Senior Leaders Join the GMC Board

The Geelong Manufacturing Council is pleased to announce the appointment of three new directors to the GMC Board.

The new members are: Director of IXL Group, Rob Backwell, Deakin University Professor Tuba Kocaturk, and Farm Foods’ CEO, Greg Hughes.

They join current members, GMC Chair, Lyn George, Deputy Chair, Thys Heyns and Finance Committee Chair, Jamie Baensch.

Ms George said this week the new appointments represented a refresh and diversification for the GMC Board. “All are impressive leaders in their fields and bring additional areas of expertise, including finance and creative design,” she said.

“In addition all three are actively working already to help harness future opportunities for manufacturing growth in our dynamic region.”

She thanked retiring directors, Bernard Brussow, Ian Kett, David Sykes and Peter Dale for their significant contributions over many years.

Professor Tuba Kocaturk is Professor of Integral Design at Deakin University School of Architecture and Built Environment. Tuba is the founding director of MInD (Mediated Intelligence in Design) Lab; a trans-disciplinary and practice-based research group that operates at the intersection of Built Environment, Information Technology and Design Innovation.

As an architect, educator and international research leader, Tuba is the co-founder of the European Network of Transdisciplinary Design. Her work led to her receiving one of the first Design Foundations grants, introduced by the UK government through Innovate UK, aimed at helping businesses engage with wider stakeholders through human-centred research to identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate more innovative products, services and business models.

Professor Kocaturk is currently collaborating with the City of Greater Geelong for the development of the city’s future agenda as a UNESCO City of Design.

Rob Backwell is a director of the IXL Group of companies, including Backwell IXL and IXL Metal Castings.  IXL has been making things in Geelong since 1858, and today its Geelong manufacturing activity includes domestic appliances, metal stamping and a foundry.  The Group’s domestic appliance marketing and distribution business, IXL Home, sells IXL, Cannon and iRobot appliances throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Rob was previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Group, where he had an 18-year career in investment banking and private equity investment. He holds degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Farm Foods’ CEO, Greg Hughes, has vast experience in food manufacturing and business, including executive level positions for the last 15 years with Mars Incorporated, Sakata Rice Snacks, Dymocks Group and A2 Milk.

Greg completed a diploma of teaching at ACU in 1987, but decided post graduating, that the FMCG sector, predominantly in food manufacturing suited him best. Greg has successfully managed ASX listed companies, private equity backed organisations as well as family-owned enterprises.

Farm Foods Australia is a Geelong based, 100% Australian family-owned food manufacturing business. From its humble origins in a Birregurra shopfront in 2003, Farm Foods has grown to become one of Australia’s leading meat and plant-based protein manufacturers and co-packers. The company is a specialist in value added meat products.