Skip Navigation

Our Company

The trading name of The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST)

Ag Institute Australia is the peak industry body for agricultural and natural resource management professionals. Ag Institute Australia is committed to advancing the profession, and the application of science and technology, for the sustainable development of agriculture and natural resource management in Australia.
Ag Institute Australia members are engaged in a wide range of activities including research, education, government, agribusiness and private consulting.

The Institute sees its contract with the community as one that demands it maintains expertise and pays heed to the implications of its activities in relation to the wider environment in which the Australian people live.

To this end, the Institute is taking the lead in maintenance of professional standards, ethical responsibilities and the recognition in professional work of the broader environmental, social and industry context in which we work.

It is also taking the lead in promoting the importance of research and development in agri-industry, and in improved training of the agri-industry workforce to ensure a globally competitive Australian agri-industry.

» Read more about Ag Institute Australia  Membership Benefits here.

History Of The Institute

With an attendance of 150, the inaugural meeting of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (AIAS) was held in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens on 22 January 1935 as part of a joint function at which the Melbourne University Agricultural Society entertained visiting members of the Agriculture and Forestry section of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the advancement of Sciences.

The idea of an Australian association of graduates in Agricultural Science was conceived in 1932 in initial discussion between Gerald De Vahl Davis and J. Leith Gillespie, graduates respectively of the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne. There then followed an ever-widening circle of information discussions in several states. In August, 1933 Gerald Davis submitted a definite proposal for such an association, including a draft constitution, to a meeting of the Sydney University Agricultural Graduates Association. There was unanimous agreement "that a federation of men and women interested in the profession of Agricultural Science in Australia should be formed, and that the Agricultural Graduate Society in each State should be invited to consider the proposal".

Institute Merger - Extract from the journal 'Agricultural Science' - November - December 1996

The members of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (AIAS) and the Agricultural Technologies of Australasia (ATA) showed overwhelming support for the merger of the two organisations with over 95 percent of votes cast in favour of the merger at special meetings held on 30 September 1996. Three hundred and eighty-nine AIAST members voted for the resolution to merge, with 18 voting against the move. Over 200 ATA members voted for the merger with four voting against. A majority of 75 percent was required to proceed with the merger. The meetings voted to merge the AIAS and ATA into a single new organisation, The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology from 1 January 1997.

In 2002 the Council decided to revise the Constitution to bring it into line with current legal requirements and governance procedures.  Following wide consultation with members during 2003-4, a new constitution was developed and approved by members in May 2004.

National Presidents Since 1981



State of origin

1981 - 1982 Mr Robert Carraill Western Victoria
1983 Mr Henry Foster Tasmania
1984 Dr James Davidson ACT & SE NSW
1985 Mr Edgar Fitzpatrick Western Australia
1986 Dr Michael Carroll Western Australia
1987 Dr John Possingham South Australia
1988 Mr David Hanlon South East Qld
1989 Prof John Kennedy Eastern NSW
1990 Dr David Smith Melbourne
1991 Dr Gordon Burch ACT and SE NSW
1992 Dr John Leslie South East Qld
1993 Dr Brian Whelan Western Australia
1994 - 1996 Dr Nigel Monteith South Australia
1996 - 1998 Mr Neil Inall Eastern NSW
1998 - 2000 Mr Chris Russell Eastern NSW
2000 - 2002 Mr Ian Longson Western Australia
2002 - 2004 Dr Richard Luke Melbourne
2004 - 2007 Mr Charles Drew South Australia
2007 - 2008 Mr Claude Gauchat NSW
2008 - 2011 Mr Geoff Thomas South Australia


National Chair Since 2011

2011 - 2014 Mr Mike Stephens Victoria
2014 - 2016 Mr David Hamilton Queensland
2016 - 2018 Mr Andrew Bishop Tasmania
2018 - current Mr Turlough Guerin Victoria