Outstanding women wanted – Rural Women’s Award 2016

Sarah Powell the 2015 Rural Women's Award National winner.

Sarah Powell the 2015 Rural Women’s Award National and South Australian State winner.

Women make up half of the international agricultural workforce and represent a large part of the next generation of workers, managers, researchers and decision makers.

Australian women in particular are doing amazing things in agriculture and rural communities, utilising their skills, passion and commitment to address local challenges to ensure the growth and viability of the industry.

The Rural Industries Research and Development Council (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s pre-eminent Award for rural women. The Award identifies and supports emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities.

The Award is open to all women involved in primary industries and/or rural Australia. No formal qualifications are required. Potential applicants can express their interest through the Expression of Interest process and gain access to mentors and feedback whilst undertaking their applications.

Nominations are now open for the 2016 Award, but be quick as entries close on 30 October 2015.

How do I enter or nominate someone?

To express an interest in applying or to nominate an applicant call 02 6271 4132 or email rwa@rirdc.gov.au. Contact can also be made with the relevant state or territory Award coordinator.

2015 National and South Australia winner – Sarah Powell

Population migration from regional centres is not a new phenomenon, however Sarah Powell’s solution of engaging neuroscience principles as part of her Champions Academy – a pilot program that aims to develop the next generation of community leaders by engaging youths in sporting clubs – to address the problem is.

After moving back to the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia, Sarah soon developed new relationships through social groups, including local sporting clubs. She soon realise the potential of local sporting clubs as a mechanism to build future leaders, which she believes is core to keeping regions sustainable. In particular, she believes these community groups are an important vehicle for young people and women to gain essential skills and confidence and ultimately increase their community participation. She also believes that the culture of mentoring in sporting clubs empowers young ambassadors and gives them confidence and motivation to step up in their club and community.

Sarah will use the $10,000 Award bursary to establish and manage the pilot program ‘Champions Academy’. The Academy aims to foster personal development through sport and mentoring, teach aspiring leaders how to lead by example, act with integrity, think selflessly and demonstrate commitment. It will be delivered through a culture of mentoring that engages, empowers and builds confidence and motivation for participants to take on change-agent roles. The grant will also be used to develop a community leadership succession plan to continue to build strength and resilience in her local community.

Action Plan Implementation Manager required

National control of wild dogs is a critical issue for Australian grazing industries. from a range of perspectives – animal health and welfare, production costs, productivity and community impacts.

Early in 2014, the National Wild Dog Action Plan (NWDAP) was endorsed and supported nationally by the Australian Agriculture Ministers as well as peak industry and research bodies for its initial five-year timeframe.

Stage 1 Wild Dog Management Project (WDMP) was conducted between August 2014 and May 2015 resulting in a range of successful objectives contributing to the implementation of the NWDAP.

The Stage 2 Wild Dog Management Project (WDMP2) is now in the operational planning stages and needs to recruit a replacement Action Plan Implementation Manager (APIM).


This position is funded through an Australian Government grant. The APIM will be selected by the Implementation Steering Committee (ISC) and engaged under contract by Invasive Animals Limited being the project administration entity. The appointment will be a temporary role through to approximately August 2017 with a remuneration of up to $110,000 per annum depending on experience. Although a consultancy contractual arrangement may also be considered.


The APIM has an important role to play in monitoring the overall direction, coordination and implementation of specific action activities ensuring consistency with the intent, commitments and goals of the Action Plan. The APIM will:

  • lead the development and maintenance of continuity across the project activities aligned to the operational plan and budget
  • guide the development and maintenance of relationships between industry and governments to support a collaborative approach to wild dog management
  • assist with stakeholder consultation and engagement including collection and recording of wild dog intelligence
  • promote the development of communication networks between the many and varied wild dog cohort groups
  • identify and promote opportunities for improved investment in wild dog management and cooperation between key stakeholders
  • support the ISC members with delivery of actions, including secretarial support
  • support SCG members when undertaking specific tasks assigned by the ISC (these may be short-term strategic planning tasks, or more operational in nature), including secretarial support as appropriate
  • initiate and support the review of key performance indicators annually and development of reports as required for the ISC and project administration and grant requirements.


Applications will be accepted via email to finance@invasiveanimals.com up to close of business on Wednesday 28th October 2015.  Applications must include an up-to-date Resume as well as a covering letter outlining why you would be suitable for the replacement APIM position.

For a copy of the Position Statement click here.


Andreas Glanznig, CEO Invasive Animals CRC

T: 02 6201 2887 E: andreas.glanznig@invasiveanimals.com

For more information about the Action Plan go to: www.nationalwilddogactionplan.org.au


AHA’s September Meeting week a success

SeptMeetingwkMelbourne turned on the sunshine for Animal Health Australia’s (AHA) September Meeting Week held earlier this month, with Members receiving updates on a range of key AHA Company and project developments.

Highlights of the Members’ Forum, held in conjunction with a series of meetings and training events, included an update on the Company’s 2014-15 year-end financial position and how AHA’s office relocation, along with system improvements, is enhancing service delivery to Members. Members’ views were also sought on AHA’s draft Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework which is under development.

With a new Strategic Plan 2015-2020 in place, AHA CEO Kathleen Plowman gave a presentation to Members at the Forum highlighting AHA’s progress against the organisation’s 2010-2015 strategic priorities.

Looking back over the last five years against the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, Ms Plowman spoke about the significant change in AHA’s business environment, notably the impact of the global financial crisis in earlier years, the stoppage of livestock exports to Indonesia, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in 2012 and 2013 and more recently changes in biosecurity legislation.

Despite these challenges, by working together with AHA Members and other stakeholders, significant progress was made against a number of 2010-2015 strategic priorities.

Key highlights included:

  • the signing of Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) by AHA’s four horse industry Members
  • Bovine tuberculosis listed as a Category 4 disease in EADRA, signalling another phase following the successful eradication of the disease
  • all industry Members introducing farm biosecurity manuals for their industry sectors
  • the renewal of the foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank and the maintenance of the Anthrax Bank
  • the co-funding of research delivering improved understanding of FMD and a new standardised high-through put sero-diagnostic test for Capripox viruses for cattle sheep and goats, which will be useful for future response and proof of freedom testing
  • the development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for cattle and sheep and the finalisation of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock.

AHA’s September Meeting Week also included the AHA Industry Forum, a Members’ Dinner and the latest round of Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases (CCEAD) and National Emergency Animal Diseases Management Group (NMG) training. AHA conducts training for CCEAD and NMG representatives twice a year. All events and training sessions were well attended by a mix of government and industry personnel.


Wednesday 28 October 2015: World Organisation for Animal Health and Enhancing Engagement with Industry Sessions (OIE PVS)

Tuesday 24 November: Industry Forum followed by AHA’s Christmas function

Wednesday 25 November: AHA Members’ Forum and Annual General Meeting

*More detailed information about these events will be made available to Members and invited guests


Wool Peak Body calls for Nominations for Directors

WPA Logo

Nominations are now open for three Director positions and are for a term of two years.

Nominations are now open for three positions on the Executive of the nation’s peak body for wool growers, WoolProducers Australia.

President Richard Halliday said that nominations are now being sought from current wool growers who believe that they can contribute to national and international policy development and advocacy on behalf of Australia’s wool producing industry.

“WoolProducers Australia is led by a National Executive of wool growers from around Australia, which is predominantly made up of delegates from our state farming organisations members,” said Mr Halliday today.

“However, we also have three independent members that are directly elected by growers, which is unique to our organisation. Democratically elected independent members give anyone involved with wool growing in Australia the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team.”

The successful candidates will be required to become directors of WoolProducers Australia Ltd as part of the WoolProducers Australia Executive and the positions are for a term of two years.

As an independent director of WoolProducers the successful candidates will also be part of the WPA Animal Health and Welfare Board Committee, which is an initiative of WPA that determines the animal health levy collected from growers and is also unique to the wool industry as it is inclusive of other wool growing sector representatives.

‘The WPA Health and Welfare Board Committee was established by WPA in an attempt to provide a unified approach to significant animal health and welfare issues affecting Australian wool growers and includes representatives from AWGA, ASWGA, AASMB and the AVA’. Mr Halliday continued.

To be eligible for election to the position of Independent Director on the Executive of WoolProducers Australia, candidates must:

  • Have paid the 2% wool levy at least once during the past three years (since 1 July 2012);
  • Be a member of a state farmer organisation that is affiliated with WoolProducers Australia or a Direct Member of WoolProducers Australia; and
  • Be eligible to act as a company director.

Nominations must be received before 6.00pm on Monday 5 October. If the election is contested ballot papers will be distributed during October, with the close of voting being COB, Friday 13 November. The results will be declared at the 2015 WPA Annual General Meeting in Sydney on Wednesday, 18 November.

For further information call (02) 4836 7369 or visit www.woolproducersaustralia.com.au

NT CVO to step down at the end of the year

Malcolm Anderson, the Northern Territory’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), has announced he will leave the position at the end of December.

Mr Anderson said it was with “considerable sadness” that he will be stepping down from the role, but due to personal family matters it’s necessary for him to move back down south long term.

“I have loved living and working in the Northern Territory and at the national level. I am grateful for the support I have received from all quarters.”

Mr Anderson has served as NT CVO for nearly three years. Prior to this he worked as a veterinarian with the Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries for eight years.


Don’t let diseases, pests and weeds spring to life on your property

Producers should be alert to weeds like Paterson's Curse (Echium plantagineum) which will start to emerge in the coming weeks.

Producers should be alert to weeds like Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum) which will start to emerge in the coming weeks.

 Spring has arrived and with it comes warmer and longer days which means the traditional pests, diseases and weeds, which have been hibernating over the cooler months, are now ready to spring into action.

Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland, said producers should be looking at ways to integrate biosecurity into their spring ‘to-do list’.

“These next few months, particularly, for the southern regions of our country, can bring in a raft of difficulties for producers if the temperature warms up quickly and is accompanied with decent rainfall,” said Mr Rowland.

“A number of weed species will begin flowering about now, so it is important that producers go out with weed spray in hand, any time they’re visiting their livestock or out and about on the property.

“Sheep producers should be conscious of footrot in their area. If there have been cases of virulent footrot in your local region, check to ensure fences are in good order to keep strays away and insist on a National Sheep Health Statement, that declares the animals are free of virulent footrot, when buying in new stock.

“Cattle producers should also be alert for footrot during this season as the benign version of the disease can and does affect cattle production,” Mr Rowland said.

Mr Rowland also highlighted the growing risk of insects and parasites during the warmer months.

“The warmer and longer days mean flies will be back soon and internal and external parasites like worms will start ramping up their insidious work, so producers should ensure they have all the correct vaccinations in place and a plan to avoid conditions like fly strike.

“The best way to keep on top of any production condition this spring is to ensure you have a robust biosecurity plan that is woven into your daily work schedule and ensure that anyone that has come to help out with the workload during this busy period is across your biosecurity action list,” Mr Rowland said.

Producers are encouraged to download a copy of the Farm Biosecurity Action Planner which will help to create a structured and successful biosecurity strategy that can be integrated into your spring workload.


Woolliest sheep in Australia reminds producers not to get fleeced with fencing

SThe recent discovery of a stray sheep, near Mulligan’s Flat in the ACT, with an estimated five years’ growth of wool, weighing a record breaking 40.45 kg, is timely reminder that good fencing is vital to successful livestock production.

Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager, Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland, said whilst the sheep has garnered world-wide fame and public admiration for its survival and record-beating fleece weight, the attention should also be focused on how the sheep strayed.

“Without knowing the full circumstances surrounding the sheep’s predicament, it is very likely the sheep got out of its paddock due to poor fencing, or worse still, a gate left wide open,” Mr Rowland said.

“Adequate, fit-for-purpose and well maintained fencing should be front and centre in every producer’s biosecurity plan, because fences do lot more than just keep your stock from straying.

“Fencing plays a vital role in protecting your own stock from other stray livestock which can bring in new diseases, pests and weeds.

“Fencing can be used to protect your water and feed sources and can be used to establish weed barriers and quarantine zones for new stock.

“Well maintained fencing is also critical in protecting your stock from feral and wild animals which can attack your livestock and also act as disease carriers.

“All up, there are a multitude of reasons to have good fencing, beyond just keeping your sheep from straying and growing a record breaking fleece,” Mr Rowland said.

Nominations now open for 2015 Ralph Hood Award

2014 Ralph Hood Award winner Dr Andrew Bean.

2014 Ralph Hood Award winner Dr Andrew Bean.

Animal Health Australia is looking for passionate, committed people working in the field of animal health to apply for the 2014 Ralph Hood Award of a $15,000 grant for professional development.

Open to all of our members, service providers and associate members, the award acknowledges people with leadership potential and a strong commitment in their organisation or field to improve animal health in Australia.

Dr Andrew Bean, Group Leader, Disease Prevention and Detection at CSIRO’s Biosecurity Flagship was the winner of the 2014 Ralph Hood Award.

With expertise in cellular and molecular immunology specialising in host-pathogen interaction, Dr Bean has developed a research program focused on ‘One Health’, directed at enhancing both animal and human health by identifying new antiviral strategies, developing better therapeutics, vaccines and improving disease diagnosis.

Ms Kathleen Plowman, AHA’s Chief Executive Officer said the award offers considerable flexibility regarding the type of professional development activity that the winner could fund with the prize-money.

“Whilst the spirit of the award is to encourage and develop leadership capability in the area of animal health, the award is not intended to be utilised as a substitute for other sources of research funding,” Ms Plowman said.

Some suggested uses for the prize money include a contribution towards continuing education such as a master’s degree, attendance at an international conference, a national or international study tour, or as financial support for work experience, secondment or internship to work with a recognised expert or a relevant national/international organisation such as the OIE, FAO, WHO or other peak industry body.

“Whilst the AHA Board will be reviewing applications for their relevance to the Australian animal health system, we also want people to be creative and entrepreneurial in their approach. The award aims to foster innovation as well as leadership.”

How to enter

Full details of the award, which is named after former AHA CEO Ralph Hood are available at www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au or download the brochure here.

Entries open: Tuesday 1 September

Deadline for entries: 30 September

The winner will be announced at the AHA Members’ Forum in Canberra on 25 November.


Emergency response hotline said to improve animal welfare outcomes

A new livestock crash assistance hotline aims to improve animal welfare after road accidents.

National Transport Insurance and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) have set up a single phone number that livestock transporters can call if they are involved in a crash.

Once a call centre operator has been contacted, the centre will contact relevant authorities and co-ordinate a response plan on behalf of the operator at the scene.

Transporters say emergency response hotline will improve animal welfare outcomes after livestock truck crashes – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

National Transport Insurance (NTI) industrial relations manager Owen Driscoll said the hotline would improve both road safety and animal welfare. Read more.

(Source: ABC Rural – Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

National Guidelines for Ramps and Forcing Yards released

ALRTA-Ramps-Guide-FINAL COVERThe Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) is pleased to announce that its national ‘Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards’  is now available.

The purpose of the voluntary guide is to promote safer workplaces for people in contact with livestock loading facilities and to improve animal welfare outcomes.

Legislation requires that workplace safety risks be controlled as far as is reasonably practicable. Australian Animal Welfare Standards require livestock handling facilities be constructed, maintained and operated in a way that minimises risks to the welfare of livestock.

The Guide summarises the potential hazards of livestock loading ramps and forcing yards and practical examples of ways to control associated risks for different types of facilities.  General principles are identified as well as a series of model ramp designs, ranging from low-cost basic designs for farms to more advanced commercial designs.

The material has been developed in close consultation with key stakeholders in the livestock supply chain including animal producers, transporters, feedlots, saleyards, exporters, equipment manufacturers, welfare groups and safety authorities.

Animal Health Australia Sixteen formal submissions were received during the four week public consultation period (6 May to 3 June 2015) and the final guide has been revised in response to specific stakeholder suggestions.  The ALRTA greatly appreciates the time and effort contributed by all respondents.

To obtain a copy of the Guide:

If you would like more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat on (02) 6247 5434 or mathew@alrta.org.au.