Meat Business Women Australian Launch Event


MC and Speaker profiles

The inaugural Australian Meat Business Women Networking Event is to be held on Wednesday, 3rd April at the Park Royal, Melbourne Airport. The event will be the first of its kind, bringing together women from across the meat supply chain, including processors, wholesalers, retailers and smallgoods manufacturers, to support women in our industry. Meet our MC and speakers for the event below.

Michelle Redfern

Michelle Redfern

Founder, Advancing Women

MC and facilitator for the event

Michelle is the founder of Advancing Women, an enterprise providing research and advisory services on equality, inclusion and gender diversity. She is also the founder of social enterprise and professional womens network, Women Who Get It and co-founder of social enterprise CDW (Culturally Diverse Workforces).

Michelle also facilitates workshops on Advancing Women and Building Leadership Capability, She will be bringing these skills and experience to our Forum.

Learn more about Michelle, Including her  achievements at

Ashley Gray

Ashley Gray

GM, Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Topic: “When you form communities, amazing things happen”

As General Manager of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Ashley heads the organisation responsible for the promotion of New Zealand beef and lamb on the domestic market, representing farmers, processors and retailers. Her role involves overseeing Retail Meat New Zealand (a member organisation representing the retail meat sector)

Ashley is also Chief Executive of the World Butchers Challenge – a butchery competition of epic proportions often referred to as the ‘Olympics of Meat’.

Ashley has also recently launched the New Zealand chapter of Meat Business Women, which embodies the purpose behind each of the organisations Ashley is involved with – When you form communities, amazing things happen.

Melissa Fletcher

Melissa Fletcher

CEO, Fletcher International

Topic: “Shifting the dial – Supporting women in regional workforces”

As Chief Executive Officer of Fletcher International Exports, Melissa runs one of Australias largest lamb and sheepmeat processing businesses, with production sites at Dubbo, NSW and Albany, WA.

Melissa is also Deputy Chair of the Australian Meat Processors Corporation (AMPC) – the rural research and development corporation supporting the red meat processing industry throughout Australia.

As a woman with more than 30 years industry experience, and as an Australian of proud aboriginal heritage, she brings a unique perspective to both the meat industry and this event.

Dalene Wray

Dalene Wray

MD, OBE Organics

Topic: “The Importance of Meat Business Woman for our Industry”

As Managing Director of OBE Organics, Dalene is driving change, innovation and digital adoption in the Australian beef industry.

Dalene works tirelessly to run a growing, successful farmer-owned business, as well as driving a number of important innovations to improve the sustainability of beef supply chains across the industry.

Dalene is the recent recipient of a number of awards including the Chief Executive Women – Austrade Women in Export Scholarship to Harvard Business School, the Queensland Country Life Beef Achiever of the Year Award (the first woman in the awards history) & the Advance Award Food & Agribusiness.

She is also an in-demand speaker, having addressed audiences globally on agribusiness and women in leadership.

Ashleigh McBean

Ashleigh McBean

Victorian Apprentice of the Year

Topic: “The new generation of butchers”

A fifth generation butcher, Ashleigh recently represented her home state of Victoria and placed third in AMIC’s National Apprentice of the Year in Fremantle, WA.

Despite her heritage, Ashleigh’s parents never expected her to follow in their footsteps. This enabled her to fall naturally into the business and discovered a great aptitude and deep enjoyment in her work.

Ashleigh is a refreshing contradiction to the image of ‘butcher’, with progressive views on ethical meat eating.

Ashleigh brings a fresh focus on young women in the industry, in particular in the retail meat environment.

Fran Freeman

Fran Freeman

First Assistant Secretary, DAWR Export

Topic: “Facing the challenges Overcoming Obstacles when pursuing career goals”

Fran is First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture & Water Resource’s Export Division. Amongst other areas, she is responsible for Australia’s meat, animal products, fish and dairy export certification programs.

Fran’s extensive career in agriculture has seen her in roles such as Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and Chief Economist at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE). She also Chaired the OECD Joint Agriculture and Trade Committee.

Fran has also completed the Australian Rural Leadership Program in 2000 and has twice had the distinction of being named in Australias Top 100 Women in Agriculture.

The Australian Meat Industry Council is all about our members being Retail, Processing and Smallgoods.

© 2019 Australian Meat Industry Council.  All rights reserved


2nd Floor, 460 Pacific Highway
St Leonards NSW 2065

PO BOX 1208
Crows Nest NSW 1585

P:   1300 000 000
E:   [email protected]