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

6 September 2022* Download Communique

26 May 2022* Download Communique

9 December 2021* Download Communique

28 July 2021* Download Communique

4 March 2021* Download Communique

16 December 2020* Download Communique

9 September 2020* Download Communique

29 July 2020* Download Communique

5 May 2020* Download Communique

1 April 2020* Download Communique

11 July 2019 Download Communique

14 May 2019 Download Communique

7 March 2019 Download Communique

17 December 2018 Download Communique

14 June 2018 Download Communique

10 May 20182

20 April 2018 Download Communique

7 March 2018

26 October 2017  Download Communique

3 August 2017 – Induction and initial meeting


*Meeting held via video conference or 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 amenity horticulture, landscaping, conservation and land management sectors.


Committee Membership

Organisation Represented
Organisation Overview
Australian Golf Course Superintendents’ AssociationSimone StaplesThe Australian Golf Course Superintendents’ Association (AGCSA) was formed in 1981 to further the profession of golf course management in Australia and the Pacific Rim.
Greenlife Industry AustraliaPeter VaughanGreenlife Industry Australia is the peak industry body for businesses and organisations that provide products and services for greenlife production; produce, supply and retail greenlife; or promote the benefits of and share greenlife with the community.
National Farmers FederationReginald KiddThe National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is the peak national body representing farmers and, more broadly, agriculture across Australia. The NFF is dedicated to proactively generating greater understanding and better-informed awareness of farming’s modern role, contribution and value to the entire community.
Australian Association of Bush Regenerators IncJen FordThe Australian Association of Bush Regenerators promotes the study and practice of ecological restoration, and fosters and encourages effective management of natural areas by qualified people, based on sound ecological principles.
Individual Industry Experts
Required Expertise
Craig HallamExpertise in amenity horticulture landscaping parks and gardens

Craig is currently the Managing Director & Principal Consultant at ENSPEC Pty Ltd.

Des BoormanExpertise in production nursery and weed management

Des is currently the Business and Technical Support Officer for the Nursery and Garden Industry NSW & ACT.

Esther Ngang (Chair)Expertise in amenity horticulture, landscaping, parks and gardens

Esther currently the Founder and Strategist in Transformational Projects Management at Matrix Enterprises (WA) Pty Ltd.

Geoff HarveyExpertise in irrigation for amenity horticulture

Geoff is currently the National Training, Certification & Marketing Manager at Irrigation Australia.

Jim JohnsonExpertise in amenity horticulture landscaping parks and gardens

Jim is currently the Nursery Manager at Oasis Horticulture Pty Ltd.

Julie HeranExpertise in indigenous conservation and land management

Julie is currently the T5 Chief District Ranger Top End Region Parks for Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

Jyri KaaproExpertise in pest management and weeds

Jyri is currently the Research Manager at Bayer Environmental Science.

Megan FlowerExpertise in amenity horticulture, landscaping, parks and gardens

Megan is currently the Executive Officer at Landscaping Victoria ‘Master Landscapers’.

Paul JanssensExpertise in amenity horticulture landscaping parks and gardens

Paul is currently the Assistant Director of Landscape Services for the Department of Parliamentary Services.

Susan BrunskillExpertise in permaculture and landcare and management

Susan is currently a Teacher of permaculture, natural area restoration and management, organic farming at TAFE NSW, Riverina Institute.

Virginia SolomonExpertise in conservation and land management – permaculture

Virginia is currently the Chair of Permaculture Australia.


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.