To learn more please contact Aurora Dairies:

T: +61 3 8613 1111
E: Aurora Dairies

Key People

Aurora Dairies' Board of Directors is a governing board with a diverse group of directors, each of whom bring many years of experience and expertise in their particular field. The Board's membership is as follows:

Jim Mckay - Managing Director

Jim joined Warakirri in the role of Managing Director in March 2017, with over 25 years’ experience across the financial services industry. Prior to joining Warakirri, Jim was Head of Distribution for Franklin Templeton Investments, Managing Director of the wealth management division of Challenger, the CEO of Boss Software International, and Head of Distribution for ING Investment Management and a member of their Asian Leadership Team. Jim has a Bachelor of Economics, a Post Graduate Degree in Finance and Investments, and an MBA from the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne. Jim is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Graduate of their Company Directors program. Jim is also a member of the investment committees of two charitable institutions.

Jane Tongs - Non-executive Director

Jane is a corporate adviser. She is chairman of Netwealth Holdings Limited and Lend Lease Australian Prime Property Fund Investors Committee and is a Director of Australian Energy Market Operator Limited, Cromwell Property Group and Catholic Church Insurances. Jane has an Executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School, a Business degree from RMIT and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Jane is also a member of the Institute of Company Directors. Jane has over 20 years’ experience as a senior executive and company director in both private and government owned infrastructure, funds management, insurance and property businesses. Previously, Jane was a Financial Services Litigation Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Toni Brendish - Non-executive Director

Toni Brendish is a Non Executive Director with over 30 years’ management experience, including 20 years in CEO/ Managing Director roles, leading businesses of up to U$2bn in the Consumer Goods sector in Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia), Australia/New Zealand. A track record of transforming organisations, returning to profitability and increasing employee engagement. Toni is a Non Executive Director with Clover Corporation and an Advisory Committee member for Aurora Dairies ; part of Warakirri Asset Management. Toni brings a wealth of experience and knowledge gained from running businesses including large Manufacturing sites. Toni has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Sydney.

Aurora Dairies' management team are dedicated to exceeding our investors' expectations, whilst developing and supporting our people to ensure a sustainable future.

Ben James, CEO

Ben joined Warakirri in May 2012 in the role of Operations Manager. He studied a Bachelor of Applied Science Agriculture at University of Adelaide. Ben has over 20 years’ practical experience within the agriculture industry and more specifically experience in large scale dairy and mixed farming enterprises. Ben commenced his current role in December 2012.

Fergus Crawford, General Manager Commercial

Fergus joined Warakirri in June 2018, in the role of Project Manager to assist in the establishment of Aurora Dairies. Previously he had worked with Murray Goulburn in Corporate and Commercial Strategy and prior to this worked in corporate advisory M&A/Strategy and Commercial Banking for 10 years. Fergus has a Bachelor of Business from La Trobe University. Fergus has had substantial experience working across the agriculture value chain and has been part of the Aurora Dairies team since inception in February 2019.

Sam Dunbar, Regional Manager

Sam joined Aurora Dairies in July 2021 as Regional Operations Manager for Gippsland and Northern Victoria. Sam has strong operational dairy experience in farm management developed in over 20 years in the industry including a number of large scale operational management positions. Sam’s experience is broad and covers significant involvement in pasture based operations in Gippsland, Southwest and Northern Victoria.

Ricky Tuck, Regional Manager

Ricky joined Aurora Dairies in June 2019 as Operations Manager for Western District and South West Victoria region. Ricky has strong dairy farm management knowledge and experience, developed while owning, and operating, his own dairy farm in New Zealand and in senior operational roles across a range of corporate dairy businesses in New Zealand, the United States and most recently Tasmania.

Peter Van Zyl, Regional Manager

Peter joined Aurora Dairies in April 2020 as Operations Manager for South Australia. He brings strong operational dairy experience developed over 20 years of farm management, including a number of large-scale operational management positions. Peter’s experience covers pasture-based operations in South Africa, New Zealand, and most recently, in Tasmania.

Simon Bennett, Regional Manager

Simon joined Aurora Dairies in December 2022, as apart of acquisition of the Tasmanian farms into the Aurora portfolio. He has over 20 years of dairy farm management and experience in large- scale dairy farms, with 4 years’ experience as operations manager in corporate dairy. Simon is a local, with good understanding of running a sustainable dairy business in a pasture-base system.

Andrew Wright, Regional Manager

Andrew joined Aurora Dairies in December 2022, as part of an acquisition of the Tasmanian farms into the Aurora portfolio from FarmRight Ltd. Previously a sought-after farm consultant covering northern Tasmania & Northern Victoria/Southern NSW - facilitating profitable pasture-based farm systems with a structured approach to help progress and train people in the management of businesses. A strong focus on continuous improvement through benchmarking against similar businesses. He also has over 18 years of hands-on dairy farm management and experience in large- scale dairy farms, plus 8 years’ experience in corporate dairies operations management.

Shane Kelly, Regional Manager

Shane joined Aurora Dairies in July 2023 as Regional Operations Manager for New Zealand. Shane has over 20 years of experience in large scale Dairy operations and large-scale Dairy development across New Zealand predominately in Corporate leadership roles. He has a passion for people and the environment.