11 August 2022
Hugh has an Environmental Engineering degree, MBA and completed an “Introduction to Governance for ‘not-for-profit’ directors course”.
His career so far, has focused on rural water and natural resource management roles across South-East Australia and Tasmania (plus a bit of time in Canberra coordinating large construction projects for the Murray Darling Basin Authority).
For the last 3.5 years he had senior management and executive roles with Southern Rural Water in Victoria. These roles focused on advocating and implementing for improved water management arrangements, including access to water during droughts and working to improve licensing policies across Victoria.
The highlight of this job was working with customers to reach balanced outcomes. The need to distill the issues and impacts from management arrangements, to gain better Government understanding of the consequences of changeable policy settings.
Prior to Southern Rural Water, Hugh has held senior roles focusing on water operations and development, with Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd and DPIPWE.
Hugh grew up on a sheep and cattle property in western Victoria and has spent most of the last twenty years working primarily in the rural water industry to support sustainable agricultural production.
1. Why the TFGA CEO role?
“The opportunity to lead the TFGA, work in an industry I know and am passionate about, was too good to pass up. It’s a privilege, humbling and exciting, all at the same time.”
2. What do think are some of the key issues for Tasmanian Agriculture?
“Some of the major impacts on the industry over the last two years, you couldn’t have predicted. We need to make sure we are nimble and resilient to be able to get out in-front when they hit.
“The industry has had its fair share, of “not in the textbook” events in the last couple of years, for example: pandemic, war, geopolitical issues and the list goes on!
“At the moment some of the other big challenges revolve around labour supply, climate, biosecurity and competing interests for scarce resources.
“For issues that are foreseeable or otherwise, it will be key that our farmers are connected and are understood by the community – their way of life, their contribution to the economy and food/fibre that we all need in our daily lives.”
3. In your first 100 days at TFGA what can members expect from you?
“Knees under the desk, ear to the phone and boots in the paddock”
To be out and about listening to members
Building good, robust relationships with our stakeholders
4. If your past work colleagues were going to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Ok….more than three words.
Passionate, committed and all about the people (in TFGAs case members/farmers)
5. What does the Christie family do on the weekends?
“It is great to finally not be commuting back and forward to Victoria. Spending more time with my wife and teenage kids. You’ll be seeing me a far more on the sidelines of the weekend sporting fields.
“We (the family) also really like the chance to escape to the family shack, where the phone reception can be patchy.”
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