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SRA appoints new Chairman of Research Funding Panel (RFP) and members of RFP

Sugar Research Australia (SRA) has today announced that Mr Gary Longden is the new Chairman of the SRA Research Funding Panel (RFP), and Dr Phillip Jackson and Mr Jeffrey Snoad have joined as new members of the RFP.

The appointments follow the retirement of previous RFP Chairman, Mr John Pollock, and of Dr Andrew Wood from his role as an RFP member.

SRA Chairman Dr Ron Swindells said that the appointments would continue to ensure the broad depth of knowledge and expertise in the RFP, alongside existing RFP members Dr Jeremy Burdon and Dr Guy Roth (SRA Board Director).

“The RFP has formal terms of reference approved by the Board, and a primary function of their role is to provide advice and recommendations to the Board on new research investment,” Dr Swindells said. “The RFP is a vital component of ensuring that the industry’s research investment is driving Outcomes for Australian sugarcane growers and millers. The RFP ensure that SRA’s investment is managed objectively and without bias.”

Mr Gary Longden has been a member of the RFP since 2015 and has significant expertise in the industry’s milling sector, including numerous technical and management positions. He is a former director of the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC), former president of ASSCT and former Director of the CRC for Sustainable Sugar Production.

Mr Jeffrey Snoad grew up in a cane growing family and is a fourth-generation industry participant.

He has over 25 years of technical, management, and consulting experience in sugar manufacturing and was a member of the ASMC Technical Committee from 2011-2015. He has been the author and co-author of numerous technical papers domestically and in international journals, and was a recipient of the ASSCT President’s Medal in 1997 and 2007.

Dr Phil Jackson was a scientist with CSIRO (1988 to 2017), leading sugarcane breeding programs and research in close partnership with (former Australian sugar industry companies) CSR Ltd and BSES Limited.  He has developed international collaborative projects in sugarcane breeding, and was Chairman of the International Society of Sugarcane Technologists Standing Committee on Germplasm and Breeding.   He retired from a position as Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO in 2017.  He is currently an Honorary Fellow with CSIRO, and provides consultancy inputs to projects and breeding programs in China and India.  

Dr Swindells said he welcomed Dr Jackson and Mr Snoad to the RFP and he extended his thanks to Mr Pollock and Dr Wood.

“Both John and Andrew have made immense contributions to the industry and SRA in wide-ranging careers with various roles and we wish them all the best for their future endeavors,” he said.


Media contact:



Brad Pfeffer | Executive Manager Communications 


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