AHIC Secretariat & Directorate
The AHIC Directors and Trustees are volunteers who are committed to serving the Australian Horse Industry.
Mark Burnell (Vic), President
Mark has ridden horses all his life and grew up attending Kangaroo Ground Pony Club and is now a licensed racehorse trainer and hobby breeder.
Mark been working as an Equine Dental Technician since 1985 and is one of only 35 horse dentists that hold accreditation under the Equine Dental Associations Certificate IV in Work Practices for Equine Dental Technicians. His profession has provided him with the opportunity to travel and work in different countries and with some of the most experienced horse dentists in the world.
Mark is the current President of the Equine Dental Association of Australia and the Victorian Horse Council. Both of these roles give him the opportunity to keep in touch with all sectors of the horse community from racehorses, performance horses, pleasure horses and service providers, all of whose opinions are important to the future of the Horse Industry.
During EI, Mark worked as a Horse Industry Liaison Officer with DPI Victoria at their Attwood premises. He was also instrumental in organizing a meeting that brought together all sectors of the Victorian Horse Community in an endeavour to co-ordinate the relief effort for horse owners during the Victorian Bushfires in early 2008.
Mark has represented AHIC at various Government and Industry meetings and forums and brings to the table the all important aspect of the “small business and service” part of the horse industry.
AHIC board of directors
Hunter Jones (NSW), Vice-President
Hunter Jones has been involved in the Australian horse industry for many years.
He has held general management and executive officer roles at breed associations and sporting organisations where he has used his highly developed business, marketing and financial management skills to advance the organisations that he has worked with.
He has also developed a very broad network within the western horse industry in the United States.
Hunter has also been involved with the Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC) for many years. He has previously held the position of Director and Vice President, where he played an integral role in ministerial task forces and industry liaison during the Equine Influenza outbreak of 2007.
He has been an active member of Australian Horse Industry Council Industry Advisory Committee dealing with the industry issues at large.
Born in Dubbo, NSW, Hunter completed his schooling at James Ruse Agricultural High School and went on to study business management. He established and ran a successful artificial breeding business which serviced a number of notable clients including the University of Sydney.
Hunter has been committed to the Australian horse industry and AHIC and remains so. He believes that the AHIC is an integral part of the industry and believes in the continuation and expansion of its good work in developing relationships with government and the industry at large.
Jamie Dowling (Vic), Secretary
Jamie has had 12 years experience as a Director on the Board of Southern Campdrafting Association. During this time he has served a number of terms as Vice President and Senior Vice President and one term as President in 2012/2013.
He has been a delegate to the National Campdraft Council of Australia for ten years and currently holds the position of Vice President.
During the past 30 years he has held positions on a number of community groups and farmer representative bodies as well as a 15 year term as President of the Yarrawonga and District Agricultural Show Society.
His tenure within these organisations has given him good insight into the competitive and leisure aspects of the horse industry, especially in respect to animal welfare and the public perception of various horse related activities.
Roger Lavelle (Vic), Treasurer
Roger’s professional training is that of Veterinary Surgeon. He graduated from the University of Cambridge and after 2 years in general practice returned to Cambridge and worked in the University Veterinary Clinic and Hospital. He had a short period in the Pony Club in England and rode out at a local racing stable. He hunted with a harrier pack for a few seasons in school holidays.
Roger joined the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Veterinary Science in 1976 and remained there on staff until 2007. He obtained Veterinary Specialist Registration (Veterinary Radiology) in 1988 and contributed Scientific Meeting both here and overseas.
He has been an active member of the Australian Veterinary Association with a period on the Victorian Division Committee holding the President’s position for 1 year. During this period he represented the Division on the AVA National Council. He gained experience in working with State Government Departments, Municipal Authorities and Animal Societies during my time on Divisional Committee. I was elected a Fellow of the AVA in 1994.
Roger completed the Industry Liaison Officer training course prior to the Equine Influenza outbreak and the EFA Horse Health Steward training day in order to be able to contribute to biosecurity in the equine industry.
Roger is currently a member of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee and a member of the Victorian Canine Association’s Canine Health Committee which is primarily involved in management of hereditary disease issues. One of my main current professional interests is providing a consultancy on canine hip and elbow dysplasia to dog owner/breeders and many service organisations which use dogs.
He has been a member of the Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria for 10 years and has been an active competitor during this period. He has a keen interest in Lancefield Equestrian Group with several years on Committee and as President. He has also had 5 years on the HRCAV Committee including 3 years as President and is a member of EA and currently compete at dressage. He has acted as an observer representative from HRCAV to EA Vic Branch and has been a member delegate to the Victorian Horse Council and is a Past President.
Nina Arnott, Director
Nina has experience in education, occupational health and safety and risk management and grant writing. She has extensive links with State and Federal Government. She has had experience in the horse industry in many ways: providing advice to members of the public, governments, councils and lawyers regarding issues linked to working with horses.
She is currently Horse Safe Australia’s executive officer, clinic assessor and point of contact. Horse Safety Australia provides qualifications for people teaching others to ride, whether instructing riding for beginner riders or for those wanting to improve their skills, as well as those running trail riding or clinics. The qualifications are recognised nationally for multi discipline use and are linked to the SIS10 Training Package. She is one of the chief assessors for this process.
Nina has been on the AHIC Board before, helping extensively in the EI crisis, and having a pivotal role in the development and implementation of the AHIC Code of Practice: Horsesafe.
She was involved in the development of the Safe Work Australia Guide and Safe Work NSW Code of Practice for working with people new to horses and the development of units in the Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package. She is trainer / assessor qualified, have a Diploma in Work Health and Safety and have had experience as an expert witness.
Nina’s personal background with horses involved running a school camp, managing all aspects of the wellbeing of up to 35 horses in a program teaching around 150,000 young people (many one timers) to ride over 40 years. This involved managing the health, nutrition and training of horses, breeding programs as well as staff training.
Julia Battams, Director
Julia has had over 40 years of experience in the horse industry, beginning with Pony Club as a child. She is still currently an active dressage competitor and runs her own successful equestrian business, incorporating a riding school, agistment and training centre (Balmoral Equestrian Centre). She holds a Bachelor Degree in Science from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Neuroscience and Zoology, plus a Diploma in Education from Victoria College. She is also a NCAS Level 3 Dressage Specialist Coach and Coach Educator.
She has been involved with Riding for the Disabled for many years then with Equestrian Australia as Head Coach for the para equestrian program from 2009 – 2012, and National Performance Director 2012 – 2016.
Julia has been responsible for program design for both pathways and high performance squads, planning, budget, reporting and logistics for nine international campaigns, including two Paralympic Games, two World Equestrian Games and one Olympics Games.
She is passionate about developing cooperative and collaborative relationships within and outside of the equestrian industry and looks forward to working with all members of the equestrian industry.
Larry Cutler, Director
Larry has extensive experience within the horse industry. He has spent 55 years working in the industry, including as a breeder, competitor, judge and classifier for the Australian Stock Horse Society.
He has 40 years’ experience working on Committees and Boards, as well as three years as the Australian Stock Horse Society’s representative on the Australian Horse Industry Council’s Industry Advisory Committee.
Larry is currently Senior Vice Chair on the ASHS Board of Directors.
Michael Mackinnon, Director
Michael worked as a Senior Associate at Australian firm, Minter Ellison, specialising in corporate recovery and insolvency and commercial dispute resolution.
He has considerable legal experience in business affairs, banking and finance, building and construction, international trade, stockbroking and myriad professions.
Michael has been principal of HorseForce Legal since 1998, a national legal service advising and representing equestrian businesses, individuals and organisations. He is also a director of HorseForce Pty Ltd, which retails his standard contracts on-line which help to protect Australian equestrian businesses and enthusiasts in many types of horse related transactions.
He has been a guest educator at Equitana Asia Pacific in 2005, 2008 and 2010 regarding legal issues with horses.
He is the regular, monthly legal columnist with Horse Deals magazine, updating the equestrian community on legal topics of interest, a role he began in 2003 and continues to this day.
Michael is a past breeder of Warmblood performance horses, a current owner of local and imported dressage horses, has been involved on the ground with his own competition horses in the UK and is a regular spectator at horse events/competitions.
Australian Horse Industry Council
P.O. Box 802,
Geelong VIC 3220
Phone: (03) 5222 6650
Fax: (03) 5229 8244