2018 Presenters profiles

Program | Attendees | Registration | Sponsors | Presenters


Anne Ruston
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator for South Australia.Anne Ruston, has been a Senator since September 2012. Born and raised in Renmark, on the River Murray in South Australia, Anne is a proud member of the community where she still lives and works to this day. She is the only Senator for South Australia based in a regional area.Anne is a primary producer and an irrigator, producing commercial cut flowers and implementing irrigation efficiencies on her property that reduced water use by more than 60%. She is a passionate advocate for rural and regional communities and for a balanced approach to water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin. Her vision for the Murray-Darling is for it to become the world’s best example of an environmentally healthy, sustainable river system supporting efficient irrigation industries and vibrant river communities. 
Fiona Constable

Dr. Fiona Constable (BSc Hons, LTU; PhD, UA) is the Senior Plant Virologist in the Plant Microbiology Group and for Crop Health Services diagnostic service of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Victoria. Dr. Constable has considerable experience in the epidemiology of virus, viroids and phytoplasma associated diseases and development of rapid and reliable molecular diagnostic tests for these pathogens in various crops, including virus and viroid testing of true solanaceous and cucurbit seed


Vaughn Bell
The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research limited, Havelock North, New Zealand.Vaughn Bell is a Senior Scientist with The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited in Hawke’s Bay. Since 2004, Vaughn’s primary research focus has been on mealybugs, and in particular their biology, ecology, and role as vectors of grapevine leafroll virus. 
Jim Pekin
Australian Banana Growers’ CouncilJim Pekin says the the strategy of the industry is to contain the disease. The Banana Freckle may not be obvious to many outside of the Northern Territory (NT) but the professionalism the ABGC has shown in response to the outbreak has been widely recognised by other businesses and senior government representatives. 
Barbara Hall


Paul Petrie
Paul Petrie holds the position of Viticultural Scientist, which is a joint role shared between SARDI and the AWRI. Paul is an integral part of the AWRI’s Industry Development and Support team where he develops content for and presents at AWRI roadshows as well as fielding viticultural questions on the AWRI’s helpdesk. At SARDI Paul is managing research projects investigating the effects winter drought on vine performance, Shiraz terroir and the development of a smart phone app to measure vine water status. Prior to starting in his current position Paul was the National Viticulturist at Treasury Wine Estates. He was responsible for overseeing a range of technical programs including crop forecasting, clone and rootstock selection, and assessing the potential impact of climate change and how it can be mitigated. Paul grew up helping his parents establish a vineyard in Canterbury, New Zealand and before moving to Australia he completed a PhD on Canopy Management at Lincoln University.BAppSc, PGradDip (NRM), BEd, GradDip (Viticulture), PCert (Arb), CPAg, GAICD, ARLF
Liz Riley
Vitbit Pty Ltd
Liz is an independent viticultural consultant based in the Hunter Valley. She owns and operates Vitibit Pty Ltd and has been consulting to small, medium and large vineyards in the region for the last 8 years. Previously she worked for Southcorp Wines in both national and regional viticultural roles, for 7 years.Her area of expertise is pests and disease management and agrochemicals. She also has an interest in the emerging varietals such as the Rhone, Italian and Spanish varieties and their suitability to the warmer regions such as the Hunter. 
Mary Retallack
Retallack VitiMary Retallack is a third generation viticulturist, who has worked in a wide range of practical, extension and consultancy roles in the wine sector over the past two decades and is Managing Director of Retallack Viticulture, which offers a broad range of viticultural consulting services throughout Australia.Mary has tertiary qualifications in conservation and park management, natural resource management, education, arbitration and viticulture and is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide studying the use of native insectary plants to boost predatory arthropod populations in vineyards.Mary is a Director of Wine Australia, member of the Adelaide University Wine Alumni Steering Group, editorial panel member of The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal and advisory board member of ‘Women of the Vine’ Global Symposium. She is a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, past participant of the Future Leaders Program and a Len Evans Tutorial Scholar.
Mary was the RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year in 2012, included in 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness in 2014 and was inducted into the Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Andrew Hewitt

Dr Andrew Hewitt serves under a joint appointment as a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Queensland, Australia and a Full Professor (Research) at The University of Nebraska, USA, as well as an Adjunct Professorship at Lincoln University, New Zealand. His research is focused on application optimization and the management and modeling of chemical exposure to humans and the environment from agrichemical use in row, tree and vine crops as well as migrant pest and vector control such as locusts and mosquitoes. More recently he returned to UQ and The University of Nebraska to conduct research and modeling into spray drift management including developing new drift reduction technology schemes for the USA and Australia. His ongoing research and modeling in this area with other colleagues and PhD students in both countries is supporting the risk assessment and management needs of both government and industry in several countries




Ollie Powrie
Villa Maria


Peter Godden
Peter graduated from Roseworthy College in 1991, and has worked as a winemaker in Australia, Italy and France. He has diverse experience as a wine educator, vineyard and brand owner, and is a former Vice President of the ASVO. Peter joined the AWRI in 1997 to manage Roadshows, the Helpdesk, and the Advanced Wine Assessment Course, and in his current role as Manager of Industry Engagement of Application, he is involved in industry-based winemaking trials. 

Marcel Essling


Inca Pearce
Vinehealth Australia


Catherine Clark

Andy Clarke
Yering Station
Chief Viticulturist since 2011, overseeing all of the Yering family of vines, Andy has developed a strong connection to the vines and is at the heart of the great fruit we produce. Along with his small yet enthusiastic team, he ensures constant communication and interaction with the winery, as the wines we make are a product of both environments working together in synergy.Andy’s knowledge of each micro climate of vines, effective canopy management techniques & connection to the land gives the winemaker the ability to produce the best possible wines. 
Cath Kidman

Nick Dry


Mike McCarthy