Katie Hodson-Thomas (Chair)
Retiring from parliament in 2008, Ms Hodson-Thomas has held senior positions with a number of membership-based industry associations, represented the electorate of Carine for twelve years and ran her own consultancy practice – specialising in government relations with clients from the tourism and hospitality sector.
With a proven track record in strategic communications, government relations, public policy development and political strategy, Ms Hodson-Thomas ensures that she is well placed to drive WAFIC’s economic and policy agenda and is delighted at the opportunity to advance the peak body in her new role.
Nathan Adams (Deputy Chair)
Nathan Adams brings a wide-ranging background in the fishing industry to WAFIC.
Currently the Executive Officer of the Abalone Industry Association, Nathan and his two brothers Darren and Brad learned about commercial fishing from their father Terry – an inductee into the Seafood Industry Hall of Fame at the 2015 National Seafood Awards.
He has experienced salmon, crayfish, tuna, snapper, scallop and commercial shark fisheries and after completing a Diploma of Applied Science in Aquaculture at the University of Tasmania, Nathan worked as an abalone diver for five years in Port Lincoln, South Australia. He has since moved back to Augusta with his wife and two daughters and, along with his role as Executive Officer of the AIA, he sits as a director on the Abalone Council of Australia.
Nathan is interested in addressing issues that confront the commercial fishing sector such as unitization, new fisheries legislation, MSC assessment and accreditation, abalone farming, marine parks planning, work safe practices and maintaining the current license fee structure.
Bruce has been involved with fishing his whole life and has skippered a lobster boat in B zone for the past 25 years. With the change in the lobster fishery to a quota-based system rather than the previous input control effort-based system, Bruce now fishes A, B and C zones of the lobster fishery.
Bruce is also involved in the west coast shark fishery and the wet line fishery and has fished in the Shark Bay Snapper, Shark Bay blue Swimmer crab and deep sea crab fisheries.
Bruce is currently the president of the Dongara Professional Fishermans Association.
Leonie Noble, a mother, business woman and leader, has shown an incredible passion for the seafood industry for the past 36 years and the community she lives in.
Strongly motivated by her desire to ensure that everyone has a voice, she has been involved in 30+ Committees and Boards at a local, regional, state, national and now international level advocating for the Western Australian Seafood Industry including to advance the growth and development of people in the industry.
Her innovative ideas for positive change combined with her effective leadership style to mentor others and empower fishers has led her to become one of the industry’s respected leaders in all sectors and levels.
John has a background in financial management and investment, aquaculture, mining, resources and property development. He has over 15 years experience as a director, executive and non-executive, of companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. His family business has a long history in northern Western Australia’s pearling industry, and he was also instrumental in the development of Marine Produce Australia, now the largest producer of farmed Barramundi in Australia. A former AFL footballer, John is passionate about creating long-term opportunities for indigenous Australians. He sits as a member of the Pearl Producers Association and Aquaculture Council of WA and is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
George Kailis is Professor of Management at the School of Business at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Professor Kailis
holds qualifications in law and management and has had extensive industry, government and community experience.
He was Managing Director of the M.G. Kailis Group one of Australia’s largest fishing and aquaculture businesses from 1992-1999.
Special interests are held in the areas of the environment, fisheries management and strategy.
Professor Kailis has been a Director of both the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. Ongoing positions held by Professor Kailis include directorship of the M.G. Kailis Group and the Australian National Centre for Oceans and Resource Security.
James is an Executive Director and the Chief Operating Officer of Mareterram Limited, an ASX listed agribusiness that owns and operates one of Western Australia’s largest prawn trawl operations. He has more than a decade of experience in finance and investment, holds a Masters of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture and Seafood Science, a Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. James also sits on the Gascoyne Food Council.
Terry is a third generation fisherman with experience in multiple fisheries. Since the mid 1970’s he has operated in the West Coast Rock Lobster fishery. He has served on several Ministerial advisory committees, is a former board member of the Western Rock Lobster Council and was heavily involved in the development of the management system that provides secure tenure for commercial fishers at the Abrolhos Islands. Terry lives in Geraldton and is the current president of the Geraldton Professional Fishermen’s Association.
Tony, a third-generation fisherman, started the profession in 1975 catching pilchards with his father. He went on to complete a mechanical apprenticeship after school, followed by travelling the world for a couple of years. It was 1986, when he and his brother purchased a fishing boat and processing factory in Albany. They sold it shortly after, deciding to relocate to Broome instead to commercially fish for Spanish Mackerel.
Between the years of 1988-2002, Tony fished for Mackerel for 7 months of the year, while the other 5 months he travelled down to Cheynes beach to catch Salmon and Herring. It was in 2002 when he and his family settled in Albany where he repurchased the processing factory- stating he didn’t learn the first time around! A passionate industry representative, Tony now mainly catches pilchards and does his own processing. When he isn’t fishing, he enjoys travelling the world with his wife.