Tom Chesson

2015 October Tom Chesson photo

National Irrigators' Council

Tom Chesson was appointed CEO of the National Irrigators’ Council (NIC) in October 2011.  He comes to the NIC with a background in public affairs, politics and government at a State, National and International level.  He is based in Canberra.

Prior to joining NIC, Mr Chesson began his career with the Leader of the Nationals in the Legislative Council, Richard Bull, followed by stints with NSW National Party Leaders Ian Armstrong and George Souris.  In 2000 Mr Chesson moved to Brisbane to work for the then Nationals Senate Leader, Ron Boswell as his media advisor.  During this phase of his career Mr Chesson worked across a number of Portfolio areas including, Agriculture, Regional Development, Roads, Racing and Gaming, and the Olympics proving you can be an expert in everything and know nothing about anything.

A desire to mingle with people from the real world saw a move back home to work at the Bourke radio station, 2WEB where Mr Chesson hosted a two hour a day current affairs program and produced five local news bulletins a day.

From Bourke to Bangkok was the next logical step, with a three year stint working as an Australian International Volunteer with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on its South East Asian Foot and Mouth Disease Campaign. This time was spent travelling throughout South East Asia getting to know the local livestock industries, tracking illegal cross border animal movements and helping countries to put in place procedures to control serious livestock diseases including FMD and Avian Influenza.

After working in Brisbane, Bourke and Bangkok a need to leave the B’s behind resulted in a move to Canberra with another period working as a Media and Policy Advisor for a Minister and then Shadow Cabinet Minister across a number of portfolio’s including Community Services, Citizenship, Multicultural Affairs, Environment, Water, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

After the 2010 election a desire to get to know the kids a bit better led to twelve blissful months of retirement which included stints back in the shearing shed and working in National Parks around Canberra poisoning rabbits. Unfortunately this didn’t pay the mortgage and with a strong interest in the politics surrounding natural resource management issues, Mr Chesson was fortunate enough to become reacquainted with the world of water politics working for NIC.