Association Staff

Chief Executive Officer

Peter Vaughan

Peter joined NGIA as CEO in April 2015. Prior to working for NGIA, Peter worked across a number of agricultural industries including horticulture, seed, grains and livestock in a range of management, commercial and technical roles. His most recent role was General Manager of the On-farm research and development business unit with Meat and Livestock Australia.

Other prior roles include General Manager at Austgrains, Managing Director, and Commercial Director at the Value Added Wheat Cooperative Research Centre, Cultivar Manager at SGB Australia and R&D Manager with Agricultural Licensing Australia.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration from Macquarie University.

Program Manager

Chris O'Connor

Chris joined NGIA in September 2012 in the role of Policy and Technical Officer. Prior to this Chris spent a number of years within the industry with previous roles including State and National Greenlife Buyer with Mitre 10 and Greenlife Buyers Assistant with Bunnings Pty Ltd.

Chris holds a Diploma of Business from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, a Diploma of Quality Auditing from Sydney Institute of TAFE, and from Charles Sturt University, a Bachelor of Horticulture and a Graduate Diploma of Sustainable Agriculture. Chris is also a Certified Nursery Professional.

Communications Manager

Kobie Keenan

Kobie joined NGIA in 2004 and has undertaken a number of roles during her employment with NGIA including Industry Development, Conference Management and Communications. She currently manages the industry levy project NY17008 to capture volume and value of greenlife at the farm gate.

Kobie holds a Diploma of Business in Marketing and an Associate Degree in Law from Southern Cross University and is currently studying at Charles Sturt University.

National Biosecurity Manager

John McDonald

John joined NGIA in Dec 2015 to lead the industry biosecurity program. Prior to this John previously worked with Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland for a number of years as an industry development manager. John has extensive experience in the nursery industry with broad knowledge of nursery production practices. John has also represented the industry on biosecurity issues extensively through his role on with the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests.

John holds a Diploma of Horticulture, a Diploma of Nursery Production, an Associate Diploma of Plant Protection from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Certificate in Plant Biosecurity from Murdoch University. John is also a Certified Nursery Professional.

Biosecurity Certification Officer

Tony Filippi

Joining NGIA in March 2017 as a Biosecurity Certification Officer, Tony has over 30 years’ experience in horticulture. Across his career, Tony has worked in many of the temperate perennial fruit crop industries including; citrus, grapes, avocados, stone and pome fruit, with roles ranging from; grower services, pest and disease scout, though to grower. This diverse background, along with extensive experience in on-farm certification through export programs, provides Tony with a strong affinity to relate to growers’ on-farm issues.

Tony holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a Diploma of Horticulture through Torrens TAFE SA and is currently completing a Bachelor of Horticulture with Charles Sturt University. Tony is also, an accredited Authorised Officer with Dept. of Agriculture, Water and Resources for export.

Biosecurity Certification Officer

Steve Blyth

Steve joined NGIA in December 2017 in the role of Biosecurity Certification Officer. Steve has had extensive experience in the industry at a technical and business level through his time as a TAFE lecturer and through owning a WA based production nursery for the past 20 years which produced approximately 2 million seedlings per year.

Steve holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, an Advanced Diploma of Horticulture from Farm Information Services, and Lead Auditor training as well as being a qualified ChemCert trainer.

Communications Officer

Matthew Carroll

Matthew joined NGIA in 2011 in a part-time communications role. Matthew has extensive experience in Horticultural journalism with a particular focus on digital communications and social media. Matthew is currently secretary of the Horticultural Media Association. When not working with NGIA Matthew is actively engaged in running his business Hortiman.

Matthew holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Diploma of Horticulture from The Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE (Ryde). Matthew is also a Certified Nursery Professional.

Finance Manager

Jennifer Nesini

Jennifer joined NGIA in 2005 in the role of Finance Manager after having worked in a variety of industries such as IT, insurance, and metals distribution. In this capacity, Jennifer manage's all aspects of NGIA's financial operations including financial reporting, budgeting, and regulatory requirements.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Administration Manager

Heather Henderson

Heather joined NGIA in the role of Receptionist and Administration in November 2000. Prior to joining NGIA Heather held a number of administrative positions with companies such as the Co-op Bookshop. In her spare time, Heather is a passionate gardener.

Heather holds Certificates in Administration from Meadowbank Technical College NSW and The Macquarie Community College.