Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd


Our Team

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Dr Clive Noble


BAgrSci (Hons), PhD, GAICD


Clive is managing director of AgInsight Pty Ltd, a consulting firm that provides science and technology advice to government, industry, universities and the private sector.

Clive spent more than 30 years working in the public sector in agriculture and primary industries, most of this period as a senior executive. Clive’s background is in research conduct, research and development strategy and management, corporate strategy, governance and technology commercialisation.

Clive joined the AVS Board in 1998 and was appointed chairman of the Company on 1 August 2008. Clive is also a director of AVS subsidiary entity Phytogene Pty Ltd.




Peter Turvey




Peter is a member of the AVS Audit and Risk Management Committee and is chairman of the AVS subsidiary Phytogene Pty Ltd.
Peter is the former Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and Executive Vice-President Licensing of specialty biopharmaceutical company CSL Ltd, having retired in 2011. He is currently a principal of Foursight Associates Pty Ltd, and a non-executive director of Starpharma Holdings Ltd, and Viralytics Ltd.
Peter played a key role in the transformation of CSL from a government-owned entity through Australian Securities Exchange listing in 1994 to the global plasma and biopharmaceutical company that it is today. He was also responsible for the protection and licensing of CSL’s intellectual property and for risk management within CSL.















Dr Lesley Macleod


BSc (Hons), PhD, Dip. Bus Man., GAICD


Lesley is the former Chief Executive Officer of Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd and has served on the board of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Murray Dairy, Barley Australia and MBQIP Ltd.

Following a 12-year research career in Edinburgh and Adelaide focusing on grains research, Lesley moved into industry in Victoria where she gained over 20 years' experience in senior agribusiness management for Australian and multinational grain companies. Lesley has a focus on research management, innovation and commercialisation and has established a number of national RD&E programs and not-for-profit companies. 





Dr Richard Aldous


BSc (Hons), PhD, GAICD


Richard’s background is in energy, resources, public policy and research management in both the public and private sectors. For 10 years he was a senior executive and then Deputy Secretary, Energy and Earth Resources at the Victorian Department of Primary Industires. He has also held senior executive roles in resource companies focused on exploration, research and development.

Richard has been a director of the Cooperative Research Center (CRC) Association, chief executive officer of the CO2CRC and chairman of the CRC for Clean Power from Lignite. At present, he is chairing the Ministerial Advisory Council for Earth Resources in Victoria.



Sandra (Sam) Andersen




Sam is the chair of the AVS Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Sam has held senior executive positions at the ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank.  Sam has been chief financial officer and chief operating officer at several ASX-listed IT companies leading transformation initiatives, as well as managing director of a listed allied health services company. She currently serves as a director for a number of government, public unlisted corporations and member-owned organisations. 

Sam is chair of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Limited; a director of the Chisholm Institute, Beyond Bank Australia, Australian Hearing Services, and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust; and chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee for the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria.



Dr Amanda Caples


BSc (Hons), PhD, GAIDC


Dr Amanda Caples is Victoria’s Lead Scientist with broad experience in technology commercialisation (including intellectual property management, licensing and joint ventures), public policy development and governance of public and private entities.

Amanda has been Deputy Secretary, Sector Development and Programs, at DEDJTR, responsible for developing the Future Industries sector strategies and growth plan, and for supporting the Victorian science, innovation and entrepreneurial sectors.  

Amanda has delivered research-led health initiatives, regulatory and legislative scientific reforms and has established international collaborative technology alliances.





AVS is accountable for the delivery of DEDJTR’s intellectual property protection and commercialisation program.  The Company provides an effective portal through which DEDJTR technologies and capabilities are taken to the marketplace via a means that maximises the economic benefit to Victoria. The executive and operational structure that has been developed recognises the commonality of goals between AVS and DEDJTR and seeks to provide a seamless progression for a technology as it follows its route-to-market.


Employees of AVS responsible for enabling and delivering the Company's strategic objectives are as follows:




Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd






David Liesegang

Chief Executive Officer


B Bus (Marketing), GAICD


David was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in November 2015.

David leads the AVS team of 15 professional and support staff in the delivery of technology commercialisation, intellectual property and legal services to ensure the successful transfer of commercially valuable research outputs and science capability to the private sector. David previously held the role of Chief Operating Officer. He has extensive expertise in the commercialisation of agbio technologies, including the establishment and commercial management of local and global collaborative R&D agreements, and the investment of company funds to accelerate and enhance the delivery, market adoption and industry impact of agricultural research and innovation. 



Shane Cagney

Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary




Shane is Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, appointed in November 2016.

Shane is responsible for the Company's financial planning and management, which includes budget preparation, monitoring and reporting, financial systems, human resources, and information technology. As Company Secretary, Shane is also responsible for governance, risk management and corporate compliance frameworks and procedures and for providing board secretariat services to AVS and Phytogene Pty Ltd.















Dr Denise Hodge

Chief Operating Officer


BSc (Hons), PhD, MIP 

Denise is Chief Operating Officer, appointed in June 2018.

Denise is responsible for leading the Company's operations team of specialist commercialisation and intellectual property professionals in delivering effective IP protection, management and commercialisation of AVR-created technologies to maximise their adoption by industry and deliver economic benefits to Victoria.  







Andrew Grace

Senior Commercialisation Manager


B.App Sc (Agriculture), MBT, GAICD


Andrew has been with AVS for over 10 years. He is responsible for managing AVS investment projects and for the commercialisation of AVS' intellectual property assets through a range of the plant-based licences including barley, canola, lentils, field peas, pears and pasture seeds. Andrew is also the AVS contact for many of the contract agreements undertaken by Agriculture Victoria scientists for industry and commercial entities.



Dr Ernesto Vargas

Senior Commercialisation Manager




Ernesto is Senior Commercialisation Manager, appointed by AVS in September 2015. He is responsible for the commercialisation of AVS' intellectual property assets and managing AVS investment projects.  

Ernesto has experience in IP commercialisation and early stage investments. He worked at University of Melbourne Commercial Ltd (UoMC), where he was responsible for managing the protection and development of IP across a range of technologies (e.g. biotechnology, biomaterials and medical devices), and for managing valuations, marketing and IP licence negotiations. Ernesto also worked at Trans-Tasman Commercialisation Fund Pty Ltd, valuing investments in early stage technologies.











Yoshimasa Matsumoto

Commercialisation Manager

BComm, MA, MBA


Yoshi is a Commercialisation Manager, appointed by AVS in May 2018. 

Yoshi is responsible for the commercialisation of AVS' intellectual property assets. He previously held roles (such as Director, Corporate Development and Director, Technology Development) at Archer Daniels Midland Company where he specialised in corporate/business strategy development and commercial/R&D project financial valuation. Yoshi started his agricultural career as a cash grain trader in 1997.




Jane Banovac

Senior Commercialisation Manager


BSc, Hons


Jane is Senior Commercialisation Manager, appointed by AVS in September 2008.

Jane is responsible for the commercialisation of Agriculture Victoria created intellectual property and the ongoing management of commercially-licensed intellectual property assets including plant-based licences for Cereals, Chickpeas, Potatoes, Strawberries and Leptospermum. Jane also assists with agreement and IP aspects of AVR contract R&D and Plant Breeding projects and has developed a broad range of experience in plant research and agribusiness.












Dr Rachel Stevenson

Intellectual Property Manager


BSc, MSc (Hons), PhD, MIPL


Rachel is Intellectual Property (IP) Manager, appointed by AVS in June 2018. 

Rachel manages the AVS' IP portfolio including patents, Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) and trademark registrations. She is an experienced biotechnology patent attorney who has worked with a range of research institutes and corporate clients. 

Rachel has significant agricultural industry experience beginning her research career in New Zealand working for both DairyNZ and the Meat Research Institute (MIRINZ). Rachel completed her PhD in the Veterinary Science field at Melbourne University and has extensive experience managing client portfolios directed to transgenic plants (in particular the development of transgenic plant crops with increased drought tolerance), the biocontrol of crop disease and veterinary medicine. 














Yoges Pillai

Commercialisation Officer


B Bus (Business Information Systems)


Yoges is Commercialisation Officer, appointed by AVS in March 2017.

Yoges provides research, analysis and technology licence evaluation support to strengthen the delivery of AVS core services in the areas of technology commercialisation, IP protection and licence negotiation and management.





Helen Liu



B Com (Acc), CPA


Helen is Senior Accountant, appointed by AVS in January 2012.

Helen is responsible for all sort of financial and management reporting for the Board, Committees and DEDJTR-AVR. Helen also assists the Chief Financial Officer with financial planning, financial management and risk management. She has developed a broad range of experiences in statutory compliances, consolidated financial reports and financial planning.








Gloria Utai

AVS Corporate Officer


Gloria is Corporate Officer, appointed by AVS in May 2018.

Gloria provides executive and corporate project support to the AVS Executive, including the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary.












Jasmine Maguire

Contracts Administrator


Jasmine is Contracts & IP Administrator, appointed by AVS in October 2016.

Jasmine is responsible for supporting the design and delivery of AVS’ contract and IP administrative processes and systems, as well as providing general administrative support to AVS' commercial operations, clients and stakeholders.


Rosanna Mastrolorito

Finance & Payroll Officer


Cert Accounting


Rosanna is Finance & Payroll Officer, appointed by AVS in April 2008. 

Rosanna assists the Senior Accountant to deliver AVS financial reports and provides general office support services, including accounts payable/receivable records management and payroll.