Boardroom chiefs to contest district positions in 2021

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Cally DupeCountryman
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CBH deputy chair Natalie Browning and CBH chair Simon Stead.
Camera IconCBH deputy chair Natalie Browning and CBH chair Simon Stead. Credit: Cally Dupe

CBH’s two boardroom leaders will contest their seats in the upcoming CBH elections, with chair Simon Stead and deputy Natalie Browning holding the only two director roles up for contention in 2021.

Both Mr Stead (District 5) and Ms Browning (District 3) confirmed they would run again, with CBH officially opening nominations for the three districts opening this week and expected to close at midday on January 4.

District 1 director Brian McAlpine said earlier this month he did not plan to renominate for the role he had held for nine years.

CBH will not put his board seat up for contention because the position could be dissolved in February when CBH members vote whether to reduce the board size.

If members do not support the change, the co-operative plans to hold a District 1 director election “as soon as possible”.

Ms Browning said she would “absolutely” throw her hat back into the ring, but declined to comment further “right now”.

She made history when she was appointed the first female grower-director on the CBH board in 2018 and was also believed to be the youngest grower-director in its 85-year history.

When elected, Ms Browning said she first considered running for a board position after taking part in CBH’s international grower tour in 2014.

She has been involved with a 6400ha grain property at Kondinin since the age of 17, growing wheat, barley, canola, lupins and field peas.

Mr Stead first joined the board in 2015 and was was appointed deputy chairman in 2019, when he took the reins from Northam grower Vern Dempster after five years.

He farms at Cascade and Dalyup with his wife Sue and has previously described himself as a “quiet listener” who would always listen to growers and act in their best interests.

Mr Stead was appointed chair in April after what he then said was a “fluid” leadership succession plan about 18 months in the making.

His appointment prompted predecessor Wally Newman to resign after being bumped from the top role just six weeks after he was re-elected to a three-year term.

CBH started advertising the opening of nominations for the two positions this week, with nominations set to close at noon on Monday, January 4.

The election is run by the WA Electoral Commission.

Potential candidates who want to discuss the role and responsibilities have been invited to contact the co-operative’s company secretary David Woolfe.

Votes received will be counted immediately after the close of poll at 10am on Monday, February 22.

To find out more, contact WAEC returning officer Wayne Nicholson at nominations@waec.wa.gov.au or on 0429 343 414.

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