VFA Board of Directors

Mr Graeme Dear (VFA Board Chair)

Graeme Dear has served on the VFA Board since inception and most recently as Deputy Chair. He has 30 years of experience in Public and Private sector administration. A keen fisher all his life, Graeme has extensive experience in fisheries practice, administration, research and policy.

Dr Anne Astin (VFA Board Deputy Chair)

Anne currently chairs the Boards of Australia's Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre, William Angliss Institute, Dairy Food Safety Victoria and Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. She is Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre, Interim Chair of Agriculture Innovation Australia and a Non-Executive Director of the Food Frontier Institute.

Her previous roles include Chair of Australia's Institute of Food Science and Technology, Director of Sheep Producers Australia, Australian Dairy Farmers, Dairy Australia, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the SafeFish partnership. She was Inaugural CEO of Dairy Food Safety Victoria prior to which she held senior executive positions in Victoria's state government.

She is a recipient of an Order of Australia Medal (AM) and a Public Service Medal (PSM) for her services to Australia's food and agriculture industries. She is an inductee of Victoria's Women's Honour Roll, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Leigh Mackay (VFA Director)

After working as a lawyer for 12 years, Leigh has held senior executive positions in organisations such as CSR, The Port of Melbourne Authority and the NGV. Her recent board appointments have included the Victorian Heritage Council and the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust. She was awarded an OAM in 2019.

Ms Wambui Migwe (VFA Director) 

Ms Migwe is a strategic engagement and brand management professional with more than 20 years' experience in Australia and overseas. With academic qualifications in Finance and International Relations, Ms Migwe has held roles in infrastructure, not-for-profit and consumer goods sectors, always with a focus on strategy and engagement. Ms Migwe's professional experience is complemented by governance roles in the education and environmental management sectors, and membership to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Bernadette Northeast (VFA Director)

Dr Northeast's formal qualifications relate to aquatic science and aquaculture (including a PhD relating to Australian freshwater fish). Dr Northeast's science expertise is well complemented by a number of directorship and regional community activities. Dr Northeast brings a solid knowledge of governance from her board and chair experience and is currently a director on the board of South West Healthcare.

Mr David Parkin (VFA Director)

Mr. Parkin is a Trawlwulwuy man from Tebrakunna country and a current director on the board of the Kinaway Chamber of Commerce. He brings a deep cultural perspective to the VFA and any future planned activities. David has widespread professional involvement in First Nations entrepreneurial and business activities and highly developed stakeholder engagement skills that consistently build productive working relationships. Much of his work has been in areas of regional Victoria, recognised by the AmCham Alliance Ambassador's Award in 2022.

Mr David Shirer (VFA Director)

Mr Shirer holds academic qualifications in Marine Biology and spent ten years in the fisheries industry in New Zealand, gaining experience in research and in commercial fishing operations and management. Further qualifications in business and finance provided Mr Shirer with the opportunity to move into the financial sector, establishing a career as one of Australia's senior investor relations practitioners, with experience in a wide range of industrial sectors. Mr Shirer has broad experience in international financial markets as well as having had significant exposure at Board level.

Ms Joelle Tabone (VFA Director)

Ms Tabone is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years' experience providing business advisory and compliance services to a wide range of private, government and not-for-profit organisations. Ms Tabone’s expertise spans several disciplines, including business strategy, accounting, structuring and financial reporting. Ms Tabone’s significant business, governance and accounting skills enables her to assist the VFA from a position of knowledge and experience.