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

7 September 2022* Download Communique

16 June 2022* Download Communique

16 November 2021* Download Communique

9 June 2021* Download Communique

23 March 2021* Download Communique

1 December 2020* Download Communique 

25 August 2020* Download Communique 

2 March 2020 Download Communique 

30 October 2019 Download Communique 

15 July 2019 Download Communique 

14 March 2019  Download Communique 

14 June 2018  Download Communique 

28 May 2018*  Download Communique 

26 April 2018  Download Communique 

8 March 2018  Download Communique 

15 January 2018  Download Communique

8 December 2017  Download Communique

10 November 2017  Download Communique

14 September 2017  Download Communique

5 April 2017  Download Communique

10 March 2017  Download Communique

16 February 2017 – Induction and initial meeting – no communique

25 July 2016

4 April 2016


*Meeting held via video conference or teleconference.


Committee Membership

Organisation Represented
Organisation Overview
Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC)Dr Geoffrey AnnisonThe AFGC is the peak representative body for food and beverage manufacturers and non-food grocery manufacturers of over the counter pharmaceuticals, personal care and home care products in Australia.
Australian Beverages CouncilCathy CookThe Australian Beverages Council Ltd (ABCL) is the peak body representing the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Their Membership is comprised of small, medium-sized and large companies. Collectively these companies produce over 95% of the industry’s volume.
Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)Vasuki PaulThe Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is Australia’s peak industry association. Acting on behalf of business for more than 140 years, they are the national employers’ organisation. With more than 250 staff in offices across NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and WA, they have the resources and the expertise to meet the changing needs of their members.
Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Ltd (AIFST)Fiona Fleming (Chair)Formed in 1967, AIFST strives to advance Australia’s food industry as a sustainable, world-leading industry. Representing thousands of food industry professionals working in all facets of the industry, it is the only national voice and network of its kind.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)Ian Curry (Deputy Chair)Employee representative body for employees working in the food manufacturing industry.
Australian Sugar Milling CouncilScott YoungThe Australian Sugar Milling Council is a voluntary organisation, established in 1987 to represent Australian raw sugar mill owners. The Milling Council works with its members, other industry organisations and government to develop and promote policies that enhance the commercial development of the sugar industry in Australia.
Bega Cheese LimitedLiz NewlanBega Cheese is a significant and innovative player in the Australian and international dairy industry, employing more than 1,700 people across multiple sites in Bega, New South Wales, Coburg, Derrimut, Strathmerton and Tatura in Victoria.
Carlton and United BreweriesGraham EllisCarlton United Breweries is the largest Brewer in Australia. It has three large manufacturing sites and employ around 1,800 employees across a number of sectors.
Independent Brewers AssociationRichard AdamsonThe Independent Brewers Association works with a variety of government agencies and industry stakeholders, representing their members and striving to build a strong, sustainable future for industry.
South Australian Wine Industry AssociationHenrik WallgrenEstablished in 1840, the South Australian Wine Industry Association is the peak body representing the viticultural and winemaking interests of the state.
The Australian Technical Millers Association (ATMA)Dean SwindellsATMA is the peak industry body for the cereal milling and processing industries, with an emphasis on networking, training and education opportunities.
Individual Industry Experts
Required Expertise
Brett NoyExpertise in food processing and manufacturing.

Brett is the Managing Director of Uncle Bob’s Bakery, President of the Baking Industry Association of Queensland and the National Baking Industry Association and a member of Baking Association Australia.

Duncan RowlandExpertise in livestock and pet feed manufacturing.

Duncan is the CEO of the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia and the Feed Ingredients and Additives Association of Australia, representing 135 manufacturing sites producing 95% of the pet food and stock feed manufactured in Australia.

Position vacantExpertise in food processing and manufacturing.


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.