Australia: John Durham wins prestigious horticulture award

Apple and Pear Australia Limited’s former Managing Director, Jon Durham, received the 2013 Graham Gregory award for excellence in horticulture before a standing ovation in Sydney last week. With his ongoing commitment to the sector, Mr Durham was a standout recipient of the annual Horticulture Australia Limited award, which carries a $10,000 prize.

2013 HAL Awards winners (from left) Young Leader of the Year Robbie Commens, Graham Gregory award recipient Jon Durham and Kendle Wilkinson award recipient Dr Anthony Kachenko

Beginning his career in the Australian fruit tree industry in 1967 when he joined the family orchard at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria, Mr Durham went on to establish key industry programs and hold key positions including the inaugural Chair of the Bacchus March Fruit Growers Association, President of the Orchardists and Fruit Cool Stores Association and Founding Partner and Director of DMM Fruit Handling Equipment (now known as Colour Vision Systems).

Mr Durham led the establishment of a global Pink Lady apple business model, resulting in the internationally recognised Pink Lady brand. Through his leadership, the brand is now estimated to have achieved retail sales in excess of $1.5 billion.

Two future industry leaders were also recognised at the ceremony with Dr Anthony Kachenko winning the Kendle Wilkinson award and Robbie Commens named Young Leader of the Year.

Dr Kachenko, the Research and Market Development Manager for Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, was recognised for his commitment to bridging the gap between science and farm best practice.

Mr Commens was acknowledged for his passion and enthusiasm as the Productivity Development Officer for the Australian Macadamia Society. A large focus of Mr Commens’ role is ensuring the ongoing extension of the macadamia industry through the Macgroups, a platform for delivering the R&D Macadamia Investment Program.

For more information:
Melissa Smith
Horticulture Australia Ltd

Tel: +61 02 8295 2340
Fax: 02 8295 2399

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