Project delivery team

The delivery team will include HempGro’s Board of Directors, which includes 5 co-op members and 1 independent, and the appointed Executive Officer.

The Board includes:

Dr Bronwyn Blake (Chair – retired)

Hemp industry experience

Bronwyn has been growing hemp since 2015 and owns and operates a hemp food business. 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 a small business 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.

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.

Liz Alford (Treasurer)

Hemp industry experience

Liz is new to the hemp industry but she was there in the 1970’s trying to get the industry up and growing.  Now she and her daughter’s family are farming hemp together out of Donnybrook.

Other skills and experience

Liz has spent her whole life as a broad acre farmer (sheep and cropping) until moving to Donnybrook in 2015.  She now has a small farm.  Liz has run her own business for the past 23 years, training farmers to do their own books, budgeting, production management records. She is a bookkeeper.  She is also a Registered Freshcare trainer.

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 (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.

Ethel Hawkins

Hemp industry experience

Other skills and experience

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.

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