Cattle Australia appoints Chris Parker as inaugural chief executive

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Adam PoulsenCountryman
Chris Parker has been appointed Cattle Australia's inaugural chief executive.
Camera IconChris Parker has been appointed Cattle Australia's inaugural chief executive. Credit: LinkedIn

WA-raised farmer, veterinarian and public servant Chris Parker has been appointed chief executive of the peak national body representing Australia’s $20 billion a year grassfed cattle industry.

Dr Parker will start the new role at Cattle Australia on November 15, the organisation announced in a statement on Monday.

A stalwart of the livestock industry, Dr Parker most recently served as national animal disease preparedness co-ordinator at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as well as first assistant secretary of DAFF’s Biosecurity Animal Division.

He will be Cattle Australia’s first fulltime CEO after the organisation was officially launched last December, replacing the Cattle Council of Australia after 43 years.

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Cattle Australia chair David Foote said Dr Parker brought extensive knowledge and experience to the table, describing him as “highly technically trained, with a deep understanding of government and policy”.

“Chris … is a primary producer himself, ideally positioning him to work in collaboration with our board and members to be a powerful voice representing grassfed cattle producers throughout the country,” Mr Foote said.

“The CA board also extends its gratitude to fellow director, Adam Coffey, who has led the organisation admirably over the past few months as interim CEO, while a fulltime appointment was recruited.”

Dr Parker was raised and educated in WA and graduated from Murdoch University with a bachelor of veterinary science.

He started work in a private veterinary practice in the south-east of South Australia, before owning and operating a livestock grazing and farming property in the State’s north.

He was heavily involved in the livestock industry at that time, serving as chairman of the SA Farmers Federation livestock section.

Dr Parker held various roles at DAFF including CEO of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, and first assistant secretary of the Biosecurity Plant Division.

He also served as general manager of DAFF’s Multilateral Trade Branch, and as a ministerial and senior adviser at the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and Biosecurity Australia.

“Chris will hit the ground running and is looking forward to meeting our members at the inaugural regional consultative committee and AGM in Albury on November 17,” Mr Foote said.

Dr Parker still operates a small grazing enterprise near Murrumbateman in New South Wales’ Southern Tablelands region.

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