Committee Chairs --> Royal Agricultural Society of NSW ADFEA8E89F1C278F2558834977B546B4 Skip to main content
Ms Heidi Badgery

Ms Heidi Badgery

Dairy Produce Committee Chair and Board Member

Heidi Badgery is a lifetime member of the RAS and actively supports the Royal Easter Show in Dairy Produce, having served as a steward for the past 7 years. She is committed to raise the awareness of the RAS Dairy show and to engage communities on the value of sustainable agriculture. Ms Badgery has a Master of Marketing Administration degree and has served as a Senior Director, Head of Strategic Development, and Managing Director for companies such as Symantec, CEB (Gartner), Adobe Systems and Alteryx, across Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.  

Heidi Badgery is the 8th generation Badgery to serve on the RAS Council. The Southee and Badgery Pavilion at Sydney Showground, so commissioned on 18 April 2014 by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as part of their royal visit, is named for her family.

Mr Angus Barnes

Mr Angus Barnes

Wine Committee Chair

Born and bred in the Hunter Valley, it makes perfect sense that Angus Barnes would take up a position on the Wine Committee. A skilled senior wine industry executive with expertise in marketing, sales and financial management, Angus is a passionate industry advocate and has played a role as an industry advisor to the RAS Wine Committee since 2019. His experience includes National Chairman of Wine Communicators Australia, Executive Officer of the NSW Wine Industry Association and as Global Brand Communications & Heritage Director with Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Angus has worked as a State Government consultant for the wine industry and in international business and trade development and will bring this expertise to the Sydney Royal Wine Show and other competitions.

Mr Lachlan Bowtell

Mr Lachlan Bowtell

Fine Food Committee Chair

Elected to Council in 2016, Lachlan has been involved in food and agribusiness for over 30 years and is passionate about the Australian food and agricultural industries moving forward. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he has significant experience in government relations, and is a skilled negotiator and presenter. Lachlan has a unique depth of food sector knowledge, a result of his early career as a chef and his ongoing roles within the food sector.

John Bryson

John Bryson

Domestic Animals Committee Chair

Since 1980, John has been actively involved in the Sydney Royal Easter Shows, initially showcasing the family’s Great Danes. With a rich background spanning over 30 years in publishing, he currently serves as the Editor of Dog News Australia, the nation's premier canine magazine.

Holding a significant position on the Board of Directors of Dogs NSW, John actively contributes to shaping the organization's strategic direction and the future of Dog Sports in NSW. As a Dogs Australia All Breeds Judge, he has presided over competitions across continents, including North America, Asia, and Europe, in addition to judging roles in all states of Australia and both islands of New Zealand.

Furthermore, John is a licensed All Rounder with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the world's largest canine organization. His enduring commitment as the dog section head for the Hunter River A&H Association, dating back to the late eighties, and his role as Vice President of the Combined Northern Canine Association, the governing body for the Newcastle region dog showgrounds, highlight his influential contributions to the canine community.

Mr Joseph Byrnes

Mr Joseph Byrnes

Sheep and Wool Committee Chair

Joe has worked closely with the Sheep and Wool Committee since 2011 bringing technical knowledge and management experience and was a welcome addition to Council in 2016.

A wool classer and wool and sheep meat producer, Joe's enthusiasm for the industry is matched by his dedication to its longevity and the importance of attracting the next generation, evidenced by his time spent with the Youth Group and competitions serving the RAS as a whole.

Joe brings much valued commercial acumen to his new role, along with first-hand experience as a producer and exhibitor.

Ms Janie Forrest

Ms Janie Forrest

Pig and Alpaca Committee Chair

Janie Forrest was elected to Council in 2010 and over the years has contributed to many committees including Pig & Alpaca, Youth Affairs and Horse along with the Youth in Ag Day Support Group and the Entertainment Support Group.

Ms Forrest brings a wealth of knowledge gained as an innovative livestock and fleece producer and active supporter of indigenous youth.

Ms Forrest’s formative years were spent on the family’s sheep and cattle station bordering on the Pilbara Desert region of Western Australia’s north-west. Following her final year of secondary school, the world opened up when she was selected for a Rotary exchange to Dakota, USA. Ms Forrest then moved to Europe where she studied languages and, as a competent rider, worked show jumpers in Switzerland before commencing and training in hospitality - eventually working with Sheraton Hotels Worldwide and later with boutique hotel groups as a marketing consultant in Sydney. With the lure to return to the land, she established Coolaroo (now Coolawarra) with her family. It was one of the first alpaca studs in Australia. Now it’s one of the oldest in the country, known widely for breeding success in national and international show rings. To fast track the breeding program, Ms Forrest spent a year in Peru’s Altiplano conducting field research within the Peruvian alpaca population from which the species originates. The results, which she has presented in many countries, are the basis of work published with Dr Jim Watts ex CSIRO and founder of the SRS® breeding system, benchmarking follicle density and other fleece traits in the world’s alpaca herd. Coolawarra was one of two studs that were first to commercially harness embryo transfer techniques successfully in the breed.

Today Ms Forrest, with her partner Ian Davison, run a 1200-strong alpaca herd. Both Forrest and Davison are advocates of youth in the industry and remain supportive of Indigenous Education. 

Mr Michael MacCue

Mr Michael MacCue

Cattle Committee Chair

Michael is a leading expert in the cattle industry and has served as a Councillor since 2016. He manages his family's business with a focus on keeping it relevant within an ever-evolving environment and brings this knowledge to his role with the RAS.

Michael has comprehensive knowledge of the commercial beef cattle industry along with an excellent understanding of the beef cattle and seed stock industry and has played a vital role with the RAS Beef Challenge feedlot trial since its inception in 2011.

Michael has a Bachelor of Farm Management and a strong respect for the business of agricultural shows in both stud and commercial areas.

Mrs Kerry Little

Mrs Kerry Little

Horticulture Committee Chair

Elected to Council in 2016 with an outstanding resume including her role as Head Teacher of Floristry and Visual Merchandising at TAFE, Kerry Little has delivered strong industry links to the Horticulture Committee and the RAS in general.

She has an impressive background in education and visual merchandising, and outstanding leadership and management experience combined with more than 40 years of involvement with the RAS through the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Kerry’s integrity, dedication, and skill make her a much valued member of the RAS Board, one driven to see the Sydney Royal competitions continue to develop and receive industry-wide recognition.

Ms Denise Ovens

Ms Denise Ovens

Horse Committee Chair

Chair Denise Ovens began her involvement with agricultural shows at the early age of four presenting ribbons to the winners of wood chopping events at the Kiama Show.  She began horse riding and competing at the age of eight, travelling with her family to numerous horse shows across NSW. Denise competed at her first Sydney Royal Easter Show at the age of nine, and went on to compete until the last Show at Moore Park in 1997.  Due to professional commitments, she no longer competes but retains a strong love and interest in horses.  She was invited to the Kiama Show Society committee in 2001 and held the position of President from 2010-2012. Denise was elected to Council in February, 2012.

Mrs Kathy Reidy

Mrs Kathy Reidy

Goat Committee Chair

Kathy has been a Steward for Sydney Royal Easter Show Goat, Pig and Judging Competitions since 2000. She also understands the process from an exhibitor’s perspective as she has shown goats, cavies and dogs over the years. As an Animal Science Teacher with TAFE NSW, Kathy is an advocate for student education at the Show. 

Mr Gary Reid

Mr Gary Reid

Woodchop Committee Chair

Chairman Gary Reid is a Business Consultant and Director of Investa Funds Management Ltd. Prior to this, he spent over 30 years working for Woolworths in a variety of roles including General Manager responsible for real estate, business improvement, procurement and strategy. Gary was elected to Council in May, 2009.

Ms Alison Renwick

Ms Alison Renwick

Arts and Crafts Committee Chair, Board Member and Vice President

Elected to Council in 2003 Alison is not only incredibly experienced in all aspects of the art world including valuations, collection curation and sales, but she is also an accomplished public speaker, educator, and active committee member.

Alison understands that collaboration and cohesion are essential in the best interests of the RAS and is motivated to keep the organisation engaged with the communities it serves.

Alison has served on numerous committees, her experience allows her to play a strong role ensuring the RAS continues to support agricultural excellence and innovation in all fields.

Dr Mark Schembri

Dr Mark Schembri

Disciplinary & Veterinary Committee Chair and Vice President

Dr. Mark Schembri was first elected to RAS Council in 2007, and currently serves as Vice-President, and on the Veterinary Committee, Horse Committee, Goat Committee, Pig & Alpaca Committee, Chairman’s Committee, and Disciplinary Committee. Mark is a graduate of both Veterinary Science and Human Medicine from USYD and currently holds positions in both fields, working as a veterinarian for Racing NSW and as an obstetrician & gynaecologist at Royal North Shore Hospital. 

Mark was Crown Prince of Dubai scholar in 2001 at Dubai Equine Clinic, and in 2008 served as the Australian Team vet in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2009, he was awarded the esteemed General Sir John Monash Scholarship for study at Harvard University, where he obtained a master’s degree in public health. During his time at Harvard, he served as the veterinarian for the Harvard horse polo team. In 2011, Mark was admitted to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. With his appointment as 19th Rector of St John's College USYD, Mark actively promotes strong connections between the College, University, and rural Australia.

Mr Brendan Sharpe

Mr Brendan Sharpe

Poultry Committee Chair

Brendan Sharpe is a longtime supporter of the Sydney Royal Poultry Show and, as a practicing research Veterinary, has extensive knowledge in the health and welfare of Poultry and other avian species. Holding a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) from USYD and a PhD in Veterinary Medicine from UNE, Brendan brings a wealth of knowledge to the committees he serves. His long association with the RAS includes his time with the RAS Youth Group, several RAS Committees, service as a steward, and his vested interest in Sheep as a meat sheep producer.

Brendan is currently Vice-President of Exhibition Stud Poultry Australia, and his experience with bio security regulations and policy includes ovine Brucellosis and ovine, bovine and alpaca Johne’s Disease Market Assurance Programs. Brendan is also currently Research Leader at Invetus Pty Ltd, the largest contract Veterinary research organisation in Asia Pacific.

Mr Hunter White

Mr Hunter White

Agriculture Committee Chair

Hunter White is the fifth generation of the White family to manage the historic farm ‘Havilah’, a mixed farming enterprise based on sustainable and regenerative land management. Holding a Master of Business (Agribusiness) from Monash University, Hunter is a farmer, grazier and company director of Galambine Pastoral Company. 

Hunter is deeply connected to community, having held a number of volunteer positions with Mudgee Show Society, and is he is also a Patron and a Life Member, of the Havilah Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade. His deep interest in sustainable farming and the role farmers play as stewards of the land is motivation for everything he does.

Elected to Council in 1994, Hunter has served on breadth of Committees at the RAS which puts him in good stead to assume the role as Chair of the Agriculture Committee for a second time.

Mrs Susan Wakeford

Mrs Susan Wakeford

Youth Affairs Committee Chair

Susan has had an extensive career in agribusiness banking and finance spanning over 20 years, having held senior leadership roles at both NAB and Westpac in their agribusiness divisions.
Susan has been a member of Government Advisory Boards and many and varied industry advisory programs and projects, including being a member of the RAS Foundation Board for period of time.

Susan’s involvement with the agricultural industry extends from her own consultancy business which sees her supporting the people of rural, regional and remote Australia to achieve their personal, business and community aspirations, to her own family farming operations and strong involvement in her local community of Singleton in the Hunter Valley of NSW. 

Susan is actively involved with her local Singleton. She is a former Showgirl (2002), Rural Achiever (2003), Showgirl Judge and now an RAS Councillor, she has a strong passion and drive to ensure the future success  for the RAS Youth programs.

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