2001 Runners Up

2001 New South Wales Runner-up - Barbara Nutthall

At the time of the Award, Barbara with her husband and two sons ran a wool, prime lamb and cereal crop production operation north-west of Young, on the South West slopes of New South Wales. In 1998 she realised an opportunity for her to diversify the family’s enterprise into geese production and was actively involved in the establishment of a goose breeding venture.

While the demand for geese meat and other products was strong, with a market estimated at about 20,000 geese a year, the industry was still in its very formative stages, with poor egg fertility rates the major factor currently limiting the industry’s future expansion.

Barbara’s vision was for a viable and environmentally friendly enterprise, not only for her own property, but the opportunity of a new venture for other rural women and a new and prosperous industry for rural Australia. She planned to travel overseas, to Taiwan, America, France, Ireland and the UK, to study first hand from the breeding and management practices of more established industries, government agencies and research institutions and translate that knowledge back into her own venture and into the Australian industry.

2001 New South Wales Runner-up - Linda Duffy

At the time of the Award, Linda worked as Rural Financial Counsellor based at Hay in the Western Riverina of NSW. Her initial appointment to the position came as a result of the mid 1990’s devastating drought, but the demand for financial analysis and emotional support from rural people continued. She was seriously concerned by the somewhat negative attitude and outlook by rural communities, particularly from its more senior members.

Her vision for the future of agriculture was for its people to be positive, to restore pride and confidence in what they do, to inspire other industries and to inject vigor into their communities.

She proposed to establish an Intergenerational Exchange, to better value and utilise the wealth of knowledge and experience of the community’s more senior members, in an effort to reinvigorate rural people and their communities and to provide support for younger members of rural communities to encourage them in their enterprises. The first step was the establishment of a pilot focus group to drive the Exchange and prioritise the issues critical to the local community.

2001 Victoria Runner-up - Jo Gardner

At the time of the Award, Jo owned and operated Gardner Herbs Australia, one of the country’s largest brokers, processors, propogators and wildcrafters of medicinal and culinary herbs. Her business was the largest supplier of domestically grown dry medicinal herbs in Australia with over 300 growers supplying dried and fresh products annually. She has a deep concern about the exodus of young people and the subsequent impact on the sustainability of regional communities.

In 2000 Jo was elected to the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and was its representative to Wimmera 2020, a committee dedicated to investigating sustainable development within the region.

Jo completed a Diploma in Business Management – International Trade, which she found to be extremely rewarding, in terms of the opportunities, networks and mentors the course opened to her.

Her vision was for a sustainable future for agriculture and rural communities, by recognising and rewarding the contribution of its rural youth. Jo was committed to being a catalyst, by offering her services to encourage young people into the Diploma or like training, to improve their self-esteem and future career opportunities and by doing so help reinvigorate rural communities.

2001 Victorian Runner-up - Lisa Jarvis

The major part of Lisa’s career has been as a youth and community development worker in metropolitan and regional Victoria. She returned to the family farm, 40 acres of which remains of the original farm that has been held in her family for three generations.

Since returning to Bambra, Lisa established ‘Kyah Initiatives’, a project management and development consultancy that utilises operating frameworks focusing upon people, environment and culture.

Lisa’s vision is for a sustainable future for agriculture, for regional communities and for its people and in particular its youth.

Her vision for sustainable agriculture involved the creation of the Kyah Valley Niche Agriculture and Sustainable Culture Demonstration Farm.

The Kyah Valley Project aimed to demonstrate sustainable enterprises and niche market opportunities, which utilise and develop agricultural and enterprise practices that encourage biodiversity, and environmental and ethical soundness.

The farm would offer employment and enterprises opportunities, particularly for young people in regional communities, while acting as a valuable research and education resource through the stringent documentation of all activities and technologies.

Lisa’s passion is the creation of community through the development of sustainable and dynamic approaches to creating opportunities for learning, interaction and enterprise.

South Australia Runner-up - June Gill

At the time of the Award June had been actively involved in the SA marine scale fishing industry, at the grass roots, for the past thirty years. Over 2001-2001 June had established an export facility for whole chilled marine scale fish for export direct into the Japanese market.

June was the founding Chair of the Women’s Industry Network, a network developed in South Australia in 1996 which grew into a national body known as the Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community and currently holds the position of Chair. She conducted numerous workshops and wrote as many articles, all with the aim of encouraging and empowering women in the seafood industry to participate in its decision making at both local and state levels.

She was also voluntary Project Officer for the Marine Scale Net Fisheries Association, where she was responsible for developing the industry’s Code of Practice, covering environmental and resource management, and handling and compliance standards. She was also the first female observer to sit on the South Australian Fishing Industry Council and was a member of the Rural Women’s Advisory Group and was a steering group member of the Commonwealth Fisheries Policy Review.

June’s vision for her industry, the Marine Scale Fishing Industry, was to secure for its fishing families, the best dollar for quality product through both the domestic and international market, while preserving the catch quantity. She firmly believes that returns can be significantly improved through value adding and smarter marketing, through the development of the Adelaide Central Fish Market into a Central Market Co-operative. She believes the SA Co-operative in turn will provide new post harvest value adding with a South Australian brand and greater marketing opportunities, to grow the industry domestically and internationally.

June planned to undertake a study tour of domestic and international fish marketing centres, as the first course of action to assessing world’s best practice. A paper was to be written on her experience which would provide a working link to a SA Steering group. June and this group would then work towards her longer term vision of the establishment of a world class SA Fish Market Co-operative.

2001 South Australia Finalist - Tracy Warland

Tracy is recognised as a pioneer and an international authority on seahorses, having undertaken extensive research and trial work into seahorses. She was one of the first in Australia to be granted the right to breed and harvest seahorses and now has permits to breed six species of seahorse, two species of pipefish and the weedy sea dragon.

At the time of the Award Tracy owned and operated one of only four seahorse farms worldwide and mainland Australia’s first captive bred seahorse breeding facility, supplying seahorses to the world’s aquarium market.

Her vision is to protect the wild catch seahorse from extinction, through education along with captive breeding programs such as her own. Tracy’s ambition was to establish a public aquarium interpretive centre for seahorses and associated species.

She sees the centre as not only a powerful educational tool, but a huge tourism resource for Australia and the region of Port Lincoln. The first step to achieving her vision was to undertake a feasibility study into the new venture. The centre she envisaged would include a public display, a captive breeding program and further down the track an interpretive and cultural centre.

2001 Western Australia Runner-up - Janette O'Keefe

Dr O’Keefe is a veterinary practitioner, and at the time of the Award worked from her farm to service a client base of some 5,000 farmers and others in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. Janette serviced her clients by phone and on farm visits, and extended her practise to incorporate a website to provide for online consulting and eventually visual and audio support, a public database and online discussions.

Janette strongly believes in environmental medicine and in preventative and early intervention practices and works with her clients to adopt animal management practices that reduce the risks to their animals and the costs of veterinary support. In addition to her own practice and supporting her husband on the farm and piggery, Janette was heavily involved in a number of community initiatives.

She was one of the instigators of the Kukerin Enterprise Group, a community self-help group, committed to promoting and supporting the region’s tourism and commercial businesses. She also provided veterinary and other support to numerous regional events, including the Wagin Woolaramma, the Pingrup Races and the Kulin Bush Races.

Her personal vision was two-fold. To have a cost effective and sustainable farming sector, which employs environmentally sound practices and a sustainable and vibrant regional community. She believes for the farm sector to be sustainable, so too must the regional community, that the two go hand in hand and must support each other to survive.

To achieve her vision for the farm sector, Janette planned to expand her business, particularly online, to ensure her farm’s viability and through the establishment of a traineeship, act as an example to others of the opportunities to expand and diversify a commerical business in the bush.

To achieve her vision for her regional community, she intended to, through the Kukerin Enterprise Group, develop a campaign that promotes the region and fosters new commercial initiatives, while encouraging an environment of community spirit and participation by all including their vital youth.

2001 Western Australia Runner-up - Pamela Lincoln

Pamela originally trained as a dietitian and community nutritionist and worked in the city, but chose to live the rest of her life in regional Western Australia as a primary producer. She changed careers, having completed her Wine Science degree in 1999 and undertaking additional study in Integrated Pest Management, Nutrition and Water Management for Grapevines. In 1997 Pam and her husband began establishing a wine grape vineyard on the outskirts of Albany and in 2001 enjoyed their first harvest.

Pam is a firm believer in the importance of a healthy vibrant rural sector to the rest of Australia, its people and the overall economy. She believes there is an acute lack of awareness in the general community about the quality and variety of produce we grow and has taken every opportunity to promote the produce of her region.

Her vision was all about recognition, acknowledging and valuing the food, wine and people of the southern region of Western Australia and instilling in the general community a food culture and a pride in our produce and primary producers.

She planned to produce a high quality publication, featuring stories and photographs of the people and produce of the region, while putting the southern region of Western Australia on the world food culture map. The book will be aligned with the values of the international association, ‘Slowfood’ and will focus on the diversity and innovation in agriculture.

2001 Tasmania Runner-up - Anne Heazlewood

Anne and her husband operate the family businesses of Heazlewood Farming and Heazlewood Seeds. They have been farming in the district of Whitemore since 1823 and Anne’s children will become the sixth generation to farm.  Their farming enterprise is centred around small seed production, with perennial ryegrass being the main cultivar, in rotation with green peas, opium poppies and cereals. The enterprise also produces English and Border Leicester sheep for flock ram production.

Heazlewood Seeds cleans processes and exports a range of seeds from their farm and surrounding farms and also controls the production, processing and exporting of Tasmanian buckwheat to Japan for high quality noodle production.

At the time of the Award Anne was an active member of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and Secretary and Administrator of Peam’s Steam World Management Trust Committee. Her vision was to see agriculture remain a viable and sustainable business so that future generations will be encouraged to enter the industry.

Her ambition was to increase the diversity within her operations and create a new enterprise in the briquetting of hay and straw, while minimising the environmental impact of the seed weed offal by its value adding into briquetts. She planned to travel to Europe to investigate briquetting machines and markets, with the view to establishing markets both domestically and overseas for both the offal and hay and straw.

Anne believed that this initiative, an Australian first, will pave the way for the seed clean industry to achieve an economically attractive product from what is currently regarded as the industrys’ biggest environmental problem.

2001 Tasmanian Runner-up - Jodie Epper

At the time of the Award Jodie was employed as the Bushcare Extension Officer with Greening Australia. Her work involved the delivery of the Land for Wildlife Program and Bushcare Extension Services to rural communities across the state.

Jodie executed numerous Bushcare restoration projects, managed the Landcare Environment Action Program, volunteer groups and facilitated group and individual education sessions at Agfest. She produced a training manual, the Land for Wildlife Procedures Manual, which will provide the foundation for farmer training and education throughout the state.

Jodie’s vision was for nature conservation to be an integral and valued part of every agricultural enterprise throughout the state, by establishing a mechanism that rewards farmers for their environmental efforts. She believes that in the future there will be an increasing consumer demand for food that is produced using environmentally sustainable practices.

She also believes there will be exciting opportunities for producers to not only gain access to high value international markets, but reduce the negative impacts of some current land management practices, by incorporating nature conservation into their enterprises. Jodie planned to undertake research both here and overseas, to determine the possible mechanisms and the market needs and demands.

2001 Northern Territory Runner-up - Miriam Golding

Miriam is a pioneer in the rapidly expanding Northern Territory horticultural industry. She is a grassroots mango grower, who with her husband, developed from scratch their mango orchard outside Katherine. At the time of the Award, she was a partner in their central packhouse facility based off farm, which traded under the ‘Katherine Gorgeous Mangoes’ label and offered a picking, packing and marketing service to over 50 growers in the Katherine region.

Miriam is deeply committed to rural women and their advancement and has served on the Board of the Australian Women in Agriculture. She has also held an executive position on the NT Horticultural Association as the President of the Katherine branch and was involved in the national advisory group with the HRDC Women in Horticulture program.

Her vision for agriculture was to develop a sustainable industry based on profits while showing a healthy respect for the environment and the family farm, which she believes is the building block for rural communities.

With production of mangoes in the Northern Territory set to double, Miriam saw the development of the export market as critical to their business and to the future viability of the industry. She also believed it was essential to expand the varieties of mangoes available to meet the different market requirements in various locations. With this in mind, Miriam set about grafting and planting a selection of mango varieties, including R2E2 and Honey Gold, to compliment their established orchard of the traditional Kensington Pride Mangoes.

She planned to explore export market opportunities for mangoes in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, seeking out first hand their product, packaging and market requirements. Miriam planned to undertake an overseas study tour in two parts, firstly Asia including Hong Kong and China and Singapore, before travelling to the Middle East and Europe to coincide with the arrival of NT mangoes into those markets.

2001 Northern Territory Runner-up - Katrina Tucker

At the time of the Award Katrina had been researching, trialling and producing exotic spices in the Territory for over a decade. Her tenacity and dedication to this new and emerging industry has made her an authority in the Territory in her field.

At the time of the Award Barramond Tropical Fruits and Exotic Spice Farm had been in operation for ten years and played a major role in the development of industry’s quality assurance, food quality and food safety standards.

Katrina marketed exotic spices on a weekly basis interstate and primarily through an agent into the Sydney market. She is also commited to rural women and to ensuring their financial independence, through the production of exotic spices which provide a regular and reliable income. She was elected the Northern Territory President of Australian Women in Agriculture.

She regularly held open days and field days on her farm to share her knowledge and experience and was available for industry training through the Northern Territory University’s Horticulture Department.

Katrina’s vision was to see her industry grow through the creation of new markets and to provide for rural women a new commerical enterprise that develops their skills and resources and offers them financial independence. She planned to grow her industry and act as a catalyst to encouraging new growers through the production and promotion of a exhaustive and practical guide to the spice industry.

She also planned to purchase and install the necessary apparatus for the distillation of essential oils, expanding the capacity of not only her own operation but the industry in the Northern Territory.