A/Pr Ben Lyons


A/Pr Ben Lyons
NameA/Pr Ben Lyons
Email Addressben.lyons@unisq.edu.au
Job TitleDirector (Rural Economies Centre of Excellence)
QualificationsBA(Hons) Qld, PhD Qld
DepartmentRural Economies Centre of Excellence (Research)
ORCIDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5884-1572
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Biography

Associate Professor Lyons is the inaurgural Director of the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) and currently leads this five way research and translation partnership, with four Universities and the Queensland government, looking at rural and regional economies. How can these communities adapt and sustain into the future via innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship? RECoE does this through economic analysis and in depth, place-based research, delivered by some of Queensland's most experienced resource and policy economists.

A/Professor Lyons has worked extensively in the agribusiness, textiles, research and education management sectors. He has worked across Asia and Europe for some of the world's leading brands including Dulwich College International (K-12 education), The Financial Times/Pearson Group (UK), The Woolmark Company/AWI, the Australian Wool Exchange and the University of Queensland.

Professor Lyons has multidisciplinary expertise in business development, marketing and investment due diligence including perishable freight routes, green- and brown- field education projects, market access strategies, Fintech and traditional bricks-and-mortar value chains into Asia. He is a regularly interviewed on the above topics by national and international news agencies and is a respected commentator on the China-Australia trade relationship.

After almost 18 years in China he returned to take up a role as the CEO at Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise and Food Leaders Australia - a leading, membership-based regional economic development agency, and during my tenure saw the region receive a weekly freight route to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, a new Ag Tech investment forum in 400M, the first passenger flight from a regional airport to Shanghai, China.

Highly experienced in leadership and governance roles he co-founded and currently chairs a financial technology company, is a School Council member for the Anglican Combined Schools group, an advisory board member for the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA)and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

Fluent in Mandarin Chinese (professional translation) and have a PhD in agricultural economics from The University of Queensland. Chinese literature, Chinese economic history graduate and research degrees from Xi'an Foreign Language Institute, Nanjing University and Beijing University of International Business and Economics (UIBE).

Expertise

Rural and regional development, climate adaptation in regions, ag technology adoption

Fields of Research

  • 300208. Farm management, rural management and agribusiness
  • 300806. Post harvest horticultural technologies (incl. transportation and storage)
  • 380101. Agricultural economics
  • 380118. Urban and regional economics
BA(Hons)
Qld
2000
PhD
Qld
2010

Current Supervisions

Research TitleSupervisor TypeLevel of StudyCommenced
The transformation of Australia¿s renewable energy workforce: A complex systems approach to Climate change adaptation and Enterprise sustainabilityPrincipal SupervisorMasters2024
How do people in agricultural communities perceive the extent and effects of corporate farming in their regionsPrincipal SupervisorDoctoral2023
Leadership in rural communitiesAssociate SupervisorDoctoral2020
An Investigation into Australian Vegetable Supply Chains: Enhancing the adoption of Temperature Monitoring TechnologiesPrincipal SupervisorDoctoral2018
Project titleDetailsYear
Regional Drought Resilience PlanningThe Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program is an initiative jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government. The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has partnered with the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) with the purpose to have an impact on how regions can survive and thrive into the future.2021
Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program - ARLF The Drought Resilience Leaders Development program brought people from one region together to practice and grow leadership skills that help build personal, community, and network resilience. During the program, participants were asked reflect on their progress, including the development of intangible skills such as self-confidence, presenting to others, and storytelling. The evaluation framework also assessed leadership skills of critical thinking, collaboration, diverse stakeholder management, mobilising talent and staff, communication, conflict management, complexity, ethical leadership, working with diverse stakeholders, and working with other leaders. Each participant brought their own life and leadership experience to the program. For some, the program built on those prior leadership skills, while for others, it was their first time exploring leadership development. After the program, community extension grants supported participants with applying their skills with projects that build resilience in their communities.2021
Maximising the value of the energy transition for rural and regional QueenslandThis research project maps the emerging energy landscape in regional Australia, identifying implications and opportunities for agribusiness, irrigation and other primary industries. The study also examines the economic, social and ecological impacts of large-scale energy and renewables projects through the comparative analysis of a number of projects within Australia. Outputs include a decision making support tool for local government and best practice guidelines for development of new energy infrastructure which maximise benefits for rural communities supported by rigorous academic .2020
Supply Chains of the Sheep and Goat Meat IndustryThe purpose of this report is to identify and map the supply chain models that exist in the Qld Sheep and goat meat industry. This will provide a base to develop information and feedback to government and industry to address identified problems and prospects. The underlying aim of this research and subsequent policy advice is to help producers within the industry increase their financial returns and contribute to economic growth in sheep and goat producing communities. To map and classify the supply chain, interviews were conducted with a number of intermediaries. This allowed the structure of sheep and goat meat supply chains to be assessed in the context of networks, key attributes and critical linkage points. The questions were centred around mapping the supply chain structure and processes. The supply chain questions were conducted using different thematic foci on where value is added, key aspects of the links that make them flexible or rigid, and limitations or opportunities in the supply chain. 2020
Improving adoption of temperature monitoring technologies in the vegetable value chains: Case study of South East Queensland2020
Quilpie WellSpring: a circular economy concept for remote and arid regionsUsing a best practice approach to sustainable development and circular economy principles, Quilpie Wellspring provides a vision for new micro enterprises clustered on a 3.9 ha site in the heart of Quilpie. The mixed-use precinct is planned as a five-stage project with stage one being three new enterprises providing solar distilled water from the Great Artesian Basin, local craft beer and fresh aquaponics produce of local fish and vegetables with supporting arid food forest, ecological lagoon and public open space.2019
Creating a regional innovation ecosystem: the Goondiwindi case studyA community consultation identified an opportunity to establish a Centre for Agricultural Excellence to capitalise on the innovation generated in the region and the rapid advances in technology that is changing the face of agricultural production systems.2019
DateNameAwarding organisationUnderpinning research
2022Networks to Build Drought Resilience Program Advisory CommitteeFRRR
2024CEDA State Advisory Board MemberCommittee for Economic Development Australia

Finding the fit – the roles of regional economic development within land management

Lyons, Ben. 2021. "Finding the fit – the roles of regional economic development within land management." Repairing the environmental deficit in the land management sector (2021). Brisbane, Australia 03 Sep 2021 Brisbane, Australia.

Role of regional economic development in Australia' s landscape

Lyons, Benjamin. 2021. "Role of regional economic development in Australia' s landscape." Repairing the environmental deficit in the land management sector (2021). Brisbane, Australia 03 Sep 2021 Brisbane, Australia.

Local consumer demands and domestic supply of sheep and goat meat

Star, Megan, Rolfe, John and Lyons, Ben. 2021. Local consumer demands and domestic supply of sheep and goat meat. Toowoomba, Queensland. University of Southern Queensland.

Supply chains of the sheep and goat meat industry

Star, Megan, Rolfe, John, Morrish, Fleur and Lyons, ben. 2021. Supply chains of the sheep and goat meat industry. Toowoomba, Australia. University of Southern Queensland.

Workforce in regional Queensland: Challenges and opportunities post-COVID: a Rapid Appraisal

Lyons, Ben, Babacan, Hurriyet, Renando, Chad, McVeigh, John and Rolfe, John. 2021. Workforce in regional Queensland: Challenges and opportunities post-COVID: a Rapid Appraisal. Toowoomba, Australia. University of Southern Queensland.

State of Play for Australia’s Agricultural Trade with China: Challenges & the Road Ahead

Wilson, Jeffery, Waldron, Scott, Lyons, Ben and Felton-Taylor, Arlie. 2020. "State of Play for Australia’s Agricultural Trade with China: Challenges & the Road Ahead." Rural Press Club Online (2020). Online 28 Oct 2020

Local economic development strategy for vibrant regions

Babacan, Hurriyet and Lyons, Ben. 2020. "Local economic development strategy for vibrant regions." 2020 North West Mineral Province Economic Development Workshop. Online 15 Sep 2020 Toowoomba, Australia.

Sowing the seeds: creating a regional innovation ecosystem in Goondiwindi

Renando, Chad and Lyons, Ben. 2019. Sowing the seeds: creating a regional innovation ecosystem in Goondiwindi. Toowoomba, Queensland. Rural Economies Centre of Excellence.

Research and rural economies: delivering insight and impact in regional Australia

Lyons, Benjamin B.. 2018. "Research and rural economies: delivering insight and impact in regional Australia." Regional Universities: Anchor Institutions Transforming their Regions (2018). Gold Coast, Australia 13 Sep 2018 Australia.

View From the Paddock: Saying Thanks For Bunny's Life

Lyons, Ben. 2018. "View From the Paddock: Saying Thanks For Bunny's Life." Queensland Country Life. 14 March 2018.

Australian financial services business in China

Schubert, Jeff and Lyons, Ben. 2016. Australian financial services business in China. Shanghai, China. Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai.

Rebuilding an industry brand with green credentials: the global wool industry

Lyons, Ben. 2009. "Rebuilding an industry brand with green credentials: the global wool industry." Ecotextiles Japan Forum (2009). Osaka, Japan 14 Sep 2009 Tokyo, Japan.

Natural, Biodegradable and Sustainable: Australian Merino Wool

Lyons, Ben. 2009. "Natural, Biodegradable and Sustainable: Australian Merino Wool." Launch of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009. Rome, Italy 22 Jan 2009

Is there a sustainable fibre?: the case of Australian Merino Wool

Lyons, Ben. 2008. "Is there a sustainable fibre?: the case of Australian Merino Wool." Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment Group 3rd Annual Conference (RITE 2008). London, United Kingdom 06 Oct 2009

Risk Management and contractual Issues in Sino-Australian Wool Trade in the WTO Era

Lyons, Ben. 2003. "Risk Management and contractual Issues in Sino-Australian Wool Trade in the WTO Era." 15th Annual Conference of the Association of Chinese Economic Studies Australia (ACESA 2003). Melbourne, Australia 02 - 03 Oct 2003