Meet the APARS Steering Committee

Dr Aleta Knowles
Head of Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs, Virbac Australia Pty Ltd

With a scientific background in immunology and parasitology, Aleta brings to APARs over 20 years of industry experience in the development of drugs and vaccines for livestock and companion animals, from discovery to market. She is currently the Head of Regulatory Affairs Clinical R&D for Virbac, a multinational animal health company. Aleta’s role encompasses the identification of technologies commercialisation, and the management of veterinary clinical studies and product development programs to deliver innovative animal health technologies to veterinarians, pet owners and farmers. Aleta is an active mentor of postgraduate students and ECRs through the transition from academia to industry.

Dr Melissa Palviainen
Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Dr Melissa has a background in natural resource management, horticulture, and plant biotechnology PhD, Melissa brings a breadth of understanding of the importance of sustainable and innovative approaches to agriculture. Through over 12 years of regulatory affairs experience with BASF Melissa has become particularly passionate about cross-industry collaboration and delivery of solutions that take the most efficient route for best outcomes to all key stakeholders. Her passion for the improvement of regulatory affairs to deliver the best outcomes across the industry led to the completion of a Graduate Diploma in Politics and Policy and a dissertation in Global Harmonisation of regulation of pesticides.

Maggie Hardy
Executive Director Office of Licensing and Compliance at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

Dr Maggie Hardy, Executive Director Office of Licensing and Compliance at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), has held a range of senior leadership roles in Australia and the United States. Internationally recognised for her scientific and leadership contributions, Maggie is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (Australia and New Zealand) and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (United Kingdom). She has experience in risk management, program governance, emergency preparedness, implementing quality management systems (QMS), and using big data to develop metrics to direct and evaluate innovative change management programs.

Professor Paul Martin
Director of the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law

Professor Martin, the director of the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law has substantial experience in leading research on law and policy issues affecting rural people.  Among these have been leading multi-year projects for the Irrigation Futures CRC and the Invasive Animals CRC. He has published on aspects of rural technology and commercialisation. His scholarly profile can be found here. Prior to joining the University of New England, Professor Martin had extensive experience as a director of listed and unlisted companies and on government advisory boards, senior executive roles, as a venture investor and as a strategy advisor.  His strategy advising roles included multiple projects concerned with advanced technology strategy and innovation commercialisation.

Professor David Miron

David is the Director Regional Development at the University of New England, Armidale. David has a PhD in Computer Science, and a passion for pursuing research outcomes which provide benefit regional communities, farmers and local businesses.

Jonathan Holloway

Jonathan Holloway, Born; Grantham U.K., Education; University of Reading, U.K., PhD; Insecticide Resistance, Post Doctoral Fellow; Louisiana State University, Cotton Entomologist, Australian Cotton Research Institute, Narrabri, Private Industry; National, Regional and Global Development Manager (TX), Head of Stewardship for North America (RTP). Prior representative of IRAC Chemistry and Biotechnology, current member of Crop Consultants Australia. Previous role; Directory of Efficacy and Safety at the APVMA. Current Role; Head of Regulatory Affairs and Stewardship Syngenta Australia and New Zealand


APARS is a non-profit organisation. A constitution, charter and codes of conduct that details governance will be prepared and ratified within 12 months of the commencement of the organization. Until such time will operate under Model Rules.

The APARS Board will, under the direction of an independent Chair, provide oversight of the CEO’s performance in managing the association. Board and officers of the company will provide their time gratis initially.