GRDC farming systems team earns big bouquet

GRDC wins gold award in the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence: (from left) John Harvey, GRDC; Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service, Tony Abbott; and Professor Peter Cornish, University of Western Sydney.

AGAINST STIFF competition, the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management has gone to the GRDC farming systems program team.

Tony Abbott, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, presented the award to the GRDC's executive manager of program operations, John Harvey, and a former GRDC regional panel member, Professor Peter Cornish of the University of Western Sydney.

Another federal government agency, Centrelink, was co-winner of the gold award.

The managing director of the GRDC, John Lovett, congratulated the people (listed below) who have participated in the farming systems program team since 1996. The award recognises their achievements in bringing local farmers and researchers together to collaboratively redesign Australia's approach to farming systems research in more than 30 districts across the grainbelt.

Experts on the GRDC program team during the six years included regionally based farmers, scientists and academics, as well as GRDC management.

Professor Lovett said the award afforded high national recognition to members of the GRDC's regional panels, as well as GRDC management. "This award underscores the excellence of the system under which regional panel members and management operate together through the GRDC's program teams, which were created to help Australia's graingrowers to innovate," he said.

Past and present members of the GRDC's award-winning farming systems program teams (since 1996)

Professor Peter Cornish, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury

Dr John Passioura, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra

Professor Phil Cocks, WA

Mr John Sykes, NSW Agriculture, Dubbo

Mr Neil Smith, farmer, Maitland, SA

Mr Mike Perry, GRDC Program Consultant, Perth

Mr David Alexander, farmer, Jimbour, Qld

Mr Phil Bardsley, farmer, Moree, NSW

Dr Bob Eisemann, Leslie Research Centre, Toowoomba, Qld

Dr John Doughton, DPI, Emerald, Qld

Dr Mark Peoples, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra

Mr Ian Blayney, farmer, Geraldton, WA

Dr Bob Belford, VIDA, Horsham, Vic

Current and former GRDC management members of the team:

John Harvey, Martin Blumenthal, Phil Price, Keith Alcock, Sam Nelson, David Porritt, Tamara Cole, Katie Ellis, Jane Lilley.