In brief

Wanted: women with leadership potential

Fiona Ewing
Photo: Robb Shaw-Velzen

Applications are now open for the 2016 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award, which has recognised state winners from the fisheries sector in previous years.

These include Francis Bender, Huon Aquaculture, Tasmania 2001; Amanda Way, Clearwater Fisheries, Tasmania, 2005; Carmel Ball, Northern Territory, 2010; Fiona Ewing, Tasmania, 2012; and Barbara Koennecke, Northern Territory, 2012.

The RIRDC award is open to all women involved in primary industries who are committed to making a real difference to their industry and community.

State and territory winners receive $10,000 to implement their award idea and participate in leadership development opportunities, including the company directors’ course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The national winner and runner-up will be selected from state winners with a further $10,000 awarded to the winner and $5000 to the runner-up to support their professional development and contribution to primary industries.

More information

Rural Women's Award


Business leadership

Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon producer Tassal Group has won the 2015 Australian Business Award for Sustainability. The award is benchmarked against international performance standards and recognises leadership and commitment to sustainable business practices.

Tassal is the first salmon company in the world to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification on all of its farms and is committed to continuous improvement and transparency.

The company has a partnership with WWF Australia and is a signatory to the WWF Global Seafood Charter to safeguard valuable marine ecosystems, ensuring the long-term viability of seafood supplies.


Seafood Directions 2015

The latest research and leading issues for the Australian seafood industry will be discussed and debated at the industry’s biennial conference, Seafood Directions, in Perth in October.

The three-day conference will be held at Crown Perth from Sunday 25 October to Tuesday 27 October 2015. The industry’s best performers and ambassadors will also be recognised at the National Seafood Industry Awards presented during the gala dinner that will conclude the event.

International guest speakers include Tom Pickerell, technical director of Seafish in the UK, which works to support policy and promotion that underpins sustainable fishing and increased fish consumption. He will provide the keynote address, speaking on the conference theme of ‘Selling Our Story’.

CEO of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Bertie Armstrong will speak about establishing good relations between the fishing industry and the gas and oil industry, a subject that will feature in several conference presentations (see 'New wave of seismic engagement').

Joshua Stoll, co-founder of the Walking Fish Cooperative, a community-based fishery in North Carolina, will discuss ‘Local seafood marketing: an opportunity for marketing’.

The program manager at Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative (GSSI), Herman Wisse, will speak on the progress of GSSI and the CEO of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Rupert Howes, will discuss the role and value of the MSC certification in shaping markets.

More information

Seafood Directions


FRDC Board appointments

The Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, have announced the appointment of six directors to the FRDC Board.

Commencing on 1 September 2015, the directors will be responsible for delivering the objectives of the FRDC including innovation in fishing and aquaculture RD&E, investment in marketing, and effective and efficient administration. The Hon. Harry Woods, FRDC chair, welcomed the announcement noting the high calibre of people who apply to be FRDC directors.

The appointments were based on the selection short list provided by the government-appointed independent selection committee chaired by Glenn Hurry. The directors appointed until 31 August 2018 are:

  • Dr Renata Brooks – chair of the Queensland Government’s Biosecurity Capabilities Review;
  • Professor Colin Buxton – adjunct professor, University of Tasmania, co-chair Bioregional Advisory Panels, Department of the Environment;
  • Mr John Harrison – CEO of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Association;
  • Dr Lesley MacLeod – CEO of Dairy Innovation Australia, board member for Murray Dairy;
  • Dr Daryl McPhee – associate dean, Bond University; and
  • Mr John Susman – managing director and owner of Fishheads Seafood Strategy.

The FRDC management express thanks to the outgoing directors – Ms Heather Brayford, Mr Brett McCallum, Dr Bruce Mapstone, Dr Peter O’Brien and the late Mr David Thomason for their significant effort in delivering tangible outcomes for the Australian fishing and aquaculture sectors.


Peak body project launches

A three-year project has kicked off to identify the best options for a new national seafood industry peak body. With Australian Government funding, the National Seafood Industry Alliance has commissioned Canberra firm Inovact Consulting to undertake the ‘United Seafood Industries’ project.

The project provides a unique opportunity for seafood businesses to develop a strong national peak body tailored to their needs, and with the capacity to engage the government and community with influence and authority.

A dedicated website has been launched and consultations are planned for each state to connect with seafood businesses, individuals and industry associations.

Brian Ramsay, managing director of Inovact Consulting and former CEO of Australian Pork Ltd, is leading the project and will speak at Seafood Directions 2015 in Perth (25 to 27 October)