A group of Australian horticulture’s prominent female identities will discuss the unlimited potential of women in the industry during the 2016 Women in Horticulture networking event on Saturday 25 June.
Award-winning ABC journalist and Landline host Pip Courtney will chair the High Tea event, which will be held at Palazzo Versace during the 2016 National Horticulture Convention. Retiring Liberal MP Dr Sharman Stone will present the keynote speech and reflect on her 20-year career representing the Victorian seat of Murray in Federal Parliament, which is home to many growing operations in the horticulture industry.
A panel of speakers comprising Victorian apple grower and Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (Hort Innovation) Director Susan Finger, as well as representatives from Queensland vegetable growing operations Kalfresh, Australian Fresh Salads and Windolf Farms, will also address delegates and discuss the different skills and expertise that women can bring to a farming operation.
“The Women in Horticulture networking event is held in conjunction with the National Horticulture Convention every year and celebrates the integral role that women play in all aspects of Australian horticulture,” said AUSVEG Director Belinda Adams.
“We are proud to have eight of horticulture’s most dynamic women speaking at this event and sharing their stories about the myriad ways that women can contribute to the industry.”
The National Horticulture Convention will be held from 23-25 June at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast and will be hosted by AUSVEG, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL), the Central Markets Association of Australia in partnership with Fresh Markets Australia (CMAA-FMA), Growcom, Persimmons Australia Inc., Australian Organic and Onions Australia.
Proudly sponsored by AUSVEG Strategic Partner Steritech, the Women in Horticulture event recognises the ever-important role that women play in the traditionally male-dominated sector.
“Pip Courtney is a household name in Australian agriculture and we are excited that she will be able to join us in this important networking event. Dr Stone is also a proven political leader and she will undoubtedly give key insights into the indispensable roles that women play in Australian horticulture,” said Mrs Adams.
“Attendees will also be inspired by our grower panel of speakers which includes Alice Gorman, Jane Miles and Tracey Rieck from Kalfresh, who will discuss their creative contributions to the Just Veg initiative, which provides quick and healthy meal and snacking options for consumers on the go.”
“As a newcomer to the industry, Tahirih McLeod from Australian Fresh Salads will also discuss why she pursued a career in horticulture, while vegetable grower Sharron Windolf will speak on succession planning. As a Director of Hort Innovation, Susan Finger is well equipped to speak on the area of leadership.”
In addition to Women in Horticulture, Convention delegates can attend the session Step out to step up: upskilling and inspiring professionals working in horticulture production on Friday 24 June. APAL Chair Dr Michele Allan said the session is targeted to people working in HR, finance, marketing, research and more, and will identify development opportunities to help individuals and their businesses flourish.
“This session will inspire people contributing to horticulture production to step up and achieve better outcomes for themselves, their businesses and the industry through gaining new knowledge and engaging with their peers,” Dr Allan said.
To attend these events, please register online at hortconv.com.au or contact AUSVEG on (03) 9882 0277. 

Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG Manager – Communications
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: shaun.lindhe@ausveg.com.au