Meet Our Staff

SEPWA’s staff professionally manage the grower group’s day-to-day business, with an overall vision of increasing the profitability and sustainability of the grains industry in the Esperance Port Zone.

Michelle Handley

Chief Executive Officer

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Michelle was born in Esperance and spent many hours by her Dad’s side on her parents’ farm at Grass Patch. After completing her schooling at a local primary and high school, she moved to Perth where she completed her Bachelor, Honours and Master’s degrees at Curtin University. Michelle then worked in sustainable resource management for 10 years during which she developed a broad background in managing projects, policy development, community consultation and scientific writing. After meeting her now husband Greg Warren (a local agronomist) at a local Esperance pub just as she was starting her Master’s degree, Michelle moved back to Esperance in 2005.

David Cook

R&D Coordinator

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David developed a love of the land during childhood days spent on his grandparents’ beef property in central Queensland. This early introduction to agriculture led him to the University of Queensland where he studied a Bachelor of Science in Rural Technology. Fresh out of uni, David worked as a Dryland Salinity Officer in Victoria before joining Warakirri Cropping on a property in southern Queensland in 2006. He moved to Esperance with Warakirri in 2013, joining the team at their Condingup property, Lobethal. After a brief time in the mid-west during 2021/2, David and his partner Kate made the move back to Esperance in late 2022. 

Bill Sharp

Trials Coordinator

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Bill worked with the Department of Agriculture for 25 years in Newdegate and Merredin before moving to Esperance in 1998 to take up a role with the Esperance District Office as Senior Technical and Certification Officer. In 1997 Bill entered the commercial seed industry and, in 2004, he formed his own seed production company. Bill’s role will be as SEPWA Trials coordinator (part time) to liaise with breeding programs, seed companies and farmers in the Esperance Port Zone, and to oversee the large-scale demonstration trials. These trials will include wheat, barley and canola. Bill, unfortunately, is a passionate supporter of the Fremantle Dockers.

Andrea Carmody

Project Officer

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Andrea grew up on a mixed beef and cropping farm in Morawa that her parents are still operating. She attended Muresk and graduated with a Bachelor of Agribusiness (Equine Management) Hons. Following graduation, she moved to Cascade and worked part-time on farm and part-time as a contributing author for Hoofbeats magazine in the property management section. Andrea, her husband Tom and brother-in-law George then took over the farming operation, where she worked full-time in the farm office and on farm. Wanting some more challenges, Andrea began working for SEPWA as a Project Officer in 2018.

Liam Ducey

Communications Manager

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Liam grew up in Esperance, attending Castletown Primary School and Esperance Senior High School before heading off to Perth to study journalism at Curtin University. This career path took him right across the state, and his writing has appeared across the nation, including a page three exclusive in the 2013 Grand Final edition of The Age’s game liftout. In 2018 he was a finalist in three categories of the WA Media Awards, and he’s not at all salty that he didn’t win at least one category. He moved back to Esperance in 2023 with his young family, keen for his children to experience the same benefits the Esperance region gave him.

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