2012 Alumni Awards
The Faculty Alumni Awards for 2012 were presented by the Dean, Professor Mark Adams at the Annual Awards Cocktail Reception held on Friday 22 June in The Great Hall.
On behalf of the Faculty and the Agriculture Alumni Association we congratulate the following recipients.
The Dean, Professor Mark Adams, feels strongly that the professional careers of these award winners are outstanding examples of the heights that can be scaled by agricultural science graduates from The University of Sydney,
“It is because of the breadth and depth of our degrees that graduates can choose from a wide range of career paths. They can go anywhere!”, he said.
The 4 recipients were:
Award for Community Achievement
(BSc Agr Hons ‘85)
John has spent over 25 years in Australia’s Agriculture/Agribusiness industry in a number of roles, and has achieved significant success in the business world, holding senior positions in companies including the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation, NSW Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Wesfarmers, Landmark and his current role as CEO of publically listed rural powerhouse, Ruralco Holdings, which has become Australia’s second largest distribution company in Australia, taking its share of the Rural Services market from less than 5% to 25%.
John also has a passion for making a difference to those facing disadvantage and medical challenges in society. Not only has he raised much needed funds for charities including Autism Australia Awareness (AAA), Ronald McDonald House, Variety NSW, Shave For A Cure, Royal Flying Doctors and the Queensland floods, but he consistently lends his personal time and expertise. He is currently Chair of AAA, and was a former Director of The Aussie Helpers Children Fund for three years.
3 Awards for Professional Achievement
Dr Bruce Lee
(BSc Agr Hons ’81 MAgr ‘83)
Dr. Bruce Lee receives the Alumni Award for his outstanding contributions internationally to agriculture and biotechnology through his research, as well as his career in global life sciences companies for over 22 years, and his role as the Director of the CSIRO Food Futures Flagship. Throughout his career, Dr Lee has demonstrated commitment to excellence in the conduct, leadership, and commercial utilisation of R&D. In addition to his Master of Agriculture, he also holds a Doctor of Science in Agriculture, Plant Nutrition and Physiology (magna cum laude) from Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.
Bruce’s knowledge of the international biotechnology and agricultural sectors has brought direct benefits to CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and Australia. He has also been instrumental in mentoring and developing a generation of younger scientists who are not only excellent scientists, but also have expertise in industry management and R&D. Bruce has been recognised with the Business Excellence Award AQ1 AGP, the 2010 Rabobank Agribusiness Leadership Award, and the CSIRO Medal for Business Excellence.
Professor David Lindsay AO
(BSc Agr Hons ’58 PhD ‘64)
Known as a world authority on animal reproduction, Professor David Lindsay AO receives the Alumni Award for Professional Achievement for major impact on Australian agriculture over his lifetime, for example he was Chair of the Review into Australia’s Quarantine System in 1988. And he continues to work tirelessly – at The University of Western Australia - on his research and lectures to better the lives of Australians through agriculture. His outstanding contributions to agricultural science and the community have been widely recognized. These contributions have earned him many distinguished awards including an Order of Australia (1997), Centenary Medal (2001), Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (1984), Eminent Scientist Award, New Zealand (2006), and induction into the Western Australian Agricultural Hall of Fame (2012).
He has written over 80 key papers on animal reproduction, particularly of sheep, in addition to contributing to more than 20 books, and writing his own: A Guide to Scientific Writing and more recently Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words. This recent book was cited by the American Libraries Association as the ‘outstanding academic title of 2011’ and is frequently used by students and researchers.
Professor Scott O’Neill
(BSc Agr Hons ‘85)
Professor Scott O’Neill receives the Alumni Award for Professional Achievement for his 22-year career in the area of entomology and human health. He has an extraordinary record, working as an Associate Professor for Yale University, Head of three different Schools at the University of Queensland: Department of Zoology and Entomology, School of Integrative Biology, and School of Biological Sciences, as well as the Deputy Executive Dean for the Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences (QLD), and finally, in 2011, becoming the Dean, Faculty of Science, at Monash University. His record is extraordinary!
The majority of Professor O’Neill’s research has centered on infecting mosquitoes with parasitic Wolbachia bacteria in order to reduce the viability of dengue-fever carrying mosquito populations in south-east Asian countries. He was among the first researchers to apply molecular biological tools to understand the biology of Wolbachia.
Professor O’Neill has also been distinguished by the Australian Government, which awarded him the Centenary Medal in 2003 for contributions to medical research. He has also been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and has also received the Mackerras Medal from the Australian Entomological Society in addition to the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Achievement Award.
2011 Alumni Awards
The 2011 Faculty Alumni Awards were presented at the annual Alumni Awards Cocktail Reception, on Friday 29 July in the Great Hall by Honary Professor Lester Burgess. In only their second year the awards were contested by a highly competitive field of alumni.
"The diversity of careers and locations of our alumni never fail to amaze me," said Associate Dean, Development, and Chair, Alumni Awards Selection Panel, Professor David Guest, " I truly believe that a qualification from our Faculty can take you almost anywhere. The acquired knowledge, and its application to so many of today’s global issues, provides you with a transportable set of skills – a passport to the whole world. We celebrate outstanding achievements at our annual alumni awards ceremony, and take great pride in the high quality of the nominations."
The four recipients were:
Award for Outstanding Community Achievement
(BSc Agr Hons 1 ’76)
David Anthony graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with First Class Honours in 1976. For more than 35 years he has contributed to the agri-political sphere in irrigated cotton, grains and oilseed production, with considerable experience in agribusiness planning, applied research and development activities, and strategic administration along with review and funding of research at both private and public levels. He has also held key industry positions as either a Company Director, Chairman or Vice-Chairman on various company boards and board committees including Auscott Limited, Cargill Oilseeds Australia, Cotton Seed Distributors, Australian Cotton Growers Research Association (ACGRA) and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC).
Dave is currently Managing Director and CEO of Auscott Limited, one of Australia’s largest agribusinesses with extensive irrigation operations in central and northwest NSW. Established in 1963 the company’s cotton operations are vertically integrated covering growing, processing (ginning), classing, marketing and shipping activities. Auscott processes and markets both its own cotton production and that of some 300 Australian cotton growers. Auscott processes approximately 20% of the Australian cotton crop. His contributions span a wide range of issues including water, research and development, gene technology, the cotton industry, safety and education.
He is currently on the Committee of the CSIRO Agribusiness Sector Advisory Council as an industry representative, the Chair of the Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre, and a member of The NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ministerial Advisory Council for Primary Industries Sciences.
Dave is a foundation member of The University of Sydney’s Agriculture Alumni Steering Committee.
Award for Outstanding International Achievement
Dr Danny Hunter
Since graduating from the University of Sydney in 1991 with a PhD Dr Danny Hunter has worked in over 30 countries, covering most regions of the world, in the field of rural development, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation. Most of this time has been spent working with the rural poor in a range of contexts and environments including a strong focus on gender and youth. He is committed to reversing those factors that contribute to poverty and natural resource degradation, as well as the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods for the most vulnerable and socially excluded. He has been Team Leader of three significant international projects with funding of around US$20 million from AusAID, the European Union and the Global Environment Facility which have had considerable technological and socio-economic impact. Danny is currently based in Rome as Senior Scientist, Diversity for Livelihoods Program, Bioversity International.
The impact of his work in agricultural and rural development has been well documented in a number of outstanding project reviews and published books and papers: 6 books, authored 13 book chapters, 59 journal articles, 29 conference and 13 workshop proceedings, and a number of miscellaneous reports, manuals, guidelines on a range of topics This is particularly evident in the work he coordinated to collect and conserve threatened root crop genetic diversity in the Pacific region, at a time of civil unrest in Melanesia, which is now safeguarded for future generations globally.
Danny has an excellent record as a teacher, leader and innovator in the field of plant genetic resources conservation and utilization. He is a champion of the role of plant genetic resources, and agricultural biodiversity in general, in underpinning sustainable agriculture and sustainable intensification for future food production and security. He has been an articulate spokesperson for improving farmer livelihoods and community development, as well as a tireless promoter of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation. He is particularly dedicated to improving the wellbeing of youth and women, and has endeavoured to ensure that both marginalized groups are involved in projects and programmes, and more importantly have benefited from outcomes. His ongoing involvement in a number of NGOs and other groups ensures this commitment and enthusiasm benefit others outside his immediate professional sphere.
Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement
(BSc Agr ’81)
Phil Mulvey graduated from The University of Sydney with a degree in Soil Science in 1981, and a Master in Hydrogeology from UNSW in 1985. He is the CEO, Managing Director, Principal Soil Scientist and Contaminant Hydrologist with Environmental Earth Sciences, an international consultancy company with more than 100 staff worldwide.
He also directs research at The Centre for Contaminant Geosciences, and lectures at a number of universities throughout Australia. As Head of an international consulting company with experience in assessing and planning remediation works in mine sites, industrial sites and landfills in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, East Timor, USA and the UK, his career in designing innovative solutions takes him around the globe. He has also authored over 50 publications and conference presentations, and has run many training courses in contaminant geoscience management. He frequently presents invited guest lectures at universities in Australia and the USA.
Phil is a foundation member of The University of Sydney’s Agriculture Alumni Steering Committee.
Award for Outstanding Young Alumni Achievement
(BSc Agr Hons 1 ’06)
Warren Conaty graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with First Class Honours in 2006. During his undergraduate studies, he was a laboratory demonstrator and student mentor in the Faculty. After graduation Warren was named NSW winner of the 2007 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for his work on irrigation scheduling. During his PhD studies, he also worked with researchers in the United States Department of Agriculture to develop a wireless temperature monitoring system for irrigation scheduling based on a low-cost infrared sensor. He has also published two peer reviewed journal articles, and was awarded the Cotton CRC Chief Scientist Achiever of the Month in 2009. After submitting his PhD thesis, Warren worked as a Youth Ambassador in fruit tree breeding at the Plant Science and Agriculture Research and Training Institute in Mongolia. Warren now works as a postdoctoral fellow, developing drought tolerant cotton varieties at CSIRO Plant Industry in Narrabri.
2010 INAUGURAL ALUMNI AWARDS
The 2010 inaugural Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Alumni Awards were announced at the Centenary Gala Dinner held on Saturday 5 June in the Great Hall, Camperdown Campus. In its first year the Agriculture Alumni Awards attracted a competitive field of nominees, across discipline areas, genders and ages. This year is a celebration of the Faculty's illustrious history, a reflection of where we stand now and a vision of where we are going.
The Dean, Professor Mark Adams said: " It is a great honour in this Agriculture Centenary year to present inaugural Faculty Alumni Awards to three very different but equally outstanding alumni. The University of Sydney places a high value on alumni and students who make significant contributions to their local, international and University communities through a wide range of endeavours. In this special year of celebration and recognition it is fitting that all three recipients have addressed the key questions facing us today. They are among many alumni who are making a difference, and that's why agriculture graduates remain in high demand by employers."
The three recipients were:
Alumni Award for International Achievement
Dr Barry McCleary
BSc Agr (Hons 1) '72 PhD '75 DSc Agr '89
Dr Barry McCleary is in the unique position of managing a successful agricultural chemistry company while remaining an internationally recognised author and scientist.
Barry graduated with first-class honours in agricultural science in 1972, and followed this up with a PhD in Agricultural Science (Biochemistry) in 1976, and began his career researching the cause of massive sheep losses in the north of NSW which led to identification of the toxic principle as the enzyme thiaminase present in the plant, Nardoo. Recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship in 1978, and the Nuffield Foundation Scholarship in 1982, he started his own company in the garage of his family home in 1988. This company, Megazyme, won the NSW Small Business of the Year Award, and the Australian Small Business of the Year Award (Manufacturing) in 1993 having just three employees and still operating from the garages. The company relocated to Bray, Ireland in 1996 where Megazyme built a highly successful, much lauded "purpose-built" research facility.
For his research, McCleary has received many awards, including the Guthrie Medal in 1992, prestigious Harvey W. Wiley Medal from AOAC International for outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers and many book chapters in the areas of carbohydrates and enzymes, and President elect of the American Association of Cereal Chemists.
Alumni Award for Professional Achievement
Dr Brian Fisher AO PSM
BSc Agr (Hons 1) '73, PhD '78
Former Dean, and Foundation Member, Agriculture Alumni Steering Committee
Dr Brian Fisher is one of Australia's most respected advisers on climate change, emissions trading and the economic impact of current and future climate and energy policies. He is a well known commentator on Australian agricultural, minerals and energy commodities, and is currently Managing Director, BAEconomics Pty Ltd. His last position was as Executive Director, Economic Analysis at Concept Economics, which specialised in the application of economic analysis to complex issues of public policy, through the development of economic arguments, models and evidence.
Dr Fisher previously held the position of Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) for 18 years from 1988. During his time at ABARE Brian positioned the organisation at the forefront of public policy debate across a range of agricultural and natural resource issues. Prior to heading up ABARE, Brian was Profession of Agricultural Economics and Faculty Dean, Brian has published over 250 papers and monographs, and is an internationally recognised researcher. In 1993 Brian was appointed one of the experts completing the socioeconomic assessment of climate change for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report. He played an integral role in the international climate change negotiations as economic adviser to Australia's negotiating team in the lead up to, and at, the third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto. He received the Farrer Memorial Medal in August 1994, became a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in November 1995, was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2002 and received an Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2007.
Alumni Award For Young Alumni Achievement
Mr Paul Burke
B Agr Ec '03
First-Class Honours Agricultural Economics graduate, Paul also received an University Medal for his academic brilliance. He was awarded an Economic Society of Australia Award as Best Economics Honours Student in New South Wales. Paul is a shining example of alumni who are making a difference in our global community. He has undertaken extensive volunteer work in Vietnam, has been employed by the Government of Tonga, the National Economics University of Vietnam, and a Hanoi-based economics research company. He has also carried out a number of consulting assignments in the areas of resource economics and poverty alleviation for international aid donors. At the age of 29 Paul has recently submitted his thesis, titled 'On Impacts of Economic Growth', for a PhD in Economics at the Australian National University, and has several publications in international economics journals, and is about to commence work as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University.