USSCProject Team


Andrea Koch

Andrea Koch

Event Director

Andrea Koch is the soil policy specialist at the United States Studies Centre. She leads the Soil Carbon Initiative, a project of the Dow Sustainability Program. From a fifth generation Australian farming family, she brings together her knowledge of agriculture with 20 years of corporate marketing and product development experience in the telecommunications and media industries. Her corporate sector experience includes management and senior executive positions with IBM Australia, Optus Communications, Optus Vision and News Limited. 

Andrea holds a unique position as an expert in international, US and Australian soil policy. Over the past five years she has contributed to thought leadership in soil policy through policy briefings, speeches, general media articles, peer reviewed journal papers, and a series of meetings and public events in Australia, the US and Europe.

Andrea has completed a master in sustainable development and combines deep experience in building businesses with the contemporary agenda for a sustainable approach. She works as a key advisor to business and government to engage in the big issues of sustainable development that face society, through the lens of soil science and policy.

Given the “soil in her DNA,” and her deep understanding of the transformations required for a sustainable future, Andrea is passionate about bridging the gap between farmers, consumers, business, and policy makers and bringing soil into a renewed place of understanding and recognition.


Advisory Council


John Anderson

John Anderson AO

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

John is an Australian politician whose distinguished political career within the Commonwealth spanned nearly two decades. He served as a Member of Parliament (Gwydir) from 1989 to 2007 and as the 11th Deputy Prime Minister from 1999 to 2005.

He also held the position of the 10th Leader of the National Party of Australia during his time as Deputy PM. In 2005 he announced his retirement and resigned from his positions as Deputy PM and the National Party leader, but remained on as MP in the House of Representatives until his retirement in 2007.

John was honoured in 2011 as the recipient of Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service during his political career and his contribution to the rural communities in Australia, as well as his support for transportation development and water management.

He continues to dedicate his time promoting and serving the interests of Australia’s rural and regional communities. He is currently the Chair of the Australian Government’s INLAND RAIL Implementation Group, a multimillion dollar Brisbane to Melbourne rail project.

Graham Blight

Graham Blight

Chairman of Asia Pacific Kiko Technology and Kiko Agriculture

Graham retired from his position as NRMA’s non-executive Director in January 2015, having served on the Board since January 2003. He was Chairman of the Policy and Advocacy Committee and a member of the Finance and Investments Committee. Graham has been appointed to continue as the NRMA Ambassador for Alternative Fuels and Technologies.

Graham has and continues to be actively involved in many agriculture and agricultural businesses and was a former trade representative and adviser on agricultural matters to the Federal Government. He was President of the National Farmers' Federation from 1991-1994 and President of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia for nine years. He was also President of the World Farmers' Federation from 1994 – 1998 and consultant to the World Bank in 1998. Graham was also a Director of SunRice Australia from 1969 - 2003.

He was awarded a Centenary medal for his contribution to Australian society and government.


Mike Grundy

Mike Grundy

Research Director - Agriculture, CSIRO

Mike is the Research Director - Sustaining Soil and Landscapes in the Agriculture Flagship of CSIRO, Australia's national research agency. The Agriculture Flagship aims to increase productivity and maintain environmental health while meeting the food demands over the next 30 years. Mike's Research Program in this Flagship observes and predicts trends across agricultural and forestry landscapes and seeks to understand the interconnection with the wider economy and environment. The Program studies the interactions between natural resources, how we use them and the health and productivity across the whole landscape, and from the farm to the consumer. It relies on innovation in information and communication to gain impact in farm communities, relevant industries and in the policies and actions of various levels of government. It has a particular focus on the dynamics of our soils and landscapes.

Mike has a long-standing personal research interest in spatial soil science and its application to agricultural and forest production, environmental protection and systems approaches to complex problems - and has led major multi-disciplinary natural resource assessment activities for over 30 years.

He is a Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology and a Board Member of the International Soil Conservation Organisation. He recently co-chaired the Organising Committee of the World Soils Congress.


International Year of Soils NSW Department of Primary Industries Dow