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John Maher

A portrait of John Maher.

John Maher

John is a leading Australian agribusiness Chair, Director and Senior Adviser with over 25 years of successful board and business leadership experience across several publicly listed and private companies. He has proven success developing and leading teams to generate superior organisational performance and growth while applying a strategic focus and capability in financial discipline and capital allocation; innovation, strategic planning and execution; governance, sustainability and risk; safety and people systems; M&A, negotiation and equity markets. He also has extensive experience in international agricultural trade and Indigenous engagement and business.  

John is a strong advocate for Australian agribusiness, international agricultural trade and regional & remote communities, being awarded Sydney University’s Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award for services to these causes. He continues to contribute as a Director of Autism Awareness Australia, Director of Agribusiness Australia, Member of KPMG’s Circular Economy in Agriculture Steering Committee, a mentor for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and Meat & Livestock Australia as well as being a member of HIA’s-Leadership Expert Panel.  

Presently John serves as Chair of AWN Food and Fibre Holdings, Australia’s largest independent marketer of livestock and wool and Chair of major horticultural produce marketers, White Prince Pty Ltd. He is a Director on the Boards of goFARM Australia Pty Ltd, a major Australian rural property investor and developer, the Muir Group Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest independent supplier of farm inputs & advice and the Biodiversity Conservation Trust. He is also a Senior Adviser to private equity firm, BGH Capital.  

Previous roles include long-term Managing Director and Chief Executive of the ASX listed rural services company, Ruralco Holdings Ltd (ASX: RHL) for nine years. During this time Ruralco expanded to become a major Australian agribusiness being Australia’s fastest growing and one of the highest returning companies in the sector, diversifying its products and increasing its geographic platform to service 100,000 customers through a national, multi-channel network of 2250 people and 540 locations. John led the successful development and implementation of organic and M&A strategies as well as disciplined capital allocation to exponentially grow revenue, profit and enterprise value while strengthening the company’s balance sheet. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Group’s larger subsidiaries. 

Prior to Ruralco, John was a Senior Group Executive at Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) for 10 years and AWB Ltd (ASX: AWB) for two years where he led the $5 billion Landmark (now Nutrien Ag Solutions) rural services business to then record profit and return on capital levels during a major integration programme.  

Most recently John was Group CEO of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) overseeing the management and improvement of $3 billion of assets, including 2.5 million hectares of land for agricultural (14 pastoral properties) and tourism (including the iconic Ayres Rock Resort) purposes. During this time, he led a major company transformation significantly improving key performance outcomes for Indigenous Australians and the organisation’s financial and ESG position. He also led the establishment of the Indigenous Land and Sea Future Fund and was the Executive Chair/Director of the ILSC’s subsidiary companies.  

He has previously served on a number of boards and industry organisations including Wesfarmers Landmark Ltd, Landmark Operations Ltd, Australian Live Export Corporation, AuctionPlus, AgFarm, the Australian Agriculture Blueprint Advisory Committee, RegenCo Natural Capital Ltd, Plant Protein CRC Bid and has Chaired a Federal Ministerial Advisory Committee. 

John has an honours degree in Agricultural Science from Sydney University, an EMBA from AGSM (University of NSW), completed the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD Business School in France, studied global agribusiness at Harvard Business School, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. 

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