Our Board

South East Local Land Services is governed by a board of local people.

Board members work closely with landholders and local communities to identify and deliver services that are relevant to local needs.

Local boards are comprised of a mix of Ministerially-appointed and elected board members who bring a wealth of skills, experience and commitment to the organisation.

The Chair and three board members are appointed by the Minister for Agriculture and Western New South Wales while the remaining three board members are elected by Local Land Services ratepayers.

Together they focus on the strategic direction of the organisation, promoting the services offered, encouraging partnerships and building strong relationships with investors while also communicating the priorities and concerns of customers to local boards.

Section 29 of the Local Land Services Act 2013 sets out the functions of local boards. They are legally binding and should be interpreted as the definitive reference regarding the role of local boards.


Fay Steward, Tarranganda

Fay’s early career in rural and regional town planning focused primarily on developing strategic land use policy and strategy for various NSW Government land planning and management agencies. Fay has worked successfully with many community based organisations to establish co-operative agreements to manage parks and reserves with intrinsic natural and cultural values. Now retired, Fay is a small-scale beekeeper. Fay was appointed to the South East Local Land Services Board in 2019.

Appointed Board members

Bunja Smith, Surf Beach

Bunja identifies as a Walbanga and Murramerang man from the greater Yuin nation and is a recognised Aboriginal Elder in his south coast community. He is a proven leader, capable of multitasking and maintains his own employment while influencing the advancement of Aboriginal people. He has held board positions on various health, legal and natural resource management organisations on the south coast. Bunja was appointed to the South East Local Land Services Board in 2019.

Ian Johnsson, Carwoola

After early research positions with the SA Department of Agriculture, the Agriculture and Food Research Council (UK), and CSIRO Human Nutrition, Ian forged a career in national RD&E management in Australia’s livestock industries, including as general manager in both Australian Pork Ltd and Meat and Livestock Australia in the period 2000-2011. Ian has over 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director/council member with the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, the Sheep Cooperative Research Centre, Sugar Research Australia and the ACT NRM Council, and provides consulting expertise in strategic planning, program/project planning and evaluation. He is an active member of his local community association and Queanbeyan Landcare, and was appointed to the Board in 2021.

Mila Bristow, Garran

Mila Bristow is the General Manager, Partnerships and Innovation at Plant Health Australia (PHA) based in Canberra, ACT. She has a background in forest and agriculture sciences, agribusiness innovation, and natural resource management.

Mila has an MBA and is a recent AICD graduate. She has over 25 years’ experience as a plant scientist and manager, with more than six years executive leadership experience.

Mila has experience with advisory panel and steering committee roles and has held senior and executive roles in Australia’s agri-innovation system in state and territory governments, universities, research development corporations and not-for-profits.

Elected Board members

George Merriman, Boorowa

George Merriman is co-principal and general manager of the Merryville Merino stud near Boorowa that also operates beef and cropping enterprises. George has qualifications in agriculture and has since sought further training in environmental management, animal health and cropping. He is actively involved in the Boorowa community in a range of industry groups and initiatives. This is George’s second term on the South East Local Land Services Board.

Robert Keith Ingram, Delegate

Robert resides in Delegate and works as a rural and regional development specialist as well as a Merino sheep breeder. He has almost 40 years’ experience designing, planning, managing, implementing and evaluating rural and regional agricultural and agribusiness development programs. He has done this in Australia, the Pacific and Asia on over 75 major projects in more than 30 countries. He is actively involved in several community groups and committees. This is Robert’s first term on the South East Local Land Services Board.

Related information