ACIAR is established by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (the ACIAR Act), as amended. It is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act) and a statutory agency under the Public Service Act 1999. ACIAR is part of the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio.
ACIAR has an executive management governance structure. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) manages the administrative and financial affairs of ACIAR and its staff, subject to, and in accordance with, any directions given by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The CEO leads the Executive team, which provides strategic leadership of the agency to ensure program delivery is consistent with government policy objectives to an appropriate level of performance. The Executive undertakes key strategic discussions, considers emerging risks,
and considers and actions recommendations of agency staff.
The CEO is supported by the Audit Committee, which provides independent assurance to the CEO on financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, and systems of internal auditing of ACIAR.
Also established under the ACIAR Act is the Commission for International Agricultural Research (the Commission), which provides collective decision-making and expert strategic advice to the Minister on the operations of ACIAR; and the Policy Advisory Council, which provides advice to the Minister on strategic aspects of national and regional development.
Executive and staff arrangements
The ACIAR Act also prescribes the appointment and functions of the CEO and staff, as well as their remuneration and employment conditions.
During the reporting period ended 30 June 2019, ACIAR had five executives who met the definition of key management personnel (Table 3.1) In the notes to the financial statements for the period ending 30 June 2019, ACIAR disclosed a summary of remuneration expenses for key management personnel as outlined in Table 3.2. In accordance with the PGPA Rule, the summary information is disaggregated and presented in Table 3.3.
Table 3.2. Summary of remuneration for key management personnel for the reporting period, 2018–19
Other benefits and allowances
Total short-term benefits
Total post-employment benefits
Other long-term benefits
Total other long-term benefits
Total key management personnel remuneration
Table 3.3. Remuneration detail for key management personnel for the reporting period, 2018–19
Other long-term benefits
Other benefits and allowances ($)
Long service leave
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
General Manager, Outreach and Capacity Building
Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
General Manager, Country Programs
General Manager, Global Program
1 Base salaries are calculated as salary with adjustment for annual leave provisions.
2 The long service leave benefit for Daniel Walker reflects the correction of a manual adjustment to the provision balance in the prior period.
Table 3.4. Remuneration detail for other highly paid staff for the reporting period, 2018–19 period
Number of highly paid staff
Average base salary ($)
Average bonuses ($)
Average superannuation contribution ($)
Average long service leave ($)
Average total remuneration ($)
Chief Executive Officer -Professor Andrew Campbell FSTE FAICD
Professor Andrew Campbell commenced the role of CEO on 1 August 2016. Previously, Andrew was the inaugural Director of the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University, in the Northern Territory. Andrew has played influential roles in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in Australia for more than 30 years.
Andrew has a Diploma of Forestry from Creswick, a Bachelor of Forest Science (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Science (Management of Agricultural Knowledge Systems) from Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Professor Campbell is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an honorary Professorial Fellow at the Australian National University and Charles Darwin University.
Chief Finance Office -Ms Audrey Gormley
The Chief Finance Officer is responsible for providing strategic financial advice to the organisation, in addition to managing human resources, business services (IT), procurement, legal, property and other corporate activity.
Ms Audrey Gormley joined ACIAR in July 2017 and has over 30 years’ experience in all facets of finance and accounting both at strategic and operational levels, working in investment banking and insurance sectors before joining the Australian Government. Prior to joining ACIAR, Audrey was Chief Finance Officer at Food Standards Australia New Zealand for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Chief Scientist -Dr Daniel Walker
The Chief Scientist oversees the strategic science focus of the ACIAR research portfolio and its impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation work. The Chief Scientist also provides leadership for Research Program Managers across nine research areas, and oversight of our relationship with the Australian innovation system.
Dr Daniel Walker joined ACIAR in November 2017 to take up the newly-created role of Chief Scientist. Prior to ACIAR, Daniel spent 23 years at CSIRO, where he was Research Director for Agriculture and Global Change with CSIRO Agriculture and Food and previously, Chief of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. Daniel has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in agriculture, forestry and rural economy from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the University of Wales.
General Manager, Country Programs -Dr Peter Horne
The General Manager, Country Programs is responsible for leading and setting the research strategy for ACIAR country (bilateral) programs, managing the ACIAR country office network, and leading the engagement with key research partners and stakeholders, in Australia and overseas.
Previously, Dr Peter Horne was Research Program Manager for Livestock Production Systems for ACIAR. Peter has spent most of his career based in Asia involved in agricultural research-for-development, with a particular focus on forages and livestock systems. Peter has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in environmental sciences from Griffith University and a PhD in tropical forage agronomy from University of New England, Australia.
General Manager, Capacity Building and Outreach -MsEleanor Dean
The General Manager, Outreach and Capacity Building leads the development and implementation of the ACIAR outreach strategy and leads and directs a team responsible for ACIAR communications, stakeholder engagement, capacity building and outreach activities.
Ms Eleanor Dean has worked in public affairs and communication for the Australian Government for more than 25 years, on a diverse range of issues including natural resource management, biodiversity, education and training. Prior to joining ACIAR in 2017, Eleanor led the safety promotion and communication branch at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. She has a Bachelor of Communication (Hons) from the University of Canberra.
General Manager, Global Program -MsMellissaWood
The General Manager, Global Program leads the formulation and implementation of Australia’s stakeholder engagement with CGIAR and other international agricultural research centres, and engages with global and multilateral fora, such as the G20 and the FAO. The role also oversees ACIAR co-investment alliances, notably with DFAT and the Canadian International Development Research Center.
Ms Mellissa Wood joined ACIAR in 2012 as Director of the new Australian International Food Security Centre. She was appointed General Manager, Global Program in 2015. Prior to ACIAR, Mellissa held positions improving the adoption of research outputs for food and nutrition security, through partnering with policymakers and the private sector, including with the Crop Trust in Rome. She holds a Bachelor of Science in resource and environmental management and Master of Public Policy in development.
The primary role of the Audit Committee is to provide independent assurance to the CEO on financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, and systems of internal auditing of ACIAR. The ACIAR Audit Committee is established in accordance with Section 45 of the PGPA Act.
Four Audit Committee meetings were held in 2018–19. Each committee meeting was supported by advisers from ACIAR external auditors (Australian National Audit Office), internal auditors (Protiviti) and relevant agency staff with secretariat support provided by the ACIAR finance team.
Table 3.5 shows Audit Committee membership during 2018–19, and the number of meetings attended by each member during the year.
Table 3.5 Audit Committee membership and meetings attendance, 2018-19
Term of appointment
Ms Anthea Tinney Chair & External Member
12 September 2016 for three years
Mr Mark Craig External Member
1 August 2018 for two years
Dr Eric Huttner ACIAR Research Program Manager
25 Ju ly 2018 for one-year (extension of previous term)
Ms Audrey Gormley ACIAR Chief Finance Officer
Ex-officio, commenced 22 July 2018
Risk management and business continuity planning
The Audit Committee is responsible for monitoring risk management and business continuity planning.
Internal audit and countering fraud
Internal audit is an important part of ACIAR governance framework, providing an integral contribution to governance, risk management and control.
In 2018–19, internal audit activity consisted of a review of the ACIAR project life cycle, a review of ACIAR cyber security and a post-implementation review of the financial controls of the ACIAR Collaborative Environment (ACE). All recommendations arising from this review were either satisfactorily addressed during the year or were in the process of being addressed.
ACIAR procedures and processes for fraud prevention, investigation, reporting and data collection meet our specific needs and comply with Commonwealth fraud control requirements.
The ACIAR fraud control plan is focused on raising awareness among staff, through fraud prevention training, fostering an ethical and professional working environment aligned with the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and APS Code of Conduct, and maintaining strong internal control and audit processes that reduce fraud risks. The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing implementation of the fraud control plan. The plan is brought to the attention of new staff as part of the ACIAR induction process and is available electronically to all staff.
The Fraud Compliance Statement of the CEO is presented on page 41.
Fraud compliance statement
Commission for International Agricultural Research
The Commission for International Agricultural Research is established by Section 7 of the ACIAR Act. The Commission provides advice to the Minister in relation to:
the formulation of agricultural research programs and policies, to identify agricultural problems and find solutions in developing countries
commissioning and communicating research, and establishing and funding training schemes related to ACIAR-supported research
priorities for the ACIAR program and funding
on the Minister’s request, any other matter relating to the Act.
The Commission comprises a Chair and six other Commissioners. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor–General and a Commissioner holds office for a period specified in the instrument of appointment, not exceeding three years. Table 3.6 lists the Commissioners, their appointment period and meetings attended.
The ACIAR Act requires that the Commission holds at least four meetings each financial year. During the 2018–19 financial year, the Commission met four times, as detailed in the Table 3.7.
Table 3.6. Chair and members of the Commission for International Agricultural Research, 2018–19
Term of appointment
Mr Don Heatley (Chair)
18 Sep 2017 to 30 Jun 2020
Professor Andrew Campbell
31 Jul 2016 to 31 Jul 2019
Dr Sasha Courville
18 Sep 2017 to 30 Jun 2020
Professor Sandra Harding
6 Jun 2016 to 5 May 2019
Ms Catherine Marriott
18 Sep 2017 to 30 Jun 2020
Ms Su McCluskey
29 May 2018 to 30 Jun 2020
Professor Gabrielle Persley
18 Sep 2017 to 30 Jun 2020
Table 3.7. Meetings of the Commission for International Agricultural Research, 2018–19
19–20 September 2018
3–4 December 2018
11–15 March 2019
3–4 June 2019
Disclosure of interests
Commissioners are required to disclose to the Minister and to the Commission any direct or indirect pecuniary interest that might conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioners’ functions. The disclosure and the nature of the interest are recorded in the Commission meeting minutes, which are available for consideration by ACIAR auditors.
The cost of operation of the Commission during 2018–19 was $190,802 including fees, travel and other meeting expenses. The comparative figure for 2017–18 was $162,643.
Fees for the Chair and members of the Commission are set by the Remuneration Tribunal. The daily fees for the Chair and Members (other than the CEO) were $980 and $735 respectively as at 30 June 2019.
Policy Advisory Council
The Policy Advisory Council (the Council) is established under Section 17 of the ACIAR Act. The Council provides advice to the Minister regarding:
agricultural problems of developing countries
programs and policies with respect to agricultural research that will either or both identify agricultural problems of developing countries and find solutions to agricultural problems of developing countries.
The Council role is to provide a valuable overview for advising the Minister, the Commission and ACIAR on matters including:
national and regional development constraints
opportunities for research and development collaboration
national and regional research priorities, particularly those of ACIAR partner countries
the matching of Australian expertise (Australia’s competitive advantage) with these priorities
modes of operation for ACIAR
sources of national and international expertise.
The Council’s membership is limited to 13, comprising a President, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or her nominee, and 9–11 other members appointed by the Minister. Predominantly, members are appointed from stakeholder organisations in ACIAR partner countries, which brings a range of agricultural and development experience to the Council. Under the Act, the Minister is required to ensure that a substantial number of Council members are residents of countries other than Australia, having regard for the knowledge of appointees concerning the agricultural problems of developing countries or their experience in organising or conducting agricultural research.
The Council meets biannually to discuss areas related to its role and functions, once in Australia and once internationally, with associated field visits. During 2018–19, the Council met in Laos, 11–15 March 2019. During this time, meetings were held in parallel and in conjunction with the Commission for International Agricultural Research (the Commission), providing an opportunity for the two bodies to share information and ideas on future directions for international agricultural research. The tour also included opportunities for interaction with in-country stakeholders and field site visits to ACIAR-supported projects.
On 11 March 2019, the Council and the Commission held a joint meeting, followed by a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and the National University of Laos. An evening reception was hosted by the Australian Ambassador to Laos celebrating 20 years of Lao-Australian partnership on agriculture research.
The delegation travelled to Pakpeung village, Paksan District, Borikhamxay Province on 12 March to visit a Fishways project site and hold discussions with the community and project partners. On 13 March, the delegation transferred to Luang Prabang province where they visited forestry project sites at the Souphanuvong University, including a tissue culture laboratory and a teak nursery.
The afternoon involved a visit to the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College to meet with project teams and farmers involved in the projects. On 14 March, the Council and the Commission travelled to the Xayaburi Province where they visited an ACIAR project working on fish passage facilities in the Xayaburi dam development. The final day of the visit, 15 March involved further parallel meetings of the Commission and Council to discuss respective business followed by a combined meeting and forestry project site visits in the Xienglom District.
Table 3.8. Chair and members of the Policy Advisory Council, 2018–19
Professor Kym Anderson AC (President)
Professor of Economics University of Adelaide, Australia
Crawford School of Public Policy
30 Sep 2020
Dr Nguyen Van Bo
President Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Vietnam
02 Aug 2019
Dr Jia Jingdun
Director General China Rural Technology Development Centre, Ministry of Science and Technology, China
02 Aug 2019
Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda
CEO Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), South Africa
02 Aug 2019
Dr Sar Chetra
Deputy Director Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Cambodia
02 Aug 2019
Dr Colin Tukuitonga
Director General Secretariat of the Pacific Community Noumea, Pacific
30 Jun 2019
Professor Ramesh Chand
Member, Union Minister of State National Institute of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, India
01 Feb 2020
HE Naela Chohan
High Commissioner Pakistan High Commission to Australia, Pakistan
30 Mar 2020
Dr Audrey Aumua
Deputy Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
18 Feb 2022
Dr Su Su Win
Director, Soil Science, Water utilisation and agricultural engineering division, Department of Agricultural Research, Myanmar
18 Feb 2022
Prof Teatulohi Matainaho
Chairman of the PNG Science and Technology Council and Chief Science advisor the Papua New Guinea Government
18 Feb 2022
Dr Segenet Kelemu
Director General and CEO of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) Nairobi, Kenya