John Willcox – Principal Consultant
John was raised on a small crops farm in Bowen NQ (and supports the NQ Cowboys!). He has spent his professional career as an agronomist, change management consultant and a CEO for two large agribusinesses.

John and his wife Christine began their careers in the Emerald Irrigation Area solving problems with a new Irrigation Scheme on a daily basis associated– understanding Irrigation Scheduling and Pest Management , salinity and farming systems.

In addition to expertise in agronomy, irrigation and extension and adoption practices, John developed his commercial and business skills running a consulting business, then as Regional Manager of CottCo Ag Sales, and more recently as CEO of two large agribusinesses. Both of these CEO positions involved substantial restructuring and repositioning of the companies.

John is an expert in stakeholder engagement and change management. This is evidenced by the success of the several initiatives he has been involved with - the Water Use Efficiency Initiative, the “Target 10 Tonne’ change management program for Indonesia’s largest sugar producer, and the success of the Landholder Relations Team he managed for a major gas company. His philosophy is to achieve inclusion, empowerment and ownership of all stakeholders. This involves creating a clear understanding of agendas through honest, open discussion and the dovetailing of outcomes to achieve common ground.

Christine Willcox – Consultant
Christine has had a long and successful career as an agricultural and change management consultant. She is a qualified Irrigation Agronomist and was the first female cotton consultant in Queensland. She spearheaded the adoption and implementation of integrated pest management strategies and pioneered irrigation scheduling based on crop water use models, neutron probes and, more recently, capacitance probes.

She has extensive experience in project design, management, implementation and review. Christine was a key member of the initial Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative - a highly successful change management program on water reform for the Australian Sugar Industry. She was part of the McKinsey & Co Sugar Team that restructured Indonesia’s largest sugar producer, taking it to World Best Practice in two years. As part of this initiative Christine was solely responsible for designing, managing, negotiating and implementing a pest management program across 65,000 ha – a world first.

In addition to driving change management and capacity-building programs, Christine has great organisational and administrative skills. She recently completed a contract as Business Coordinator for a major CSG company, setting up systems and procedures to handle the rapid growth of the CSG industry.

On top of her professional career, Chris is the founder and manager of one of Australia’s significant Arabian Performance Horse Studs – Aqaba Arabians. She enjoys passing on her skills and knowledge to the new custodians of her lifelong passion for horses – her three grandchildren!

Andrew Murray
Andrew has worked extensively across the agricultural, mining and engineering sectors. His career includes senior management roles in construction, mining, engineering and consulting firms.

Andrew brings a passion for Australian food production and agriculture. He has significant experience across several industries including agronomy, irrigation, food, mining and finance, having been responsible for operations, senior management, strategy development, community relations, commercial advisory and organisational development.

Andrew is a founding committee member of the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association’s Sydney Chapter, a member of the Australian Water Association, Irrigation Australia and the Australian Agricultural Association.

A graduate of the Institute of Company Directors, Andrew’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental), a Bachelor of Engineering Technology – Civil and a Masters of Business Administration.

Amanda Stirling
Amanda has a background in Environmental Science and Education. She has previously worked as a science and agriculture teacher as well as being a Deputy Principal of a secondary school.

Amanda has lead and managed learning organisations for more than 16 years. In this time she has developed significant skills and knowledge, along with a reputation for developing individuals and organisations through education and training.

The development and implementation of Environmental Education and Awareness programs for schools, community groups and industry has been a particular interest. She was also heavily involved in modifying the Queensland Education syllabus to cover CSG.

Amanda has lived and worked in many regional areas, loves horse-riding and is glad to be able to raise her family with all the advantages of a rural lifestyle.