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Sally Martin, second from left, pictured with MerinoLink directors, will step down as chief executive officer as the company restructures for growth.


September 26, 2018

Leading research organisation driven by grassroots Merino breeders and service providers, MerinoLink, is restructuring in line with changing research and extension demands.

MerinoLink Limited is a not-for-profit company and was instigated by a progressive group of ram and commercial breeders and service providers in 2012.

It aims to promote networks, innovation, technology, genetic benchmarking and research to improve the production and profitability of Merinos around Australia.

Under the guidance and leadership of chief executive officer Sally Martin, MerinoLink has grown over the past six years to a membership of 200, of which 54 per cent are commercial breeders.

MerinoLink has become a leading organisation in the sheep industry engaging with research and development corporation (AWI and MLA), the Sheep CRC, universities, government organisations and other production groups to facilitate R & D projects and trials valued at $3.5 million.

In a changing research and extension landscape of the Australian sheep industry MerinoLink’s growth has encompassed several key projects including the MerinoLink/UNE DNA Stimulation Project, part funded by the MLA Donor Company and hosting one of the five sites of the AWI Merino Lifetime Productivity Project.

Chairman Richard Keniry said the growth, increasing membership and number of projects required the organisation’s structure to move with the changing demands.

“For MerinoLink to continue to grow and to future proof the organisation, the Board in conjunction with Sally have conducted a review of the existing business operations to determine the required business model for the future,’’ Mr Keniry said.

“As a result of this review, the Board and Sally identified the need to diversify the current resource base beyond individuals and ensure we have the right foundation for growth.

“In line with this, an agreed transition plan has been developed which will see MerinoLink go to market for a new CEO and Sally Martin to step down from the position in December 2018.’’

Ms Martin will continue her engagement with MerinoLink in the position of project manager and technical advisor, supporting the current and future MerinoLink projects and trials.

Sally Martin said MerinoLink had developed to a level where it was highly valued by the industry.

“This success means a change in structure is required and the need to recruit a new CEO,’’ Ms Martin said.

“With the increasing demands from our key projects it is important to bring other people into the organisation to continue to grow the business, and ensure we have a sustainable organisation into the future that does not revolve around one key individual.’’

Mr Keniry paid tribute to Ms Martin for her tireless work to maintain the momentum and growth enjoyed by MerinoLink since its inception.

“I thank Sally for all her efforts and support, she works day and night on so many projects whilst managing the organisation, and without her contribution and dedication MerinoLink would not be where it is today” he said.

“Sally will continue to be involved in MerinoLink projects, providing project management and technical advice, as her professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication to projects is exceptional.’’

Mr Keniry said the Board had begun the CEO recruitment process and directors will be working with Ms Martin to ensure a smooth transition of the role and next phase of the organisation.