadership skills has earned him many recognition awards.

Mr Tony Dean is the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) representative appointed to the Biosecurity Council. He brings a wealth of experience in science, agriculture and advocacy. Tony has over 22 years’ experience in local government and is the current Shire President of Nannup. Along with his work on various councils, boards and committees, he has 11 years experience teaching science in an agriculture setting and was the Principal at the WA College of Agriculture in Cunderdin. Tony is currently President of the South West Local Government Association, and the Warren Blackwood Alliance of Councils. He is a Board member on the South West Development Commission and State Councillor for WALGA, chairing the People and Place Policy Team.

Prof. John Mackenzie has had a long involvement in biosecurity and global health security, with a strong background in human and animal viruses. Over recent years, John’s interests have broadened to encompass global outbreak alert and response activities, including the development of international surveillance within the International Health Regulations, chairing the Steering Committee of the World Health Organisation’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and promotion of the ‘one health’ concept that recognises that the health of people, animals and the ecosystem are inextricably woven together. John initiated the international One Health Congress and is currently the Vice-Chair of the One Health Platform foundation. He co-wrote the proposal and served as the interim CEO of the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, was a member of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Advisory Council and has undertaken various consultancies for the Commonwealth Health Department and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

Dr Kelly Pearce is a grain and prime lamb producer from Yealering in Western Australia along with her family. Kelly has had a 16-year career in Agricultural Research and continues to coordinate a number of regional science and innovation projects through her regionally-based business Wheatbelt Science Pty Ltd., and has recently taken up a position as a Research Fellow with the Australian Farm Institute. Kelly is also a Director of the Western Australian Meat Industry Authority, Grower Group Alliance, Farmers Mutual Limited, Committee member of the Corrigin Farm Improvement Group and the WA Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee. Kelly is a 2012 Nuffield Scholar and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Contact information

Carolyn Edwards
+61 (0)8 9368 3594