Key Staff


Mick Keogh

Executive Director

Background:

  • Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute
  • Previously, General Manager Policy, NSW Farmers’ Association
  • Worked for 10 years as an agricultural management consultant, for both private and public sector clients
  • Previously, research officer at University of NSW
  • Obtained a BSc and MSc in Wool & Pastoral Sciences at University of NSW
  • Formerly, Chairman of the National Rural Advisory Council; Member of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Council; Member of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Committee; and Agriculture Commissioner to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Grew up on, and continues to be involved in a mixed-farming enterprise based in southern NSW

Role:

  • Oversee the functioning of the Institute and its staff

Richard Heath

General Manager Research

Background:

  • Director of Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars
  • Previous to AFI was Associate Professor of Agronomy and Farm Management for the University of Sydney responsible for managing their North West Farms group
  • Served for six years on the Northern Panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation advising on research priorities for the Australian grains industry
  • Owned a consulting business advising on the application of new technology in Australian agriculture.
  • Travelled on a Nuffield Scholarship researching precision application of fertiliser
  • Grew up on a family farm on the Liverpool Plains and was part of the family business for 20 years following university. Was responsible for the cropping operations of the farm

Ed Perrett

Research Officer 

Background:

  • Ed has recently returned from the Netherlands where he completed a Masters degree in Agricultural Production Chain Management (cum laude). His studies included a thesis investigating price risk management in the Australian dairy industry
  • He also holds Master and Bachelor (Honours) degrees from the University of Melbourne, with a focus on agricultural and environmental policy
  • He spent two years working for the Sheepmeat Council of Australia
  • Ed has experience working on his extended family's grazing properties in Victoria and the NSW Riverina


Lucy Darragh

Research Officer

Background:

  • Bachelor of Agriculture, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga
  • Currently completing a Master of Environmental Science and Management through the University of New England, Armidale
  • As a former Research Officer (Life Cycle Assessment) with the NSW Department of Industry, Lucy worked on the GRDCs ‘National Grains Project’ and was a foot soldier for climate mitigation inventory data collection and grower communications nation-wide
  • Lucy has extensive experience in broadacre field trial research and management due to her previous role as a Research Agronomist with Kalyx Australia
  • Grew up in Wollongong, NSW

Sally Beech

Publications Designer and Editor

Background:

  • Sally has worked in publications design and editorial for over 15 years
  • Her previous employment includes roles as Studio Coordinator at AGSM; Editorial Assistant at UTS; Designer/Illustrator at Science Press; and Scientific Illustrator at the Australian Museum
  • Sally grew up in Canberra

Role:

  • Design and edit publications, and manage the Institute website

Kylie Smith

Communications and Administration Officer

Background:

  • Kylie has worked in a variety of roles including Studio Coordinator and Graphic Designer at KPMG Consulting, Sydney Water and Walker Books
  • Kylie grew up in Canberra

Role:

  • Coordinate conferences held by the Institute 

Tracey Bligh

Administration Officer  

Background:

  • Tracey is originally from Burnie on north-western coast of Tasmania
  • She has worked in a variety of roles for both the Commonwealth Bank and TNT couriering services

Role:

  • Look after members and subscribers and to provide administration support to Institute staff

Anne Laurie

Research Officer 

Background:

  • Anne is currently completing a Bachelor of Economics with a major in Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney
  • Anne grew up in Sawtell on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales
  • She has a strong interest in Australian farming and food sustainability