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AIFST 2024 Non Executive DirectorS

AIFST 2024 Non Executive Director Biographies

AIFST Board Composition 

The AIFST Board is committed to ensuring that its Directors have the required skills and provide the required diversity to effectively lead the Institute and to develop and deliver its strategy. Directors need to be capable of supporting and guiding the AIFST CEO in the implementation of the strategy.

The AIFST Board is a skills-based board currently comprising 7 non-executive directors. Appointments are for a period of three years, with retiring Directors able to nominate for re-election and serve a maximum of two terms.

Please see below for the Biographies of the newly elected AIFST Non-Exectutive Directors

Dr Angeline Achariya

Anna Barlow

Melissa Packham

Dr Angeline Achariya

CEO Innovation GameChangers

BSc (Hons), PhD, GCert Bus Mng, FAIFST, GAICD

Angeline is looking forward to bringing her skills, experience and passion for the Australian food industry and sector to her board role at the AIFST where she has been supporting as thought leader and speaker at conferences and workshops including mentoring of graduates and early career food scientists.

Angeline, a global luminary in industry and commercialising innovations, currently leads as the CEO of Innovation GameChangers, Australian Chair of AgriFood Innovation and Senior Advisor at Beanstalk AgTech. With over 25 years’ experience in multinational giants such as J R Simplot, Mondelez International, Yum Brands, Fonterra, Mars Corporation and Monash University.

Angeline’s impact in AgriFood sectors has been profound when she co-founded Monash Food Innovation as a world first industry collaborative hub in Mondelez International with the Victorian Government. The hub’s continued success 11 years on and impact across the sector connecting industry, research, government enabled SMEs, Startups and Corporates to scale their innovations for sustainable growth in domestic and international markets.

Having commercialised 1200+ innovations globally in Agribusiness, FMCG, Foodservice, E-commerce, she is a trailblazer. Rooted in her agricultural upbringing, Angeline champions a sustainable agrifood system. Her advice and mentorship extend to startups, SMEs, and individuals. Beyond boardrooms, Angeline is an international speaker, influencing discussions on resilient agrifood system innovation, the future of food, and Australian exports. In 2024, LinkedIn recognised her as a global top voice for her leadership and influence.

Angeline studied food science and technology and was awarded AIFST’s Malcom Bird Award in 2000. Her commitment to creating value-added products that resonate with consumer and planetary needs, makes her a force for positive change. Angeline’s journey is an inspiration – a testament to the transformative power of collaborative passion and dedication to a connected, sustainable world.

Click here to watch a short Video from Angeline

Anna Barlow

Anna is a dynamic and motivational leader with a passion for innovation in the food and agritech sector. Qualified with a PhD in Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand, Anna’s career has evolved from academia through to executive roles for multi-national food and beverage companies such as Asahi Beverages, JDE Coffee, Mondelez International and Kraft Foods working from NZ, Australia, Europe, and the UK. Anna has led global corporate technology and R&D programs and led Asia Pacific-wide commercialisation programs in chocolate, coffee, biscuits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

As Partner, Food & Agri Innovation at Startupbootcamp, Anna leads SBC’s food and agritech startup and scaleup accelerator FoodTech Tasmania and works with multiple corporate and RDC clients across the food and agritech sector.

Anna also serves as NED and Secretary at FermenTasmania, where she connects SMEs, corporates, and the academic sector, playing a crucial role in shaping the future of Tasmania’s new fermentation co-working manufacturing, R&D and learning facility. She also serves as a NED at Australia Vinegar, bringing expertise in leadership, R&D, and innovation.

Anna is highly collaborative, with strong dot-connecting and people leadership capability. Anna enjoys working with teams to maximise their strengths, leveraging her Facet5 and TeamScape accreditations in personality trait-based profiles for team building and leadership coaching.

Known for her energetic, authentic, and motivational leadership style and exceptional stakeholder management skills, Anna’s ability to nurture talent, negotiate effectively, and empower teams has made her a respected mentor and coach in the industry.

Click here to watch a short Video from Anna

Melissa Packham

Melissa Packham is an experienced strategist, communicator, and advisor with a 20-year track record spanning the corporate, SME, and startup sectors. She brings a unique blend of business strategy and brand and marketing management expertise, championing sustainable practices, systems thinking, and challenging ‘business as usual’.

Throughout her career, Melissa has managed growth for prominent household brands, including Campbell’s, Arnott’s, IceBreak and OAK. Responsible for multimillion-dollar budgets, she’s consistently delivered bottom-line results and led award-winning campaigns.

Melissa has been consulting independently since 2016 and now leads Brand-Led Business, a boutique firm aiding SMEs across sectors including food and beverages, consumer products, B2B, SaaS, and professional services.

With a double Bachelor's degree in Business (Marketing) and Arts (Humanities), and as a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, she combines branding expertise and strategic acumen with a strong moral compass. As a Climate Fresk facilitator and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Certified Professional, she demonstrates her commitment to real-world sustainability and ESG risk management.

Recognised for her collaborative nature, empathy, and warmth, Melissa highly values teamwork. Beyond her professional endeavours, Melissa cherishes her role as a mother to one, and can be found indulging in her eclectic taste in music or enjoying long walks by the river in Meeanjin (Brisbane).

She recognises she owes her career to her start in food and sees the crucial role that food plays in a sustainable future. She would be honoured to contribute to supporting AIFST’s mission in supporting food industry professionals to meet future food needs.

Click here to watch a short Video from Melissa

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