Staff

Executive management

Adam Kay

Chief Executive Officer

Head Office – Sydney, NSW

Adam is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the organisation and represents Cotton Australia to government, media and other industry organisations. He is involved in all aspects of the business and is the public face of Cotton Australia.

• Phone: 02 9669 5222

Michael Murray

General Manager

Toowoomba, QLD

Michael uses his own extensive experience and Cotton Australia's alliances to develop and advocate for policies that affect growers. A specialist water policy manager with overall responsibility for Cotton Australia’s water portfolio at state and federal levels, Michael also covers coal seam gas and policy areas specific to Queensland.

• Phone: 0427 707 868

Finance and administration

Therese Wooden

Head Office – Sydney, NSW

Therese is responsible for all accounting functions of Cotton Australia, manages the financial aspects of government projects and is the primary contact for levy collection. Therese also manages the accounts for special projects such as the Australian Cotton Conference and the Australian Cotton Industry Awards.

• Phone: 02 9669 5222

Rochelle Zakher

Executive Assistant (part-time)

Head Office – Sydney, NSW

Rochelle assists a number of the senior management staff with administrative and organisational tasks, as well as providing administration support for special events such as the Cotton Collective, staff and Board meetings.

• Phone: 02 9669 5222

Communications

Robert Virtue

Communications Manager - Digital Strategy

Head Office – Sydney, NSW

Robert works to share information about the Australian cotton industry to growers, media and the public. He uses his experience as a journalist to produce written and visual communication resources for strategic distribution on digital and traditional media platforms to inform people in and out of the industry.

• Ph: (02) 9669 5222

Education

Jenny Hughes

Education Coordinator

Head Office – Sydney, NSW

Jenny is Cotton Australia's Education Coordinator and brings nine years of agricultural education experience, backed up by 10 years in the classroom, to her position. Jenny specialises in hands-on interactive engagement for students and teachers. She has a passion for assisting teachers incorporate agriculture into their classrooms with curriculum-linked resources and to gain a better understanding of the cotton industry through Teach the Teacher Tours.

• Phone: 02 9669 5222

Policy

Jennifer Brown

Policy Officer (part-time)

Head Office – Sydney, NSW

Jennifer draws on her strategic policy and advocacy experience to foster policies that reflect growers’ needs as well as engage industry organisations and government with Cotton Australia. Jennifer’s current areas of focus include energy and environmental matters.

• Phone: 02 9669 5222

Sally Ceeney

Policy Officer - Research Direction and Stewardship

Warren, NSW

Sally has 20 years’ experience in the Australian cotton industry. Sally uses her extensive experience in the industry to formulate policy around stewardship on spray drift, the industry’s continued access to pesticides, stewardship and grower advocacy on biotechnologies, and convenes grower input into industry research direction. Sally came to Cotton Australia after working as CottonInfo’s technical lead for Bt and Insecticide Stewardship.

• Phone: 0459 189 771

Paul Sloman

Policy Officer/Grower Engagement

Brisbane, QLD

Formerly regional manager for northern NSW, Paul has moved into a new role covering both policy and grower engagement, working on issues such as electricity efficiency, telecommunications and promoting Cotton Australia's education program to schools in south-east Queensland.

• Phone: 0448 094 883

myBMP

Rick Kowitz

myBMP Manager

Toowoomba, QLD

Rick is responsible for the leadership and management of the cotton industry's best practice initiative, myBMP. His role includes development, adoption and certification with a focus on encouraging participation. Rick also ensures myBMP provides Australian cotton growers with a centralised location to access the industry’s best practice standards, fully supported by scientific knowledge, resources and technical support.

• Phone: 0427 050 832

Nicole Scott

myBMP Customer Service Officer (part-time)

Toowoomba, QLD

Nicole is responsible for the management and operations of the myBMP website and supplying cotton growers with quality and timely support.

• Phone: 1800 COTTON (1800 268 866)

Regional managers

Renee Anderson

Regional Manager - Central Highlands, QLD

Renée works part-time as the Regional Manager for the Central Highlands and offers collaborative support to cotton growers and their supporting businesses. Renée has been a part of both the cotton and agricultural community in crop weed, disease and insect research, agronomy, mixed cropping irrigation farming and as an accredited BMP advisor (and previously as an accredited myBMP auditor) in the valley for more than 25 years. She is passionate about strong rural communities, the people in them, agricultural advocacy, biosecurity and the continual improvement of farming practices through research and policies that empower farmers to constantly work towards sustainability goals in the face of challenging times.

• Phone: 0448 125 156

Kelly Becker

Regional Manager - Dawson and Callide Valleys, QLD

Kelly is the key liaison between growers in the Dawson and Callide valleys and Cotton Australia. Kelly worked for many years as a private cotton consultant, before moving into the re-seller industry and then becoming a Technology Service Provider, which involved playing a role in the auditing processing for GM cotton. Kelly is passionate about helping young people enter into the industry through the valuable career opportunities it has to offer.

• Phone: 0409 974 007

Mary O'Brien

Regional Manager - Darling Downs, QLD

Mary O’Brien is the Regional Manager (part-time role) for the Darling Downs and has lived in the region for 26 years. Mary has worked extensively in the area of chemical use across most regions of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia, and with a range of agricultural industries. Mary has been involved in the cotton industry for more than 15 years and is a myBMP accredited advisor. As a Regional Manager, Mary advocates for farmers and works as the conduit between Cotton Australia and the Darling Downs growers. This involves providing information and direct support to farmers on a range of topics, and ensuring Cotton Australia is abreast of the issues, challenges, and successes of Darling Downs cotton growers.

• Phone: 0408 982 291

Cate Wild

Regional Manager - Macintyre Valley, QLD/NSW

Cate has been involved with the cotton industry all her adult life. As Cotton Australia's Regional Manager in the MacIntyre Valley, she loves working with and supporting the local CGA and cotton growers, and being involved with an agricultural industry that produces some of the best cotton in the world.

• Phone: 0487 713 014

Jane Hill

Regional Manager - St George, Dirranbandi & Mungindi, QLD/NSW

Jane moved to the St George/Thallon region 13 years ago and has been working in the cotton industry for seven years. As regional manager, Jane enjoys working with growers, delivering information and helping them benchmark their business against industry standards.

• Phone: 0419 259 194

Alec Macintosh

Regional Manager - Northern NSW

Alec has been involved in the cotton industry since his time at university, when he earned money on cotton farms during the summer holidays. His interest and involvement in the industry has ranged from the financial aspects of farming through to the application and use of new technologies, machinery and chemicals. Alec’s role as regional manager in northern NSW allows him to use his knowledge and understanding of the industry and its people to communicate important issues to growers, promote policy initiatives, manage grower feedback on issues and research direction, and extend support to growers undertaking the myBMP program.

• Phone: 0428 618 004

Julie Wise

Regional Manager - Macquarie Valley, NSW

Julie moved to the Macquarie Valley 19 years ago to work in the cotton industry, and has been regional manager for Cotton Australia since 2011. Julie is the local connection between growers and the policy team, communicating grower feedback on R&D, policy initiatives and also supporting growers in their journey to become myBMP accredited.

• Phone: 0447 370 043

Kylie Edwards

Regional Manager – Southern NSW

Kylie joined Cotton Australia in January 2020. She has spent the past 7 years in the cotton industry, managing various growing valleys for a cotton ginning and merchant company. Kylie’s role as a Regional Manager in the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan allows her to build on the connections she has already made, communicate important issues to growers and help growers attain their myBMP accreditation. She enjoys meeting and working with growers and is very passionate about the Australian cotton industry.

  • 0427 390 393

Specialists

Brooke Summers

Supply Chain Consultant – Cotton to Market program

Brooke is owner and Director of Step Communication, a consultancy specialising in communication, marketing and storytelling predominantly for the rural, regional and agricultural sectors. Brooke has provided communication services to Cotton Australia for more than a decade. Brooke is currently Cotton Australia’s Supply Chain Consultant and leads the Cotton to Market program, a coordinated effort to position cotton as the fibre of choice in the world market by influencing brand owner, retailer, manufacturer and consumer behaviour.

• Phone: 0418 962 942

Claudia Vicary

Project Officer - AgSkilled

Claudia administers the AgSkilled project, an initiative funded by the NSW Department of Industry and designed to help secure the future of the state's cotton and grains industries by funding training and qualifications.

• Phone: 0409 043 774