Ron Edwards (Chair)
A former Labor Federal Member of Parliament, Dr Ron Edwards joins the WA Fishing Industry Council with a wealth of experience including strategic project work, crisis management, academic, research and communication/ marketing roles. Between 1983 – 1992 he served as the Federal Member for Stirling in Western Australia and was Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1989 – 1993.
Throughout his diverse career he has accumulated extensive Board experience in the fisheries and not-for-profit sectors, including previous appointments on the Pacific Area Working Group for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Seafood Trade and Market Access Forum.
He is the co-founder of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation for indigenous youth and has also served on Boards including the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee, Perth Mint and Potato Marketing Corporation. He is currently on the Boards of the State Emergency Management Committee, the National Landcare Advisory Committee and continues with the Polly Farmer Foundation.
He recognises the importance of unity within the seafood industry going forward and aims to work with all sectors from WA’s highly dynamic and energetic industry. His main focus will be ensuring that the industry has a united position in relation to the community.
Dr Ron Edwards has been the WAFIC Chair since he was elected by members at the AGM on November 30 2018 and is Chair of WAFIC’s Resource Access Sub-Committee.
James Clement (Vice Chair)
Mr Clement is the Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 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.
Mr Clement was appointed as a Board Member of WAFIC in 2016, elected as Vice Chair by the WAFIC Board at the 2018 December Board meeting and is the Chair of WAFIC’s Finance Audit and Risk Management (FARM) Sub-Committee.
Mr Cooke has dedicated his working career to WA’s agriculture and seafood industries holding positions including farmer, agribusiness consultant, policy contributor for both the Federal and State government and previous and current appointments on private and not-for-profit Boards throughout the State.
With his partner Nicol Taylor, he has operated the boutique firm Agknowledge, an agribusiness consultancy business that provides management advice to a range of agribusiness companies and farming enterprises across Australia, for the past 20 years. Agknowledge provides a fresh approach to succession planning by helping families reach a common set of objectives, so that each step forward can be measured against a family’s shared view of the future.
Prior to Agknowledge, Mr Cooke began his career as a broadacre farmer in the Great Southern of Western Australia in the 1970-80s and was the CEO of the Kondinin Group in the 1980-90s.
Mr Cooke has also used his extensive experience on Boards and Committees throughout the State to facilitate changes for beneficial outcomes.
- a Fellow of the AICD since 1997;
- held six years as a Board member of Rural Adjustment and Finance Corporation;
- was the Chair of the WA FarmBis program from 1998 – 2008;
- held the position of Board Member of Landcorp;
- completed a term as Deputy Chair of Landgate;
- was elected as Chair for Curtin’s International Institute for Agri-Food Security from 2011 – 2015;
- held the role as Independent Chair of four family farm Boards;
- from 1996-2015 was the Chairman of Selectors for the Olympic Equestrian team;
- recently Chaired a Ministerial Review Panel on the Future Directions for the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia; and
- is currently a Board member of Pardoo Beef Corporation.
He was elected as the first Independent Board Member for the Western Rock Lobster Council (WRLC) and held positions on two internal WRLC Committees including Chair of the Strategy and Risk Committee and member of the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) Sub-Committee
Mr Cooke was appointed as a Board Member of WAFIC at the most recent AGM held on 30 November 2018 and is a member of WAFIC’s Finance Audit and Risk Management (FARM) Sub -Committee.
Mr Haygarth is the Director of West Australian Octopus and has been heavily involved in the development of the octopus fishery in Western Australia.
He was appointed as a Board Member of WAFIC at the most recent AGM held on 30 November 2018 and is a member of WAFIC’s Building Community Support (BCS) Sub-Committee.
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.
Mr Hutton has been a WAFIC Board Member since 2009 and is a member of WAFIC’s Finance Audit and Risk Management (FARM) Sub-Committee.
Mr Mouchemore 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, has served on several Ministerial advisory Committees, is a former board member of the Western Rock Lobster Council (WRLC) and was heavily involved in the development of the management system that provides secure tenure for commercial fishers at the Abrolhos Islands. He lives in Geraldton and is the current president of the Geraldton Professional Fishermen’s Association.
He was appointed as a Board Member of WAFIC in 2016 and is a member of Finance Audit and Risk Management (FARM) Sub-Committee.
Mr Nicholls is the Executive Officer of the Southern Seafood Producers (WA) Inc. Association (SSPWA) and brings to the WAFIC Board extensive fisheries experience ranging from private sector seafood businesses, through to senior management within government. He also has accumulated broad international experience in fisheries and seafood and was a former commercial fisherman and owner of multiple seafood-related businesses.
Over 30 years, he has gained knowledge in areas as diverse as; agribusiness; trade and markets; project management and implementation; food safety; food processing; project and program review; value chain analysis; strategy; policy; and innovation. He is very passionate about WA’s seafood sector and looks forward to working with a variety of operators to ensure a vibrant future for the Western Australian seafood sector.
Mr Nicholls was appointed as a Board Member of WAFIC at the most recent AGM held on 30 November 2018 and is a member of WAFIC’s Building Community Support (BCS) Sub-Committee.
Ms Noble, a mother, business woman and leader, has shown an incredible passion for the seafood industry and the community she lives in for the past 36 years.
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. These appointments have ensured that she advocates for the Western Australian seafood industry including advancing the growth and development of people in the seafood sector.
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 across all sectors and levels.
Ms Noble was appointed as a WAFIC Board Member in 2017 and is the Chair of the Building Community Support (BCS) Sub-Committee.
Mr Westerberg is a third-generation fisherman, who 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 decided to pursue fishing as a career and together 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, he 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. 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.
Mr Westerberg was appointed as a Board Member of WAFIC at the most recent AGM held on 30 November 2019 and is a member of WAFIC’s Resource Access Sub-Committee.