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About Us

SmartOysters was founded by Ewan McAsh and Philip Browning with the goal of ‘getting the farmer off the farm’ and ensuring the farm business is digital-ready. It has achieved that and more in a very short space of time. SmartOysters is now recognised globally as an innovative and trustworthy solution.

Ewan McAsh: Profile Photo
Ewan McAsh CEO, Director & Co-Founder

A qualified marine scientist with over 16 years’ experience in oyster farming. Ewan was a 2012 Nuffield Farming Scholar. He founded Signature Oysters in 2015, SmartOysters in 2017, and OysterLife Farm Manager in 2018.

Ewan has pioneered key innovations and the McAsh family have been the first to adopt many of the practices that have subsequently become standard within the NSW oyster industry. He has won recognition and respect beyond the industry for his pioneering of farm-based provenance and direct to consumer and restaurant marketing initiatives via Signature Oysters Pty. Ltd. Ewan is a visible face within the oyster industry. He regularly appears in the media and TV programs such as ABC Landline. He is often personally requested to attend food and oyster festivals as a representative of the industry.

For Ewan, SmartOysters represents a final piece of the puzzle – the ability to scale farm and farmer-based collaboration so that oyster farming is not constrained by geography. For example, in 2018 Ewan launched the new share farm initiative OysterLife www.oysterlifemgmt.com using the SmartOysters platform.

Philip Browning: Profile Photo
Philip Browning Director & Co-Founder

Philip holds an honours science degree (major environmental science/hydrogeology), post graduate degrees in HRM and IR and a master’s degree in Management as well as qualifications from the Institute of Company Directors.

Before developing SmartOysters with Ewan, Philip spent more than 25 years in a corporate career as a strategist and trusted advisor at board and CEO level; advising on large social infrastructure and information, communications, and technology programs for government and not for profit organisations.

For Philip, SmartOysters is the manifestation of 25 years of strategic thinking and the experiences of advising on strategic change and digital disruption. SmartOysters embodies lessons of employee engagement, data ownership and governance learnt while working in the health and wider human services sectors. It is a platform that has the power to totally transform an entire industry.

James Horton: Profile Photo
James Horton CTO, CFO & Director

James has been working with data for a long time, having been involved in the Australian government’s first forays into data management in the early 1990s. His compulsive curiosity and sharp intellect have drawn him along the data trail for almost 30 years. His passion lies in using data for social good.

James Horton is our data strategist – looking ahead to ensure SmartOysters farmers are optimally placed in the emerging field of ag-tech.

James developed the SmartOysters roadmap and continues to push us & our customers towards an ever-brighter future.

Colin Bridges: Profile Photo
Colin Bridges Business Development Manager

Colin (or Col as he prefers to be known) has more than 29 years’ experience working throughout the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA in the environmental sector in fields as diverse as aquaculture, forestry, lake management, & local government. He holds a BSc Environmental Science & Technology from Exeter University in the UK. He also has a range of other qualifications and competencies that benefit our customers and our company.

He is known throughout the industry as a passionate advocate for the use of technology in farming enterprises.

For Col, SmartOysters represents the future of aquaculture. It will future proof enterprises and provide operators with an unprecedented level of control.

Claire McAsh: Profile Photo
Claire McAsh Customer Support Manager

Claire has many years of experience with online mapping (ArcGIS, ESRI, QGIS), data management, and oyster farming. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Science & Design and is a highly experienced environmental scientist/civil designer.

Coming from an oyster farming family, the transition from environmental design work & into the world of aquaculture felt like returning home.

For Claire, working with SmartOysters enables her to work with fantastic people around the world, whilst actively supporting them & their families (by helping their businesses grow). She's already a well-known & respected figure in the oyster industry and we're proud (& lucky) to have her on the team!

James Rickard: Profile Photo
James Rickard Lead Developer & Tech Lead

James has 20 years’ experience with the internet; designing, developing, and deploying web applications for a broad range of industries. A true “jack-of-all-trades”, with skills garnered while working for design firms, individual organisations, and from running a small consulting business. James’ interest in permaculture and his career in web development, make him look forward to bridging the gap between Farmer and Technology.

Dane Pidgeon: Profile Photo
Dane Pidgeon Training & Engagement Specialist

Dane has over 12 years’ experience working in the Education and Training sector across the globe.

He has worked in a variety of roles including application management and support, training, and solutions management. In recent years, Dane has assisted many organisations to improve their operations by adopting new and innovative technologies.

Dane is passionate about helping others succeed and facilitating the journey to an improved and smarter way to work.

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