Board of Directors

Tim Roberts

Executive Director

Richard Henfrey
Non Executive Director

John Montgomery
Board Advisor

Clinical Development Program

Management Team

Joel Hardy
CEO and Co-Founder

Simon Pettinger

Simon Harvey
CFO / Company Secretary

Clinical Advisory Committee

Dr Paul Glare

Royal North Shore Hospital
Medical Advisory

Dr Khor

Royal Prince of Wales Hospital
Medical Advisory

Dr Richard Chye

St Vincents Hospital
Medical Advisory

Scientific Advisory Team

Dr Matthew Turner

Research, Breeding & Genetics

Ian Paanenan

Plant Licensing (PBR) & Plant Health

Graham Brown

Breeding Advisory


Rachel Palumbo
Genetic Licensing Program Manager​

Rachel has been working in the agricultural sector within Australia and globally for over 11 years, having held senior leadership roles within Monsanto and Bayer in the areas of general management, strategy, global marketing, product management and licensing. 

Rachel holds a degree in business majoring in business law and marketing, a graduate diploma in public relations, a masters in communication, and an Executive MBA through Melbourne Business School, where she was awarded the Egon Zehnder Leadership Prize.

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Tim Roberts
CPG Leader and Executive

Business leader in cannabis, CPG, beverage and luxury goods industries with 25 years experience in North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia

Tim was the ex Global President at Rubicon Organics

  • Led the business from pre license to 100+ skus and 5 brands launched with cost to coast Canadian distribution.
  • Led international expansion strategy.
  • Led the company to profitability


  • Red Bull – President of Red Bull New Zealand.
  • Red Bull – President Latin America.
  • Diageo – Head of luxury portfolio in Southern Africa.
  • Diageo – Head of commercial innovation for Diageo Africa.
  • P&G – Senior strategy innovation, and commercial roles.
Richard Henfrey, executive, portrait head & shoulders
Richard Henfrey
Board Advisor

Richard has been working with natural medicines and health products for over 10 yrs. He worked in a variety of positions before coming CEO of Blackmores Ltd the largest Australian health supplements company. Today, Blackmores is an ASX 200 company with a market capitalisation of $2 billion.

He was on the board of Complementary Medicines Australia for 7yrs and president for 5yrs. Richard understands the go to market strategies, regulatory encymraonment and distrbution channels for vitamin, mineral & nutritional supplements extremely well. He holds a Masters in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.


John Montgomery
Executive Director

John Montgomery has 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry including the US, UK, Australia and major Asian markets including Japan. John was CEO of Alphapharm and Regional Director, Asia Pacific for Merck Generics, and then President, Mylan Asia Pacific for 11 years from 1999 to 2010. 

Alphapharm was and remains, the largest pharmaceutical company in Australia as measured by prescription volume. Since then, John was General Manager of Pfizer Established Products for Australia and NZ and now CEO of Montrose Pharma Pty Ltd. Before Alphapharm, he spent 20 years with Warner Lambert in a variety of roles including Vice President, Portfolio Management North America and Regional President Australia and NZ. He was Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) for 6 years, representing the industry to government.


Joel Hardy
CEO / Co-Founder

Joel is the founder of Cymra. He started his journey into the cannabis sector in San Francisco and was one of the first to import cannabis products under SAS Cat B into Australia. An ambitious entrepreneur, Joel helped Cymra Life Sciences become one of the first companies to be awarded a cannabis licence. Most recently, Joel has held senior leadership positions in $20million revenue businesses for public enterprise SAAS companies and previously worked for some of the world’s largest technology businesses. Joel holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UNSW.

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Simon Pettinger
COO & Co-Founder

Simon oversees Cymra Life Sciences facility operations, Tissue Culture services, and breeding programs. He also manages our horticultural research partnerships with Southern Cross University Before co-founding Cymra, Simon was the Managing Director of Australia’s largest plant tissue culture facility for over 10 years. Simon has unrivalled experience in the commercial development of plants from indoor propagation. Simon holds a Bachelor of Business from UON and a Masters of Organisational Development from UTS

Simon Harvey
CFO / Company Secretary

Simon is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with experience in corporate finance, real estate, mining, services and investment management.

Over 6 years’ experience as a CFO with extensive accounting and financial management experience. Capital transactions experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, property transactions, development, asset management and associated analytical, budgeting, modelling and reporting roles.

Previously CFO of ASX listed NuEnergy Gas Limited, an oil and gas exploration and production company and Smoke Alarm Solutions, a property services business. He was also an auditor at KPMG for 5 yrs.

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Dr Paul Glare
Medical Director

 Paul is a vastly experienced medical practitioner and motivated to continually explore new approaches to pain management. 

He is the Chair of Pain Medicine in the Northern Clinical School at Royal North Shore Hospital and also holds various posts at the University of Sydney including; Director of the Pain Management Research Institute, Head of Pain Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Master of Medicine in Clinical Epidemiology.


Dr Richard Chye
Medical Advisory

Richard Chye is Director of Sacred Heart Supportive & Palliative Care, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. He has worked in Palliative Care for more than 28 years, and has integrated community, inpatient, hospital consultative & private palliative care services.

He is Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia & the University of Technology, Sydney; and Adjunct Assoc Professor of Medicine at UNSW.
He was integral in the formation of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine and was awarded the RACP’s highest award, the John Sands medal as his efforts led to the recognition of Palliative Medicine by the Australian government.

He was awarded the inaugural Lyn Taylor Award for Leadership in Palliative Care by his peers for his efforts to develop Palliative Care professionally & operationally in New South Wales.

He has significant patient experience with chronic and complex pain where cannabis could be used as a adjucnt therapy. Previously, he conducted a a clinical trial program at Sacred Heart including using vaporised cannabis to improve cancer anorexia. He is an inaugural member of the Australian Advisory Council of the Medicinal Use of Cannabis.

Paul Nash-crop

Dr Paul Nash
Director of Clinical Research

Paul is Cymra Pharma’s clinical research director and works to better understand the effects of cannabis for chronic pain sufferers. With a PHD in Neuroscience from the University of Sydney and a post doctorate from Stanford, Paul brings specialist pain management expertise into this newly legalised industry. Experience assisting biopharma companies with questions and diligence including asset valuation, market opportunity assessment, product development and commercialization.

Dr Matthew Turner
Research, Breeding and Genetics

Matthew draws on his molecular and conventional breeding experience to lead Cymra’s research initiatives. With 20+ years experience in plant breeding across a range of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, Matthew is a hugely successful and recognised breeder. Most notably, he developed new and novel varieties of wheat as part of Value Added Wheat CRC. He has a PHD in Genetics from the University of Sydney.

Ian photo

Dr Ian Paananan
Plant Licensing (PBR) & Plant Health

Ian is an experienced horticultural scientist. He has experience  in commercial plant tissue culture, integrated pest and disease management, greenhouse and nursery management and Plant Breeders Rights intellectual property protection. 

As a director of an independent consulting business for the last 24 years he has protected nearly 1000 plant varieties from all plant industry groups. Ian has also consulted on plant health issues across a range of horticultural areas. Ian is well positioned to advise on integration of production aspects from breeding to propagation to production and protection.

Ian holds a Degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Sydney and is also well travelled in the world of Permaculture Design and training.


Graham Brown
Head of Breeding and Genetics

Graham oversees Vir Pharma’s breeding strategy to create and maintain unique genetics and chemotypes for producing pain medicines. Graham’s 20+ years experience in plant product development has allowed him to be recognised as a world class plant breeder. He is the Horticultural Development Manager for the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute and the current Chairman of Abundant Produce.

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