AHIC Secretariat & Directorate
The AHIC Directors and Trustees are volunteers who are committed to serving the Australian Horse Industry.
Joy Poole OAM (NSW) President
Joy is the Past President of the Australian Stock Horse Society and is also an integral part of the Polocrosse Association of Australia and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to polocrosse as a player, coach and umpire.
Joy held the position of USA World Cup team coach and is the woman credited with winning equal recognition for women in the sport. She has a lifetime involvement in polocrosse as player, coach and administrator. Joy Poole has helped make polocrosse an international sport. A player from 1956 to 1999, Joy represented her home-State New South Wales and her country before turning to coaching. She was the first Australian female coach to represent internationally: in New Guinea in 1978; Indonesia 1983, Zimbabwe 1987, the USA 1998 and New Zealand in 2006.
Joy Poole coached the Australian Ladies Team 1998-2002 and NSW State Teams 1988-2002. She has coached the USA World Cup teams of 2003 and 2007. Joy has been a member of the Polocrosse Association of Australia Council for more than 20 years.
Kent Wells (QLD) Director & Vice President
I am married with two children and live near Boonah where we operate our Australian Stock Horse Stud, Hawthorne Stud and also breed cattle. I have been involved with horses all of my life, playing polocrosse from the age of 8 years old and being a member of the Australian Stock Horse Society since 1978.
I am a qualified Master Farrier with over 20 years experience, specializing in foal correction and yearling preparation. I employ two apprentices and am keen to see the industry improve its skills and professionalism.
I have always had a strong commitment to polocrosse representing Queensland from 1977 to 2008 and Australia in 1994 and 2001. I am a National Level Umpire and NCAS Level 2 coach which allowed me to coach the Australian Men’s Polocrosse Team travelling to New Zealand in 2006. On an administrative level I have held many positions in the Warwick Polocrosse Club, I have held the position of President of the South East Queensland Polocrosse Association 2003 – 2006. I am currently on the Australian Umpiring Committee and have been the Queensland Director of Umpiring and Zone Director of Umpiring. I held a position on the Australian High Performance Committee for the PAA 2004 – 2007. The Warwick Club hosted the 2003 and 2007 Polocrosse World Cup of which I was a committee member, organising the volunteers and Chief Horse Co-ordinator, sourcing over 150 horses from around Australia for each event for the eight competing countries to play. These works lead me to be a finalist in the Administrator of the Year at the 2007 Queensland Sports Awards.
When EI hit I was one of the members of the Queensland Performance and Pleasure Horse EI Steering Committee working heavily with the Queensland Government. This lead to being the inaugural Chairman of the Queensland Performance Horse Industry Alliance. The QPHIA have worked tirelessly with the Queensland Government and industry members to educate the government of the diversity of the pleasure horse industry as well as inform members of government guidelines and initiatives.
AHIC board of directors
Dr Catherine Ainsworth (Vic) Director
I am a registered veterinarian with postgraduate qualifications in equine medicine, experience in equine practice, a Master of Business Administration and am a Graduate of The Australian Institute of Company Directors.
My past role as Director of the Victorian Veterinary Laboratory saw me overseeing biosecurity issues (EI, Hendra), international movement of horses, and animal welfare.
I have experience in government policy development, economic analysis, submission of grants and tenders along with a lifelong association with the horse industry. I am currently the CEO of Pony Club Australia and a Director of Harness Racing Victoria.
Dan O’Dwyer (Vic) Director
My background is Finance (B.Com, CPA) and Sales & Marketing within the Hoofcare Industry.
I am responsible for the Asia Pacific region for Mustad International Group and have travelled extensively, within the region where I have been fortunate enough to be exposes to many disciplines within the Equestrian Industry – in Commercial aspects.
I can bring a knowledge of current market trends in regional markets, along with commercial skills that may be of benefit to the AHIC.
Jamie Dowling (Vic) Director
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.
Mark Burnell (Vic) Director
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.
Roger Lavelle (Vic) Director
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.
Australian Horse Industry Council
P.O. Box 802,
Geelong VIC 3220
Phone: (03) 5222 6650
Fax: (03) 5229 8244