The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and a national voice for science-based, consumer-focused food safety information in Australia. We aim to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average every year by providing simple, easy to follow consumer information on the handling, storage and preparation of food. The Council was founded in 1997 as the Food Safety Campaign Group and incorporated in 2001 as the Food Safety Information Council. We are a health promotion charity ACN 614 547 241 and a company partially limited by guarantee ABN 58008715647.
Australian Food Safety Week each November is a major part of the Council’s campaign to pass on simple messages to improve consumer’s knowledge of how to handle, store and cook food safely.
Council members include representatives of state, territory and local government and food safety agencies, the food industry, community groups and professional associations.
Rachelle Williams – Chair and Nominations Committee Chair
Rachelle has been the Chair of FSIC Ltd since May 2015, taking over from Professor Michael Eyles. She previously held the role of Secretary. She joined FSIC because of her belief that by helping consumers understand food safety and what they can do to control it, we can reduce the impact food poisoning has on our community.
In her other life, Rachelle runs her own business as The Green Food Safety Coach. She is a Food Technologist who, early on, developed a passion for food safety, and then, recently, sustainability as well. Amongst her professional food and sustainability memberships, Rachelle is a Fellow of AOQ Inc, a Professional Member of AIFST Ltd, and a Member of AICD.
As Chair, Rachelle wants to make the Food Safety Information Council Ltd the recognised national voice for science-based, consumer-focused food safety information in Australia.
Cathy Moir – Deputy Chair and Director
Cathy is a food microbiologist and Group Leader CSIRO Agriculture and Food. Through her various roles at CSIRO and Food Science Australia, Cathy has developed extensive knowledge of and expertise in the microbiology of a wide range of foods and food processes. She provides expert professional services and advice to assist industry and government with matters relating to food safety hazard identification and characterisation, risk assessment and management of the microbiological safety and stability of food. She is also actively involved with the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Lydia Buchtmann – Director and Communications Committee Chair
Lydia Buchtmann is a Canberra based communications consultant. She was a founding member of the Food Safety Information Council and has been involved in its communication work since 1997. She headed the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement section of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) from 1997 to 2010 and was their representative on the FSIC Executive during that period. Lydia has over 30 years experience heading communications sections in Federal Government agencies. She has a Masters in Communication (by research) from the University of Canberra 2001 and a BA (Hons) in Anthropology from the ANU 1984. She is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and a life member of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
Gavin Buckett -Director and Membership Committee Chair
Gavin Buckett is a multi award winning Qualified Chef, with Tertiary Qualifications in Food Technology and Confectionery Manufacture, who started his own specialised food safety business that is now called the “The Gourmet Guardian”. Founded in 2003, The Gourmet Guardian is a specialist provider to the Food and Beverage industry including restaurants, café’s, catering companies, major sporting venues, private resorts, hotels, hospitals, aged care, manufacturers and distributors.
Gavin has vast food industry experience that includes 15 years as a Qualified Chef. His current responsibilities include managing a company that delivers Food Safety Training, develops and implements Food Safety Programs (including HACCP, BRC, WQAS and Spotless Certified Programs) and conducts regulatory and internal food safety audits to more than 200 different food businesses.
In addition to the Food Safety Information Council, Gavin and/ or The Gourmet Guardian are members of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST), the Allergen Bureau; Exemplar Global NFSA Level 4 High Risk Auditor and the Café Owners and Baristas Association (COBAA). Gavin is a regulatory approved Food Safety Auditor with Queensland Health, New South Wales Food Authority, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services. Gavin is also the Principal of a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) called Prime Skills Pty Ltd that specialises in delivering food safety training.
Karen Jaques – Director and Chair Risk and Finance Committee
Karen respects other people’s opinions and champions the economic benefits that flow from thoughtful social impact investing.
As a critical thinker, Karen has been responsible for delivering high-level strategic advice for corporations and government. Known for her ability to identify opportunities that are not always obvious, Karen develops strategies designed to mitigate risk, add value and elevate an organisation’s competitive position.
From 2012-14, she developed unique concepts with a view to shape an integrated future for aged care living and healthcare and continues to look for better ways to support older Australians in the aged care sector.
Karen values education and has continued to develop her knowledge throughout her career. She retains her registration as a Home Economics and Science Teacher, holds an MBA, receiving a high distinction for her dissertation in the field of Behavioural Finance and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Her executive interests include Cybersecurity, Analysis and Sustained Resource Management.
With 28 years’ experience as a director, Karen brings new expertise and a fresh perspective to the board.
Deb Kerr – Directory and Secretary
Deb Kerr joined Australian Pork Limited (APL) as the General Manager Policy in January 2014. APL’s Policy Division is unique amongst the rural research and development corporations (RRDCs). The Division is responsible for the Australian pork industry’s national representation across all jurisdictional levels. The Division undertakes policy related research projects, strategic policy development, advocacy, and government relations on a range of policy issues affecting the Australian pork industry. In addition, the Division is responsible for issues management, and the management of corporate traditional and social media functions.
Before joining APL, Deb held a number of representative roles with across national and sectoral agriculture focussing on natural resources. Prior to this, Deb was involved with a large farming operation in the Riverina for 17 years. Deb has a Bachelor of Management (USyd), is a graduate of two Australian Rural Leadership programs, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Karine Mac – Director and Marketing Committee Chair
With extensive experience in all areas of marketing and corporate strategy, Karine decided to bring this passion to food safety. She has served in executive positions in marketing, sales and strategy in top ASX listed and family-owned organisations developing and growing some of Australia’s most loved brands whilst driving revenue growth and profit. She has also been involved in large scale acquisitions as well as post-merger integration.
During her successful career, Karine developed many strategies to retain market share and increase revenue growth which saw her win numerous Australian and international marketing awards as well as consulted to large Australian and European companies on these innovative ideas.
Karine currently serves on boards of a number of NFP and private organisations.
Gavin Buckett – Membership Chair
Dean McCullum – SA Health
Dr Trish Desmarchelier OAM – Technical Chair
Dr Trish Desmarchelier has considerable experience in the food safety area working at the interface between science and public health. Trish has worked in academia and CSIRO and is currently a consultant in food safety in her own business, Food Safety Principles. She serves on various advisory groups and consults to both industry and food safety agencies, both national and international. She is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Microbiology and a member of the International Association for Food Protection and its Australian Affiliate. She has received the AIFST President’s award, the IAFP International leadership Award and the Australian HACCP award (non-industry) for her contribution to food safety research and management. She has been a member of the Council since 2011. She was awarded an OAM in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday honours for service to science in the field of microbiology and food safety.
Karen Ferres, Manager – Food Safety & Audit, SA Health
Lydia Buchtmann – Chair
Lorrainne Haase – Food Standards Australian New Zealand
Emma Butler Cater Care
Jane Rowlands – Dairy Food Safety Victoria