An extensive list of nominees has been announced for the National Awards for Excellence – the Australian horticulture industry’s most prestigious recognition – with 70 growers, marketers, businesses, researchers and industry representatives nominated in 10 award categories, including the highly-coveted Grower of the Year and Marketer of the Year awards.

The Awards will be announced on Wednesday 26 June at the National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, the capstone event for Hort Connections 2019. The Awards highlight the accomplishments of the industry’s leaders and are an opportunity for the wider industry to celebrate the best and brightest in their field. They cover a range of areas in horticulture, including recognising outstanding growers and marketers in multiple categories, as well as researchers, innovative agribusinesses and the industry’s leading exporters. The Gala Dinner is expected to attract over 1,300 horticulture industry members.

“All nominees for the different award categories have demonstrated their commitment to the Australian horticulture industry and have made a valuable contribution to its ongoing growth and success,” said Hort Connections spokesperson Nathan McIntyre.

“They are all deserving nominees who have been recognised by their peers and colleagues for their achievements. Given the high calibre of each nominee, it will certainly be tough to pick a winner in each category.

“To be nominated for an award at Hort Connections is a great honour, and I would like to congratulate each nominee and wish them the best of luck. I would also like to thank those who nominated their peers and colleagues for an award in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the industry.”

A joint initiative between AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), Hort Connections 2019 is the premiere event for the horticulture industry, encompassing the vegetable, fruit, cut floral and nursery sectors.

The conference, which will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 24-26 June, caters to all members of the horticulture industry, from primary producers to retailers and the entire supply chain. It is an opportunity for growers and industry members to come together in one central location to build their knowledge and networks, and find new ways to improve the productivity and profitability of their farms and secure the future of the industry.

Registrations are still open and those who are interested in attending any of the three days can also register in person at the event. For more information or to register, please visit

Nominees for the 2019 National Awards for Excellence

Grower of the Year – proudly sponsored by Syngenta

  • Anthony De Ieso (SA)
  • Catherine Velisha (VIC)
  • David Wallace (VIC)
  • Deon Gibson (Tas)
  • Ian MacLaughlin (QLD)
  • Jason Shields (VIC)
  • Jeremy Haw (VIC)
  • Marco Mason (VIC)
  • Mark Pye (SA)

PMA – Produce Plus Marketer of the Year

  • Olivia Grey from Hort Innovation for the ‘Hailstorm Heroes’ campaign
  • Zespri’s Australian Sales & Marketing Team for the ‘Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit’ campaign
  • Sona Padman from Freshmax Australia for the ‘Modi Apples’ campaign
  • Cecilia Flores Paez from T&G Global for the ‘Orchard Rd Brand Launch’ campaign
  • The Costa Avocado Team for the ‘Lovacado Launch’ campaign

Young Grower of the Year – proudly sponsored by Corteva Agriscience

  • Anthony De Ieso (SA)
  • Carl Young (VIC)
  • Christopher Maisel (QLD)
  • Daniel Hoffmann (SA)
  • Daniel Jackson (QLD)
  • John Hearman (WA)
  • Josh Langmaid (TAS)
  • Luke DePaoli (QLD)
  • Michael Evans (VIC)
  • Stephanie Corrigan (VIC)
  • Stephanie Tabone (QLD)

Researcher of the Year Award – proudly sponsored by Bayer

  • Anne-Maree Boland (VIC)
  • Barbara Hall (SA)
  • Cherie Gambley (QLD)
  • Chris Monsour (QLD)
  • Jenny Ekman (NSW)
  • Joanna Howe (SA)
  • Nigel Swarts (TAS)

Environmental Award – proudly sponsored by Butler Market Gardens

  • Foodbank Australia (NSW)
  • Michael Evans (VIC)
  • Wayne Ingram (VIC)

Industry Impact Award – proudly sponsored by Visy

  • A&D Australasia (SA)
  • Alistair Gracie (TAS)
  • Anne-Maree Boland (VIC)
  • Felicity Turner (VIC)
  • Josh Langmaid (TAS)
  • Mark and Darren Schreurs (VIC)
  • Symons Clark Logistics (SA)
  • Tim Walker (TAS)

Innovation Partner Award

  • Felicity Turner (VIC)
  • Katy Landt (SA)
  • Mark Pye (SA)

Women in Horticulture Award – proudly sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries

  • Bec Whittaker (WA)
  • Bianca Marrone (SA)
  • Carmel Ingram (VIC)
  • Catherine Velisha (VIC)
  • Cecilia Diaz-Petersen (QLD)
  • Claire McClelland (WA)
  • Deborah, Monica, Jennifer and Christine Camilleri (NSW)
  • Karen George (QLD)
  • Neena Mitter (QLD)
  • Sharon Coutts (VIC)
  • Stephanie Corrigan (VIC)
  • Stephanie Tabone (QLD)

Community Stewardship Award – proudly sponsored by E.E. Muir & Sons

  • Foodbank Australia (NSW)
  • Karen George (QLD)
  • Karl Riedel (VIC)
  • Ned Tesic (NSW)

Exporter of the Year Award

  • Fresh Select (VIC)
  • GV Independent Packers (VIC)
  • Harvest Moon (TAS)
  • Hussey and Co (VIC)
  • Qualipac (QLD)
  • Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce (SA)
  • Virginia Farm Produce (SA)


MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: