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Directors and Management

Hon. Sarah Courtney

Non-Executive Chair (Independent)

Ms Courtney was appointed as an independent Chair of East 33 in December 2022.

Sarah is an experienced leader who has worked across diverse roles in government and the private sector.  After a decade working as a stockbroker and equities analyst Sarah established and continues to run a successful boutique vineyard in Tasmania.

Sarah served as Member for the state seat of Bass (Tasmania) from March 2014 to February 2022 and was a State Government Minister from March 2018 to February 2022 across a wide range of portfolios, including Minister for Primary Industries and Water.

Sarah is on the board on the Australian Wine Research Institute and serves on the audit and risk committee.

Michael Ryan

Non-Executive Director (Independent)

Mr Ryan joined the Board in November 2022.

Mike has an agricultural degree from Massey University, New Zealand and comes from an agricultural background. Mike has high profile executive and board experience. He was previously an executive director and Head of Distribution of Morgan Stanley Australia, an executive director of Citi.

Mike also has previous executive experience at Goldman Sachs JBWere in Sydney and London where he was an executive
director. He is also a former Managing Director and Head of Equities and Operations at CIMB and is the former Head of Equities at Shaw and Partners.

Dr Justin Welsh

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Justin Welsh joined East 33 in October 2023.

Dr Welsh worked as the Chief Operations Officer of Aquaculture at Harvest Road Group the Tattarang-owned agribusiness. In this role, he consistently delivered business growth through innovative strategies and execution excellence.

Prior to this, Dr Welsh worked as a General Manager of Aquaculture at Harvest Road Group and a Business Development Specialist at MScience. Dr Welsh also has Board experience as Non-Executive Director of Future Feed and Aquaculture Council of Western Australia (ACWA).

Gary Higgins

Non-Executive Director (Non-Independent)

Mr Higgins joined the Board in November 2022.

Gary is a senior finance professional with over 40 years' experience across a range of industries.

Gary runs his own advisory practice and is the non-executive chairman of Yumbah Aquaculture Limited (Yumbah). Gary became a director of Yumbah in 2008 and the chairman of Yumbah in 2016. He has assisted with the acquisition of multiple abalone farms and oyster operations in addition to a mussel farm. Gary has also reviewed many aquaculture operations which did not result in any transactions.

Gary also has experience in business valuations, mergers, acquisitions, divestments and financial analysis. Gary was a partner at Ernst & Young for 18 years prior to starting his own practice. Gary is a Chartered Accountant, a Registered Tax Agent.

Ben Cameron

Non-Executive Director (Non-Independent)

Mr Cameron joined the Board in November 2022.

Ben is a well-known farming figure in the Australian oyster industry. He has 15 years' experience in hatcheries, nurseries and on farms.

The majority of Ben's experience has been as general manager and director of Cameron of Tasmania (CoT), Australian's first vertically integrated oyster business.

Ben guided the business through the Tasmanian POMS disease outbreak and through that process, he helped found Yumbah Hatchery Pty Ltd, a successful pacific oyster hatchery in Port Lincoln.

Ben became an executive director on the board of Yumbah Aquaculture Limited in 2021 after concluding an M&A process that saw CoT merge with Yumbah. Ben has a degree in economics and arts and has input on multiple industry boards, including the Tasmanian oyster research council.

Veronica Papacosta

Non-Executive Director (Independent)

Ms Papacosta joined the Board in July 2023

Veronica is an experienced director with over 20 years’ experience in complex, fast-growing companies in seafood retail, commercial and residential property holdings, accounting, marketing and SME
administration sectors.

Veronica is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Seafood Industry Australia, the national peak body representing the interests of Australian seafood, and a Managing Director of Sydney Fresh Seafood (Aust) Pty Ltd, a seafood retail business with 20 retail and food service sites across NSW and QLD.

Prior to this, Ms Papacosta worked as a Director of VBK Marketing and served as a Chair of Seafood Industry Australia and a Council Member of such bodies as Ministerial Advisory Council, Agricultural Industry Advisory Council and National Fisheries Advisory Council.

Ms Amy Knoll

Chief Financial Officer

Ms Amy Knoll joined East 33 in February 2024.

Ms Knoll joined East 33 in February 2024 as the Chief Operating Officer and has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer in April 2024, where she continues to draw on her more than 12 years of extensive financial experience to support the business’ growth.

Beginning her career at KPMG Australia, Ms Knoll obtained her Chartered Accountant qualification, laying a strong foundation in accounting principles. Over the past ten years, she has honed her expertise in finance within multinational blue-chip organisations across diverse industries. Her international experience has provided her with a global perspective and a deep understanding of complex financial operations.

Prior to joining East 33, Amy was Finance Manager at Pernod Ricard in the UK prior to which she held senior financial planning and analysis positions at Pernod Ricard Netherlands and NBCUniversal in London.

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