Vernon Graham – Farm online
29 Jul 2019, 2 p.m.
Leading businessman and Tasmanian superfine grower, Simon Cameron, has been chosen as the industry's independent representative on Australian Wool Innovation's board nomination committee.
He was endorsed at a meeting of the newly-minted Woolgrower Industry Consultation Panelchaired by WICP independent chairman, Ron Cullen.
The nomination committee identifies and recommends to the board (and shareholders) the candidates it thinks are the best fit as future AWI directors.
Vacancies on the seven-member AWI board will be filled at its 2019 annual general meeting on Friday, November 22, in Sydney.
Under the AWI's constitution one third of the board - the longest in office since last being elected - will have to retire with the choice of re-nominating themselves. Nominations for board candidates are due from September 6 to September 24.
There is speculation that the board seats of incumbents Wally Merriman, David Webster and Meredith Sheil will be up for election this year.
All three have served the AWI board for a long period and all have busy careers and businesses although some media reports suggest Mr Merriman intends to stand again.
Simon Cameron's appointment to the nomination committee - along with the creation of the WICP and the broader Woolgrower Consultation Group (WCG) - are part of the response to Ernst & Young's 2018 review of AWI's governance and performance.
Among the review's sweeping list of 82 recommendations was the need for AWI to significantly improve its consultation and transparency with grower stakeholders (adopted) along with a 10-year maximum term for directors (which hasn't been adopted and is the subject of ongoing debate).
This year's election is likely to be hotly contested with a number of growers believed to be gearing up to nominate.
Former AWI director, Chick Olsson, said he was planning to stand and was now seeking to organise a three-member ticket who, if elected, would pursue "progressive and commercial approaches to wool".
Mr Olsson has extensive family business and farming interests based in NSW.
Meanwhile, Mr Cameron has a wide-ranging business background and is now a partner in a farming partnership which operates "Kingston" in Tasmania's Northern Midlands which produces superfine wool.
He is also a senior executive at Marketboomer, a company which provides procurement services to a number of leading international hotel chains.
Mr Cameron has worked for a number of leading companies including Boral Limited, Brambles and Wreckair Hire Equipment.