Sheep Producers Australia appoints Bonnie Skinner as new chief executive

Staff reporterCountryman
Bonnie Skinner is the new chief executive of Sheep Producers Australia.
Camera IconBonnie Skinner is the new chief executive of Sheep Producers Australia. Credit: Supplied/SPA

Sheep Producers Australia has a new chief executive in Bonnie Skinner, a biosecurity and animal science expert who has vowed to bring a “collaborative and innovative” approach to the role.

SPA, which is the peak national body representing Australian sheep producers, announced Ms Skinner’s appointment Thursday.

She replaces Stephen Crisp, who left SPA last August after nearly two years in the role.

Ms Skinner has broad experience in the agricultural sector and has worked with SPA since July 2018, having started as a product integrity policy manager before being appointed deputy chief executive last year.

Her previous roles include biosecurity and extension manager at the Livestock Biosecurity Network and surveillance co-ordinator at Animal Health Australia.

SPA chair Andrew Spencer said Ms Skinner, whose role is based in NSW, was appointed after an “extensive and thorough” Australia-wide recruitment process.

“The Board and I are delighted that she has been successful and look forward to continuing to work with her on behalf of the industry,” he said.

“Bonnie has an extensive background in biosecurity and animal science, with a strong balance of practical experience and understanding of the political considerations associated with the red meat industry supply chain.

“She has been acting in the role of CEO since October 2021 and was the preferred candidate amongst a very strong field.”

Former Sheep Producers Australia chief executive Stephen Crisp.
Camera IconFormer Sheep Producers Australia chief executive Stephen Crisp. Credit: Supplied/SPA/SPA

Ms Skinner said she was “looking forward to continuing to work with the SPA team, our members and producers to focus on delivering the many policy and advocacy opportunities the sheep industry has before it”.

“Sheep meat production is a significant industry that supports nearly every region in southern Australia and has underpinned the prosperity of the country and employed generations of Australians,” she said.

“As CEO, I will continue to advocate on issues that affect sheep production businesses and to ensure a productive, profitable and sustainable sheep industry.

“This is the time to embrace a culture of collaboration and innovation.”

An SPA spokesperson said Mr Crisp, who is now chief executive of red meat industry regulator AUS-MEAT, had “contributed strongly to Sheep Producers Australia’s success and growth”.

Mr Crisp said he hoped his passion for the sheep industry had been evident in his time at SPA.

“I want to thank the Board and staff for making it an enjoyable and rewarding time,” he said.

“(I have moved) to a very different type of organisation, but one that plays a vital role in the growth and value of red meat and agriculture more broadly.”

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