Industry Reference Committee

The Industry Reference Committee (IRC) was made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge in the agriculture and production horticulture industry, covering a breadth of experience from across relevant sectors.

The IRC acted as a conduit for industry to provide feedback to government about industry trends and skills needs, and has responsibility for overseeing the development of units of competency, skill sets and qualifications for the industry it services.

Throughout the duration of its role as a Skills Service Organisation, Skills Impact provided support services to a group of related IRCs so they could effectively connect and engage with industry about their skill needs. All IRCs were appointed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). Nominees operated in the best interest of the industry sector.


Meeting Communiques

26 September 2022* Download Communique

15 June 2022* Download Communique

23 November 2021* Download Communique

25 August 2021* Download Communique

21 April 2021* Download Communique

22 December 2020* Download Communique

15 September 2020* Download Communique

24 May 2020* Download Communique

26 March 2020* Download Communique

31 October 2019 Download Communique

16 May 2019   Download Communique

21 February 2019   Download Communique

18 September 2018*  Download Communique

20 June 2018 Download Communique

25 May 2018* Download Communique

26 April 2018

19 April 2018

7 February 2018*

29 November 2017  Download Communique

6 October 2017*

6 September 2017*

16 August 2017

19 July 2017 – Induction and initial meeting


*Meeting held via teleconference.

Note: the Rural and Related Industry Reference Committee was previously responsible for overseeing the development of units of competency, skill sets and qualifications for the animal care and management sectors.


Committee Membership

Organisation Represented
Organisation Overview
Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)Dr Julia Crawford (Chair)The professional organisation that represents veterinarians across Australia. The AVA maintains relationships with national, state and local levels of government, and provides advice on all aspects of animal health and welfare policy. The AVA also runs a number of programs that make a valuable contribution to the community, and help veterinarians to maintain a high level of patient care.
Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA)Rebecca Coventry (Deputy Chair)A not-for-profit professional association which promotes the interests of Veterinary Nursing across Australia. The VNCA has active Divisions across Australia that contribute through the delivery of local education as well as liaise with clinics, RTOs and other stakeholders within their area.
Taronga Conservation Society AustraliaElly NeumannTaronga Conservation Society Australia is a leader in the fields of conservation, research and environmental education. Taronga is constituted under the Zoological Parks Board Act 1973 as a statutory authority owned by the people of New South Wales and administered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Individual Industry Experts
Required Expertise
Belinda SmithExpertise in veterinary and related services

Belinda is currently the Owner and Operator of Good 2 Go Equine Dentistry.

Brenton MyattExpertise in pet and companion animal services

Brenton is currently the Director of Animal Magic Holdings Pty Ltd.

Dr Bonny CummingExpertise in veterinary and related services

Bonny is currently the Program Manager – Strategic Delivery at Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC).

John SunderlandExpertise in animal breeding services

John is currently the General Manager at Godolphin Woodlands.

Julie FiedlerExpertise in animal care, handling and welfare

Julie is currently undertaking a PhD investigating aspects of sports horse welfare

Kaye HargreavesExpertise in pet and companion animal services

Kaye is currently the Owner and Operator of Wagging School.

Michael ButcherExpertise in animal control and regulation
Mike is currently the Managing Director of Animal Pest Management Services.
Michelle StoreyExpertise in Animal Care, Handling and Welfare

Michelle is currently National Training Manager, Emergency & Specialty Hospitals at Greencross.

Natalie StunnellExpertise in Animal Technology

Natalie is currently Manager, Biological Resources & Laboratories at Ingham Institute.

Ron FlemingExpertise in Animal Breeding Services

Ron is currently Manager of Racing Careers and Training at Racing and Wagering Western Australia.

Dr Tim MatherExpertise in Veterinary and Related Services

Tim is currently a Consultant at Veterinary Advisory Services.

VacantExpertise in wildlife and exhibited animal operations


Operating Framework for IRCs

IRCs provided the industry engagement mechanism at the centre of training package development (units of competency, skill sets and qualifications). They provided a conduit for industry feedback to government on industry trends and for promotion of VET. The primary purpose of the IRC was to provide advice to the AISC about the skills needs of their industry or sector, based on their experience and expertise.

IRCs performed the following functions, with support by Skills Impact:

  • Gathered general intelligence for their industry sectors to inform advice on training package development and review
  • Oversaw the development and review of training packages in accordance with the requirements of the AISC
  • Oversaw the development of the IRC work plan by the SSO, advising who should be included in the consultation and the type of information to include
  • Provided sign off on the work plan, business cases, cases for endorsement and other submissions for consideration by the AISC
  • Reported to the AISC on progress of its work
  • Promoted the use of VET in the sectors they represent.

Full details of the Operating Framework for Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) can be viewed here.