Matthew Cossey

Chief Executive Officer

Matthew commenced as Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia in January 2011. He leads the organisation’s strategic management and advocacy on crop protection, agricultural biotechnology and industry stewardship in Australia.

Prior to joining CropLife, he served as a senior executive and a member of the Executive Leadership Team for one of Australia’s leading defence and technology companies, Raytheon Australia.

Before entering the private sector, Matthew was a senior official and campaign director for a major political party in the ACT, a position he held for more than six years. He was Chief of Staff and Defence Adviser to the then Shadow Minister for Defence from 1998 to 2002 and before that worked as political adviser in the Senate for three years.

Matthew worked in several positions in the Commonwealth public service prior to taking up his positions at Parliament House and undertook his tertiary studies in Canberra and Sydney. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia and previously served as a Director on the Board of AFL Canberra for four years and the CLC Group Board for seven years.

Kathryn Lee

Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Kathryn joined CropLife in December 2022 and is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience across Industry Associations in senior financial management and company governance roles.

Kathryn is responsible for the professional administration of CropLife’s financial management services. As CropLife’s Company Secretary, she ensures the application of best corporate governance frameworks and processes across CropLife’s administration and operations.

Prior to joining CropLife, Kathryn was Financial Controller with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Prior to that, she held the position of Director of Finance and Administration at the Australian Private Hospitals Association and was National Accountant for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. She was also a Director on Gold Cross Products and Services Pty Limited whilst at Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canberra and a Certificate of Governance and Risk Management from the Governance Institute of Australia.

Gregory Sekulic

Director – Agricultural Chemical Policy

Gregory joined CropLife Australia in February 2021, bringing substantial international experience in agronomy, grower engagement and stakeholder relations surrounding agricultural chemicals, land use and the environment.

Gregory represents the interests of CropLife and its members in the development and implementation of effective public policy and regulation of agricultural chemicals.

Prior to joining CropLife, Gregory served as Agronomy Specialist with the Canola Council of Canada working with growers, industry stakeholders and regulators in evaluating, developing, and delivering best management practices for agricultural chemicals and enhanced sustainability of crop production. Gregory also served as a board member for the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and the science advisory committee at the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops.

Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture – Crop and Horticulture Sciences from the University of Alberta.

Dr Jana Phan

Director – Stewardship and Sustainability Policy

Jana joined CropLife in April 2021, bringing with her experience in agricultural science and evidence-informed policy development and analysis, and advocacy.

Jana drives CropLife’s Stewardship and Sustainability policy initiatives, providing strategic policy advice, developing programs and managing a wide variety of stewardship initiatives regarding the responsible and sustainable use of the products of the plant science industry.

Prior to joining CropLife, Jana worked as a Science Policy Analyst at the Australian Academy of Science. She has a strong track record in synthesising, analysing and developing evidence-informed policy. A career highlight was her involvement in the Rapid Research Information Forum of Australia’s Chief Scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jana holds a PhD in plant biology from The University of Adelaide.

Elyse Denman

Director – Media and Communications, Food and Nutrition

Elyse joined CropLife Australia in December 2021 bringing experience spanning media, agriculture, biosecurity and nutrition science.

Elyse is responsible for CropLife’s external and internal communications, media engagement, events and human nutrition.

Prior to joining CropLife, Elyse held the position of Media and Communications Manager and Industry Dietitian for Australian Pork Limited. Elyse was also the Nutrition Communications Manager at Meat and Livestock Australia, leading national red meat nutrition campaigns.

Before that, Elyse was a producer and radio journalist for eight years at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation across national, regional and rural issues.

Elyse holds a Bachelor of Communications (Print Journalism) and a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours) from the University of Wollongong.

Justin Crosby

Director of Government and Strategic Relations

Justin joined CropLife in February, 2023 bringing over 18 years’ experience in public policy and agricultural advocacy.

Justin is responsible for leading CropLife’s strategic and government relations activities; advocacy materials and developing policy, public information and parliamentary submissions.

Prior to joining CropLife, Justin was Head of Industry and Government Relations at the Grains Research and Development Corporation for six years, engaging in a variety of cross commodity research efforts, including the establishment of the Community Trust in Rural Industries Program, the Climate Research Strategy for Primary Industries and the Council of RDC’s Climate Initiative. Prior to that he held roles as General Manager Corporate Affairs, Industrial Relations Manager and Policy Director for Cropping and Horticulture during his 12 years at NSW Farmers.

Justin holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Wollongong.

Dr Jai Denton

Director of Crop Biotechnology Policy

Jai joined CropLife in August 2023, bringing with him diverse global experience in synthetic biology, regulatory science, and evidence-based advocacy.

Jai represents the interests of CropLife and its members in the development and implementation of effective public policy and regulation of biotechnology advancements.

Prior to joining CropLife, Jai worked as the Senior Regulatory Officer for the World Mosquito Program where he led engagement with the World Health Organization for product qualification. Prior to this, Jai was a researcher in both Germany and Japan where he employed synthetic biology for the development of gene drive and vector suppression systems and the study of microbial evolution.

Jai holds a PhD in Genetics from The University of Adelaide and a Bachelor of Law from Charles Darwin University.

Judith Old

Executive Office Manager and Executive Assistant

Judith commenced as Executive Assistant with CropLife Australia in January 2006, having previously held this position with CropLife’s predecessor, Avcare.

Judith has significant experience at a senior administrative support level including Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Master Builders Association of the ACT, as well as the Mayor and General Manager of the then Goulburn City Council.

Her responsibilities include executive and administrative support to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors, as well as oversight of the daily operations of the CropLife Secretariat.

Gary Robb

General Counsel

Gary joined CropLife Australia as General Counsel in June 2014, bringing almost 4 decades of experience and expertise in the law.

Prior to joining CropLife, Gary was a Canberra solicitor in private practice for more than 35 years. After founding Gary Robb and Associates in the early 1980s. Gary became State Practice Group Leader of the Canberra office of Slater & Gordon after they acquired his practice in 2008. In 2011, he was appointed Managing Director of Dixon Advisory Law Canberra, where he worked with until joining CropLife. Although he has practiced mainly in the litigation area, Gary has experience in most areas of the law, in particular corporate governance and commercial disputes. Gary is also a nationally accredited mediator.

A passionate North Melbourne supporter, Gary has been actively involved in the local AFL scene as a player, coach, administrator and sponsor for the past 45 years.

Mimmi Jacobsen

Public Affairs and Communications Officer

Mimmi joined CropLife in October 2023 bringing four years’ experience in communication and public affairs.

Mimmi is responsible for supporting the Chief Executive Officer in developing and delivering communications, public affairs and advocacy strategies and activities.

Prior to joining CropLife, Mimmi held the position of Communications Officer for Roche Pharmaceuticals in Denmark managing social media, events, partnerships and communications strategies.

Mimmi holds a Master of Communications from the University of Copenhagen.

Jess O'Hearn

Receptionist / Administrative Assistant

Jess joined CropLife as Receptionist/Administrative Assistant in April 2022. She commences following several years’ experience within the hospitality industry.

Jess provides support to the Executive Assistant as well as the overall corporate functioning at CropLife Australia.

Franny Lee

Group Accountant

Franny joined CropLife in November 2023 bringing expert knowledge across end-to-end accounting duties.

Franny is responsible for supporting the Chief Financial and Operations Officer in providing professional accounting and financial management services, as well as providing support to management and Boards.

Prior to joining CropLife, Franny held the position of Accountant for Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research and Development, managing reporting systems and overseeing operational finances.

Franny holds a Master of Accounting from the Australian National University.