The Cattle Australia Breakfast Symposium Speakers

Speaker Profiles

Rt Hon Sir John Key

Rt Hon Sir John Key was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016, winning three general elections as leader of the centre-right National Party. He led the country through the aftermath of the global financial crisis and a series of devastating earthquakes in New Zealand’s second-biggest city.  Sir John was well respected in international affairs and chaired the International Democrat Union and the United Nations Security Council in 2016. Since retiring from politics, he has taken on a directorship of the ANZ Australia Group board and appointed as ambassador for philanthropic Japanese billionaire Dr Haruhisa Handa. He is also known for his keen passion for golf.

Ralph Schoellhammer

Ralph Schoellhammer is an economist and political theorist at Webster University Vienna and the Hungarian Think-Tank MCC Budapest. His work primarily deals with the question of how cultural convictions impact policy outcomes, with a special focus on energy policies. His main research interest is how the West has become ever more hostile towards energy, industry, and modern agriculture, something that he describes as a form of cultural self-hate and a tyranny of historical guilt. He has both written and talked about this both in the news and commentary sections of major outlets.

Alison Van Eenennaam

Alison Van Eenennaam is an animal geneticist and Professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis where she leads the Animal Genomics and Biotechnology Laboratory. She has served on national committees such as the USDA National Advisory Committee on Biotechnology in the 21st Century (AC21) and was awarded the 2014 Borlaug CAST Communication Award. Among her achievements include work on genome editing in cattle to alter the sex ratio of the calf drop, and introduce the hornless allele at the polled gene in Holstein dairy cattle. She knows the potential for applying gene-editing techniques to make improvements in food-animal production largely hinges on future regulatory processes, and will be very much influenced by the public narrative around the use of this technology in food.

Sue Middleton

Sue Middleton is a farmer and respected agribusiness leader.  She has been in the trenches advocating to successive governments and Ministers for over 30 years. Sue and her husband Michael have developed Moora Citrus a greenfields citrus development in WA, and previously were broadacre and livestock farmers producing export grain, hay, pork, wool and sheep meat. Sue’s experience includes leadership roles with the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council, the National Regional Women’s Advisory Council, the Australian Research Council, National Water Grid Board, and the National Rural Advisory Council. She has also been a Commissioner on the WA Agricultural Produce Commission and was the Economics and Farm Business NFF Policy Chair for 3 years.  Sue was part of the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review Panel, and most recently the Sheep Live Export by Sea Panel.

Rowan McMonnies

Rowan McMonnies has been Managing Director of Australian Eggs since 2016 – a time which he has led the industry-owned research and development corporation through a period of renewal as the egg industry adjusts to rapidly changing consumer preferences and industry developments. Rowan has been closely involved in agriculture sector initiatives on innovation, animal welfare, community trust and environmental sustainability. He is currently a member of the Rice Marketing Board for the State of New South Wales. Rowan has a commercial, legal and compliance background. Prior to joining Australian Eggs, Rowan was a partner at global law firm, Baker & McKenzie, and held senior positions at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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