New Independent Director Welcomed to Young Farmers Board

Posted by Erin Speedy on 23 January 2020 | Comments

A business owner and chartered accountant has been appointed as the new Independent Director of the Young Farmers Board.

Catherine McMillan will bring a wide range of financial expertise and experience to the eight person board - who all have a mixture of backgrounds and skills.

She has recently been awarded a Fellowship for outstanding career achievement and contribution to the profession with the Council of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Catherine McMillan

Passionate about seeing young people find their place in the world, she says when the opportunity came up with Young Farmers she had to jump at it.

“I’m particularly interested in the ability of the clubs to help build community, so that young people who are in a very different environment to what many of us understand, are not isolated and they have a community of people and support they can be involved with,” she says.

Having owned her own small rural block in the past, she knows first-hand the challenges the sector is facing and has immense respect for those who work the land.

“I think agriculture is an incredibly important sector for our economy and us as a country, a whole lot of our identity is around the capacity for food production and capacity for using our rural environment, really well.”

Catherine has experience in the public sector, corporate business and education and has held a number of senior management and governance roles throughout her career.

She has also held a number of roles in the not for profit sector and membership organisations, skills she is looking forward to utilising.

“I think I bring an understanding of the challenges of a not for profit organisation, where you don’t have in many cases a direct relationship between offering a product and getting revenue in. It’s not like we can go sell more ’widgets’ to get funding, we have to inspire people to see the value in our organisation,” she says.

“My accounting and commercial background brings a degree of analysis in the financial aspects which we need to have working if any not for profit or business is going to survive.”

NZ Young Farmers Board Chairperson, Ash-Leigh Campbell says she’s excited to have Ms McMillan on board.

“Catherine comes with such a wealth of experience which is going to be invaluable to our organisation, particularly with her experience in finance and commercial businesses,” she says.

“It’s such an exciting time to be part of the agriculture, food and fibre sectors. New Zealand’s on the forefront of change and innovation as world leaders in sustainable food production."

"We can’t wait to start working with Catherine, soak up her knowledge and expertise and propel Young Farmers as an organisation into the future.”

Catherine will juggle being on the board with owning her own consultancy business, focusing on strategy development and business restructuring.

She is also currently a trustee with Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Trust, Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust and CORE Education Charitable Trust, and sits on the Christ’s College Board as one of the Christ’s College Old Boys Association representatives.