Spreading The Light

Top communicators Dr Chris Preston (left) and Dr Graham White with Seed of Light Awards

A scientist with the ability to present complex research in practical terms to farmers and another who can make discussions about grain borers anything but boring are the winners of a major grains industry award.

They are Chris Preston of the Adelaide-based CRC for Weed Management Systems and Graham White of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries. They were presented with the 'Seed of Light' Awards at Grains Week in Sydney by Grains Research and Development Corporation board members Dr Cliff Samson and Dr Jan Mahoney.

The 'Seed of Light' is a unique work of art in glass by Stephen Procter, head of the National Institute of Art Glass Workshop at the Australian National University. The award recognises outstanding communications in the delivery of grain industry research.

The GRDC makes the 'Seed of Light' awards in each of its three regions every year. Dr Preston was the winner for the southern region, which takes in SA, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, and Dr White won for the northern region of northern NSW and Queensland. (Ground Cover 32 toasted the WA winner, AGWEST Senior Plant Pathologist Rob Loughman.)

Dr Preston has been a consistent keynote speaker at Farmer and Adviser Research Update seminars, principally presenting the latest news on herbicide resistance in weeds, and ways to avoid it.

He is an internationally recognised biochemist and lecturer and has developed "integrated weed management" into one of the most popular subjects at the Waite Institute campus of the University of Adelaide, with as many as 60 students a year.

Dr White, who has extensive experience in grain insect control research, has taken a national role over the past 12 months to help protect the availability of the fumigant phosphine.

He has facilitated the development and implementation of whole-of-industry communication strategies about the use of phosphine.

This contribution has been a key to Australia's ability to maintain use of its most important fumigant, now used on 80 per cent of the national grain crop.

Program 4.1.3

Contact: Mr Ross Andrews 02 6272 5525

Region North, South, West