Engaging the future workforce

  • Engaging the future workforce image

Plant Health Australia’s (PHA) Biosecurity Officer, Rebecca Powderly, presented an overview of biosecurity and the role PHA plays, to several undergraduate students studying biology at the Australia National University in May.

Students were introduced to biosecurity in Australia, provided with an overview of the National Priority Plant Pests, and the role of the Chief Plant Protection Officer. Rebecca also explained PHA’s role in supporting Australia’s plant biosecurity system.

They also learned more about plant pest and disease diagnostic and surveillance techniques and resources, as well as preparedness strategies. The Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) was described and what happens in the event of a plant pest or disease incursion.

Case studies for Grapevine red blotch virus and Varroa mite were also presented.

This is the first in a series of student presentations planned for 2023, aiming to increase engagement and awareness of the role of biosecurity in Australia, and create a pipeline for careers in the field.