Our Team

Passionate about the future of the red meat

Meet the Committee

Peter McGilchrist Peter McGilchrist

President

Peter grew up on a cattle property in NSW and has a Bachelor of Rural science from the University of New England (UNE). Peter was a member of the UNE meat judging team in 2002 and was selected on the 2003 Australian ICMJ team that competed in the USA. Peter coached the UNE meat judging team to success in 2003 and 2004. Following university Peter travelled and also worked at Elders Killara feedlot for a year before moving to Perth WA to complete a PhD at Murdoch University on ‘Selection for muscling affects carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism in beef cattle’ with the Beef CRC. Peter then held a post doctorate research position at Murdoch University with Meat and Livestock Australia working on beef eating quality projects, MSA optimisation and the development of the MSA Index. In 2014 Peter was appointed as a lecturer in Animal Production Science at Murdoch University and continues with research into factors along the supply chain which impact the eating quality of beef and lamb plus the measurement of carcass yield. Peter is a coach of Murdoch University ICMJ Team and passionate about the future of the red meat industry for the next generation.

Tim Ryan

Treasurer

Tim comes from Baynton, in central Victoria, where he grew up on a family sheep property. Tim was a member of the University of Melbourne meat judging team in 2012 and was selected to join the Australian team which competed in the USA in 2013. Subsequently, Tim was a coach of the 2013 University of Melbourne team and is eager to be involved with the team in the future. Tim currently works for Meat and Livestock Australia as a Livestock and Meat Market Analyst.

Jessira Perovic

Secretary

Jessira comes from a farming background in the Central Highlands region of Victoria and holds a bachelor of Animal Science. Jessira was a member of the Charles Sturt University (Wagga) meat judging team in 2008 and 2009, having observed and competed. In 2009 Jessira was successful in being selected for the 2010 Australian National Meat Judging Team which competed in the US. After completing her university degree Jessira joined Meat and Livestock Australia as the Meat Standards Australia Research and Development Co-ordinator for three years. She is now the Project Manager for Eating Quality Data Analytics at MLA, based in Armidale NSW.

Ben Thomas

Marketing/ Media

Ben is very passionate about the red meat industry and is originally from a cattle property in Tamworth. He completed a Bachelor of Rural Science at UNE, during which he was on a six year cadetship with Twynam Pastoral Company. Ben currently manages the Market Information and NLRS team at MLA, which is responsible for reporting cattle, sheep, lamb and goat market trends and analysis on a daily basis, as well as industry forecasting. The team is made up of six market analysts in the Sydney head office and 26 Livestock Market Officers who collectively attend 70 saleyards across the country each week. Before starting with MLA in 2012 Ben spent 30 months traveling and working  overseas, with most time spent on a sheep and cattle farm in Canada.

Demi Lollback

Coach of Australian national meat judging team, Schools liaison & Trainer of the Top 10 Finalists in Brisbane

Demi is from Grafton in the Northern Rivers of NSW were her family ran a beef breeding operation in the upper Clarence area. She competed in the 2002 University of Queensland Gatton Meat Judging team and then coached the 2003 team prior to graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Science) degree. After working in the Meat Industry for a number of years, mainly with JBS at Beef City, Demi joined Meat and Livestock Australia 5 years ago as the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Project Officer for Eating Quality Implementation. In this role she works with Producers & Processing Plants right through the supply chain to end users, to ensure implementation and compliance of the MSA program in NSW, ACT and Southern QLD. She is based in Armidale, NSW. Demi is also passionate about educating the youth of today to engage and retain them within the Australian Meat Industry.

Hamish Irvine

Presenter Co-ordinator

Hamish has always been involved in the Australian Meat industry, originally growing up on a lamb, beef and cropping property near Rankins Springs NSW. In 2013 he completed a degree in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience, during which he competed for Sydney university at ICMJ in 2013 and was then lucky enough to travel to the US with the national team in 2014. Hamish is now employed as a sales manager for Rivalea Australia.

Jarrod Lees

School Competition Co-ordinator

Jarrod is originally from Kingaroy, QLD and grew up on a small beef cattle property. He graduated from a Bachelor of Applied Science at The University of Queensland, before going on to complete a research Honours year and enrol in a PhD. He is currently writing his PhD thesis on developing a new heat load index for subtropical dairy regions and is currently employed as a Producer Engagement Officer (Eating Quality) for Meat Standards Australia. Jarrod coached the UQ ICMJ team for the 2013 and 2014 competitions.

Kiri Broad

Website/ Social Media

Kiri grew up on the south coast of NSW. She was first introduced to meat judging and meat science while completing a degree in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience at the University of Sydney, graduating in 2008. Kiri has worked for the Department of Agriculture, and Fisheries in Qld as a beef officer since 2010 in various locations across Qld and is currently a beef and sheep officer based at Longreach, covering north and central western Qld.  Kiri enjoys working with producers in the red meat industry and in particular, assisting them to better meet market specifications and improve meat quality through on-farm management practices.

Michael Campbell

Venue and Product Co-ordination 

Michael is a lecturer at Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga and is currently completing a PhD with the Future Dairy group at the University of Sydney.  Along with his wife and 3 children he runs a commercial cattle operation near Adelong.  He has an MBA from UNE and a BScAg from The University of Sydney.  Michael competed at the 2001 ICMJ competition and was a member of the winning team from the University of Sydney.  Michael has previously been the manager of a fully integrated cattle operation in PNG and worked as a Beef Cattle Extension Officer and in rural finance.

Nick Vandenberg

Australian Team Coach

Despite not growing up with a farming background, Nick quickly developed a love for all things agriculture. This lead him to complete his Bachelor of Ag. Science at Adelaide University in 2013. It was during his studies he discovered meat judging and was fortunate to be a part of the 2014 ICMJ national team. Nick has since coached 2014-16 Adelaide meat judging teams and completed his honours on ” Understanding the causes of dark cutting on pasture raised beef in south east south Australia”. Nick has been fortunate to see a large cross section of industry, working from abattoirs and live export depots to full time shearing. He is very passionate about the Australian goat industry and is currently running his own livestock enterprise whilst freelancing within meat research and live export fields.

Rozzie O’Reilly

Careers Expo Co-ordinator

Rozzie O’Reilly grew up on a small sheep and cattle enterprise in southern NSW. Following high school, she completed a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of New England (UNE) in 2014, was employed as a Beef Supply Chain Trainee at Kerwee Lot Feeders and currently works for LambPro in southern NSW. Rozzie competed for UNE in 2012 and was fortunate to be selected as a member of the 2013 Australian ICMJ team. She also co-coached UNE ICMJ teams throughout 2013 and 2014.

Sarah Stewart

Australian Team Coach

Sarah grew up in Adelaide, before relocating to Western Australia to study Veterinary Science at Murdoch University. Here she developed a passion for the red meat industry as a member of Murdoch meat judging team, which competed in the 2018 ICMJ competition. Following graduation, Sarah worked as a cattle Veterinarian in south west Victoria, before returning to Murdoch University in 2012 to begin a PhD investigating the “influence of pre-slaughter stress on lamb meat quality and carcass yield”. Since then, Sarah has coached the Murdoch meat judging team and most recently has signed on as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Meat Science. Sarah is passionate about increasing the capacity of the red meat industry by engaging and educating students from veterinary and agricultural sciences.

Maria Thompson

ICMJ Coordinator

Maria has always had a strong appreciation for agriculture and rural life having grown up on her family’s beef cattle property in Tenterfield, NSW. Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Rural Science and a Master in Agriculture from UNE. In 2002, Maria was a member of the UNE Meat Judging Team. Since 2011, Maria has operated AgSTAR Projects, a project management consultancy firm. Previous roles include managing the animal health, welfare and biosecurity portfolio for Sheepmeat Council of Australia, working as a consultant for a private agricultural PR & marketing company and being employed as a BREEDPLAN Consultant. Maria and her husband own a beef cattle enterprise in Coonabarabran, NSW and are currently living Katherine, NT.