Former NT Farmers head to lead RINA

Former head of NT Farmers, Paul Burke, takes on role at RINA to help drive innovation in Northern Australia’s agriculture sector. Image credit: Charles Darwin University

Former NT Farmers CEO Paul Burke has been named Steering Committee Independent Chair of the Research Institute of Northern Agriculture (RINA).

Burke was the NT Farmers’ CEO for four years and was vital in getting mango pickers to assist the Northern Territory industry to survive the lockdown when fruit rotted on the ground in other regions due to picker shortages.

Burke stated that the RINA will examine and provide answers to many of the challenges confronting Northern Australia’s agriculture industry.

“I’ve seen how misinformation can damage or hamper an industry’s growth in the NT, such as cotton,” he said.


According to him, cotton does not ruin rivers; rather, it is the result of faulty laws and poor administration.

“RINA is the vehicle to deliver evidence-based research for a range of issues with agriculture in the Northern Territory as we look for opportunity for growth,” Burke said.

“I expect research at the institute to have impact not only across Northern Australia, but also across south-east Asia,” he added.

Burke’s appointment was welcomed by RINA interim Director Sam Banks, who said he had worked closely with the former NT Farmers chief on agricultural issues.

“Mr Burke has always taken a collaborative approach to management and prefers to take people on the journey with him rather than push an agenda,” Professor Banks stated.

“In the field of research and innovation a collaborative approach is what we need,” Professor Banks added.

RINA was founded this year with the appointment of biosecurity, broadacre cropping, pastoral, and aquaculture researchers.

The institute is located on the Casuarina campus of Charles Darwin University.