People on the move

People on the Move in the grain industry

Grain Central, July 19, 2023

Mort & Co’s first GM commodities and farms Ben Carrigan and commodities manager Luke Gaske.

Who is on the move in the Australian grain industry? Catch up with our latest update on industry appointments, rewards and achievements. 

  • Kent named T-Ports CEO
  • Draper joins AEGIC
  • Mort team expands
  • New trader at Brighann
  • Hyland gets sustainability role
  • Change for McKillop
  • Inglis appoints Cooke

Kent named T-Ports CEO

South Australian bulk handler T-Ports has appointed Nathan Kent as its new chief executive officer.

Following the departure of founding CEO Kieran Carvill, who has continued in his executive role with SEATRANSPORT, Mr Kent takes over from Scott McKay, who served as interim CEO for 12 months.

T-Ports CEO Rohan Scott.

Mr Kent has specialist experience in optimising port assets and was previously a senior leader of Japan Post’s Australian business, Toll Group.

Most recently Mr Kent was responsible for Toll’s energy and marine sector, a business unit specialising in private port operations, offshore supply vessels, and contract logistics.

T-Ports has thanked Mr McKay for his leadership over the past 12 months when he was appointed to focus on supply chain optimisation.

“I’m looking forward to cementing T-Ports position in the marketplace and growing the many opportunities a business such as T-Ports presents to the wider commodity and export community,” Mr Kent said.

“T-Ports has made unprecedented steps in the supply chain, marine and infrastructure field, and it’s an exciting time to be joining such a dynamic business to expand long-term relationships with key stakeholders behind the T-Ports brand which include growers, grain traders and investors.”

Draper joins AEGIC

The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre has appointed Courtney Draper as executive general manager. 

AEGIC executive general manager Courtney Draper.

Ms Draper has several years of experience working in food and agricultural trade and business development, including in-market experience in Asia, and joined AEGIC last year as market insights manager. 

She previously held senior roles with the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in agribusiness and trade development. 

Ms Draper has extensive commercial experience, and began her career as a resources lawyer in Tokyo.  

“She brings to the role a deep understanding of the Australian grains industry and the right combination of skills in project delivery, leadership and technical knowledge,” AEGIC chair Ron Storey said. 

“In addition, she has established strong working relationships with our key stakeholders and partners; DPIRD, the Grains Research and Development Corporation and Grains Australia.” 

Ms Draper comes from a multi-generational farming family and grew up in the WA wheatbelt.

“I’m looking forward to being able to continue to work with inspiring colleagues to address the key challenges and opportunities facing the Australian grains industry,” Ms Draper said. 

Ms Draper takes over from Ken Quail on July 24.

“Ken did an excellent job as interim CEO with his steadying and strategic approach,” Mr Storey said.

Dr Quail will continue in his role as AEGIC’s Sydney-based general manager research and technical services.

Mort team expands

Mort & Co has appointed Ben Carrigan as its first general manager of commodities and farms to oversee the company’s commodity-procurement operation and the Darling Downs-based farming division. 

Originally from Goondiwindi, Mr Carrigan spent many years in Moree working in agribusiness banking and then international commodities trading, where he managed offshore sales across destination markets throughout Asia. 

“The business is dynamic and there are so many different aspects to it,” Mr Carrigan said. 

“I’ve always liked trading and always liked grain and here I get that cattle exposure as well; it’s a completely different challenge and I’m really looking forward to it.” 

Following the departure of Kieran Taylor, who left his commercial manager role at Mort & Co to move into broking with Goldstar Commodities,  Mort & Co has also recently appointed Luke Gaske as commodities manager.

Mr Gaske grew up in south-east Queensland before working across a variety of industries including agriculture and mining, and first worked in large-scale commodity procurement at Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot. 

Mr Gaske will work alongside Mr Carrigan to secure and manage feedlot inputs. 

“My role is focused around procurement and ensuring Mort & Co’s feedlots receive the volumes they require to perform at such a large scale. 

“The growth trajectory that the company is on and the scale of the operation, you’ve just got to take those opportunities and run with them when you can.” 

Mort & Co CEO Stephen O’Brien said the new team is a strong addition to business operations and a positive indication of business growth. 

“Together, Ben and Luke bring with them an impressive portfolio of experience and a shared enthusiasm for innovation that effectively complements business core values. 

New trader at Brighann

Brighann Cotton Marketing has appointed Geoff Shirtcliff as its cottonseed trader.

Mr Shirtcliff comes to the role with extensive experience in cottonseed trading thanks to previous positions at Namoi Cotton and LDC, and most recently worked as a commodity trader with KB Agri Services, Toowoomba.

Offshore, Brighann Marketing has offices in Richardson, Texas, and in Beijing, China, and its key Australian asset is the Brighann Cotton gin and cottonseed shed west of Moree.

“Brighann is a medium-sized lint trader, and trading multiple origins of lint out of this facility west of Moree, and others on the east coast of Australia,” Mr Shirtcliff said.

“We’re looking to build a cottonseed trading book leveraging off our assets as complimentary to existing business.”

Hyland gets sustainability role

GrainGrowers has appointed Sarah Hyland as policy manager sustainability and natural resource management to lead the industry’s sustainability framework Behind Australian Grain and develop evidence-based policy positions that improve the sustainability of the Australian grain industry. 

GrainGrowers Sarah Hyland.

Ms Hyland has 30 years’ experience in the Australian agrifood and fast-moving consumer goods industry, covering manufacturing, R&D, innovation, consumer research, and sustainability. 

Prior to joining GrainGrowers, Ms Hyland spent five years at Meat and Livestock, leading the design, launch and ongoing development of the world-first Sheep Sustainability Framework.

Ms Hyland holds tertiary qualifications in Applied Chemistry, Cereal Chemistry and Sustainability. 

Change for McKillop

Herron Todd White has announced the appointment of John McKillop as executive director of agribusiness.

Mr McKillop was the founding executive chair of LAWD and is the former CEO of Hancock Agriculture & S. Kidman & Co.

“We are absolutely delighted John has accepted our offer to lead the company’s agribusiness division,” Herron Todd White CEO Gary Brinkworth said.

John McKillop.

“John’s experience and connections will further enhance our already formidable position as Australia’s foremost agribusiness advisory firm.”

Mr McKillop’s experience includes executive and leadership roles with Hassad Australia, Clyde Agriculture, Elders, and Stanbroke Pastoral Company.

He is currently the independent chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council and the chair of Black Box Company.

“Herron Todd White’s reputation within agribusiness advisory is already formidable, but I relish the opportunity to lead the rural team,” Mr McKillop said.

Mr McKillop will start in the role on August 14.

Inglis appoints Cooke

Hamish Cooke has joined the Inglis Rural Property team as its rural sales and marketing analyst, where he will work alongside CEO Sam Triggs, director Jamie Inglis and rural sales and marketing consultant Liam Griffiths on high-quality assets in NSW and Victoria.

With a background in agricultural science and a decade of industry experience, Mr Cooke comes to Inglis with expertise in broadacre cropping, grazing, and mixed-farming assets.

Hamish Cooke.

Mr Cooke was previously with AuctionsPlus, Australia’s largest agri-digital trading platform, overseeing more than 200 property auctions across Queensland, NSW and Victoria in his almost five years at the company.

“Hamish provides strong technical skills in modern marketing systems and database management, advanced technology and research which, combined with his broad regional and network along with practical farming experience, gives him a great advantage to push the sales team,” Mr Triggs said.

“William Inglis & Son has been in business for over 150 years and has long association with rural Australia through livestock sales and property transactions,” Mr Inglis said.

“One of the business’ inherent strengths is identifying capable motivated people; we are delighted to see great scope and capacity in Hamish and welcome him on board.” 

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