Simon Stead new CBH chairman

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Simon Stead
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Cascade farmer Simon Stead is the new chairman of the CBH board, replacing Newdegate farmer Wally Newman, who stepped down from the board today.

Kondinin farmer Natalie Browning is the new deputy chair, taking on Mr Stead’s former role.

Mr Newman had held the chairman’s role since 2014, and Mr Stead had been deputy chair for nearly a year after first joining the board in February, 2015.

Mr Stead runs a mixed cropping, cattle and sheep operation in Cascade and Dalyup in the Esperance Zone.

He holds an executive certificate in Agribusiness Marketing from Monash University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

CBH board chairman Wally Newman.
Camera IconCBH board chairman Wally Newman. Credit: CBH

Mr Stead said he was proud and humbled to be appointed chair.

“The co-operative continues to be the best model for WA growers to get their grain to critical export markets at the lowest cost and through a world class grain supply chain.

“My strongest focus, as well as that of the board is on the core of the business — our supply chain of storage, handling, marketing and trading - as we build the network to serve growers needs into the future,” he said.

“As an organisation and as part of the wider industry, we must continue to work together, and move forward in progressing our industry and making sure we can continue to compete strongly in the international grain market.

“To do this we must remain connected to markets and understand their changing requirements.

“This commitment to our core operations will continue, and so will our purpose of creating and returning value to Western Australians growers, now and into the future.”

Mr Newman has advised he will step down from the CBH board, effective immediately.

Mr Stead thanked Mr Newman for his tireless work in advancing the interests of WA growers and CBH during his 20 years on the board, especially his last six years as chair.

Mr Newman was appointed to the board in 2000 and then first appointed as chairman in 2014.

“He has provided strong leadership of the Board and the business, through the management team, during his tenure,” Mr Stead said.

“Of note he led the business during the Australian Grains Champion bid and subsequent structural and governance review, was instrumental in introducing the Grower Patronage Rebates Program and was pivotal in investing in above rail efficiencies.

“Wally leaves a legacy that will be impossible to replicate, and WA growers are forever in his debt.”

Mr Stead also acknowledged the current unprecedented situation stemming from COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to assure all growers the CBH board, management and employees are united and working tirelessly to navigate the cooperative through this situation,” Mr Stead said.

“We are doing everything we can to minimise the spread of the virus, protect our people and play our part in protecting our communities, while also seeking to continue safely operating the supply chain.

“Our business activities, including those of your board, have transitioned smoothly at this stage. We are also working proactively with Government and industry stakeholders to advocate for the agriculture sector and minimise any potential impact.”

A former member of the Growers’ Advisory Council, newly elected deputy chair Ms Browning joined the CBH board as a member director in February 2018.

She runs a continuous cropping operation on her property in Kondinin and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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