Murray Dairy has announced the appointment of its new Chairperson and Deputy Chairs following the Annual General Meeting in October.
Karen Moroney, from the Mitta Valley in north-east Victoria, will take on the leadership of the organisation, stepping up from her role as Deputy Chair which she has held for the last three years.
Ms Moroney has served as a farmer representative on the Murray Dairy board since 2013. Appointed to the joint positon of Deputy Chair are Tony McCarthy, of Dhurringile, and Andrew Tyler, of Tongala, also serving farmer representatives.
The role of the Murray Dairy board is to provide governance and strategic oversight of Murray Dairy. It is a skills-based board made up of farmers and service providers representing the region, which sweeps from Swan Hill to Corryong and from Shepparton into the southern Riverina.
Ms Moroney has been running a dairy farm in Eskdale since 1989, after a career in business administration and management.
She inherited her father’s interests in breeding Australian Red “Aussie Red” dairy cattle and is a long-standing member of the Australian Red Dairy Breed Association. From 1990 to 2016 she was the Executive Officer of the International Red Dairy Breed Federation.
Ms Moroney said she joined the Murray Dairy board because of her passion for the industry. She emphasizes that she wants to be a leader that represents people across the dairying community.
‘I believe that good leadership is not about the leader, it is about encouraging and empowering others’ she said. ‘As leaders we need to engage others, listen to others and have the ability to discern and act as needed’.
Ms Moroney acknowledged the difficulty that dairy farmers in the Murray region are currently facing and said that the board would be continuing to respond whilst looking at the longer term strategy for the industry.
‘We have come through two of the most challenging years for dairy that most of us can remember, and this year will be equally as challenging with high input costs and drought experienced by many farmers in the region’ she said.
‘The Murray Dairy board will be looking to keep ourselves informed of issues that will affect the sustainability of our dairy farmers, so it will be important not only to develop but to monitor and execute an effective plan – one that drives meaningful outcomes for our region.’
Murray Dairy is due to review its organisational strategic plan in 2019. This will feed into the Regional Dairy Industry Strategy currently being developed by organisations such as Murray Dairy, Dairy Australia, the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) and the Committee for Greater Shepparton (C4GS).
Ms Moroney says that there are many aspects that the board will consider in the development of their strategic plan.
‘Whilst we are talking about challenges such as climate change, water availability or trust in our industry and product, we also need to look at the opportunities in front of us. These could be in the form of knowledge sharing, our business structures, market access, or innovation, infrastructure and technology that are continually being developed.’
‘Never before has it been so important to be proactive rather than reactive to ensure we keep farm businesses resilient and productive’ she said. ‘I look forward to working with our board, management and staff of Murray Dairy to drive this strategy over the coming years’.