Message from the CEO

February 28, 2023

Welcome to the second edition of Tendrils for 2023.

Agrifood tech innovation and biosecurity work hand-in-hand to increase productivity and strengthen food safety to ensure produce moves safely from the farm-to-the fork. Together these elements enhance our ability to build a strong biosecurity system and ensure food security. Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a biosecurity panel discussion at evokeAG 2023 in Adelaide where I shared Plant Health Australia’s role and activities to safeguard our $100 billion industry target. From farmers, innovators and researchers to corporates, government and investors; the event saw thought leaders in agrifood technology converge for two days to discuss the trends, challenges and opportunities that will shape the future of food and agriculture.

Towards the close of 2022, we invited our Member base to evaluate our performance against the Strategic Plan 2022-27 and the implementation of programs, initiatives, communications and engagements. Thank you to our Members for participating in the survey and for highlighting what we did well and identifying areas for improvement in 2023. The results of the survey will inform initiatives and activities for the next 12 months.

Earlier this month, our Executive team had the opportunity to engage with our Government Members to improve their understanding and awareness of their role in our governance structure, the activities funded by their annual subscriptions and the process and timeframes for the development of our Annual Operational Plan (AOP). The AOP provides an overview of our income and expenditure, presents the key activities and targets for the next financial year and outlines the actions required to support our five-year strategy. Annually, this draft plan is presented to Members at the AOP webinar at the end of March and input invited. This year the AOP webinar will be held Thursday 30 March at 2.00pm with an additional member feedback period of Friday 31 March – Wednesday 26 April. The updated draft AOP is then scheduled to be distributed to Members in early May. Invitations for the AOP webinar have gone out to our Member base.

Our Member meetings are a feature on the PHA calendar and provide us with the opportunity to share company information and knowledge, and exchange challenges, opportunities and successes. Save the date! This year our Member meetings will be held Wednesday 31 May and Thursday 1 June. Registrations details will be provided closer to the time.

As a learning organisation working in the world of biosecurity, PHA is well-versed in adaptability and the need to make strategic shifts to meet changes. This month, I’m pleased to announce that Jonathan Terlich has been promoted to National Manager: Partnerships and welcome him to PHA’s Executive Management Team. Jonathan will be responsible for leading the review, development and implementation of key plant health strategies. During February, we also welcomed Yvonne Ogaji, Project Officer: Surveillance, Rebecca Powderly, Project Officer: Biosecurity Planning and Implementation and Jimmy Lu, Graduate Project Officer: Digital systems. On the recruitment front, the process for our new General Manager is well underway with interviews concluded last week and I look forward to announcing the outcome in March.