Chief Executive Officer of Seafood Industry Australia Jane Lovell is a scientist by training, with experience in horticultural export and the fisheries portfolio in the Federal Parliament; both for small businesses and for large multi-national corporations.
Born in London, Jane has always had a love for nature and animals. Once Jane and her family picked up and moved to rural Australia, her love for nature and animals really developed. “I was always surrounded by our family cats, dogs and my beloved horses,” said Jane.
Many years later, nothing has changed as Jane has worked in agriculture throughout most her life – training as a plant pathologist and trialing agricultural chemicals. Jane believes her training in plant pathology was put to good use, when she started working for an entrepreneurial onion export business. This is where she gained the bulk of her hands-on experience in plant pathology, expanding her knowledge on plant diseases and how these diseases could be managed. “My challenge was to find a ‘cure’ for a spoilage disease impacting onion exports. I headed a start-up not for profit, developing and delivering food safety quality and environmental assurance for the horticulture, dairy, honey, seafood and egg industries,” said Jane. “I have worked right through the food supply chain both nationally and internationally.”
Her hard work and experience led her to where she is today, working for Seafood Industry Australia and she could not be happier in the role. “The common theme for the best moment within each role I’ve had, is when I have actually been able to help someone. As CEO of Seafood Industry Australia, there have been many opportunities to help – from lobbying the Federal Parliament on behalf of the industry, to seeking mental health support for a fisher in trouble.”
According to Jane, the biggest challenge the seafood industry in Australia faces is developing and maintaining connections within the community. As they are currently working on the challenges they are faced with, there are also many exciting developments happening within the seafood industry. “We have the world’s first carbon-neutral seafood business, we have revolutionary stock monitoring and feeding technology in aquaculture, we have new products being developed, and new ways of preparing and eating our fantastic product.”
Above all Jane is excited that as a whole, Seafood Industry Australia has found its voice and are being heard. “As the CEO I have been in the role for 15 months and I can see a difference in the way the industry is presented in the media and the profile we have politically,” said Jane. “The most exciting thing for SIA in 2019 is our work on our connection with the community. Showing that we have heard community concerns and demonstrating how we meet, and in many cases exceed community expectations. We have so many great stories to tell, which is really exciting.”
Jane leads a busy life with her career however, when she has the chance to wind down, she loves spending time on her property with her partner. “I enjoy evenings at home with my partner, watching the amazing sunsets over the Great Dividing Range, listening to the variety of bird life passing through, walking through the bush to check the horses or do a bit of yabbying in one of the dams. Dreaming up and refining plans for the property… those are the things that clear my mind, keep me grounded and help prepare me for the next day.”
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