Sustainability and Biosecurity
Includes biosecurity, resource management, and operations and compliance functions. It helps to ensure Western Australia maintains its enviable reputation as a producer of safe, sustainable and biosecure agricultural and aquatic products.
Industry and Economic Development: leads our work in research, development and innovation to boost the productivity, profitability and international competitiveness of our agriculture, fisheries and food sectors across the value chain, and grow the value and diversification of our regional economies.
Industry and Economic Development
Leads our work in research, development and innovation to boost the productivity, profitability and international competitiveness of our agriculture, fisheries and food sectors across the value chain, and grow the value and diversification of our regional economies.
Primary Industries Development
Leads our work in research, development and innovation to boost the productivity, profitability and international competitiveness of our aquaculture, horticulture, grains and livestock industries across the value chain. Its ultimate purpose is to create enduring economic prosperity for Western Australia.
Supports our staff and ensures that we have the strategy, resources and capability to deliver excellent public services.
For more details, see DPIRD's organisational structure.
Our executive team
Heather Brayford – Director General
Heather has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the public sector, with over 35 years of involvement in fisheries and aquaculture policy, regulation, industry development, biosecurity and natural resource management. Heather thrives on working in partnership with stakeholders and building trust to support positive community outcomes. Before becoming DPIRD’s Director General, Heather served as Director General of the former Department of Fisheries and, most recently, as Deputy Director General with DPIRD. As a two-term Director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Heather understands the research and development landscape and has developed a strong knowledge of emerging challenges and opportunities for primary industries and the regions. Heather is a recipient of the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to legislative reform and policy development in WA. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science.
Mia Carbon – Deputy Director General, Sustainability and Biosecurity
Mia has been working with DPIRD for more than 10 years and her previous positions have included Executive Director Biosecurity, Chief Veterinary Officer for Western Australia and Director of Biosecurity Strategy. As a qualified veterinarian, Mia plays a leading role in delivering WA’s biosecurity system and emergency response capabilities. This includes enhancing surveillance and control capabilities across plant, animal and invasive species biosecurity; delivering diagnostic laboratory capability for the State’s agriculture and aquatic primary industries; and leading biosecurity preparedness activities for the State. Mia represents WA and DPIRD on a number of State and National committees including the National Biosecurity Committee, the National Biosecurity Management Group, the State Emergency Management Committee and the WA Biosecurity Council. She also chairs the WA Senior Biosecurity Officers Group.
Paul Isaachsen – Deputy Director General, Industry and Economic Development
Paul comes to DPIRD from the Department of Communities, where as Assistant Director General he held responsibilities for priority initiatives, organisational strategy, data functions and remote Aboriginal communities. He joined Communities in 2017 from the then Department of Regional Development, where he was part of the Regional Services Reform Unit leadership team. Paul has previously worked for the Wunan Foundation in the East Kimberley, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra, and law firm Ashurst. He has degrees in arts, law and public policy, and is passionate about sustainable economic and social development in regional WA.
Cecilia (Cec) McConnell – Deputy Director General, Primary Industries Development
Western Australia’s former Commissioner for Soil and Land Conservation Cec McConnell has taken on the new role of Deputy Director General, Primary Industries Development. Cec has been an important part of DPIRD’s Executive team since 2020, providing excellent policy and scientific leadership, including overseeing the development of WA’s first Soil Health Strategy. Prior to becoming Commissioner, she ran her own consulting company providing business development, planning and natural resource management (NRM) advice and held board director roles, including with Wheatbelt NRM. She previously held senior leadership roles with the Department of Agriculture and Food, including as a regional director based at Northam. Cec has strong networks in agriculture developed through working and living in regional WA communities over the past 25 years. She holds a degree in geomorphology and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Cec will be working to ensure DPIRD continues to deliver strong research and development outcomes for WA.
Brett Sabien – Executive Director, Strategy and Coordination
Brett Sabien has experience working in the Public Sector spanning 35 years. He was most recently DPIRD’s Director of Investment Management, which includes being responsible for the administration of the Royalties for Regions Fund. Brett has worked in the Pilbara and Wheatbelt Regions and has worked on an exchange program in Japan for a year undertaking research into regional development. Brett has extensive experience in matters relating to governance and administration of public funds, evaluation and regional development.
Louise Williams – Managing Director, Corporate Services
Louise returns to DPIRD as the Managing Director of Corporate Services with a career spanning more than 25 years in strategy development and implementation, change management, Human Resources and organisational transformation within the public sector. Prior to joining DPIRD, Louise held leadership and executive roles at Health Support Services (HSS), which included leading HSS's internal COVID-19 response activities through the pandemic. Louise previously held a number of leadership and management roles at DPIRD and the Department of Fisheries. Louise has a Bachelor of Commerce and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.