John first joined Stockyard as a non-executive director in 1999 and was instrumental in Stockyard’s direction, growth, and success up until his recent resignation in August 2021. John has been involved with the board of Stockyard for 22 years with his final 2 years as Chair, having taken over from Stockyard Founder, Robin Hart in January 2019.
Over his time serving on the board, he steered the business through periods of consolidation and of growth, including navigating a joint venture; the sale of an abattoir; the addition of our Wagyu brands and expansion of our Kerwee Feedlot from 7,000 head when he first started to over 20,000 head on his departure.
There is no doubt that John has been a significant part of the Stockyard fabric for over two decades. We have all benefited from his knowledge, experience, and intelligence over this time.
Managing Director of Stockyard, Lachie Hart said, “The Hart Family owe a great deal of our success to the wisdom and direction John provided. He was a strong mentor to me, and I greatly valued his regular phone calls and emails providing support and insights, even after his resignation.
“John will be remembered by the Stockyard family for his warm, approachable, and friendly personality, with that sharp intellect that could sense an opportunity (or a risk) well before they occurred. John was very passionate about Rugby and our Board meeting discussions were often side-tracked to talk about the Wallabies, Qld Reds and local team games.
“And whilst he was small in stature, he was a giant amongst Australia’s corporate elite in what he achieved in his extensive career. It is very humbling for a small family company like ours to have had a person with John’s calibre contributing to our business over the last 22 years, when you consider the other companies that he has been involved with,” said Lachie.
With broadly based commercial experience spanning many industries for nearly 50 years, John has a lengthy career history. He was formerly Chairman of Transurban Queensland, UQ Holdings, Cardno, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, and Sunstate Cement. His previous appointments include such diverse companies as Brisbane Airport Corporation, Grainco, Dairy Australia, MicroMedical, QDL Pharmaceuticals, and Thomas Cook.
He was a former Director, National Treasurer and Queensland President of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). In 2006, he was made a Life Fellow of the AICD for eminence in the field of directorship; and was subsequently awarded the 2010 Gold Medal which recognises Outstanding Company Directors in Queensland for their achievement in corporate life and to the community.
John is survived by his wife Sally, his 3 adult children – John, Adam and Alicia and their respective families, and over 50 foster children he and Sally have raised over their life together.
A chivalrous, courteous, and honourable man who will be considerably missed by all. From all at Stockyard, thank you John.