Our People


The Principals and Managing Directors of Sundown Pastoral Company Pty Ltd (SPC), David and Danielle Statham, both play an active role in the business on a daily basis and in the operation and development of SPC.

David and Danielle Statham have been involved in the industry for over 30 years, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Sundown Pastoral Group.

David’s vision of innovation and progressive farming techniques have enabled him to lead his team for over 30 years. Since 1984 David has grown SPC into one of the world’s most renowned sustainable agricultural enterprises. David is highly respected as a thought leader in both the cattle and cropping industries. His passion for growth with technology has enabled diversification downstream in the supply chain.

Danielle’s 25+ years’ experience in the fashion industry led to her passion for sustainable textiles, in particular climate friendly, regenerative and ethically produced cotton. Recognising that today’s environmentally conscious consumers are demanding change, Danielle saw the opportunity to close the loop between her family’s agriculture enterprise and sustainable fashion growth. Her vision has led the charge of disrupting the global cotton supply chain with the FibreTrace supply chain traceability technology & integrated software platform. Danielle has also driven the global Good Earth Cotton carbon friendly brand for SPC.

David and Danielle enjoy being heavily involved in their community and schooling projects and are privately philanthropic. They have also have 4 young adult sons Max, Wilson, Joh and Danny.

They are both passionate investors in start-ups and IT.

Head Office Team

Steve Moore – CFO

An audit and financial analysis expert, Steven has extensive experience in the Cotton Market, working for both KPMG and Colly Cotton before Joining Sundown Pastoral Company in over 20 years ago (2000). As Chief Financial Officer he is responsible for management of the Groups commodity programs (FX, commodity, basis, sales), financial accounting, legal taxation, insurance, sales and acquisitions.

Shannon Mercer – Business Development & Special Projects Manager

A team member with the Statham group companies since 2005, Shannon has 15 years in leadership roles across various industries such as manufacturing, retail, construction and agriculture ,  Shannon’s ability to develop and execute tactical growth strategies and identification of new markets and business models.

Possessing a leadership style that it is agile and customer focused, he is centred on business structural improvements, innovation and continual enhancement and passion for the teams he works within .

Shannon holds a Post Graduate Masters of Business Administration from Newcastle University.

Gary Lederhose – Financial Controller

As a Financial Accountant and Certified Financials Business Analyst, Gary is responsible for all daily reporting accounting functions including management reporting, cash flow, payroll, GST and compliance. Gary has worked at Sundown Pastoral Company since 2005.

Jerome Mitchell – Head Of Flight Operations

Commercial pilot and agile Aviation Manager, Jerome has experience in flight operations and operations control.

Assisting the Statham family since 2000, Jerome’s extensive qualifications since 1994 include Australian ATPL (A), U.K. ATPL(A), U.S.A. ATPL (A) Grade 1 Flying Instructor, Multi Engine Instructor rating, Multi Engine Instrument rating, Night VFR rating and a Helicopter PPL. He is a valued member of Sundown Pastoral Company, flying the management team and staff in a safe and professional operational manner between farming operations and businesses.

Diana Mitchell – IT Manager

Diana assists in overseeing the architecture and implementation of operational and business support systems in IT and Telecommunications that Sundown Pastoral Company uses to operate and manage the business both from head office and on farm. Providing IT Solutions and Support Services. Diana has been part of the Sundown Pastoral Co. team since 2016

John Waring – Pilot & General Operations Assistant

As a pilot and general operations assistant, John is responsible for the transport and flight safety for management team and staff. John prides himself on his efficiency and understanding of the aviation industry.

John has an extensive background in aviation, he has worked as a grade 1 flight instructor for 6 years as well as an international pilot on the Boeing 777.

Keytah & St Ronans Team

Nick Gillingham – General Manager Cropping Operations

Starting as a farm agronomist in 2005, Nick is now responsible for the management and strategic direction of all of Sundown Pastoral Company’s cropping operations at Keytah and St Ronans. Nick sits on many industry foundations and boards. He is a key positive influencer in the Australian Cotton Industry for research and technology. Nick has extensive knowledge in soil biodiversity and industry technological advances.

Mathew Monk – General Manager Cattle Operations

In 2005 Mathew became the Manger, Cattle Operations for Sundown Pastoral Co. Prior to this Mathew spent time working at the CSIRO and in a technical role at the University of New England NSW Department of Agronomy and Soil Science where he worked with leading scientists, researchers and students. Mathew has been instrumental in instigating and continuing High Performance Pasture Systems. He is responsible for the development levels of pasture productivity and systems within The Northern Tablelands NSW, including aggregations within the Sundown Pastoral Company group.

Jack Strahley – St Ronans Farm Operation Manager

Jack commenced with Sundown Pastoral in Jan 2020. His role and responsibilities entail the overall farming and development operations at St Ronans covering all aspects of the land conversion process from cattle country to farming country.

Jack Previously worked on a large-scale broad acre farming property in NSW and is now based full time at St Ronans. He has keen interest’s on farming development in Northern Australia.

William Jackman – Agronomy

In 2008 William joined Sundown Pastoral Company to assist with cotton Irrigation and since 2018 he has been employed as an agronomy assistant. A graduate of the International Cotton School at the University of Memphis, Will is continuing his study in Agronomy at the University of New England.

Cameron Stewart – Cotton Operations Manager

Cameron joined the Keytah team after working across different aspects of agriculture. Starting out from a farmhand at Keytah in 1995 to managing irrigation farms in the North West NSW area. Progressing into machinery dealership management and then into the ag-tech space for a global manufacturer working across Asia Pacific.  Cameron brings his variety of knowledge to the team as Keytah Cotton Operations Manager.

Andrew Madden – Dryland Farming Manager

In 2001 Andrew began work for Sundown Pastoral Company and in 2004 was elevated to Dryland Farming Manager. Andrew manages and oversee the dryland operations at Keytah and the integration of the cropping

Nathaniel Phillis – Irrigation Operations Manager

In 1996 Nathaniel joined the team at Keytah as the contract irrigator and is now the Irrigation Operations Manager overseeing the entire water infrastructure, managing staff & operations as well as having input into the cropping decisions and irrigation on the property.

Noel Buckman – Grain Storage Manager

Since 1997 Noels position of Grain Storage Manager see him manage logistics within the state of the art, modern Grain Storage facility located at Keytah. He coordinates grain movements on farm, organises deliveries to the end users, and liaises closely with trades, freight companies & farm management.  Noel was the former Grain Storage Manager with the NSW Grains Board.

Gavin Wells – Live Stock Operations Manager

Gavin currently manages 10,000 head of backgrounding cattle at Keytah as well as being involves with the dryland cropping and pastures. Gavin began work at Keytah as a jackaroo in 1987.

Justin Scott – Cattle Management

Justin has been a livestock manager with Sundown Pastoral Company since 2007. Mostly overseeing operations at Sundown Valley and is now an integral part of our cattle operations within Keytah and St Ronans.

Simon Plant – Cattle Finishing & Feedlot Manager

Simon came on board with Sundown Pastoral Company in 2019 with the acquisition of St Ronans where he’d been employed as a Manager within the cattle and cropping operations since 2014. Prior to this Simon attained extensive experience in the fabrication and engineering industry before expanding into the quarry and mining sector, working from the ground floor right up to senior management positions. It is this skill set and experience that he now applies to his role with Sundown Pastoral Company.

Darrell Preston – Infrastructure Manager

Since 2005 Darrell has co-ordinated all farm and infrastructure maintenance. He is responsible for maintaining all residences, housing, complex facilities. Keeping social compliance and living conditions for all staff and their families within our Sundown Pastoral Company on farm community.

Cathy Parsons – Administration/Executive Officer

Cathy Parsons is the Administration/Executive Officer for Keytah and St Ronans having worked for Sundown Pastoral Company for more than 15 years. Her extensive experience adds to the company and team. Cathy’s role and responsibilities entail the overall Administrative, Accounts Payable, Inventory Management of stock movements/feed products/production for both Keytah and St Ronans.

Wathagar Gin

With over 100 years experience between the Wathagar Gin team are experts in their field, lead by Mike Murray since 2009, Tony Stahlhut, Paul Sabine & Gerry Mcgowan have ensured the Wathagar Gin remains a premier ginning facility.

With Andrew Vanderstock’s machinery engineering and development oversight, Wathagar Gin has undertaken major upgrades to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the plant. The installation of the 181 gin stand, the automatic bagging system, extra cleaning equipment and the Cirrus moisture injection unit, including the precision draw frame feeder of the patented FibreTrace technology. The JV partnership of Sundown Pastoral Company and Namoi Cotton in The Wathagar Gin creates a dynamic progression for this Ginning facility.