Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia



Gina Dal Santo

Cheese maker, cheese judge, cheese educator.

Gina holds qualifications in Food Technology, Quality Management and Teaching. Gina started with TAFE SA in 2000.

Gina was instrumental in starting the original cheese making facilities at the Regency Campus of TAFE SA. Since then she has run various courses in cheese making for in-house Diploma and Degree students, general public, international students, and for industry.

Gina has travelled extensively to France, Italy and the US to gain knowledge in cheese making and affinage. Gina has judged dairy throughout Australia and is a well respected judge.

As well as being Head Cheese Maker of the Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia, Gina holds the following positions:

  • secretary of the South Australian branch of Dairy Industry of Australia Association (DIAA)
  • committee member of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society (RAHS)

She is also a member of:

  • Australian Specialty Cheese Association (ASCA)
  • Cheese SA
  • Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST).

Jim Ralph

Jim completed his Honours degree in Microbiology at Flinders University in 1985. He then worked for several years as a secondary science teacher in country schools in South Australia.

Jim returned to Flinders University in 1990 as a Research Assistant and worked on the biological conversion of brown coal to liquid fuels and other useful products whilst also working part-time as a senior biology teacher for the Independent Schools Board.

Jim commenced a PhD in 1993 and continued his work on the bioconversion of coal. After finishing his PhD in 1995, he worked on curriculum development for the Department of Public Health at the Adelaide University, specialising in educational resources related to air, water and soil quality and food safety. Jim moved to The Department of Environmental Health at Flinders University in 1997 where he investigated the input of pollution into surface waters in metropolitan Adelaide.

In 1998 he took up a lecturing position in Food Technology at the Regency campus of TAFE SA. Jim was instrumental in establishing the Diploma of Food Technology in 1999 and a Bachelor degree in Food Technology in 2000. The latter program is offered by Adelaide University in collaboration with TAFE SA.

Jim teaches across a variety of Food Technology topics, notably the safety, chemistry and analysis of food, sensory evaluation, dairy science and food product development. He also delivers short courses in food handling, food safety programs, labelling and hygiene monitoring.

Kris Lloyd

Kris is manager and Head cheesemaker of Woodside Cheese Wrights.

Woodside Cheese Wrights is a specialist cheesemaker of goat and cow cheeses producing fresh, white mould and matured cheeses. Production is around 50 Tonne with distribution throughout Australia.

Kris is the Head cheesemaker supported by a passionate team of cheesemakers making cheeses to traditional methods resulting in plenty of flavour and individual character. Kris has also pioneered a range of seasonal cheeses, with innovative packaging and presentation, to take advantage of seasonal variations in milk supply.

In 2004 Kris established the South Australian Specialist Cheese Association "CheeseSA" to promote specialty cheese and introduce industry driven education and training programs in South Australia. Kris is currently the Chair of the association. Kris is also the Director of CheeseFest, Australian Alfresco Cheese Festival, a Board member of the South Australian Tourism Commission and Chair of the Artisan Cheese Making Academy - Australia.

Woodside Cheese Wrights has won numerous cheese awards throughout Australia, including the Grand Dairy Award in 2002 and 2011, and has won the South Australian Premiers Food Award in 2002 , 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2008 Woodside Cheese Wrights was awarded 1 gold and 2 silver medals at the renowned World Cheese Awards held in Dublin - Woodside was the only Australian cheese maker to receive a gold medal in these awards. Kris was the national winner of the 2010 Telstra Business Woman - Innovation Award.

Kris travels widely throughout the world to help benchmark her products, to learn new techniques and gather product ideas.

Sébastien Picoulet, (France)

With a career in Cheese making Training over 12 years, Sébastien is responsible for technical support of 17 cheese plants in France Comte.

Since 2001, he has been Commissioner for the French cheese national competition in Paris.

Sébastien works as a cheesemaker, trainer and biotechnological analyst At the National Dairy School in Poligny, France, where he is responsible for production of the semi-hard cheese varieties Morbier, Raclette and Tomme.

Sébastien is a contributor to the ACMA through the Cheesemaker in Residence program

Henry-Eric Spinnler

Henry has a career spanning over two decades working specifically with the science and and technical issues of cheese.

He has published hundreds of articles on cheese including the major publications Cheese and Cheese flavours and aroma.

He has a PhD in biotechnology, is an expert in biosynthesis of flavours and is a permanent expert in National Agency for Food Safety in France.

Henry is a contributor to the ACMA through the Cheesemaker in Residence program

Ranee May

Ranee has been a cheesemaker, specialising in hard cheeses, for more than 30 years.

For most of this time, she has taught at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she has managed the University Dairy Plant and taught the Dairy Technology curriculum.

She has been a volunteer, teaching dairy technology in developing countries, for the past 25 years. She has travelled to approximately 25 countries and logged more than 4,000 hours.

She then went back to sales at APS Food & Nutrition, primarily working with dairy customers, then onto Danisco as a Sales Manager for the Southern region, again specialising in dairy, particularly Cheese.

Her next big move was back to South Australia where she worked at Vok Beverages as a Sales Analyst. But her desire to get back into the dairy industry has brought her to the Artisan Cheese Making Academy of Australia, with no plans to move again. 

Ranee is a Contributor to the ACMA through the Cheese maker in Residence Program.