APVMA Board meetings held over 14 and 15 March 2023

The APVMA Board held its first scheduled meetings for the year over 14 and 15 March 2023. The first day was spent conducting a Risk Workshop, with the second day for the formal Board meeting. We were also fortunate to have our Minister visit us at the Canberra office during the Board meeting.

Visit by Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The visit by the Minister was a welcome opportunity to engage with him, and the Board was heartened by his strong words of support for the important role that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) plays in the protection of the health and safety of people, animals and the environment and Australia’s trade interests.

While acknowledging recent challenges, the Minister expressed his support for the APVMA Board and interim Executive Team in leading the agency forward. The Minister confirmed it is essential the agency continues to perform its regulatory functions to the highest standard while also embedding a safe and positive work environment for all APVMA staff.

The APVMA Board with Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

From left to right: Dr Steve Jefferies AM, Dr Carrie Hillyard AM, Minister Watt, Mrs Maree Gooch and Dr Jeremy Burdon.

Risk workshop – 14 March 2023

The Board and various members of the Executive Team spent much of the day in a facilitated workshop exploring key strategic and enterprise risks and the APVMA’s approach to managing them.

Several key strategic risks and issues were discussed, including:

  • distinguishing between strategic risks to the APVMA as an organisation and the management of scientific/operational/technical risk in the regulation of agvet chemicals
  • challenges for the APVMA of managing shared risks
  • ensuring the Agency has the right sources and mix of funding to properly execute its regulatory functions
  • ensuring the APVMA operates in alignment with the new Commonwealth Risk Management Policy, which came into effect on 1 January 2023.

Board discussions – 15 March 2023

Values and culture

The APVMA continues the work needed to build a strong workplace culture and implement workplace practices that enable a safe and positive work environment in line with the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct. The Board discussed the efforts led by our Executive Team to renew our organisational values and behavioural standards and endorsed the development of new APVMA Values – Impartial, Committed to Service, Accountable, Respectful and Ethical.

ICT strategy and investment

The Board received a presentation from the APVMA’s Chief Technology Officer on the APVMA’s new ICT strategy and investment program. Over the coming 3 years, the Board has endorsed the APVMA investing over $12 million to enhance our business systems and cyber capability to ensure APVMA’s stakeholders continue to receive high standard of service.

Stakeholder Engagement Framework

The APVMA’s Director, Reform and Engagement presented the new APVMA Stakeholder Engagement and Communication Framework. The Framework will provide the APVMA with the principles, strategic direction, tools and templates, support and guidance to ensure effective, consistent engagement and communications with stakeholders and staff to achieve the APVMA’s vision and strategic objectives.


Amendments to the charter for our Audit and Risk Committee were also approved by the Board. The Audit and Risk Committee plays an important role in considering matters in detail and advising the Board on financial and performance reporting and our systems of risk oversight and management and internal control.

The Board is scheduled to meet next on 31 May 2023 in Armidale.

Dr Carmel Hillyard AM

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