Speaker Profile

Chris Locke

Dr Chris Locke works at the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and is the Deputy Secretary of Biosecurity and Compliance, overseeing operational, policy and science aspects of biosecurity, as well as departmental compliance and enforcement matters.

Chris has over 26 years of experience in the Australian Public Service, most recently as the Deputy Secretary, Environment and Heritage in the predecessor Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment. Prior to joining the portfolio in early 2021 he held a number of senior roles at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, following an extensive career in industry and energy policy.

From 2004 to 2007, Chris worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as the senior resources and industry diplomatic lead at the Australian embassy in Tokyo.

Chris holds a PhD in agricultural economics and an honours degree in agricultural science from the University of Sydney.

Nicola Hinder

Nicola Hinder PSM is the Acting Deputy Secretary for the Agricultural Trade Group, responsible for the Trade and International, Exports and Veterinary Services, Plant and Live Animal Exports, Animal Welfare and Regulation, and Digital Business divisions in the Agricultural Trade group.

Prior to commencing the role as Acting Deputy Secretary, Nicola was the Acting CEO of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), leading APVMA through a challenging period.

Ms Hinder’s trade knowledge has been based in numerous trade positions within the department and for the Australian Government. Ms Hinder led the Exports and Veterinary Services Division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Ms Hinder’s responsibilities include technical market access negotiations underpinning the export of a wide variety of agricultural goods from Australia and the management of regulatory and operational staff based throughout Australia, providing export certification, verification, and assurance functions.

Ms Hinder is the Australia Delegation Head for the CODEX Alimentarius Commission and Chair of the CODEX Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS). Ms Hinder has undertaken a broad range of roles across government – for the department this includes biosecurity, corporate, media, emergency management and international trade (including serving the Australian Government on postings to the European Union and in India). In 2019, Ms Hinder received a Public Service Medal for services to Biosecurity and Trade.

Tom Black

Tom Black is the Acting First Assistant Secretary of the Exports and Veterinary Services Division at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), overseeing regulation of Australia’s exports of meat, dairy, fish and eggs, non-prescribed goods and certified organic products through the development and implementation of legislation, and strategic and operational policies. The Division also leads bilateral technical market access negotiations with trading partners as well as working with multilateral organisations such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Tom has more than 20 years of experience working with Government, including four years as one of the Department’s overseas counsellors. Tom has previously led the Australian Codex contact point, been the South West Pacific representative on CCEXEC, and led the host country secretariat for CCFICS.  

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