Our Team

Owen Atkin


In addition to AFII Director, Owen is an ANU Entrepreneurial Professor and leads the Atkin Group in the Research School of Biology, studying plant respiration and environmental factors.

Alison Bentley

Deputy Director

Alison has 18 years of international experience as a crop scientist, developing improvements to wheat and other cereals and helping to get them into the hands of farmers. She holds a joint appointment with the Research School of Biology.

Mandy Nguyen

Mandy Nguyen

Chief Operating Officer

Mandy began her role as AFII's Chief Operating Officer in 2020, after years at ANU in various financial management roles. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the executive team and operational management of AFII.

Martin Amidy

Senior Fellow in Agri-Technology and Research Translation Initiative Lead

Martin's work with AFII fosters collaboration and facilitates relationships between AFII, ANU researchers and industry stakeholders.

Rachael Rodney Harris

Innovation Training & Education Lead

Rachael is an ag researcher and educator whose work delivers industry training and education activities.

Denise Higgins

Senior Manager Strategic planning

Denise provides evidential advice to AFII’s Executive and the AFII Board to inform business decision-making.

Anne-Sophie Dielen

Industry Engagement Senior Manager

Anne-Sophie combines strong engagement and advocacy skills, regulatory and policy expertise, with a background in plant science.

Meredith Thomas

Executive Officer

Meredith has experience in business, education and research management, contract management and partnership building.

Phillipa Wilkes

Senior Administration Officer

Pip provides executive support to the Director and AFII team, Hub community and stakeholders.

Liam Wong

Data Analyst

Liam has background in the IT industry and holds double Masters degrees in IT and Data Analytics. He supports AFIIs evaluation and reporting through meaningful management of data.

Alex Maier

Marketing and Communications Manager

Alex leads Marketing and Communications for AFII following extensive experience in the Australian public service. She works Mon, Wed-Fri.

Bec Hopkins

Senior MarComms Officer

Bec has worked across many roles at the University and provides MarComms support to AFII. She works Mon -Thurs.

Alex Hart

Administration Officer

Alex provides general administrative support to the AFII team and Hub members. She works Mon -Thurs.

Thomas Davis

Innovation Education Project Officer

Tom supports educational programs that enhance capacity and grow awareness of agrifood sector career pathways. He has a background in IT service delivery in industry and at the University.