Sue Pederick from Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) has won the Women in Horticulture Award at the AUSVEG SA Awards, for recognition of her dedication to plant disease diagnostics work and commitment to working with industry.
The Women in Horticulture Award, sponsored by PIRSA, recognises an exceptional female grower or supply chain member who has demonstrated outstanding ability and success in her chosen field.
Ms Pederick, who is a Senior Technical Officer at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of PIRSA, works on diagnosing plant diseases in the South Australia horticulture industry.
She has worked with the department for almost 20 years and has received the Women in Horticulture Award in recognition of her dedication and responsiveness in working proactively with commercial resellers and growers.
Ms Pederick has also supported industry advisors to determine new pest pressures and monitor issues in the state.
“I am humbled, honoured and excited to be nominated for such a prestigious award, supported by PIRSA, AUSVEG and William Buck, who continue to empower people by acknowledging women in horticulture,” she said.
“I have had strong female mentors and role models throughout my career to look up to, showing great strength of character and expertise.”
Ms Pederick was an honours student in Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide and has also been involved in educating students from TAFE, university (both undergraduates and masters courses) in plant diagnostics and school education visits to the horticultural lab, as well as participating in a ‘speed dating’ scientist segment at Science Alive careers day.
SARDI Executive Director Dr Peter Appleford said Ms Pederick was a worthy recipient of the award.
“Plant pathology is a key skill which underpins the success of the horticulture industry, which in 2016–17 generated $3 billion in gross food revenue,” Dr Appleford said.
“Without this critical work, the industry would not be able to effectively identify threats to horticulture production.
“Sue’s work has been critical in safeguarding the industry and her strong, ongoing dedication has been commended by key industry figures.
“It’s important to recognise the role women play in the horticulture industry and support PIRSA's Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy.”
The 2018 AUSVEG SA Awards for Excellence were held at the Arkaba Hotel and celebrate the significant contributions of South Australia's vegetable and broader horticulture industry.
For more information on the Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions strategy, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/women
Note: an independent panel judged this award category.