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Luke Bowen appointed inaugural CEO of Cattle Australia

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Adam PoulsenCountryman
Luke Bowen will start his new role as chief executive of Cattle Australia on April 17.
Camera IconLuke Bowen will start his new role as chief executive of Cattle Australia on April 17. Credit: Supplied/LinkedIn

The grass-fed beef industry’s new national peak body Cattle Australia has appointed former Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association chief executive Luke Bowen as its inaugural CEO.

Born and raised on a mixed farm in WA, Mr Bowen is deputy chief executive and head of agriculture, fisheries and biosecurity at the Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

His previous roles include general manager of northern Australia engagement, trade and investment at DITT, general manager of Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Trading Pty Ltd, and central divisional manager of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

As executive director and chief executive of the NTCA from 2008 to 2014, Mr Bowen went in to bat for the northern cattle industry during the Gillard Government’s 2011 ban on live exports to Indonesia.

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Cattle Australia said in a statement Mr Bowen’s experience in the latter role demonstrated his “leadership and advocacy skills through challenging times for Australia’s cattle industry”.

Cattle Australia chair David Foote said Mr Bowen had a broad and extensive wealth of knowledge of the cattle industry, advocacy processes, grant funding, program management and membership-based organisations.

“There was an overwhelming response and an exceptionally strong candidate field which had applied for this role,” Mr Foote said.

“It is a wonderful endorsement of our new national body, established to advance and advocate the interests of Australian grass-fed cattle producers.”

Ahead of Mr Bowen’s appointment, Mr Foote told media recently that Cattle Australia was focusing on “getting our house in order first” and its “biggest priority” was “to get a CEO that’s worthy of our organisation”.

Mr Bowen will start in the new role on April 17.

Cattle Australia replaced the Cattle Council of Australia as the national peak body for grass-fed cattle producers in December after 43 years.

Its formation followed years of work by industry to restructure to a single commodity representative body for the sector.

Australia’s grass-fed cattle industry generates an annual value of production of about $20 billion, directly employing 35,000 people and managing about 42 per cent of the Australian landmass.

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