The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia’s (CRCNA) today welcomed its new Chief Executive Officer Anne Stünzner – a north Queensland local with more than 20 years’ experience in agriculture, strategic economic and policy development.

Anne will be based in the CRCNA’s Townsville head office.

CRCNA Chair Sheriden Morris said while she was overwhelmed by the calibre of applicants vying for the CEO position, Anne’s demonstrated strong relationships with CRCNA stakeholders, technical advisory groups, government and research institutions securing her position as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Ms Morris said Anne had an impressive track record delivering meaningful, robust and sustainable projects across the north, leveraging her extensive network and knowledge to secure funding for roads, water infrastructure, airports, tourism and Indigenous engagement.

“Anne’s commitment to the north is unquestionable, having worked with her family on their sixth-generation cattle farm and notching up extensive industry experience as an economist and strategic advisor for local councils, industry groups and development agencies.

“The CRCNA Board and I look forward to working with Anne as we continue to progress the developing Northern Australia agenda and invest in R & D which delivers for industry and de-risks investment in the north,” Ms Morris said.

Anne said growing up in the north has given her a strong foundation and understanding about business, research and development and sustainable, modern farm management practices.

“I grew up here, I live here, and I have worked extensively across the north, so I understand how important it is to have someone in your corner, advocating for you and someone who is focused on the opportunities and delivering solutions for communities, businesses and investors.

Anne comes to the CRCNA having worked as a senior economic strategist for the Regional Development Australia Tropical North and as CEO of Growing Central Queensland, where one of her key achievements included securing funding for the business case for Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy River ($354 million).

As the CEO of the Central Queensland Forest Association, Anne and her team led the formation of business operations through the commercial arm of Forest Based Solutions, including a $56 million commercial forest harvest/bio-fuels export project.

Anne’s advocacy and negotiating skills were fine-tuned during her earlier time as a Senior Portfolio Policy Advisor for the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.

She said she looked forward to putting her skills, experience and networks to work for the CRCNA.

“On the back of last year’s State of the North report, the CRCNA is well-positioned to drive the developing Northern Australia agenda forward and underpin the north’s economic prosperity with good science and governance and innovative policy solutions,” she said.

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