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CHAIRPERSON

libby graham

Libby moved to Tasmania in 2012, after a diverse career across a range of industries including start-ups and large corporations. Her experience includes roles in UX design, product management, strategic management and as a founder of several enterprises.

She currently holds the role of Head of Product at Ezypay, where she leads the product vision and strategy, develops and maintains the product roadmap, and works closely with cross-functional teams to deliver products that exceed customer expectations and drive business growth.

Libby is super passionate about small-scale food production and moving to a decentralised model where access to nutritious, affordable and healthy food is available to everyone.

She has first hand experience of the Spout Producer Program as she was part of the 2021 Sprout Cohort where she embarked on the setup of a small market garden in South Arm. She is really humbled and excited to take on the Chair role and is keen that Sprout not only continues to provide support for Tasmania’s growing community of small scale food producers, but that it’s able to do this sustainably into the future.

When she’s not developing innovative products in the fintech space, she can be found bushwalking in the Tasmanian Central Plateau, running with her dog Loki or happily tending her garden of petalled and leafy friends and sharing her produce with friends and family.


BOARD MEMBER / TREASURER

frank barta

Frank has an extensive background in finance and governance, working as a senior executive in local government, independent consultant and as a non-executive director of both major and small organisations over many years.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is Fellow of both CPA Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Frank has always held a strong belief in Tasmania and the special place it holds in the world. His love of quality produce and understanding of how it can change the way we live has drawn him to help support the small scale producers – and ambassadors – that are the reason for Sprout’s existence. 


BOARD MEMBER

lAUREN BYRNE

Lauren is co-owner of Felds Farm, a one-acre market garden in North Lilydale. Having worked in high-end restaurants in London, and Melbourne, Lauren ended up moving to Bagdad in Tasmania with her husband Michael.

Here they started growing vegetables in their backyard to supply themselves and their community, but before long they were selling to restaurants in Hobart.

In 2019 Lauren and Michael moved their market garden to North Lilydale where they practise organic and no-till principles to produce a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruit. Their passion for regenerative agriculture, building soil structure and ecology combined with their knowledge of ingredients from their careers as chefs allows them to produce nutrient dense and delicious food in a sustainable system.


BOARD MEMBER

kate field

Kate is half of Leap Farm/Tonogola Cheese, which is located in Copping. She and her husband, Iain, have a small herd of cattle for beef, and a herd of Swiss Toggenburg dairy goats that they milk and then manufacture cheese. She also manufactures Leapful Skin products from the whey left over from cheesemaking.

In her spare time, Kate works as an Emergency Specialist at the Royal Hobart Hospital, and also oversees the training program in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for doctors becoming Emergency Specialists. This has given her great insight into policy, just and fair process, as well as Governance.

Kate is passionate about small producers’ role in food production and food security, in addition to how farmers can be part of the climate solution utilising agroecological principles. Occasionally, she publishes new episodes relating to this in her podcast, The Curious Farmer.


BOARD MEMBER

Stephen Peak

Stephen grew up in Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales, it was both here and in Queensland where he trained as a Chef and worked in several high-end restaurants. During a stint in London, Stephen was part of a team at Paxton & Whitfield cheesemongers where he sourced cheeses from small scale dairy producers for the retail and wholesale markets. Upon returning to Australia, Stephen worked in food importation and distribution, where he specialised in dairy before moving into General Management.

In 2018, Stephen moved to Tasmania to work at the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, where he is now Head Chef. It was on a previous trip in Tasmania when he visited the Agrarian Kitchen that he saw an opportunity to focus his cooking on what he is most passionate about; high quality ingredients from local producers. As head chef, he has been able to establish close working relationships with Tasmanian producers and growers bringing local ingredients to the forefront of high-quality dining in Tasmania.

Stephen hopes that through his role on the board of Sprout he can help to foster stronger relationships between restaurants and local producers. Stephen works closely with farmers and fishermen on a daily basis and is interested in bringing the very best Tasmanian produce to restaurants and eateries all over our state.


BOARD MEMBER

PENNY johnson

Penny is an ecologist who has experience working as a research scientist and statistical analyst for government agencies and private consultancies. She currently leads the Ocean Ecosystem Accounting Program at The Australian Bureau of Statistics, which provides information about Australia’s environmental assets and the interaction between the economy and the natural environment. In this role Penny brings together diverse stakeholders – from academic to NGOs to policy makers – to help ensure policy decisions support sustainable management practices.

Penny is also an enthusiastic home food producer, managing a large vegetable garden and orchard, laying hens and a small flock of Awassi dairy sheep, who provide an abundance of milk and cheese for the household.  As an ecologist she strives to understand how her management actions across her property interact with the natural environment. This has led her to a regenerative approach to farming, and the broader goal of creating a food system that is sustainable and aligned with what the environment can support. To this end Penny is committed to supporting the development of a localised food system that uses regenerative practices, is adapted to the local environment and focuses on producing abundant healthy food for resilient communities.

BOARD MEMBER

Lisa Jane o’Neil

Lisa Jane O’Neil is an experienced global strategic senior communications advisor, with a diverse background spanning Australia and international markets in public relations, non-profit, and journalism.

Starting her career at the West Australian newspaper in Perth, Lisa Jane quickly rose to the position of Property Editor before joining the Australian Financial Review bureau. She later relocated to Hong Kong, where she worked for Bloomberg Business News as the multinational media company expanded its global presence. During this time, she played a key role in negotiating and opening a news bureau in Vietnam following the lifting of the U.S. Trade Embargo.

Lisa Jane subsequently embarked on a journey that took her to Washington D.C. and Southeast Asia, with a sabbatical in the non-profit sector, working for Operation Smile.

She later shifted her focus to New York, where she founded LJOPR, a boutique PR and Marketing agency.

After recently spending time in Perth for family reasons, Lisa Jane made the decision to call the remarkable state of Tasmania her new home. In her spare time, she is a passionate amateur chef, having studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York and is committed to sustainable food practices. She is looking forward to bringing her experience in strategy, marketing, and fundraising to Sprout TAS, as well as previous board experience with Operation Smile Vietnam and the American Chamber of Commerce, Hanoi. 

BOARD MEMBER

KATE PLASCHKE

Bio to come.


Tony Scherer, Co-Founder of Sprout is our Sprout Patron.


We would also like to acknowledge and thank our past board members:

Alice Percy

Natalia Urosevic

Emma Terry

Cameron Johns

Rob Batten

Simon Stubbs

Jorja Callow

Larna Pittiglio

Sue Cutler

Ian Locke

Luke Burgess

Joanne Smith

Amanda Woolams

Deanne de Leeuw

Alistair Primrose

Alexandra Seager

Tim Russell-Jarvie

Justin Birchmore

Tanya Dalton

Nick Haddow

Courtney Drew

Hannah Martin

Genevieve Koning

Michaela Lamprey

Mark Massie

Don Thompson

Barry Hemmings

Our Board