Garnsey plans retirement from AWI

AWI board chairwoman Colette Garnsey.
Camera IconAWI board chairwoman Colette Garnsey. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

Australian Wool Innovation chairwoman Colette Garnsey plans to retire from the board of Australia’s peak wool producers’ body, leaving a potential seat for an incoming new director.

Ms Garnsey, who has served as a director since 2011 and as chairwoman since 2018, plans to retire from the board at this year’s AWI annual general meeting in November.

“I relish my role as an AWI director and will continue to work hard for Australian woolgrowers as long as I remain on the board,” she said.

“But under the ongoing board renewal process, this year’s AGM will be the right time for me to stand down as a director and as chairwoman.”

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AWI currently has seven directors and it is understood four are up for re-election including Colette Garnsey, Don Macdonald, James Morgan and Jock Laurie.

According to AWI’s constitution, one-third of the directors, not including the managing director, must retire from office at this year’s AGM.

With the retirement of Ms Garnsey, only two of the other three rotating directors would be eligible to stand for re-election.

Potentially this could leave an opening for at least one new director, dependent on if the two rotating directors intended to re-stand and were voted in.

An AWI spokesman said the board had not yet named which directors will stand for re-election.

At the annual meeting, AWI shareholders will also be allowed the opportunity to vote on changes to the AWI constitution to put a 10-year limit on the length of board director terms.

This would require the support of 75 per cent of shareholders to pass.

The AWI spokesman said the chairman’s proxy votes would be directed to supporting the motion.

Ms Garnsey said the directors resolved to support the change at a meeting in March.

This consideration of director tenure was a recommendation of the 2018 EY Review of Performance of AWI.

The review recommended that AWI implement maximum periods of board membership including the board chair.

The review recommended ten years and a minimum roll off period of two years (period of time directors must remain off the Board before standing for re-election).

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