New South Wales
New South Wales is in secure hands with the introduction of a new Biosecurity and Extension Manager in Bonnie Skinner.
Bonnie joins Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) having previously held the role of Surveillance Coordinator within Animal Health Australia.
Bonnie enters the role with extensive experience in biosecurity, including qualifications in agriculture and equine and applied science.
“I’m really passionate about being on the ground as part of a team which protects the integrity of Australia’s animal health system,” she explained.
Bonnie will be based in Goulburn, but will be supporting cattle producers across the state.
LBN’s Executive Manager, Duncan Rowland, is keen to welcome Bonnie to the team.
“Bonnie has a great deal of knowledge of animal health and proven experience in client relations. She is a great communicator who is well suited to the role of Extension Manager. She is a fantastic addition to our team,” he said.
Her first day with LBN saw Bonnie present a biosecurity workshop to 200 farmers in Narrabri, in the state’s north-west slopes region, an experience she called her ‘baptism by fire’.
“I thoroughly enjoyed getting out there straight away and speaking with producers, helping to spread the biosecurity message. I’m so excited to have joined LBN at a time of such significant change within the industry.”
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Rachel is a Manager Biosecurity & Extension based near Millthorpe, in the NSW Central Tablelands.
Rachel has a rural background, growing up on a Merino sheep property in south-west Riverina, and now running a small livestock trading enterprise in her spare time. This has given her firsthand experience of various livestock production systems, and the role biosecurity plays on-farm.
Prior to joining the LBN, Rachel was a part of a private animal health consulting company that specialises in epidemiology and disease surveillance in both Australia and internationally. This position also encompassed the role of the National Surveillance Information Coordinator.
Rachel worked for NSW DPI in Orange for several years where she was principally involved with sheep and wool projects. She also gained experience in emergency animal disease outbreaks, working as the veterinary liaison officer during the equine influenza outbreak in Australia in 2007-08. It was this experience that led her to undertaking a Master of Veterinary Public Health Management in 2008.
Rachel will be working with producer groups, allied industry organisations, and other appropriate networks to discuss biosecurity concepts and provide information relevant to particular enterprises. Her aim will be to describe the role biosecurity plays, the benefits for producers and industry alike, and to explain that it is not as difficult as it sounds.
Qualifications and experience
Rachel graduated from Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga) with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) via distance education in 2006. She has a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and graduated with a Master of Veterinary Public Health Management from Sydney University in 2012.
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