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National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council Limited

About Us

Board of Directors


John Hughes - Consultant - Chairman

John commenced his career in the meat industry as a 13 year old labourer at Smorgans, (Dinmore) Queensland, beginning in the boning room, then progressing to a slicer/ boner and then to the slaughter floor. John then became a Foreman, Plant Manager and then Senior Manager. In 1984 John was appointed the General Manager of Abattoirs, Industrial Relations and Personnel at Australian Meat Holdings. From 1986 John spent time as the Vice President of ConAgra Meat Division and in 2001 was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Meat. Consolidated Meat soon amalgamated with Teys (Bros) Holdings where John was the General Manager - Operation Improvement for over eight years. John currently consults for the industry and has an advisory role at Teys Bros Holdings. John's involvement with MINTRAC began in 1998 as a Director and he has been Chairman of the MINTRAC Board since 2002, and is also a Director of AgriFood Skills Australia.

Grant Courtney - Federal President, State Secretary Tasmanian Branch AMIEU

Grant is a meat worker with more than 30 years’ experience under his belt, Grant Courtney currently represents thousands of meat workers in his role as the Secretary of the Newcastle and Northern NSW Branch of the AMIEU. Grant is a seasoned organiser and veteran leader, who brings together a consummate and practical knowledge of the meat industry with a tireless drive to improve the lives of meat workers. Grant’s industry experience has been in high demand at a number of meat industry training groups. In addition to his work at MINTRAC and the Australian Meat industry Reference Committee , he has served as director on the boards of Agrifood Skills Australia Governance Committee, Meat Industry Training Australia, Agrifoods Skills Australia, and the Tasmanian Food Industry Training Board. From his beginnings as a butcher’s apprentice in Tasmania all the way through to the four years he served as Federal President of the AMIEU, Grant has proven himself to be someone who refuses to settle for anything less than best practice training outcomes for Australian meatworkers .

Brian James - Director, Thomas Foods International

Brian James is a current Director of and is actively involved in Thomas Foods International (TFI) (formerly T&R Pastoral) which owns and operates fully integrated export processing facilities located at Murray Bridge (SA), Lobethal (SA), Tamworth (NSW) and Wallangarra (QLD). TFI are part owners of HOLCO (SA), a multi-state meat, wholesale, retail and food services company. TFI also owns part of FOODCOMM INTERNATIONAL, a large meat import and distribution company headquartered on the west coast of the United States.

Brian has spent a lifetime in the Processing Industry and is a Director of AMIC, Chairman of National Export Sheep, Lamb and Goat Council and is actively involved in various other industry committees.


Kevin Cottrill - Executive Officer Australian Meat Industry Council

Kevin Cottrill is the current Chief Executive Officer of Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC). He has been with AMIC for five years but he has had 13 years experience in various roles in the meat industry previously. Kevin was born and educated in Sydney. He obtained his B. Commerce at the University of NSW . He is also a Certified Practicing Accountant and a member of the Fellow Institute of Chartered Secretaries. Kevin has been a Director of MINTRAC since April 2005 and is also a Director of Australian Meat Industry Superannuation Trust (AMIST).


Geoff Yarham - HR Projects Officer Australian Country Choice (ACC) Brisbane

Geoff's career in the meat industry has spanned over 42 years commencing at the Dinmore site, near Ipswich, Queensland.
Geoff has been involved in many roles over the years and was responsible for introducing large scale databases that allow for efficient operation across many areas of the business.
The various roles have seen Geoff work throughout the States of QLD, NSW, VIC, SA and Tasmania. Geoff has been responsible for setting up and ongoing management for many years of the Registered Training organisation (RTO) status of JBS Australia which is the largest training organisation in Australia.
This work has entailed direct involvement with MINTRAC including the introduction of the restructured 1998 Meat Package and ongoing reviews.
Geoff holds a Diploma in OHS, Diploma in Training and Assessment, is a Chartered Professional Member of the Safety Institute of Australia, A registered RABQSA OHS auditor and a qualified Justice of the Peace.
Currently he is Chair of the Meat Industry Advisory Group (MIAG) in Queensland, Chair of the AMIC National WHS Committee and a member director of the AMIST super fund. .


Laurie Tobin - Manager, Quality Control Assurance, Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd

Laurie works for Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd within the Innovation, Planning & Quality Group. Laurie's role is to manage the Quality Programs at Rivalea covering the Pork Processing Plants, Pig Farming, Feedmill and Distribution Centres. Laurie began in the meat industry in 1973 and his early career included slaughtering, boning and smallgoods manufacturing roles. In 1981 Laurie began the start of 18 years in meat inspection before commencing work as the QA Manager at ICMs Beef Export Plant. A year later he joined the quality team at Rivalea. In 1998, Wodonga TAFE employed Laurie part time as a technical writer for the early MINTRAC Training Programs. After completing Certificate IV, Training & Assessment he took on the role of Training Coordinator at Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd then moved to the Pig Farming Sector to manage the Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ). In his current position, Laurie is actively involved within the Australian Pork Industy, sitting on several committees receiving input and advising on training needs in the areas of production, safety and environment as well as the integration into the Australian Export Meat Inspection System (AEMIS) program.


Matt Journeaux - Queensland Branch of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union

Matt's career in the meat industry has spanned 27 years. He commenced his working life work as an apprentice at the age of 15 in a Butcher's shop. After successfully completing his trade qualification as Butcher, Matt was employed in several areas of the meat industry, including meat retail for large supermarket chains, private Butcher's shops and meat processing in abattoirs. Matt is currently the lead organizer with the Queensland Branch of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union. He has worked for the AMIEU for over 10 years. During that time he has had extensive experience in assisting apprentices and trainees in relation to training matters, both in the meat retail and meat processing sectors, across all areas of federal and State regulation of training. Matt is a member of the Queensland Government Meat Industry Advisory Group and liaises with industry bodies and employers on developing Occupational Health and Safety initiatives for the industry. He is also an accredited Authorise Representative of an Employment Organisation for workplace health and safety purposes in Queensland and is also a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) in Queensland.