Advisory Board

 Advisory Board  members and technical advisers 

David Herlihy, Chair of Advisory Board

David has had a distinguished executive career including senior roles at Capel Court Corporation Limited. In his capacity as chairman and director, he has overseen a broad range of matters including governance, funding, acquisitions and strategy. He is currently chair of a number of private companies.


He was previously a director of Godfrey Hirst Australia and various Paul Ramsay Group entities. He has also been deputy chairman of Craig Mostyn Holdings and chairman of the State Transit Authority of NSW and Sydney Ferries. His ASX experience includes chairman of Mosaic Oil NL, Pro Pac Packaging Ltd and Fraser Range Holdings Ltd. David holds a Bachelor of Arts (UNSW) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Interesting fact: David’s forebears arrived on the third fleet of ships to Australia.

Thomas Avery, technical advisor

Thomas was awarded a PhD in chemistry by The University of Adelaide in 2002 and completed postdoctoral positions in synthetic chemistry and wine related chemistry projects. Thomas was an ARC Research Fellow with the Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics at the University of Adelaide. Thomas is now a medical writer with Avance Clinical, an Australian clinical trials contract research organization.


Thomas has been involved with the Australian chocolate industry for 10 years, with a focus on fine-tuning fermentation practices. He has conducted consulting projects in Australia and the broader pacific region. Thomas has always been focused on innovation and invention in chocolate making and recently published 'How to Make Chocolate at Home, from Bean-to-Bar: A practical guide for fabulous chocolate'.


Interesting fact: Thomas’ combined fascinations of food and science are reflected in his passion for passionfruit and the development of a passionfruit shelling process which created a new paradigm for its structural use in the culinary arts. This invention and 60 recipes are outlined in his other book, Naked Passion Fruit.

Rick Byrne, technical advisor

Rick’s knowledge of the Australian confectionery industry is drawn from 26 years experience in a broad range of roles and responsibilities. More recently he has been consulting within the confectionery manufacturing sector, and teaching confectionery and chocolate technology at William Angliss.


Rick has a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Diploma of Confectionery Technology (ZDS - Central College of German Confectionery Trade). He previously served on the Australian Confectionery Industry Technical Committee for 10 years.


Interesting fact: Rick’s an expert on chocolate making equipment.   

Rona Morgan, member Advisory Board

Rona is an experienced International Banker specialising in risk and governance, working in SE Asia and Australia. Latterly, she led the development of a professional association in data protection across the APAC region and now manages her own Risk consultancy and Board portfolio. She is certified in Corporate Governance with INSEAD (IDP-C). Her focus for Charley’s will be on ensuring our processes are fit for purpose. Rona is a shareholder in Australian Chocolate.


Interesting fact: Rona, a UK native, recently returned to Australia from a long executive career in Singapore and is in the middle of a house renovation, fortunately sustained by lots of Charley’s chocolate thanks to her Charley’s shareholder discount.

Sarah Richardson, member Advisory Board.

Sarah is a seasoned board and executive leader in not-for-profits, SMEs and multinationals in Australia/France/USA. She is a strategic marketer with expertise in SME consulting, membership/stakeholder engagement, digital, business strategy and growth diversification strategies. She understands how to build commercially viable physical/digital audiences and scale SMEs. Sarah is a shareholder in Australian Chocolate.


Interesting fact: Sarah speaks French and was based in Paris overseeing Yoplait’s US and Canada marketing and launch into Scandinavia and Mexico

 Duffy Sheardown, technical advisor in early years 

Duffy founded Red Star Chocolate after listening to BBC radio which reported that only Cadbury actually made British chocolate directly from the raw cacao bean. All other producers started the process further along in the refining process, using chocolate liqueur or paste in the beginning stages.This intrigued Duffy and in-born curiosity prompted him to launch himself into the chocolate limelight in Britain. Duffy provides valuable advice to Australian Chocolate.


Interesting fact: Before becoming a world class chocolate maker, Duffy worked in motor racing. Duffy believes his scientific approach  to shaving of fractions of seconds off lap times helps him get the best possible flavours from the beans he sources.

 Fred Schilling, member Advisory Board

Fred was a registered patent and trade mark attorney from 1979 to 2013. In this time, he was an equity partner at the leading independent intellectual property firm, FB Rice & Co, and subsequently a consultant at another of Australia’s intellectual property firms, Davies Collison Cave. Fred is a shareholder in Australian Chocolate.


Interesting fact: Fred’s first degree is in aeronautical engineering from Sydney University where he studied under Professor Graeme Austin Bird AO, an internationally renowned Australian scientist, long time NASA collaborator and pioneer of Monte Carlo Direct Molecular Simulation used in semiconductor vacuum system and space vehicle design.

Jim McKerlie, Advisory Board Member.

Jim is Executive Chair at Kendo, a performance management SaaS provider. He is widely known and highly regarded as an entrepreneur, business leader, management consultant and company director. Jim has served as a board director for 10 public companies including ASX 100 corporations, and 8 as chair of which 4 were IPOs. He has chaired several Remuneration Committees and has been a frequent Audit and Risk committee member.  Since 2021 he has been a director of Magnetite Mines (ASX:MGT). 


Jim was a leadership partner of the international consulting arm of Deloitte and then KPMG. 


In 2000 Jim founded the Bambu Digital Group, a software development organisation that developed and sold software to many users in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe. Bambu has now been sold into Kendo.

Jim is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.