DAF Leadership Board

DAF's Leadership Board is collectively responsible for the department's long-term performance, business success, and timely delivery of government's priorities.

The Board:

  • provides leadership, sets strategic direction, and ensures departmental goals and objectives are achieved
  • communicates policy direction and strategic priorities through the strategic plan, reviewing performance consistently
  • advocates for corporate governance, risk management, strategic investment, structures, internal controls and culture
  • offers strategic decision-making leadership to advance the department's purpose, policies and direction
  • monitors service standards delivery in an effective, efficient and ethical manner
  • exemplifies expected values and behaviours for all employees.

Board profiles

Bernadette Ditchfield PSM, Acting Director-General

Photograph of woman with blue eyes, shoulder-length, light brown straight hair, wearing a white top, striped jacket and a red necklace. As Acting Director-General, Bernadette leads a diverse department and a group of talented people who work with passion and purpose to connect with and support Queensland communities. Every day is different, and Bernadette is driven by the department's vision to enable the production and protection of food and fibre for Queenslanders and the world – delivering a tangible impact for future generations.

With a career spanning over 25 years, Bernadette brings a wealth of experience as a senior executive having held past senior roles in the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Queensland Treasury and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Known for her authentic leadership style, she is skilled in developing strong and resilient teams. She has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and consultation, maintaining a commitment to building long-lasting and genuine partnerships across diverse stakeholder groups.

In her role as Deputy Director-General of Agriculture for the past 5 years, she has focused on leading the development of policies, research and initiatives that enhance productivity and drive innovation in Queensland's agribusiness and food sector.

Bernadette successfully spearheaded the department's FutureDAF initiative, working with staff to promote innovation and a culture of continuous improvement.

In 2023, Bernadette was recognised for outstanding public service for the protection and development of agribusiness in Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elton Miller, Acting Deputy Director-General, Agriculture

Photograph of a man with short dark hair, greying at the temples, wearing black glasses, white business shirt, red patterned tie and dark suit jacket.Elton Miller has been Acting Deputy Director-General of Agriculture since late 2023.

In his role, Elton is leading Agriculture's strategic priorities in policy, science, industry development and service delivery.

He has been a part of the department since 2005, bringing extensive experience in industry development, strategic policy, agricultural economics, biosecurity, drought, natural disasters and climate change.

With over 30 years of public sector experience in both State and Commonwealth, Elton holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics with First Class Honours from the University of New England.

Coming from a farming background, he maintains a strong passion for agriculture and rural communities to this day.

Dr Rachel Chay, Deputy Director-General and Chief Biosecurity Officer

Photograph of woman with short, dark straight hair, wearing a white top and black jacket.Dr Rachel Chay was appointed as the new Deputy Director-General and Chief Biosecurity Officer in early 2023.

Before this appointment, Rachel served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. With 25 years of experience in animal health, regulatory affairs and government leadership, she is a strong advocate for lifelong learning.

Rachel holds an undergraduate qualification in Veterinary Science, along with Master's degrees in Human Resources and Organisational Development, as well as Public Administration. Her primary focus lies in effective public sector leadership, building organisational capability, and fostering strong, collaborative partnerships with stakeholders.

Rachel is dedicated to ensuring Biosecurity Queensland continues to protect the ecosystems, industries and way of life in Queensland. She is committed to maintaining our reputation for product safety and integrity, while securing ongoing market access for its commodities.

Justine Clark, Deputy Director-General, Corporate

Photograph of woman wearing glasses, a black top and blazer, with light brown, shoulder-length hair and earrings.Justine Clark was appointed Deputy Director-General of Corporate in June 2023. Additionally, she services as the department's Chief Finance Officer (CFO).

In her role, Justine is responsible for the delivery of a broad range of corporate services, enabling the department to meet its strategic objectives.

Prior to joining the department, Justine held the position of Executive Director of Investments and Finance Services and CFO at the Public Trustee. She managed financial operations and investment frameworks.

Bringing a wealth of knowledge to her current role, Justine has extension experience in senior leadership positions and corporate operations within both the private and public sectors.

Notably, she has dedicated most of her career to working in rural and regional communities, showcasing her passion for delivering efficient and effective services to these locations.

Deputy Director-General, Fisheries and Forestry – currently recruiting