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Newsletter: Vic Report

By Matthew Ipsen, 2013 Scholar and Chair

December 2018

From the Victorian executive, we would like to thank all that attended the National Conference in Melbourne in September. The event itself was very professional and this year had really good networking opportunities, particularly the cocktail event. The size of the Crown conference venue did cause some navigational challenges, but once inside, the presentations and conference was very polished. We would like to congratulate all presenting scholars on their presentations as this added to the professional image of Nuffield to investors.

For those who did not attend, Barry Irvin, Executive Chairman at Bega Cheese presented the George Wilson Oration at the Awards Dinner which was a highlight for many from the program. Nuffield Australia also awarded seventeen scholarships at the awards dinner.

As with all Nuffield National Conferences, the engagement from scholars and industry investors and supporters makes a great Nuffield event. It was a fabulous event to catch up and grow personal contacts. Highlights from the presentations include, but were not limited to, the Victorian Farmers Federation panel discussion mediated by Nikolai Beilharz (ABC Country Hour host Victoria), 2017 Scholars Clare Booth, Toby Bekkers, Matthew Cunningham, Matthew Fealy and the “Where are they now?” presentations from 1997 Scholar Peter Notman and 2005 Scholar Michael Hastings.

Two scholars – Michael Bennett (1979 Sch) and Murray Garnock (1980 Sch) were also acknowledged as 40 year scholars during the conference awards dinner.

The regional tour included a diverse range of businesses and was throughly enjoyed by those who attended. Jan Vydra’s (2016 Sch) Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs impressed, as did Andy Clarke (2015 Sch) at Yering Station (Victoria’s first vineyard). David Cook (2013 Sch) was very open about his operation, while other visits to Valley Seeds, Toland Merinos and Biomix, an organic composting business, made the tour memorable for those who attended.

From the Victorian Executive, I would personally like to acknowledge all people involved in organising these events. It requires a lot of planning to run such a big event and if it runs seamlessly then everyone involved did a marvellous job.

In the last six months three reports have been released from Victorian scholars including  Andy Clarke and Nathan Free (2015 Scholars) and Lachie Green (2016 Scholar). Currently Victoria has five Scholars involved in the travel aspect of the scholarship and welcomes Anthony Close and Natasha Shields to the alumni as newly selected 2019 Scholars.

Victorian weather has been dry in the north and east and wet in the south up until September. Things dried quickly in the south through September and October but rain has fallen in the last month and late frosts have wiped out crops in areas.

2011 Scholar Roma Britnell is the incumbent member for the South West Coast for the legislative Assembly of Victoria and has been running again in the Victorian election in November. She was not only successful retaining her seat, but has been elevated to opposition spokeswoman on rural roads, ports and freight. Congratulations Roma.

Lastly, personally and from All of the Victorian alumni we congratulate Jim Geltch (1986 Scholar) on another accolade, being awarded the 2018 Rabobank Leadership Award.

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