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Chemistry Australia announces new Chair, Deputy Chair - 28 March 2019

Chemistry Australia announces new Chair, Deputy Chair

Chemistry Australia has announced David Hawkins, Chairman and Managing Director at BASF Australia and New Zealand, as the new elected Chair of Chemistry Australia.

Russell Schroeter, Managing Director of SNF Australia, has been elected as Chemistry Australia Deputy Chair.

The Board moves follow the recent departure of outgoing Chair Louis Vega, Managing Director of Dow Chemical Australia and New Zealand, who stepped down from the Chemistry Australia Board following his recent posting to lead Dow Chemical Company’s government affairs and public policy efforts in the United States.

Chemistry Australia CEO Samantha Read said she is delighted to welcome both David and Russell to their new positions as Chair and Deputy Chair of Chemistry Australia.

“David and Russell bring valuable experience to the Chemistry Australia Board having operated businesses in a global investment environment,” said Ms Read.

“As Chemistry Australia Chair, we look forward to David’s continued leadership as an advocate for the Australian chemistry industry’s social licence and the sustainability of our sector.

“David is passionate about the industry’s role in developing innovative, science-based solutions to address global challenges like climate change and plastic waste.

“He is also a Male Champion of Change and actively involved in improving workforce diversity in the industrial manufacturing and transport sectors.

“In the Deputy Chair role, Russell’s deep knowledge of supply chain efficiency and investment in manufacturing will also be vital as we continue to campaign for conditions to attract long-term investment in Australia.”

Newly-elected Chemistry Australia Chair David Hawkins said social licence will continue to be a key focus to enable the chemistry industry to contribute both sustainably and economically to Australia for the long term.

“As one of Australia’s largest manufacturing sectors, the chemistry value chain needs to be progressive in order to attract diverse talent and create new growth opportunities,” he said.

“We want to see the environment we operate within continue to support Australia’s rich history of world-class innovations into the future – this is vital for Australia to remain globally competitive and attractive for investment.

“I’m very optimistic about opportunities for the chemistry industry and look forward to working with Chemistry Australia, the Board and our membership to foster an environment that creates long-term, sustainable growth,” said Mr Hawkins.

Ms Read also acknowledged the service of Louis Vega, who has led the Chemistry Australia Board for the previous 12 months.

“I’d also like to thank Louis Vega for his significant contribution to the Chemistry Australia Board and the Australian chemistry sector during his tenure as Chair,” said Ms Read.

“His advocacy on behalf of the industry has increased awareness of the critical issues that continue to impact manufacturing in Australia, including the need for affordable gas and energy.

“We wish Louis every success in his new role.”

Media contacts:
Shayna Welsh – [email protected] or 0448 660 443


Chemistry Australia is the pre-eminent national body representing the $40 billion Australian chemistry industry, one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country. The industry employs more than 60,000 people and contributes more than $10.8 billion to Australia’s GDP. Members of Chemistry Australia are positioned across the entire value chain including manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw material suppliers, fabricators, compounders, recyclers, research, academia and service providers to the industry. These businesses range from small family-owned companies to leading national and multinational enterprises.  


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