Looking for a challenge? AgriFutures Australia is seeking applications for the Tea Tree Oil Advisory Panel


Are you a “Next gen” leader currently working in Australian agriculture and looking to expand your industry focus and knowledge? Or someone with a skillset in marketing,  communications and extension, formulation chemistry or manufacturing that can be applied to a range of rural industries? AgriFutures Advisory Panel Chair Michael Flanagan wants you to consider applying for a position on the AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Advisory Panel. Applications are now open and close on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.

Key points:

  • AgriFutures Australia is seeking to broaden the skillset of its Tea Tree Oil Program Advisory Panel by appointing two new members.
  • Skills such as marketing, communications, formulation chemistry (in personal care, cosmetics, homecare and over-the-counter products) and manufacturing are highly desirable. Individuals with agricultural experience in Tea Tree Oil production as well as other agricultural farming systems, are also encouraged to apply.
  • Insiders say there are rewards both professionally and personally in joining a panel.
  • AgriFutures Australia currently has opportunities for individuals to apply for positions on The Tea Tree Oil Advisory Panel.

Mr Flanagan said young people and those with knowledge and experience from a relevant rural industry would benefit from being on an AgriFutures Australia Advisory Panel because of the unique opportunities the Advisory Panels offer.

“There are rewards such as gaining a holistic view of Australian agriculture,” said Mr Flanagan.

“You don’t have to be an expert in the game just enthusiasm and a desire to have a say in future planning of the industry. Being on a panel gives you the opportunity to access people and places usually only reserved for industry insiders.”

AgriFutures Manager, Research Gae Plunkett added AgriFutures Australia was keen to broaden the expertise of the advisory panel.

“The current Advisory Panel consists of commercial tea tree oil producers, specialist researchers, and industry representatives. We’re very keen to see applications from individuals with strong expertise in agricultural production, marketing and communications, formulation chemistry or manufacturing,” said Ms Plunkett.

What do Advisory Panels do?

AgriFutures Australia represents 13 levied industries for the delivery of research, development, and extension (RD&E). Nine of these industries are guided by an Advisory Panel. Among their key tasks:

  • Advising on the industry requirements for research and development through the development and monitoring of RD&E Plans.
  • Making recommendations on proposals for RD&E investment in accordance with the objectives and strategies of industry-specific RD&E Plans.
  • Monitoring, reviewing, and advising on research support for the relevant industry.
  • Advising on, and assisting in, the dissemination, adoption, and commercialisation of the results of RD&E activities.

Panel members are selected on a skills-basis and AgriFutures Australia encourages diversity through age, gender and geographic location, working with specific industry sectors to foster leadership skills to support succession planning for future panel members.

How you can make a difference

Dean of Science at Southern Cross University (SCU), Professor Jerry Vanclay recently retired from his three-year term on the inaugural AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program Advisory Panel.


During his term Professor Vanclay increased his knowledge of the tea tree oil industry and commended the work of the Advisory Panel.

“All of us on the inaugural Advisory Panel bought different points of view when it came to deciding which research was more viable than others and I think one of my greatest contributions was my experience in assessing research proposals,” said Professor Vanclay.

“It’s very exciting for researchers to grow better varieties of trees but it’s equally important to know the whole value of the chain which is where my expertise added value to the Panel.”

From cottage industry to major exporter                                                                     

AgriFutures Manager, Research Gae Plunkett, said Professor Vanclay appointment to the Advisory Panel in 2017 occurred at a critical time in the development of the industry, as it grew from a cottage industry to a major exporter.

“Professor Vanclay’s extensive experience in the forestry and plantation sector helped the Advisory Panel and the Program to invest in research which focused on world class tea tree breeding, processing and market access,” said Ms Plunkett.

“This investment in RD&E has helped deliver greater efficiencies in harvesting, distillation, storage and marketable oil benefits.”

Mr Flanagan agreed and said the work of the inaugural Advisory Panel also helped establish the Tea Tree Oil RD&E Plan 2018-2022.

“This has been a big win for industry and provides the structure needed to guide RD&E investment and grow the industry even further,” said Mr Flanagan. “This business plan sets ambitious targets to drive the sustainable growth of the industry. ”

What is required?

  • Industry Advisory Panels typically meet quarterly or as business needs require. You will need to set aside approximately 20 days annually for meetings and preparation for meetings.
  • Members are encouraged to be advocates for their industries, be active in extending research outcomes for their industry, and maintain engagement within rural communities and their business networks. You will get access to key decision makers and leaders in Australian agriculture.

 Want to know more                                                                                                   AgriFutures Australia currently has opportunities for individuals to apply for positions on the AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Advisory Panel.

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities to apply for a position on another AgriFutures Australia Advisory Panel complete an expression of interest.