The Australian Mushroom Growers Association (AMGA) is a national peak industry body dedicated to driving value for our members, Australia’s mushroom growers.  Our vision is to ensure mushrooms are a vital, unique part of the Australian diet.

We provide a range of services to our members and the broader industry to foster growth and development, and our members comprise of Mushroom farmers, associated businesses and industry people.

The AMGA works with all parts of the supply chain, from production through to the consumer. By working together, we seek to continually improve our growers’ ability to provide a healthy, profitable and safe product for all consumers. As part of this continual improvement, we work with Hort Innovation to ensure the industry levy funded Research and Development and Marketing programs for the Australian Mushroom industry are well directed and responsive to industry needs.

The AMGA’s Governance:

The Australian Mushroom Growers Association is governed by a Board of Directors responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation. The Board comprises elected grower and industry members and AMGA members can stand for election to the Board at the AMGA AGM.  The AMGA office’s role is to manage the organisation’s business and implement the Board’s directions.

The AMGA's History:

The origin of commercial mushroom growing in Australia can be traced back to 1933 in disused railway tunnels under Sydney – including the incomplete Circular Quay to St James line. In the late 1930’s the mushroom industry moved outdoors to the Hawkesbury district when growers created the first raised beds in open fields, covered by nothing more than straw and hessian bags. It was hard going, with low yields and fragile mushroom crops at the mercy of Australia’s weather extremes. Relying on the expertise and hard work of newly-arrived migrants, the Australian mushroom industry became a reality.

With growing techniques in the 1940s and 50s still largely unchanged from the methods used in 19th Century Europe, mushrooms were very much a seasonal crop in Australia, produced during the cooler months.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that modern mushroom farming emerge on a world-wide basis. In 196, 18 growers attended a meeting in Parramatta to discuss the future of the mushroom industry.

From these humble beginnings, the Australian Mushroom Growers Association (AMGA) was formed. Committed to mushroom growers and the mushroom industry, the mission of the AMGA is simple: to provide wholesome food for the community.

In 2021, Australian Mushroom Growers celebrated 60 years of growing together.

The AMGA’s Board of Directors and Governance:

The Australian Mushroom Growers Association is governed by a Board of Directors responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation. The Board comprises elected grower and industry members and AMGA members, who can stand for election to the Board at the AMGA annual general meeting.

The following directors form the elected Board of Directors of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association for 2021/22.

Dr Geoff Martin

Dr Geoff Martin - Dr Mush Advisory

AMGA Chair & Director

Read Geoff's Bio >>

Dr Geoff Martin – Dr Mush

Geoff has been involved in the international mushroom industry for over 37 years; he has managed and directed operations at a range of composting and mushroom companies in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, New Zealand and Australia. Until recently he was the General Manager of Mushroom Composters based in New South Wales, a position he has held since 2001. In late 2018 Geoff decided to step back from the daily grind of running a composting operation, embraced semi-retirement and set up his own mushroom consultancy business, Dr Mush Advisory.

Geoff has acted as a consultant to mushroom operations in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Australia. He holds a PhD in Soil Science from the University of Reading United Kingdom. Geoff is passionate about the mushroom industry and believes that one of his most important tasks is to share his knowledge with fellow growers, facilitate the training of younger people in the industry and promote research and development especially in the field of composting.

Robert Tolson

Robert Tolson - Premier Mushrooms

AMGA Treasurer & Director

Read Robert's Bio >>

Robert Tolson - Premier Mushrooms.

Robert is the owner of Premier Mushrooms. The farm grows 2 rooms per week of Phase 3 compost. He is a Director of Sylvan Australia and Director shareholder of White Prince.

 

Mick Surridge

Mick Surridge - ScatoPlus

AMGA Deputy Chair & Director

Read Mick's Bio >>

Mick Surridge - ScatoPlus

Mick Surridge studied agricultural science at Dookie College and has a background in mycology and engineering with over 30 years’ in the Mushroom Industry. He is a co- founder, director and shareholder of ScatoPlus established in 1996 and has over 70 employees, supplies Mushroom compost in Australia wide, Asia and Pacific Island countries. He is a shareholder and Director of Bulla Park, Australia’s largest producer of Organic Agaricus and Pleurotis mushrooms. Mick is a past Chairman of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association and is currently one of the advisors of Hort Innovation's Strategic Industry Advisory Panel.

Kevin Tolson Regal Mushrooms

Georgia Beattie - Bulla Park

AMGA Deputy Chair & Director

Read Georgia's Bio >>

Georgia Beattie - Bulla Park

As a new generation of farmer, Georgia specialises in high performance farming, embracing the use of technology and innovation to achieve fast growth and scale in agriculture. 

Georgia began her career in the startup space, founding wine packaging business Lupé Wines in 2010. The company created innovative IP to manufacture a single serve glass of wine and raised venture capital to expand quickly into events, hotel minibars and airlines across Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. The company was acquired in 2016. 

Prior to this, Georgia spent a period in the tech industry as CEO of Realestate.com's new venture, Spacely, as well as CEO of Startup Victoria.

Georgia is also a non-executive Director of Rowing Australia and Second Bite and also on the advisory board of Law Squared. 

Nick Femia - SA Mushrooms

Nick Femia - SA Mushrooms

AMGA Director

Read Nick's Bio >>

Nick Femia - SA Mushrooms

Nick has been an AMGA member for 23 years, and previously spent 13 years on the AMGA board as well as the South Australian state director for 3 years.

He has been instrumental in shaping the industry, also having held positions on the AMSAFE program, MIAC, the AMGA Marketing Sub committee, Hort Innovation Strategic Industry Advisory Panel, and various mushroom project reference groups. He also spent time on the Horticulture Coalition committee of South Australia.

Nick and his family started SA Mushrooms in 1998, and the farm has recently expanded to include a state of the art compost yard, as well as a mushroom wholesale store in the South Australian Produce Markets - which distributes SA Mushrooms Australia-wide. This fully integrated business now has over 120 employee’s on three sites.

Nick is excited to be back on the AMGA board, and giving back to the industry, and believes that his most important role is to look after Growers’ interests, both large and small operators, in an equitable manner.

Phil Higgins

Phil Higgins - Parwan Valley Mushooms

AMGA Director

Read Phil's Bio >>

Phil Higgins - Parwan Valley Mushrooms

Phil is the CEO of Parwan Valley Mushrooms, with 35 years of operational and General Management experience in manufacturing across a variety of industries, including Petro-Chemical, Aircraft and Food Packaging, where he was responsible for 6 sites across Australia and New Zealand with a turnover of $400M per annum.

Phil has a Masters degree in Business Administration and experience with complex organisations. 

Jay Rogers

Jaylon Rogers - Revitalise Enterprises

AMGA Director

Read Jaylon's Bio >>

Jaylon Rogers - Revitalise Enterprises.

Jay is the general manager at Revitalise Enterprises. He has been around mushrooms all his life - growing up and working on his parents' farm (P&L Rogers) in South Australia. To gain experience outside the farm, Jay obtained a Bachelor of Civil & Structural Engineering and has held several roles within this field working on major bridge projects in a project engineering capacity over a five year period.

Jay re-joined the mushroom industry in 2017, taking up a significant role in a multi-million dollar project to build a new compost facility at Port Wakefield. Using a combination of his engineering and industry knowledge the new yard is a state-of-the-art facility, using the latest technologies (including NIR analysing equipment) to deliver real-time monitoring and management of all aspects of compost production.

Phil Rogers

Dr Jenny Ekman - AHR

AMGA Director

Read Jenny's Bio >>

Dr Jenny Ekman - Applied Horticultural Research

Dr Jenny Ekman is a horticultural researcher and science communicator with a longstanding passion for mushrooms. As a postharvest scientist, she has investigated modified atmosphere packaging, Vitamin D production, ways to keep mushrooms whiter longer and food safety for mushrooms. Jenny hosts the mushroom webinar series and is actively involved with the Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Unit.

Judy Allan

Judy Allan - Life Honorary Member

AMGA Director

Read Judy's Bio >>

Judy Allan - Life Honorary Member.

Judy worked from 1982-88 as the Mushroom Industry Advisory Officer in the NSW Deptartment of Agriculture, before she became a private consultant working at both farm and industry level. Since 1992 Judy has been project leader or team member in multiple funded projects including  Mushroom Picking Practices, Training, Pest and Disease Management, AMGA Journal Editor. She has also served on many industry committees and was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the AMGA in 2003.

 

AMGA Staff

The AMGA office's role is to manage the organisations business and implement the Boards directions.

Martine Poulain - Relationship & General Manager

Martine has held the position of Relationship and General Manager for the Australian Mushroom Growers Association, since August 2019.

Reporting to the board of the AMGA, Martine’s role is to lead all facets of the organisation, and implement the associations’ strategic plan.

Martine holds a Bachelor of Communications, and prior to joining the AMGA, she held leadership roles in a number of key industry associations– assisting them with their strategic and membership challenges.

Martine is passionate about establishing clear communication channels between her members and industry, and has instigated and managed several key projects aimed at implementing Best Management Practices.

She has been a strong voice for industry, and is a passionate supporter of growers through her sustained advocacy.

Leah Bramich - Australian Mushroom Growers Association - Communications Manager

Leah Bramich - Communications Manager 

Leah has been part of the AMGA team since April 2020.

Reporting to the Relationship and General Manager, and consulting to the AMGA marketing sub-committee, Leah's role to communicate to industry and consumers.

Leah holds a Graduate Certificate in Marketing, with a 19-year career in leadership roles within marketing management, media and PR.

As a dedicated mushroom lover and avid home cook, she is passionate about advocating mushrooms to all Australians, for their myriad of health benefits and delicious taste.

 

Honour Board

Since its inception, the AMGA has worked to represent the interests of its members to the betterment of the wider industry. Many people have taken up positions within the AMGA, while others have worked in roles to support the future development of the industry.

AMGA Foundation Members

  • Bill Anderson
  • Vern Cameron
  • Stan Grabowski
  • George Johnson
  • Martial Lawson
  • Eric Marland
  • Tom Paskin
  • F Thomas
  • John H Baker
  • John Daley
  • Bob Harris
  • Wally Klepetko
  • Ian Longworth
  • Des McCord
  • David Pulsford
  • J Wakeling-King
  • K Barton
  • Adam Ducats
  • Norman Johnson
  • J Larkins
  • Mal Manning
  • Keith Morrison
  • Arthur Thomas
  • JW Watt

AMGA Past Chairmen

2006/07 – Kevin Tolson

2005/06 – Kevin Tolson

2020/21 - Geoff Martin (Current)

2019/20 - Kevin Tolson

2018/19 - Tim Adlington

2017/18 - Tim Adlington

2016/17 – Kevin Tolson

2015/16 – Kevin Tolson

2014/15 - Mick Surridge

2013/14 – David Tolson

2012/13 – David Tolson

2010/11 – Douglas Schirripa

2009/10 – Michael Surridge

2008/09 – Douglas Schirripa

2007/08 – Douglas Schirripa

 

2004/05 – Douglas Schirripa

2003/04 – Douglas Schirripa

2002/03 - Brian Pratley

2001/02 – Douglas Schirripa

2000/01 – Douglas Schirripa

1999/00 – Carol Holden

1998/99 – Carol Holden

1997/98 – Robert N Tolson

1996/97 - 

1995/96 - Mick O’Brien

1994/95 - Robert N Tolson

1993/94 – Andrew Gulliver

1992/93 – Brian Carroll

1991/92 - 

1990/91 – Brian Carroll

1989/90 – Douglas Schirripa

1988/89 - 

1987/88 – Robert N Tolson

1986/87 – Noel Arrold

1985/86

1984/85 – Robert N Tolson

1983/84 – Martial Lawson

1982/83 - 

1981/82 – Hank Young

1980/81 – Robert N Tolson

1979/80 - 

1978/79 – Robert N Tolson

1977/78 – Martial Lawson

1976/77 - 

1975/76 – Graham Price

1974/75 – Robert N Tolson

1973/74 - 

1972/73 – John W Baker

1971/72 – Robert N Tolson

1970/71 - 

1969/70 – Peter Jones

1968/69 – Robert N Tolson

1967/68 - 

1966/67 – Keith Morrison

1965/66 – David Pulsford

1964/65 - 

1963/64 – Arthur Thomas

1962/63 – Arthur Thomas

1961 – John H Baker

Life Honorary Members

2007 – Peter Willemse

2006 – Douglas Schirripa

2003 - Judy Allan

2001 – Joe van Dorresteyn

1998 – Beryl Miller

1995 - Graham Price

1993 – Peter G Jones

 

1992 – VG (Wally) Klepetko

1991 - Herman P van Schajik

1990 – Robert N Tolson

1988 – Hank Young

1986 - Norman C Johnson

1985 – Dr Alan Clift

1984 – Martial Lawson

 

1982 - Norbert P Flynn

1981 – Dr N. G (Tan) Nair

1978 – Dr James W Sinden

1977 - John W Baker

1974 – Vince Pace

1974 - Fred Atkins

1974 – Roy Sanders

1973 – Dr Lillian Frazer

1971 – John W Miller

1966 - John H Baker

1965 – David Pulsford