ADF National Council

The Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF)’s National Council plays a crucial role providing input to ADF’s strategic direction and policy focus areas.

The National Council is responsible for developing policy for the ADF Board’s consideration and advising the Board of opportunities to improve the implementation of the ADF Strategic Plan. The National Council is a larger body that also keeps the ADF Board informed of member issues.

The National Council also oversees the Policy Advisory Groups (PAGs), providing valuable insight and support on new and emerging issues amongst the five PAG areas.

Terry Richardson


Terry Richardson operates a dairy farm with his family in Deans Marsh, South West Victoria, where he has lived since 2004. The farm has seasonal calving pattern and milks 600 cows.

Terry was appointed ADF Business Director in November 2015, acting President in December 2016 and President in November 2017.

Terry has held a number of positions in the dairy industry, both in New Zealand and Australia. He was a director of Kiwi Co-operative Dairies for seven years and a dairy consultant with Agriculture New Zealand for seven years. After moving to Australia he joined his local UDV branch and was later appointed to the South West Regional Extension Committee. He was previously Chairman of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Company and was a director of the company for eight years. Terry has also served on many community boards and committees.

Terry completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics, a Diploma of Business Studies, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Paul Mumford


After an initial stint in a bank, Paul Mumford and his wife Lisa chose a career in dairy farming. Today, their dairy farm in Won Wron consists of 330 hectares of dryland farming, running 450 jersey cows in peak operation with support from staff. Paul has a long history in the dairy industry as a Nuffield Scholar, industry mentor, committee member of DataGene Data & Services Standings, and an ADF National Councillor.

John Keely


John Keely is a fifth-generation dairy farmer from Cohuna, Northern Victoria and an active Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) representative on the ADF National Council and Natural Resources Policy Advisory Group.

He is also the Regional Representative for DC1 (formerly District Council No.1) for the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria Policy Council.

John and his wife, Michelle manage their family run operation, alongside John’s father and son. The farm has been in the Keely Family’s name since 1874, spreading over 400 hectares of irrigated pastures and crops, and milking 340 predominantly Holstein cows in a split calving system.

Outside of farming, John’s interests include football as a passionate member of the Collingwood Football Club and a representative of his local Central Murray Football Netball League Board.

Daryl Hoey


Daryl Hoey is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Katunga, northern Victoria. Running the full-time family operation, the Hoey’s farm milks 300 cows on 140 hectares of land.

Daryl is a representative of the Australian Dairy Farmers’ (ADF) National Council and Chair of the Murrary Darling Basin Task Force. Since 2006, Daryl has also been policy Councillor for the United Dairfarmers of Victoria (UDV) District Council Three.

As an active member of ADF’s Natural Resources Policy Advisory Group (PAG), Daryl is passionate about securing a sustainable environment which is critical for the industry’s viability and community recognition. Daryl is also a member of the Farming Systems and Herd Improvement PAG, and has a keen interest in genetics and understanding farming systems.

Daryl was a Director of the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme and was a former long-serving Director on the Murray Dairy Board.

Ann Gardiner


Ann Gardiner operates a dairyfarm in northern Victoria with her husband and son. The family milk 850 cows on 351ha in a split calving, pasture-based system.

After completing her B.Agr.Sc (hons) at University of Melbourne in 1981 Ann came to Echuca as a dairy extension officer with the Department of Agriculture in February 1982.

In May 1989 Ann went sharefarming and in July 1990 bought the first farm in Bamawm. The business has grown from 220 cows on 41 ha to the current size. There are 7 full-time employees.

Ann was a director on Murray Dairy Board, has sat on numerous steering committees, is Treasurer of the local Dairy Business Network group and has completed a Murray Darling Basin Leadership course with ARLP.

In addition to dairy interests Ann is passionate about supporting farming communities. She was treasurer of the local football club Ladies Committee for several years. She was also a member of the Lockington and District Community Plan Group for many years and has been involved with running community events during the millennial drought years to provide support for farming families. Ann has 5 children and has been on the local primary school board and has been actively involved with a variety of local sporting clubs.

Mark Billing


Mark and his family farm in near Colac in South West Victoria.

As a 4th generation dairy farmer who feels he owes a lot to the industry, Mark is determined to give some of his time to ensure that the views of dairy farmers are represented at all levels.

He is passionate about the future of the dairy industry industry and its people. Mark believes that good governance and strong leadership is integral to securing a sound future for the dairy industry.

Bruce Knowles


Bruce Knowles has been involved in the dairy industry on both sides of the Tasman. He was raised on a family dairy farm on New Zealand’s north island, and was heavily involved as a director of dairy companies, before moving to Australia in 1996.

Bruce currently farms 600 cows on 1,100 acres at Tyrendarra in South West Victoria.

Bruce attained a Diploma of Agriculture from Lincoln College in 1974. He is passionate about dairy structures and dairy farmer representation via strong advocacy.

Colin Thompson

New South Wales

Colin’s dairy career began on a small family farm at Narooma on the far south coast of NSW. In January 2000, due to deregulation, the family farm was sold and Colin, wife Erina and family relocated to Cowra, central west NSW. During the past 19 years they developed a 320 cow freestall dairy facility producing around 4.5 million litres of milk per year. They produce irrigated corn, lucerne and cereals to provide fodder for the dairy herd.

A member of the NSWFarmers Dairy Committee for the past 4 years Colin was recently elected Chair of the Committee.

Malcolm Holm

New South Wales

Malcolm Holm has been farming since 1984 where he worked on his family’s dairy farm. In 1999 the farm moved into a family partnership, “Pyngama’, which runs about a 700 cow farm in South Western New South Wales.

 Malcolm served as chair of Murray Dairy for three and half years from 2011-2015 during which saw a restructure of the organization and delivered funding Accelerating Change for Northern Victorian Dairy Farmers. Malcolm has been a member of the NSW Farmers Dairy Committee since 2016.

Malcolm has been be part of many committees and organisations such as Murray Dairy, Murray Irrigation Limited, the Australian Dairy Industry Council Water Task Force,  NSW Farmers Executive Council and their natural resource management committee, the NSW Irrigators Council  and local organisations such as Berrigan Irrigators Council and Southern Riverina Irrigators. 

Malcolm continues to take part in a range of leadership roles across a number of national, state and regional rural based organisations. 

Geoff Cox


Geoff Cox has developed and manages a 1250Ha family farming business located at Ringarooma, in North East Tasmania. The business consists of a dairy enterprise running 1600 dairy cows, a dairy/beef enterprise and a processing potato production enterprise.

A third generation farmer, Geoff studied to obtain a degree in Agricultural Science through Melbourne University, has been a member of the Tasmanian Farmers and graziers  Dairy council for a number of years and became chair of the Dairy council in 2019.

John Hunt

South Australia

John Hunt arrived in South Australia from New Zealand eight years ago with his family – and a dream of dairy farm ownership.

Today, John and wife Karen are equity managers in a 600-cow dairy and co-own a neighbouring 240-cow dairy with John’s brother. The couple have recently purchased an adjoining 75-hectares, with plans to convert it to a 250-cow dairy.

John joined SADA in 2013 with a keen interest in helping facilitate the next generation of dairy farmers; protecting the farmer’s right to farm; securing profitability in the industry and establishing more transparency in industry-relevant government policy and planning.

Managing a team of full time and casual staff with his family has also built a desire for continual self-improvement and skills development. Since completing his Advanced Diploma in Agriculture, John has actively pursued industry best practice education and training as part of a strategic plan to allow him more time off-farm for industry advocacy involvement, as well as providing his team of both full time and casual staff with opportunities for career advancement.

John firmly believes that despite the occasional bump in the road, the future is bright for dairy farming in South Australia. He is committed to working with South Australia’s dairy industry and key stakeholders to achieve SADA’s mission of giving a voice to all dairy farmers and improving the viability and profitability of dairying now and into the future.

Brian Tessmann


Brian Tessmann is a Queensland dairy farmer from the South Burnett area. Jointly running the family operation with his brother, the farm has been in the Tessmann family for four generations and milks 150 cows.

Brian has a long history with the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation (QDO). Since being appointed as District Secretary in 1995, he was then elected to the QDO Board and State Council in 2000 and in 2003 became the Vice President.

Brian has been President of QDO since 2009, as well as a Director on the ADF Board and National Council. Over this period, Brian has also held various roles at both state and national levels.

Brian is passionate about the northern dairy industry and hopes to drive improved opportunities for farmers in the region. Brian is married to Dixie with two sons, Carl and Eric.

Michael Partridge

Western Australia

Michael Partridge is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Brunswick, Western Australia. The “White Rocks Dairy” farm has been in the Partridge family for over 125 years, run by Michael and his wife, Leanne, alongside his parents and two children.

Milking 650 cows around the year, White Rocks Dairy also runs a multi-award winning “White Rocks Veal” operation. Michael has recently started another small dairy which will run alongside the existing farm.

Michael is a representative on the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) National Council and President of WA Farmers dairy section. He is also President of the Brunswick Agricultural Society.

As a strong advocate for innovation, Michael is a strong believer in agriculture being able to return value from the market back to farmers and thinks the industry needs to further embrace value-adding farming systems to improve the profitability and sustainability of farming in Australia.

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