Grains Research and Development Corporation

Level 1, 40 Blackall St, Barton ACT 2600
Postal Address
PO Box 5367, Kingston ACT 2604
(02) 6166 4500
(02) 6166 4599

About The GRDC

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a statutory authority established to plan and invest in R&D for the Australian grains industry. Its primary objective is to support effective competition by Australian grain growers in global grain markets, through enhanced profitability and sustainability. Its primary business activity is the allocation and management of investment in grains R&D.

GRDC Vision

Driving innovation for a profitable and environmentally sustainable Australian grains industry.

GRDC Mission

To invest in innovation for the greatest benefit to its stakeholders. This will be achieved by being a global leader in linking science, technology and commercialisation with industry and community needs.

GRDC Values

* Commitment and action in meeting the needs of our stakeholders and exceeding their expectations
* Winning as a team
* Achievement of superior results
* Creativity and innovation
* Openness and trust in dealing with people
* A performance-driven culture *
* Ethical behaviour in all our activities


A board of directors governs the GRDC, informed by the Executive Management Team and a system of advisory panels. The panels, which include grain growers, agribusiness practitioners, scientists and the corporation's executive managers, advise the Board on national and regional R&D priorities and help the GRDC to work closely with its stakeholders.

At the operational level, the GRDC has recently restructured to place greater emphasis on delivering benefits to growers. The lines of business of Varieties, Practices, New Products, Corporate Services, Corporate Strategy and Impact and Assessment and Legal and Governance have evolved into four business groups. These are:

Research Programs
Regional Grower Services
Corporate Services

GRDC will report according to the traditional lines of business structure in 2011-12 accroding to the Five Year Strategic R&D plan and the Annual Operational Plan.

The GRDC continually assesses the performance of its programs and projects, and their impact on the Australian grains industry and wider community, and regularly reports to stakeholders.

Board Members

The GRDC Board is accountable to Australia's grain growers, through the industry peak organisation and to the Commonwealth Parliament, through the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The GRDC Board normally has between seven and nine directors.

The Chairman is selected and appointed by the Minister. Mr Richard Clark was appointed by the Minister on 1 October 2013.

The Managing Director is appointed by the Board of the Corporation. The Managing Director is the sole Executive Director and holds office at the Corporation's pleasure. John Harvey was appointed as the GRDC's Managing Director on 1 March 2011.

Five to seven Directors are appointed by the Minister, on advice from a selection committee selected by the Minister. On 22 November 2011 the Minister announced the appointment of 6 directors, until 30 September 2014.


Mr Richard Clark, Chair (NSW, Non-executive)
* Appointed: 1 October 2013.

Richard Clark is a farmer and company director from Tulloona, NSW, where he and his wife Barbara run an intensive 1340ha grain enterprise, focussing on summer and winter cereals, pluses and oilseeds.

Richard is a graduate of the Orange Agricultural College and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. His experience includes the positions of founding Chair of the NSW Farmers Grains Research Committee and Chairman of the Wheat Research Foundation of NSW. He has served as a Director of Advantage Wheats Pty Ltd, ChemCert Ltd, Grain Foods RDC and Quality Farms Australia, and was a past Director of GRDC from 1996 to 2002.

Richard has also held leadership positions in a number of national agricultural bodies. He was a councillor of the Grains Council of Australia and a councillor of the National Farmers Federation, where he was a member of the Trade Committee, Economic Committee, Climate Change Taskforce and Industrial Relations Committee.


Mr Richard Brimblecombe (QLD, non-executive)
* Appointed: 4 November 2011, until 30 September 2014

Mr Brimblecombe has over 20 years' experience in senior management roles in renewable energy, financial services, commodity trading and processing, and rural services. Currently he is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Quantum Power Limited, a company in the renewable energy sector. For the 3 years prior to October 2011 he held senior management roles with the Commonwealth Bank Regional and Agribusiness Banking Division, most recently Head of Specialised Agribusiness Solutions Queensland and Northern Territory.

Mr Brimblecombe held the position of Non-Executive Chairman of Quantum Power from 2008 to October 2011, when he was appointed as Managing Director. Through his role as Chairman of Quantum Power Limited he has significant experience in the development, evaluation and execution of research and development strategy. He has been involved in the successful commercialisation of ground breaking technology, processes and products.


Dr Jeremy Burdon (ACT, non-executive)
* Appointed: 4 November 2011, until 30 September 2014

Dr Burdon has an international reputation in evolutionary biology, particularly in plant – microbe interactions. He has led the Plant Industry Division of CSIRO for the past eight years with responsibility for the development of its scientific capability, for the strategic direction of the science, for its financial health and staff training. Through this role he has developed a strong interest in the application of molecular technologies to crop production. The Division has a strong reputation for the execution and delivery of high quality research to several industries, including the grains industry.

Dr Burdon has been involved in developing strong collaborative interactions among pre-breeding agencies in Australia; and in generating new opportunities and building strategic partnerships with national wheat breeding companies and major multi-national companies.


Ms Jenny Goddard (ACT, non-executive)
* Reappointed: 4 November 2011, until 30 September 2014

Jenny works as a director and an economic and public policy consultant. She has 24 years of experience as an economic policy adviser to the Australian Government, initially in the Department of the Treasury and later in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, where she worked until May 2008.

Her 11 years as a senior executive officer in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet include four years as a deputy secretary with policy responsibility for the economic, industry, infrastructure and environment, and Cabinet divisions; and the Council of Australian Governments Secretariat.

Jenny is the inaugural Chair of the Australian Solar Institute Board. She is also a Commissioner with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

Jenny has extensive experience in and understanding of government policies, processes and administration, including detailed knowledge of Australian Government Cabinet and Budget processes.


Mr Kim Halbert (WA, non-executive)
* Appointed: 4 November 2011, until 30 September 2014

Mr Halbert is a wheat, lupin and sheep producer of 32 years from the mid-west region of Western Australia where he undertakes numerous production trials and engages in innovative farming practices. He has been a member of the management committee oversighting the Natural Heritage Trust project funding for the Arrowsmith Catchment Group.

Mr Halbert has been a director of the Geraldton Port Authority, the second largest grain exporting port in Australia, and the Grain Licensing Authority in WA. He is also a director of Wheat Exports Australia.


Mr John Harvey, Managing Director (Executive)
* Appointed: 1 March 2011

John is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Before becoming Managing Director of the GRDC, John was a director of Australian Crop Accreditation System Limited and a director of the Value Added Wheat Cooperative Research Centre. John was on the management boards of Pulse Breeding Australia, Barley Breeding Australia and the National Soybean Breeding Program. He was also a member of the Australian Winter Cereals Pre Breeding Alliance.

John joined the GRDC in November 1997 as Program Manager Farming Systems. He became Manager R&D Programs in 2001, Executive Manager Varieties in 2005 and Managing Director in March 2011. His background is in agricultural extension and research, development and extension (RD&E) management. He previously worked with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries.


Professor Robert Lewis (SA, non-executive)
* Appointed: 4 November 2011, until 30 September 2014

Professor Lewis was CEO/Executive Director of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) for 18 years, a position from which he retired in June 2010. As the principal institution for public sector research in life sciences for the South Australian government, Professor Lewis' leadership demonstrates a depth of experience in research, research management, public and private sector policy and governance, IP management and commercialisation.


Ms Sharon Starick (SA, non-executive)
* Appointed: 4 November 2011, until 30 September 2014

Ms Starick is a grain and pig producer of 18 years from the Mallee region of South Australia and has been involved with the Mallee Sustainable Farming Board and the SA No-Till Farmers Association.

As a former director of Land and Water Australia she has experience in strategic planning for research and extension and has a strong interest in natural resource management and conservation. She is a presiding member of the SA Murray Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board, a member of the Australian Landcare Council and past member of the Natural Resource Management Council (SA) and the Community Advisory Committee for the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council. Her strong commitment to rural communities is demonstrated through her participation on the National Rural Advisory Council and the Rural Financial Counselling Service SA.


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