The vision for WA Hemp Growers Co-op Ltd (HempGro) is to establish, develop and support a sustainable and prosperous hemp industry for Western Australia.

Our Story

The WA Hemp Growers’ Co-op Ltd (HempGro) was established out of a need by a number of growers to band together to develop a stronger voice in the Australian hemp industry.

Industrial hemp is an industry in its infancy in Australia, however it has a strong history in other parts of the world. Canada, Europe and now China are strong players in the hemp industry and Australia is just beginning to find its place.

In November 2017 hemp seed was legalised for human consumption, opening up a new market and giving hope and momentum to invest in the industry.

The formation of our co-op was driven by growers through the need for more knowledge, infrastructure and large scale investment and industry-wide collaboration.

HempGro was formally established in April 2018 with wide-scale support from industry and government.

We are just starting out on our journey. Through member participation and industry collaboration we will strive to achieve our vision to establish, develop and support a sustainable and prosperous hemp industry for Western Australia.

Australia’s first hemp growers’ co-operative sprouts in WA

HempGro Board and Staff

WA Hemp Growers' Co-op board member Dr. Bronwyn Blake

Dr Bronwyn Blake (Chair)

Hemp industry experience
Bronwyn has been growing hemp since 2015 and owns and operates hemp food business Vasse Valley. She was a founding member of iHempWA, for which she served on the committee for 2 years. She also co-founded the WA Hemp Growers Facebook page, which encourages communication, information sharing and community between hemp growers in WA, and maintains an administrative role in this activity.

Other skills and experience
Bronwyn currently manages Vasse Valley to which she applies skills in financial management, administration, digital and media communications, and strategic planning. She is a qualified and experience agricultural scientist, and also has experience working for the State government.

WA Hemp Growers' Co-op Honorary CEO

Gail Stubber (Honorary Executive Officer)

Hemp industry experience
Gail Stubber has been growing since 2016.  She is Vice President of the Ihemp Association and has been on the committee for two years.  She was the co-founder of the WA Hemp Growers Facebook page and maintains an administrative role on the site.

Other skills and experience
Gail has a Masters in Sustainable Development based on community engagement practices and finding ways to engage country towns in raising community consciousness.  She applies her skills in democratic decision making to the development of the co-op and harnessing the talents and passions of our farmers.  She is presently developing her skills in co-operative management through a post graduate course from University of Newcastle on Co-operative Organisation and Management.

Nicole Botica (Vice Chair)

Hemp industry experience
Nicole has had over 20 years experience researching the benefits of Hemp Seed Oil in the cosmetic industry. During this time she had the opportunity to educate Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, to advance research & development on Hemp Seed Oil cosmetics.  Nicole is a committee member for iHemp Association and currently has a small business making handmade Hemp Seed Oil soaps and lotions.

Other skills and experience
Nicole has over 10 years experience in project management within the community development sector fostering partnerships and building vibrant and sustainable communities.  She has event management skills and excellent public relations.  Nicole is currently working in the agricultural sector coordinating data analysis and strategic planning for a private organisation. Presently she is developing her skills in co-operative management through a post graduate course from University of Newcastle on Co-operative Organisation and Management.

Mandy Walker Cropped version

Mandy Walker (Treasurer)

Hemp industry experience
Mandy is new to the hemp industry.  She plans to undertake field based research in the wheatbelt region to identify hemp varieties that are suitable for dryland broadacre production.   Mandy is working with DPIRD to design trials, collect field based data and report on these in peer reviewed journals.   It is her intention to promote hemp as an alternative crop in broadacre rotations and as a tool for soil remediation.

Other skills and experience
Mandy holds a BSc, MBA and Graduate Diploma in Coaching.  Her career is based on natural resource management roles with specialist skills in managing teams, emergency management and small business development.  Through her business Social Resources she facilitated workshops for strategic planning and problem solving; delivered and assessed competency based training in emergency management; supported oil and gas companies in preparing oil pollution emergency plans; and assisted clients in developing emergency response capabilities and readiness.  Mandy now works as the Director Regional Development for Regional Development Australia Wheatbelt, a non-for-profit locally driven organisation charged with building economic resilience and capability in the wheatbelt region.  She also supports her husband’s business Walkers Diesel Services, a mobile HD mechanical business in Bolgart WA.

Cr Brian Piesse (Independent)

Hemp industry experience
Brian is new to the hemp industry and, as an independent board member, does not hold a license. He sees potential in the industry to grow and benefit WA.

Other skills and experience
Brian lives in Donnybrook and currently serves as President of the Donnybrook-Balingup Shire. A former Shire of Capel councillor, Mr Piesse is a member of the Rotary Club of Bunbury, the Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance, a member of the Edith Cowan University (South West) Advisory Board, a member of the CY O’Connor Institute Agribusiness Industry Advisory Committee, a member of the Kings Park Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority Board of Management, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has backgrounds in strategic planning, executive management, business and market development, and education governance. He held senior executive roles in several major international chemical and fertiliser companies before returning to Western Australia in 1997. He is a former board member of the CRC for Soil and Land Management.

David Hiscox 2

David Hiscox (Board Member)

Hemp industry experience
David is new to the hemp industry, having just one season’s experience in growing the plant successfully.  He has had extensive agricultural experience in broad acre cultivation from more than 20 years as a broad-acre farmer, and growing hemp has been a positive learning experience after growing cereals.

Other skills and experience
David has accumulated extensive knowledge during his time as a farmer, and is experienced in machinery design, maintenance and repairs.  Also, steel construction and welding.  He has had 6 years’ experience in the petroleum industry as a tanker driver/delivery technician and also some sales experience. He currently is involved in the transport industry,  and the logistical area in particular.

Richard Davy 2

Richard Davy

Hemp industry experience
Richard is new to the hemp industry but sees massive potential on many levels for the crop. He has grown hemp for one season.

Other skills and experience
Richard was born into dairy farming and is a certified organic grower. He has studied biological soil science and holistic resource management and applies these practices when managing his farm. He has a strong creative side and practical problem-solving abilities.

Contact

Gail Stubber
Executive Officer

Mob: 0449 686 928

[email protected]

Mail

PO Box 59
Carbunup General Store
Carbunup River, 6280

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