RBS welcomes two new board appointments as Strategy 2025 takes shape

Rural Business Support (RBS) welcomed two new Board members, Kat Giles and Richard Konzag at our Annual General Meeting in October.

RBS Chair Sharon Starick said both members would bring a wealth of experience to their roles.

“We are pleased to welcome both Kat and Richard to the RBS Board, as they both bring strong backgrounds in agriculture and involvement in a wide range of agriculture-related organisations,” she said.

“We also farewell Peter Walker and Malcolm Pridham as Board members. Both have made a significant and highly valued contribution to RBS over the past nine years. Peter has been a great connect to horticultural industries and advocated for mental health support, working alongside rural financial counselling for rural communities. Malcolm has provided valuable connections and insights into changes within the banking sector as well as the livestock sector.”

Dr Giles is an experienced leader in governance and strategy, with key technical skills and networks which will contribute significantly to her role with the RBS Board.

Dr Giles has a background in primary agricultural production including on farm/stations, processing facilities, agribusinesses, advocacy organisations and government. This experience has provided her with a strong understanding of the needs of rural communities across SA and NT.

As a veterinarian, livestock nutritionist and policy advisor, Dr Giles has well developed technical skills and an understanding of the diverse challenges facing livestock (cattle, sheep, dairy, and pig), broadacre cropping and horticulture value chains. Her work with global stakeholders to improve market access has included areas such as biosecurity, food safety, product specification, community expectations and trade agreements.

In addition, the executive management role previously held by Dr Giles, Chief Executive Officer at Sheep Producers Australia (formerly Sheepmeat Council of Australia), established her as a leader in reform, leading multiple stakeholders through significant culture change and uncertainty. She has been a Board Director of the Sheep Industry Animal Health and Welfare Trust; was an Executive Member of the Red Meat Advisory Council, and has been a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors since 2014. Currently Dr Giles is a member of the SA Executive Service, working as the Director Regional Services, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

Mr Konzag has strong experience in corporate governance, strategy and business planning, developed through previous roles with the Advisory Board of Agriculture and the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Panel.

Mr Konzag is a grain grower at Mallala, producing high quality wheat, durum, malt and feed barley, canola, lentils, field peas, faba beans, oaten hay and chickpeas. He has extensive experience across industry and in corporate governance, strategic and business planning, financial management and planning, implementation and project planning and oversight.

He served for six years on the Advisory Board of Agriculture, appointed by the South Australian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. The Board had a dual role, the first being an Advisory Board to the Minister and the second being the governing body of the Agricultural Bureau of SA. He has also been on the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Panel, and was a member of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, Grains Advisory Panel. He also served on the Australian Grain Growers Co-op board as a non-executive director and Chair.

Dr Giles and Mr Konzag join current board members Ms Starick, John Harvey, Caroline Rhodes, Simon Venus and Claudia Goldsmith.

Media inquiries:
Sharon Starick, Rural Business Support, Chair, on 08 8569 4001, 0417 883 659 or email
s.starick@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au