Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) shareholders will have the opportunity to choose between eight candidates for the three board director positions to be decided at the company’s Annual General Meeting on November 22.
The Board Nomination Committee met on Wednesday, 25 September to confirm the eligible candidates, each of whom met the requirement of obtaining more than 99 shareholder signatures, as outlined in the Rules and Procedures Governing the Election of Directors (Rules and Procedures) under 13.3(f) of the Constitution, by the closure of the nomination period at 5 p.m. (Sydney time) on Tuesday 24 September.
The AWI board candidates are:
- Paul Cocking
- George Falkiner
- Noel Henderson
- Janelle Hocking Edwards
- Philip Holmes
- Michelle Humphries
- Wal Merriman (current AWI Director)
- David Webster (current AWI Director)
There were three current AWI directors to retire and who were eligible to put themselves forward for re-election at the 2019 AGM.
They are Wal Merriman, David Webster and Dr Meredith Sheil. Dr Sheil has advised she will not stand for re-election and will retire at the conclusion of the AGM.
The Board Nomination Committee – comprised of independent chair Dr Mary Corbett, independent industry representative Simon Cameron, Managing Partner from international executive recruitment firm Heidrick and Struggles Sydney Guy Farrow and AWI directors Dr Meredith Sheil and James Morgan – assessed the nominations to identify the necessary and desirable director competencies.
The Board Nomination Committee will provide a report to the board, for dissemination to shareholders of the company.
The Committee’s non-binding recommendations will be provided with the Notice of Meeting, which will be sent to shareholders in October ahead of the AGM. Shareholders do not have to follow the recommendations of the Board Nomination Committee.
As part of AWI’s democratic process, all shareholders will have the opportunity to vote at the company’s AGM – either in person or by proxy – on who they want to represent them on their company’s board. This democratic process provides all AWI shareholders the right to have their say and is the envy of other agricultural industries.
The role of all AWI directors is to represent their shareholders – the woolgrowers of Australia – and their interests. Decisions are taken on how and where to invest growers’ funds in research and development and marketing, with an objective of increasing the long-term profitability of wool growing for Australian woolgrowers.
Given the impact of the ongoing drought on woolgrowers around the country, this role has never been more important. It is also critical that a balance of gender, skills, knowledge and experience is reflected in the composition of the company’s board.
The outcome of the election for three AWI director positions will provide a renewed opportunity for the industry to work together for the benefit of the woolgrowers of Australia and their interests and for the industry to move on from the politicking of industry activists and detractors who are a minority in one of the nation’s great industries.