An extensive list of nominees has been announced for the National Awards for Excellence – the Australian horticulture industry’s most prestigious recognition – with 69 growers, 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 for nine of the 10 categories will be announced on Wednesday 20 June at the National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, the capstone event for Hort Connections 2018. The Exporter of the Year Award will be announced two days prior at an Export Symposium held during Hort Connections.

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 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 2018 is the premiere event for the horticulture industry, encompassing the vegetable, fruit, cut floral and nursery sectors.

The conference, which runs from 18-20 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


MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications

Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email:


Nominees for the 2018 National Awards for Excellence

Grower of the Year – proudly sponsored by Syngenta

  • Gerard Alampi (VIC)
  • Michael Badcock (TAS)
  • Michael Bogicevic (VIC)
  • Tim Carnell (QLD)
  • Ben Dowling (SA)
  • Ed Fagan (NSW)
  • Scott Samwell (SA)
  • Frank and Dianne Sciacca (QLD)
  • Carl Walker (QLD)

PMA – Produce Plus Marketer of the Year

  • The Flavorite, Costa and Perfection Fresh marketing teams for the ‘Australian Truss Tomatoes’ campaign
  • Zespri’s 2017 ‘Life’s Tastier When You Go for Gold’ Australian marketing campaign
  • Favco Fruit and Vegetable Company and Fresh Partners Australia for the ‘Avocado Retail Ready Six-Pack’ campaign
  • Sydney Markets’ marketing team for the ‘Fresh for Kids’ campaign
  • T&G Global’s marketing team for the ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign

Young Grower of the Year – proudly sponsored by Corteva Agriscience

  • Nathan Barolli (VIC)
  • Steph Corrigan (VIC)
  • Andres Cruz (VIC)
  • Mitch East (WA)
  • Daniel Hammond (VIC)
  • Chris McLoghlin (VIC)
  • Chris Pham (NT)
  • Daniel Quattrochi (SA)
  • Olivia Ryan (VIC)
  • Jake Shadbolt (VIC)

Researcher of the Year Award – Proudly sponsored by Bayer

  • Dr Sally Bound (TAS)
  • Angelica Cameron (VIC)
  • Dr Elizabeth Dann (QLD)
  • Jessica Page (VIC)
  • Matt Plunkett (NSW)

Industry Impact Award – Proudly sponsored by Visy

  • James Altman (SA)
  • Kevan Dobra (WA)
  • Sarah Dunn (VIC)
  • Lockyer Valley Growers Association (QLD)
  • Danyang Ying (VIC)

Innovation Partner Award – Proudly sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries

  • drumMuster (ACT)
  • Val and Sam Micallef (NSW)
  • Schreurs & Sons (VIC)
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TAS)
  • Terry Martella (WA)
  • The Yield

Women in Horticulture Award – Proudly sponsored by Boomaroo Nurseries

  • Lisa Corrigan (VIC)
  • Janne Dipple (QLD)
  • Lechelle Earl (SA)
  • Cherry Emerick (QLD)
  • Shayne Hyman (VIC)
  • Rachel Mackenzie (QLD)
  • Dr Hazel MacTavish-West (TAS)
  • Neena Mitter (QLD)
  • Susie Murphy White (WA)
  • Sue Pederick (SA)

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

  • CHEP
  • East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (VIC)
  • Michael Badcock (TAS)
  • Matthew Gay (NSW)
  • Lucky Khakh (VIC)
  • Lockyer Valley Growers Association (QLD)
  • Southern Grampians Shire Council / Deakin University / Glenelg Hopkins CMA (VIC)
  • Justin Tiller (SA)

Environmental Award – Proudly sponsored by Butler Market Gardens

  • CHEP
  • Paul Musolino (SA)
  • Chris Odell (VIC)
  • Frank and Dianne Sciacca (QLD)

Exporter of the Year Award – Proudly sponsored by NAB Agribusiness

  • Dicky Bill Australia (QLD)
  • Hussey and Co (VIC)
  • Premium Fresh (TAS)
  • Qualipac (QLD)
  • Schreurs & Sons (VIC)
  • West Australian Corn Growers (WA)