Our Team

Our Team

Tony Hartley

Managing Director

Tony has 40 years’ experience in agriculture and horticulture. His expert knowledge encompasses field agronomy, business management and technical roles at state and national levels. He is investigative, tenacious, collaborative, and thorough, skills which enable him to comprehend and develop strategies to resolve complex issues. He has been involved in all aspects of agriculture and horticulture including, but not limited to, livestock and broadacre crop production, horticultural crop production, crop protection, forestry appraisals, operation efficiency comparisons and all aspects of agricultural business development, management, marketing, and appraisals.

Don McDougall


Don has spent 35 years finding solutions for farmers, the government and in agribusiness for a diverse range of agricultural enterprises where his role was to identify and strategically manage the risks to these businesses. He has worked extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand and North America. Don also presents at universities, industry conferences, consultant forums and agribusiness conferences on a range of professional development topics. He has a strong focus on finding solutions for the many issues that affect agriculture with extensive experience in the management of multi claimant losses.

Tony O’Connor


Over the 35 years he has been in the workforce, Tony has accumulated a diverse range of skills having worked in positions that have taken him from Queensland cattle stations to corporate boardrooms. After university, Tony spent some years on Queensland cattle stations before moving to Sydney to complete a masters degree after which he worked in corporate finance. His agricultural and corporate finance experience were instrumental in him being recruited by an international bank to establish and head up a division specialising in project finance for agricultural projects. Since moving back to Queensland, Tony has been involved in a number of start up ventures. He has also been involved in feasibility studies and advisory assignments across many different agricultural sectors at all levels from primary production to corporate and tertiary levels.

Mal Frick


Mal has extensive agricultural experience including strategic planning, operational management of horticultural farming operations including a wide range of orchard and vegetable crops, broadacre, cropping and sugar. He has worked internationally and developed precision agriculture technologies across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, engaging with growers and providing crop-management solutions. More recently, he has been involved in agribusiness project consultancy from changes in property use to large multi‐discipline regional projects. Mal is focused on positioning the sector to take advantage of the opportunities ahead while successfully dealing with any challenges along the way.

Ben Jowett

Senior Consultant

Ben brings over 35 years of agricultural experience in both Australian and international markets, spanning roles in agronomy, research, marketing, project management, auditing and compliance, planning, climate risk adaptation, and general management. Over the past decade, Ben has focussed on enhancing farmer sustainability, particularly in developing nations in Africa and Asia while remaining involved in his own family farming enterprises.
With extensive involvement in livestock, broadacre dryland and irrigated cropping, horticulture, and fibre production industries, Ben has a comprehensive understanding of domestic and global agricultural industries along with the commitment and ability to liaise with diverse groups of individuals and build effective working relationships.
Ben’s formal education combined with his practical experience has enabled him to successfully implement business strategies and innovation while fostering agricultural sustainability.

Jim Pruss


Jim has spent 40 years in the water industry predominantly in urban water in technical, planning, managerial and executive roles in NSW, Qld and in the Commonwealth. More recently Jim has worked in irrigated agriculture and worked as an advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for the Environment. Jim has four degrees in Science, Engineering, Management and Commerce and is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University where he is a part time lecturer for the International Water Centre. Jim is also a Director of Engeny Pty Ltd and Peritus Agriculture and an Ambassador for the International Rivers Foundation and the RUOK Foundation and long-term advocate for the Charity WaterAid. Jim is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors first qualifying in 2008 and having recently completed the Directors refresher course and courses in Climate and Cyber Governance. Jim is currently semi-retired but is the MD of his own client advisory consultancy and CEO of Hughenden Irrigation Project Corporation and often works with the Queensland Government and other professional advisory organisations on strategic water management projects.

Laura Sullivan

Consultant / Business Manager

Laura is a highly regarded business manager who has followed her interest and recently graduated with a degree in agriculture, bringing a unique blend of expertise as an agricultural consultant. Armed with experience in strategic planning, financial analysis, and client relations, she seamlessly integrates modern agricultural practices into our business. Skilled in problem-solving and adept at navigating challenges, she thrives in dynamic environments.
With excellent communication and organisational skills, Laura can present complex challenges for easy understanding. Passionate about fostering sustainable growth, she is ready to leverage her diverse skills to drive impactful change in the agricultural sector, serving as a catalyst for positive transformation.

Kristen Foley

Business and Finance Manager

Kristen is an Accountant with over a decade of experience working across multiple accounting disciplines. She has worked for startups, small to medium entities, an ASX listed company as well as for a Big 4 accounting firm. Kristen is passionate about delivering high quality results and driving continuous improvement in company practices. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to efficiency she excels in creating streamlined processes to enhance productivity and workflow. With a passion for excellence and a proven track record of success, Kristen is poised to continue driving financial performance and contributing to the long-term success of PeritusAg.

Olivia Beaman

Admin Assistant