Message from the CEO – June 2022

  • Message from the CEO – June 2022 image

The past few weeks has seen Plant Health Australia (PHA) keeping up the trend of increased face-to-face engagements with our Member meetings in Sydney and Hort Connections in Brisbane – with both events providing us with valuable opportunities to reconnect with our members.

At our May Member meetings we welcomed Susan Petrellis to the PHA Board. Susan has international experience in industry, research, government, and education, building capability in organisations, industries, and economies across the agrifood, manufacturing and tech verticals. Her executive business experience spans senior roles in strategy, marketing, R&D, and innovation and she is a founder/founding member of 5 start-ups including innovation and sustainable leadership consultancy, Bounce Partners.

The importance of plant health surveillance and reporting has once again been highlighted with detections of Banana freckle in the Northern Territory and Strawberry latent ringspot in Victoria. Surveillance remains a fundamental component of the national biosecurity system and plays an important role at all stages of the biosecurity continuum. These early warning mechanisms combined with improved awareness of biosecurity risks are key in maintaining the strength and resilience of our plant biosecurity system.

Building capacity and biosecurity knowledge are key in managing risks to Australia’s agriculture industry and supporting trade and market access. With this in mind, we’ve partnered with Animal Health Australia and the Queensland Government on the Biosecurity Training Hub to bring together all online biosecurity training and resources from across Australia. The site will group training courses under themes to help users find the right package for them and you are invited to submit your training courses via the stakeholder survey.

This month we farewell Communications Officer, Angus Abbott and Project Officer Rachel Louise who have taken on non-biosecurity roles in the not-for-profit sector. In line with our focus on developing staff, congratulations to Dr Maggie Mwathi-Nyarko on her promotion to Network Coordinator within the Diagnostics team. I’d also like to wish Andrew Tongue a very happy retirement and acknowledge and thank him for his significant contribution to biosecurity.

If you haven’t already had a look, our comprehensive events webpage continues to help you plan your network and engagement opportunities for the rest of the year. Of note is the CEBRAnar on streamlining the risk assessment process, the BerryQuest International Conference and the Australian Grains Industry Conference. Key events you don’t want to miss!