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AWI shareholders endorse Constitution changes, elect two new directors

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) shareholders have today endorsed all changes to the AWI Constitution related to the implementation of the Review of Performance recommendations and have elected two new directors to the AWI board.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) shareholders have today endorsed all changes to the AWI Constitution related to the implementation of the Review of Performance recommendations and have elected two new directors to the AWI board.

Shareholders at the 2019 AWI Annual General Meeting in Sydney have voted to approve the changes to the Constitution in a significant milestone in the company’s commitment to implement in full the recommendations of the Review of Performance – in consultation with woolgrowers.

The endorsement of the changes takes the overall Review of Performance implementation rate to 96 per cent, with 73 out of 82 recommendations (89 per cent) now implemented in full.

AWI expects to implement the remaining recommendations in 2020. The recommendation related to the tenure of directors is the subject of ongoing consultation with the wool industry and is expected to be put to shareholders at the 2020 AGM.

The results of the AGM vote on the resolution related to changes to the Constitution are:

Resolution For Against Abstain Result
Changes to the Constitution 272,375 43,959 20,781 Approved

AWI shareholders have today elected two new directors to the seven-member AWI board – Dr Michelle Humphries and Mr Noel Henderson. Six new candidates stood for election to the board, having met the requirement to secure the nominations of more than 99 AWI shareholders, and two existing directors offered themselves for re-election – Mr Wal Merriman and Mr David Webster.

The three candidates with the most votes from shareholders, in person and by proxy, were elected to the three vacant board positions.

The results of the AGM director election votes are:

Candidate For Against Abstain Result
Mr Wal Merriman 146,398 152,825 3,543 Not elected
Mr David Webster 159,465 129,997 8,552 Elected
Mr Paul Cocking 45,212 138,004 40,729 Not elected
Mr George Falkiner 74,145 123,352 35,900 Not elected
Mr Noel Henderson 139,370 85,300 22,899 Elected
Dr Janelle Hocking Edwards 132,662 84,648 26,438 Not elected
Mr Philip Holmes 129,784 91,221 23,237 Not elected
Dr Michelle Humphries 166,140 95,549 18,953 Elected

AWI Chairman Ms Colette Garnsey welcomed Dr Humphries and Mr Henderson to the board.

“We know that Dr Humphries and Mr Henderson are passionate about the Australian wool industry and, like existing board members, are absolutely committed to AWI’s mission of supporting woolgrowers,” Ms Garnsey said. “They bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the board – along with fresh ideas and insights – and we look forward to working with them.”

The director election process will result in the departure from the board of former AWI chairman Mr Merriman. Mr Merriman has served on the AWI board since 2004 and was chairman from 2008 until his retirement in 2018.

Ms Garnsey thanked Mr Merriman for his long service to AWI and the Australian wool industry.

“As a director and past chairman of AWI, Wal has left an indelible legacy,” she said. “He has been a tireless, selfless and passionate advocate for woolgrowers and the industry today is so much stronger and sustainable thanks to his long leadership of AWI.

“It was Wal who engaged the industry with great brands and key retail markets. His vision has ensured wool is a valuable, considered and appreciated fibre by fashion houses and consumers around the world.”

Ms Garnsey also offered her thanks to outgoing AWI Deputy Chairman, Dr Meredith Sheil, who did not put herself forward for re-election and retired at the end of the AGM.

“Since joining the board in 2008, Meredith has made an enormous contribution to AWI, particularly in the areas of science and welfare but also governance,” Ms Garnsey said. “On behalf of the board, I wish her well in her future endeavours.”

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