Board of Directors

David Lamont - Non-Executive Director, Chairman

David Lamont is a highly experienced and respected farmer at Harefield north east of Wagga Wagga. 

He became a director on the Southern Agventure Board in February 2014 and was elected by the Board at its meeting in March 2014 to replace Mr Richard (Dick) Thompson as chairman.

He has a Bachelor of Rural Science degree from the University of New England and has managed cereal cropping, wool production and horse stud operations on “Kooringal” and "Glenmoira” for more than 30 years.

During his extended farming activities, David was also inaugural Secretary of Shepherds Producers Co-operative and served on the Board of Directors of Shepherds in 1995 and1996. He served on Charles Sturt University’s Centre for Conservation Farming Research Advisory Panel from 1990 to 2005, the Harefield Landcare Group and is President of the Yathella Bushfire Brigade.

David has also undertaken a number of interesting projects both within Australia and overseas, including research and advisory roles with Soil Conservation NSW and, as a biometrician, introduced the first computer data analysis for the service.

Through Australian Volunteers Abroad he assisted with the establishment of a beef cattle farm in Malaysia. He also undertook a range improvement program in Northern Yemen in association with the government of Yemen and a World Bank consortium funded Livestock Development Project.

Married to Annette with two grown up children, David is now semi-retired with his farming operation reduced to a smaller area of winter cropping on “Glenmoira”.

Andrew Bouffler - Non-executive Director, Deputy Chairman

Andrew has over 25 years of experience as an owner/ manager of a mixed farming enterprise in southern NSW and understands the opportunities and threats faced by farmers in his region.

As the principal of the Trigger Vale Bond Merino and White Suffolk studs he has a vast knowledge of the Australian sheep industry and has actively participated in R & D and extension via advisory roles for Sheep Genetics and the Sheep CRC. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics from the University of New England.

Andrew brings an intimate knowledge of local issues, a commitment to see rural communities prosper and the ability to communicate across sectors. Andrew received an Australian Nuffield Scholarship in 2007 and was selected to participate in the Duchy College “Challenge of Rural Leadership” course in Devon, UK during November 2009. He also successfully completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course for directors in 2010.

Andrew was appointed Non-executive Director of Southern Ag Grain in July 2012 representing the Company's interests in the joint venture. 

Married to Mandi, with three young children, Andrew is involved with many local organisations and clubs and is passionate about farming and the sustainability of regional communities.

Richard Carn - Non-executive Director

Richard is a grain grower and sheep producer at The Rock. He was a Member of the Steering Committee in 2008, and a member of the Company Structure and Corporate Governance Sub-committee and the Joint Venture Sub-committee during the establishment phase.

Richard has worked in a range of agricultural industries including wool processing, irrigated cotton production and irrigation development prior to returning to the family farm. He is the past President, Secretary and committee member of the Lockhart Agricultural Bureau.

Richard has a strong commitment to addressing current challenges facing local producers with practical and commercial solutions and sees the Company as forming a major part of such solutions.

A Private Pilot he likes to see the district farms from the air and tries to go flying whenever he has some spare time. Richard is married to Sally and they have three young children.

In 2010, Richard successfully completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course for directors and has been a Non-executive Director of Southern Ag Grain Pty Ltd (SAG) since its inception. He was elected as SAG Board Chairman in March 2014.

 

Nick Taylor – Non-executive Director

Nick holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics and an extensive working knowledge of global agricultural commodity markets having focused throughout his early career on commodity trading roles in a variety of organisations, including the large, multi-national Japanese trading house, Sumitomo.

Nick brings to the Company a global understanding, having worked in the US and extensively with the Japanese. This experience ensures that the Company has a greater appreciation of the global issues impacting on our local markets as well as the challenges facing our major competitors.

Following a career in commodities trading in Melbourne, Nick returned to the family farm in 2002. A fourth generation farmer, he now runs the mixed farming operation of sheep, cattle and cropping just outside Holbrook in south-eastern NSW.

Nick remains actively involved in the grains industry and currently is the NSW Farmers Association representative on the Commerce Committee with Grain Trade Australia. He is married with two young children and when time allows can be found on the ski slopes.

 David Hodge - Non-executive Director, Company Secretary

David is a Certified Practising Accountant with over 20 years experience in public and commercial accounting. David is a partner with HMA Twomey Patterson, a chartered accounting practice with five offices in south-eastern NSW. He is a designated CPA Financial Planning Specialist, having advised clients on investment, superannuation and related matters for the last ten years.

David holds other interests in manufacturing and supermarket businesses and has substantial experience with start-up ventures, including obtaining appropriate research and development and other forms of government assistance. He has a great affinity with the land, having grown up on the family farm at Marrar and, as he has many rural businesses as clients, he understands the challenges and opportunities that farming today provides.

David was Non-executive Director of Southern Ag Grain Pty Ltd from 2009 to 30 June 2012 when he retired as part of that Company's director rotation policy.

David is a member of Wollundry Rotary Club of Wagga Wagga and likes to get involved with community organisations wherever he can, including the usual school and sporting club commitments that go hand-in-hand with two school aged children. 

David Pyke – Non-executive Director

Retired Wagga accountant Mr David Pyke joined the Southern Agventure Board in February 2013, replacing Mr Bill Thompson as a Director of the Company.

Mr Pyke, an ACA, was raised in Coolamon and attended Barker College, Sydney, for his senior schooling.

He commenced as an accounting clerk with John L Bush and Campbell in 1963 where he remained all his working life, rising to become a partner in 1982 until his retirement in 2006. Since then he has contracted to Bush and Campbell providing succession planning services and in 2009 established his own succession planning services business.

Mr Pyke has been a Director of the Wagga Wagga Country Club as well as a keen golfer and is a member of Rotary Club of Wollundry, Wagga Wagga.


Leonie O’Driscoll - Non-executive Director

Leonie O’Driscoll is a well-qualified and experienced senior executive with a passion for agriculture business and life in regional Australia.  She joined the Southern Agventure Board in February 2014 as a Director of the Company, following the retirement of Mr Brent Alexander .

Leonie was awarded a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Adelaide as well as qualifications in Project Management and Financial Services including a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment

From 1999, Leonie was a grain merchant employed by Cargill covering grain accumulation in the Murrumbidgee and Central West of New South Wales for major domestic customers.

In 2004 she moved on to Agfarm Pty Limited, was appointed General Manager in 2009 and remained part of the senior executive team of that Company responsible for Agfarm Solutions and Agfarm Logistics. In 2012 she was appointed to the Board of Central West Farming Systems.

In 2013, Leonie established her own agriculture advisory business based in Wagga Wagga, Evofarm Pty Ltd. Evofarm aims to provide support to agriculture enterprises focusing on governance and business management.

Married to David with two young sons, Leonie has a strong desire to support and find innovative solutions for rural families to achieve a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable future feeding the world’s population.

 Geoff Breust – Managing Director

Geoff grew up initially on a farm between Temora and Ariah Park, then in Temora completing high school before moving to Canberra, joining the Australian Government service and completing a BA with a major in Economics.

Geoff had 20 years of public service in a variety of Departments and roles, including senior executive positions. In 1988 Geoff joined the late Don Kendell at Kendell Airlines in Wagga Wagga. Between them, Don and Geoff built Kendell to be one of the largest and most successful regional airlines in Australia at that time.

Geoff has subsequently worked in other senior company roles in transport and aviation. In December 2003 he was appointed CEO / MD of Regional Express (Rex) the airline which rose from the ashes of the failed Ansett Group joining a team which produced another regional airline success story.

Trying to lead a more balanced life style in Wagga, Geoff “retired” from Rex at Christmas 2007. While he has had more time in Wagga, his work load has included, inter alia, a two year engagement in 2008 and 2009 where he led Sureway Employment and Training through the nationwide re-tender of the Commonwealth Government’s Employment Services Contract with Sureway more than doubling in size to over 70 offices in three States.

In July 2010, Geoff's company, Airmaroo Management Pty Limited, was engaged by Southern Agventure to produce and take to the market a new Prospectus, offering shares to investors.

Following the success of the offer and identification of a number of potential opportunities for the Company, Geoff was appointed to the full-time position of Managing Director in August 2011. He was also appointed a Non-executive Director of Southern Ag Grain in March 2012.

Geoff is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors, Executive Committee member of Wagga City Aero Club and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame.