AFPA Appoints Ex Barnaby Joyce Chief of Staff as New CEO

Wed 14 Feb 24


The Australian Forest Products Association appointed Barnaby Joyce’s long-time chief of staff – Diana Hallam – as its new CEO.

Ms Hallam will replace Natasa Sikman, who left the post of acting CEO after a successful stint which included coordinating Australia’s largest-ever representation at the COP28 summit in Dubai late last year.

A process that saw the Australian Government and 16 of the world’s largest timber consumers pledge to increase the number of timber buildings under construction. 

AFPA Chair Stephen Dadd announced earlier this afternoon that Ms Hallam “has a distinguished career spanning senior roles across government, politics and the corporate sector,” noting that she will commence as CEO on March 12, 2024.

In accepting the post, Ms Hallam – the current First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said she was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to lead the AFPA team.

“I look forward to meeting AFPA’s membership and working with everyone across the forest products supply chain. The industry is at the forefront of key policy challenges from climate change to economic development and sovereign capability. I look forward to getting out on the ground and talking to stakeholders about the industry’s issues and opportunities.”

Diana Hallam, incoming CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association.

“After a lengthy and thorough recruitment process, we are very pleased to announce that Diana Hallam will become AFPA’s new CEO and take the reins of Australia’s peak national forest products industry body, with the support of the AFPA membership, our Board of Directors and a team of expert staff,” Mr Dadd said.

Reflecting on Ms Hallam’s experience, which included senior roles at Toll Group and Singapore Airlines, Mr Dadd said, “Diana’s breadth of experience across senior levels of government, politics and the corporate sector will stand her in excellent stead to manage the challenges and opportunities facing our sector.”

Ms Hallam will now leave her role as a First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry before the appointment. From 2014 to 2017, Ms Hallam served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP.


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