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Further support for Australian business in food and medical industries

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SENATOR THE HON KIM CARR Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister for Higher Education


24 July 2013


Australian manufacturers will receive a welcome boost with the appointment of leading industry executives as supplier advocates for the food sector and the growing medical technologies market.

Grocery executive Mr Geoff Starr has been appointed as the Federal Government’s Food Supplier Advocate, while medical practitioner and bio-medical engineer, Dr Greg Roger has been appointed as the Medical and Scientific Technologies Supplier Advocate.

Announcing the appointments at the AMWU national conference in Sydney, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said both were acknowledged leaders in their field and able to provide expert support to their sectors.

Mr Starr was previously CEO of George Weston Foods and President, Mars Inc. Southeast Asia, while Dr Roger brings over 25 years’ experience in medical technologies to the role.

Both supplier advocates will help Australian manufacturers to increase their competitiveness and their access to domestic and international markets. They will work with existing government agencies such as Austrade to develop opportunities identified in the Asian Century White Paper.

“Mr Starr and Dr Roger have strong track records building capacity, pioneering new concepts and new product development in their respective fields,” Senator Kim Carr said.

“Mr Starr has extensive experience in food manufacturing throughout Australia, Asia and Europe and will help open doors for local businesses.

“Dr Roger has developed, patented and commercialised medical devices, and is well aware of the issues medical technology firms face in this competitive field.

“The Australian Government’s supplier advocates have helped over 1,000 Australian firms identify more than $500 million in new opportunities.”

Supplier advocates work collaboratively with firms, industry associations and government agencies to deliver practical activities that enhance the capabilities and capacity of Australian suppliers.

Mr Starr and Dr Roger will work closely with the recently announced Food and Manufacturing Precincts to assist Australian firms access new opportunities.

Supplier advocates are part of the Opening up opportunities through Australian Industry Participation initiative, announced on 17 February 2013 in A Plan for Australian Jobs.

More information is available at

Biographical details of Mr Starr and Dr Roger are attached

Media contact: Fiona Scott - 0407 294 620


Professional experience

 George Weston Foods, Australia & NZ. 2005-2011 George Weston Foods is Australia’s 3rd largest food company and employs over 8,000 people in 60 factories across Australia and New Zealand, many in rural areas.

George Weston is deeply involved in the Australian food industry, in food processing, grains, animal nutrition, and innovation. During his tenure as CEO Mr Starr led start-ups for George Weston Foods in Baking and Chemical Services in both China and Japan. He successfully implemented a growth, capital investment, innovation and restructuring strategy to modernise the business.

 Mars Inc., Europe, Asia, Australia & NZ. 1990-1993, 1996-1997, 2001-2005 Mars Incorporated generates net sales of more than $33 billion per annum. The corporation has six key businesses including chocolate, food, drinks and petcare and employs 72,000 Associates worldwide.

As President, South East Asia, Mr Starr pioneered an emerging market strategy for food, confectionery and pet food. The strategy included the development of a low cost route to market, as well as manufacturing and supply chain development. China, Thailand and Indonesia were targeted as key markets.

As Vice-President, Petcare Europe, Mr Starr led the multi-billion dollar petcare business in Western, Eastern and Baltic Europe, responsible for 20 factories and 7,000 employees.

 Mars Japan, 1993-1995, 1997-2001 As President of Mars Inc. Japan, Mr Starr led the development of Mars Inc. in the Japanese market from a manufacturing base in Australia and North America. In this role he also spearheaded the Asian emerging market strategy for petcare.

 Unilever 1982-1990


Dr Greg Roger has more than 25 years experience in the field of medicine, bio-medical engineering, product development and commercialisation. Having developed, patented and commercialised medical devices, Dr Roger is familiar with the key issues of this industry for individuals through to larger corporations.

Professional Experience:

 Founder and Managing Director, Cryptych Pty Limited (1992 - Present) Dr Roger founded and is currently Managing Director of Cryptych, a company developing and licensing intellectual property in medical devices. He successfully led the start-up of the business and is now working with a team of bio-engineers to provide specialised biomedical engineering solutions and consultancy services for businesses and individuals.

 Various Medical Practioner Roles, NSW Hospitals (1984 - present) Dr Roger is currently employed and privately self employed as a medical practitioner. He has been an assistant in orthopaedic and spinal surgery, Acting Director of Casualty for accident and emergency victims and the Medical Director for the SLSA Rescue Helicopter Service.

 Founder and Director, Advanced Surgical Design & Manufacture Limited (1994 - 2012) Dr Roger successfully established Advanced Surgical Design & Manufacture Limited (ASDM). During his tenure in the role, Dr Roger oversaw the design, manufacture and export of a number of orthopaedic and vascular surgery devices across the globe.

Boards, Committees and Groups:

 Member, TGA Medical Device Reforms Reference Group (2012 - Present)  Therapeutic Innovation Australia, Biomaterials Biopharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Advisory Committee Member (2011 - Present)  Board Member, AusBiotech Limited (2006 - Present)  Core Committee Member, Medical Device Evaluation Committee advising the

Therapeutic Goods Administration on new Medical Devices (2003 - Present)  Board Member, AIMS Research (2001 - Present)  Governor, Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, University of Sydney (2005 - 2012)  Member, Bioengineering & Biomaterials Subcommittee and the Device Tracking

Subcommittee reporting to ACMD (2004 - 2011)  Member, Strategic Industry Leaders Group for Medical Devices Action Agenda (Chair of the Regulatory sub-committee) (2005 - 2008)  Member, Strategic Industry Leaders Group for Advanced Manufacturing Action Agenda

(2005 - 2008)  Chairman, Technology Industries Exporters Group (1996 - 2001).


 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Engineers Australia Sydney Division (2006).  Hero of Innovation Award, Warren Centre, University of Sydney (2005).  Clunies Ross Award, Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2004).