OUR COUNCILCurrently, 21 Councillors constitute the RNA Council and guide every aspect of the RNA's operation and development. An executive team of seven Councillors, including the RNA President, has the responsibility of ensuring the ongoing viability of the Association and the Brisbane Showgrounds. The RNA Council represents more than 3,700 RNA Members throughout Queensland and Australia and meet on a monthly basis. All Councillors act in an honorary capacity and are assisted by Council Stewards, who similarly receive no remuneration for their work. The members of the RNA Council provide a range of expertise to the Association, with diverse backgrounds in the rural, private and public sectors. Members of the RNA Council also sit on various committees which meet on a regular basis to assist with the direction and administration of Royal Queensland Show competitions and exhibits.
David Thomas became the RNA President in 2011 after serving on the Council for nine years, the last two as Senior Vice-President.
He participates in all activities of the association and is Chair of the Executive Committee and of the Council Nominations Committee.
Following Council convention, as President he is not a member of any council or show committee.
David has more than 30 years experience as a lawyer.
Previously Senior Partner at Minter Ellison Lawyers in Brisbane, he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland for four years before becoming a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and the President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in July 2017.
From 2012 to October 2014 he served as the Deputy President of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC) and remains a Trustee of the RASC.
Since its formation in 2016, he has been a director of Agricultural Shows Australia.
He is Deputy Chair of Queensland Ballet and a Director of The Society of The Sacred Advent Schools Pty Ltd, which is the trustee of St Margaret's and St Aidan's Anglican Girls Schools. He recently retired as Chair of the Queensland Maritime Museum.
Dan O'Connor OAM is Vice President of the Industrial Court of Queensland.
He has been an RNA Councillor since 2000, serving as Honorary Treasurer and Junior Vice-President before being elected Senior Vice-President in September 2011.
He is actively involved in the RNA and oversees many aspects of show planning including Chair of the Entertainment, Horse Breeds Expo and Appeals and Disciplinary Committees and a member of the House and In-Show Catering, Nominations, Horse and Arena, and Sheep Dog Trials Committees.
He is a former Trustee of The Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth and is involved in a number of not-for-profit organisations, in particular a Trustee of the Edinburgh Declaration Trust, a member of the Governing Council of the Judicial Conference of Australia and Chairman of the Council of the Anglican Church Grammar School.
Managing Director of AAA Livestock Services Pty Ltd, Angus Adnam has brought a wealth of experience and energy to the RNA Council since his appointment in November 2005.
An RNA Steward and Honorary Council Steward since 1978, he was elected Junior Vice-President in September 2011.
He is Chair of the committees that oversee the Royal Queensland Awards and a board member of LiveCorp.
Jane joined the RNA Council in November 2018 with extensive experience in the agriculture and government sectors.
As a Chartered Accountant from a 'Big 4' audit background and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, Jane has spent the previous 30 years working in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.
She has held various roles in finance including Chief Financial Officer, and currently serves as Head of Governance and Risk for a Defence-related Commonwealth entity.
Jane and her husband Nigel operate a cattle breeding and fattening property at Taroom and are active members of the Taroom Show Society.
Don Chandler joined the RNA Council in June 2015.
He is currently a Partner of national firm, Crestone Wealth Management. Crestone evolved following the successful buyout of UBS Wealth Management in Australia in June 2016.
He and his family have had a long association with the RNA.
Mr Chandler is a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Education on Show, Pisciculture, and Poultry, Pigeons, Birds and Eggs Committees, as well as Chair of the RNA Foundation, the RNA's charity arm.
He is a former President of The Brookfield Show Society, Chairman of the Brookfield Recreation Reserve Trust and a Non-Executive Chairman of a private Queensland family's investment interests.
Anna Marsden was appointed to the RNA Council in December 2020.
She is Managing Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation where she has driven record fundraising growth for the Reef.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2016, Ms Marsden was Chief Executive of Queensland Ballet where she led a major change program resulting in enormous growth.
She has worked extensively across the Queensland creative and not-for-profit industries in managerial, marketing and business development roles for almost two decades.
Ms Marsden’s previous roles include General Manager of Creative at Rowland - Australia’s leading corporate communications agency, Development Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and GoMA, and General Manager at the Institute of Modern Art.
A respected beef seed stock producer from the Darling Downs, Gary Noller was elected to the RNA Council in March 2010.
Before becoming an RNA Councillor, he was an active supporter of the association having judged and exhibited at a number of Royal Queensland Shows.
Mr Noller is Chair of the RNA's Beef Cattle and Meat Hall, Joint Stock, LAP Stakeholders and Young Judges Committees and is a member of the Executive, Education and Entries Committees.
A Steward and Honorary Council Steward in the Stud Beef section since 2002, Liz Allen was elected to Council in 2014.
She is Chair of the Quilts Committee and a member of the Beef Cattle and Meat Hall and Joint Stock Committees.
Ms Allen, in partnership with family, operates a large-scale stud and commercial Santa Gertrudis beef operation at Blackall.
She brings extensive knowledge of the beef industry and event management to Council through her previous roles with the RNA, Meat & Livestock Australia, AgForce Queensland and Qld Primary Industries Week Inc.
Lionel Blumel has been involved with the RNA as a Steward since 1986 and was elected to the RNA Council in November 2006.
He is Chair of the Canine and Cats Committees and is a member of the Charities, Ekka Show Legend, Entries, Space and Letting, Veterinary and Animal Welfare, and Joint Stock Committees.
Mr Blumel is a committee member of the Samford Show Society, patron of the Dalmatian Club of Qld, an active member/supporter of a number of dog clubs and active member of his local community groups, working with people.
He is a now retired building construction project manager and prior to retirement he managed natural disaster recovery projects across Queensland.
Wally Boydell was elected to the RNA Council in December 2019 and has a long family connection to the rural industry, as well as a very keen interest in art having been a previous entrant in the Royal Queensland Show Art Competition, amongst others.
He is Chair of the Fine Arts Committee.
He is a Real Estate Agent, auctioneer, a Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland and a Judge of the Queensland and Australasian Auctioneering Championships.
Previously he owned hardware stores and is a former Director of Mitre 10 Queensland.
He is also the Patron of The Mary Boydell Endowment Fund of Yalari Ltd, which is a not-for-profit organisation offering secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities.
John Cotter was appointed to the RNA Council in July 2016.
He has a long association with the RNA having been a junior exhibitor, Beef and Woodchop Steward and Honorary Council Steward, and Chair of the Future Directions Committee.
He is the founder of Initative Capital which directly invests and manages large scale food, water and energy infrastructure including the Capricornia Hub, a 1.3GW base load renewable energy project in Queensland and North West Phosphate which is the largest phosphate company in Australia.
He is Chair of the RNA’s Industry and Sponsorship, Woodchop, Dairy Cattle, Dairy Goats and a member of the Appeals and Disciplinary Committee.
David Fagan is a consultant on media, digital and reputational strategies.
He is experienced in the digital and media worlds and was editor of The Courier-Mail then editor-in-chief of News Queensland for 11 years from 2002.
He has since worked in senior levels of higher education and is the author of two recent books, Wake Up - The Nine H#shtags of Digital Disruption and Has the Luck Run Out?
He is Chair of the Education Committee and sits on the board of Carers Queensland and QMusic. He is married and the father of three daughters.
Ian Ferguson is a long standing member of the RNA, joining the Council in 2007 after previously serving as an Honorary Ring Steward and Honorary Council Steward.
He is currently Chair of the Horse and Arena, Entries, and Space and Letting Committees. He also serves on seven other RNA committees. In 2015 he was appointed Ekka Ringmaster.
Ian retired as an Inspector of Police at the Ethical Standards Command and now undertakes a range of community activities.
He has a broad background of community involvement and currently also volunteers at Carindale PCYC.
One of the most innovative and widely respected Queensland cotton growers, Jamie Grant and his wife Susie operate a dryland cotton operation at their 2000 hectare "Kielle' property at Jimbour.
Mr Grant has been recognised for his pioneering cropping techniques, sustainable cotton production, land management and service to the agricultural industry.
In 2008 he was awarded Dryland Grower of the Year, in 2009 Agririsk Innovative Cotton Grower of the Year and in 2017 received the Darling Downs Growers - Service to Industry Award.
Michael Grieve was elected to the RNA Council in 2006.
He is assistant Ringmaster and a member of the Horse and Arena Committee, as well as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee and Chair of the Charity Committee.
Outside of the RNA, he is Ringmaster and a member of the Ipswich Show Society and executive member of the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
Mary MacMillan was appointed to the RNA Council in May 2021.
She is a member of the RNA’s Horse and Arena Committee after serving as an Honorary Council Steward in this section since 2013, and is also on the Legends Committee.
Mrs MacMillan has a broad range of experience across varying levels of nearly all equestrian disciplines having fulfilled competitor, groom, team manager and coaching roles for many years. She is well recognised across equestrian events throughout Eastern Australia as a Ringmaster, Steward or Judge.
Throughout this time, Mrs MacMillan has become a successful small business owner in the high risk heavy equipment maintenance and repair sector.
Ari was appointed to the RNA Council in December 2022. He is a partner in Queensland law firm Thynne and Macartney.
Ari enjoys a career protecting the interests of Queensland’s farmers and graziers when buying and selling rural properties, running their businesses and planning for the future.
Recognising the role agriculture will always play in the prosperity of rural Queensland's communities, Ari is on the board of the RNA Foundation and supports its work across its three pillars: heritage, education and agricultural development.
Ari is a director of Outback Gondwana Foundation Ltd, the charity that established and operates the Eromanga Natural History Museum and was a former Chair of the RNA's Future Directions Committee.
He also maintains connections with his extended family’s grazing businesses in Central Queensland.
Robin McLay joined the RNA Council in October 2015 and is Chair of the Flower and Garden Committee and a member of the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee.
She brings business and horticulture industry knowledge to the Council, through her past experience in various industries including agriculture, tourism, floristry, hospitality and horticulture.
She is a director of a successful national award-winning Garden Centre and a Production Nursery.
She is also a co-opted board member of Garden Centres of Australia.
William is a stud merino sheep and cattle producer who joined the RNA Council in November 2011, following years of involvement at the Charleville Show and State Sheep Shows across Queensland.
He operates his property, Victoria Downs in Morven.
Mr Roberts is President of the World Federation of Merino Breeders, serving Councillor and past President of the Queensland Merino Stud Sheepbreeders' Association Incorporated and past President of the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders.
He has been involved in showing and judging merino sheep around Australia.
Mr Roberts is currently Chair of the RNA's Fleece Breeds and Boer Goats Committee.
Kerri Robertson was appointed to the RNA Council in June 2023.
Ms Robertson is a fourth-generation farmer from Goondiwindi and a former Queensland Ag Shows President.
She is currently a Director of Agricultural Shows Australia, a Director of Queensland Ag Shows and served two terms as the Queensland Liaison Officer to the Showmen’s Guild of Australiasia.
Agriculture is in her blood, with the family farm ‘Banaba’ proudly hosting four generations of Robertson farmers who work together on the beef cattle and cropping property.
She is very passionate about the show movement and has a long history of service, serving as Secretary of the Goondiwindi Show Society since 2010 and was appointed General Manager in 2017.
She also served two terms as President of Queensland Ag Shows in 2021 and 2022.