2014 Distinguished Past Student Award winner 

It is fifty years since Gerry Andersen walked away from Gatton College with a Diploma in Dairy Manufacturing and developed a successful career in this and related fields.

Starting at Gatton as a fresh faced sub-junior in 1960, Gerry quickly gained a reputation as something of a mischief and was well known by the staff – his aim was to make life fun, which he did successfully.

Gerry has emerged as a highly qualified and experienced leader in the Australian food industry, whose technical knowledge, management skills, marketing acumen and networks, including media, have earned him a reputation for developing commercially successful food products.

He is a qualified cheese and butter maker and for many years was the chief executive of Chisholm Manufacturing from 1986–2000, the manufacturing arm of Woolworths Ltd.

Chisholm was involved in pork exports, ham, bacon, and smallgoods production, dairy processing, food packaging and printing. Subsequently, when Woolworths decided to sell this manufacturing division, Gerry and his partners in AAB Holdings bought the printing and packaging portion, where he was to become the CEO until his retirement in 2009.

During this period he was also a councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW, as well as chairman of the RAS Dairy Produce Committee; chairman of the RAS Marketing Committee and a member of the RAS Fine Foods Committee. He is also currently chairman of Diabetes Smart Pty Ltd.

Full time retirement was put on hold when he accepted the position of CEO of Foodbank NSW, charged with expanding the capabilities of the operations, and to introduce more focus in the way the warehouse and stock was managed to facilitate future growth.

Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief charity, operating since 1992 with operations in every State with a total volume distributed in the 2013–2014 period of 31,000 tonnes, equating to 41.3million meals.

Predictions are that these figures will grow to 50,000 tonnes by year 2020.

Gerry’s major focus at the moment is the development and building program for a new $11.5 million distribution centre in Western Sydney which will service both NSW and the ACT.

His determined and tireless efforts have made this possible, where he has been the driving force behind the project including fund raising and building design.