Executive Committee

The Sheep Genetics Executive is responsible for the operations of Sheep Genetics.
The Executive Consists of
Hamish Chandler and Sarah Strachan

Sheep Genetics Representative

Gus Rose

Advisory Committee Representative

Ron Cullen

Advisory Committee

The Sheep Genetics Advisory Committee comprises the Sheep Genetics Executive, six industry representatives and an independent Chair. 

The Sheep Genetics Advisory Committee has been established to assist in communication and representing to MLA the views and requirements of current and potential clients and the wider sheep industry.  The Committee has an active role in business planning and annual review of the operational performance of Sheep Genetics.


Ron Cullen (Chairman)
Ron-Cullen.jpgRon has been actively engaged in agriculture all his working life, with the last 5 years as Chief Executive Officer, Sheepmeat Council of Australia.  In that role he worked on a variety of issues, including the planning, implementation and evaluation of R&D, particularly genetic improvement.  He was part of the successful Sheep CRC extension bid process.  Animal welfare matters in the live export trade were also an important component of his work.

He was a driving force in the development of the Sheepmeat Industry Strategic Plan (SISP) 2010-15.

After completing his time with Sheepmeat Council he now runs a small consultancy business offering services to the red meat industry.

His extensive career in meat and livestock began in 1973, as a sheep and wool extension officer with NSW Department of Agriculture, especially in the Cobar and Cootamundra districts.

He had ten years senior management experience in the NSW public sector in agriculture, water and natural resources.  In 2000, he joined the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, working on red meat policy and programs, international trade and natural resource management.  He also provided advice on agricultural trade issues to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter Blackwood

Peter runs Blackwood Corriedales in TAS.


Troy Fischer
Troy-Fischer.jpgTroy is a fourth generation farmer from Wasleys in the Mid North of South Australia. With his wife, he runs Ashmore White Suffolks. The stud has been involved in LAMBPLAN ambplan for over 25 years with a strong focus on performance recording to identify the best animals. Prior to returning to the family farm he has worked in the red meat, wool and wine industries in a range of research, management and commercial roles. 

Troy has a PhD in sheep genetics and a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hons) both obtained at the University of New England. Troy is a graduate of Course 16 of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Sally Martin

Martin_026.jpgSally is passionate about rural communities, agriculture and more specifically the Australian sheep and wool industry.  Sally has a vision for a united wool and sheepmeat industry.

Sally grew up on a grazing property on the Monaro, NSW, Sally studied Agricultural Science at University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury and has completed Post Graduate studies at University of New England and Sydney University .  Her career has taken a number of paths, working with NSW DPI for approximately 20 years to now running her own consultancy business based out of Young NSW that services commerical breeders, ram breeders and service providers within the sheep industry.

In addition to her consultancy business Sally is the CEO of MerinoLink Limited and has a vision to continue to grow the not for profit organisation to deliver research opportunities and facilitate sheep grower’s and service provider’s link with information, knowledge and research outcomes.

Sally was awarded the inaugural Australian Wool Industry Medal 2017, recognising exceptional and sustained contribution to the Australian wool industry.  Sally was named amongst the 100 Women of Influence in 2013 an initiative of The Westpac Group and the Financial Review and in 2011 was the RIRDC NSW Rural Women’s Award Runner-Up.


Hamish McLaren
Hamish runs Nerstane Merinos in Woolbrook NSW.


Mark Murphy

Mark-Murphy2.jpgMark has been in the sheep industry his whole life undertaking all aspects including breeding, shearing, classing and development of a stud. Mark and his wife Vicki operate Karbullah and Boyanga Merino studs located at Goondiwindi QLD, without the teamwork of Vicki and their son Luke , Mark would be unable to  get away to contribute to wider industry.

Mark commenced using genetic selection tools in 2003 and  finds the principles of sheep genetics and the data generated has assisted in their stud and enhanced their breeding  enterprise, increasing efficiency and profitability.

Mark is involved in numerous sheep industry organisations including Director of Agforce QLD Sheep & Wool,  QLD representative on Sheepmeat Council of Australia, QLD Merino Stud Sheepbreeders committee member, CRC Evaluation forums and SAMRC Producer delegate.

Mark promotes and encourages sheep breeders to utilise MERINOSELECT information to their best advantage.


JB Tancred

JB manages the Grass Merino flock in NSW.


Sara Wilson

Sara and her husband Keith own Jilakin Downs Dorpers and White Dorpers at Kulin in Western Australia. The Stud is part of a mixed farming enterprise including cropping and a commercial prime lamb flock. Prior to farming in Kulin, Sara completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the  University of Western Australia. 

The Wilsons currently supply rams and breeding stock to other Dorper Stud and commercial producers  in all sheep breeding states of Australia, and export breeding stock to Malaysia, Turkey and China.

Sara has established the recording systems and data base at Jilakin Downs and works with other breeders to establish LAMBPLAN data collection, analysis and the decision making that can occur with LAMBPLAN information. Education of future sheep breeders is a real interest, and Sara has delivered Ram Select training for Wool and Meat production systems and led training days a Farm Training Centres.


Technical Committee

The Sheep Genetics Technical Committee comprises representatives from MLA, AWI, AGBU, UNE, NSW DPI, industry and Sheep Genetics.  

The role of the Sheep Genetics Technical Committee, under guidence of an independent Chair, is to guide and lead the development of the Sheep Genetics analytical engine, OVIS, to continually refine the analysis procedures and develop new ASBVs to meet industry demand.

Chair: Dr Rob Woolaston

AGBU: Dr Rob Banks, Dr Daniel Brown, Dr Andrew Swan, Dr Kim Bunter, Aaron McMillian

Australian Wool Innovation: Mr Geoff Lindon

Industry: Mr Mark Mortimer

Meat & Livestock Australia: Mr Hamish Chandler

NSW DPI: Dr Sue Mortimer

University of New England: Dr Julius Van Der Werf, Dr Sam Clark

University of Queensland: Dr Ben Hayes