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2024 APAL Awards for Excellence recipients announced


Growers and industry professionals from South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia receive industry honours

APAL has announced the recipients of the 2024 APAL Awards for Excellence at its annual awards event in Melbourne on Sunday 2 June 2024. 

Six deserving recipients from across the Australian apple and pear industry were celebrated among their peers at the awards evening preceding the industry’s premier annual event, the APAL Industry Forum. 

The award recipients were honoured for their notable contributions to the industry across six categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Grower of the Year, Industry Rising Star, Women in Horticulture Award, Research and Development Provider of the Year, and Agritourism Award.  

This 2024 APAL Awards for Excellence recipients are: 

Grower of the Year Award – Noel Mason, AG & HC Mason (SA)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Kevin Sanders, H Sanders and Sons (VIC)
Industry Rising Star Award – Blake Reeve, Reeve Tasmania (TAS)
Women in Horticulture – Joy Jarvis, Prime Organics (WA)
Research and Development Provider of the Year – Steele Jacob, DPIRD WA (WA)
Agritourism Award – Emily Shipway, @Lenswood Pick Your Own (SA)

An additional honour was also awarded to Ross Wilson from AgFirst New Zealand for his longstanding contribution to the Australian apple and pear industry over many years, including his involvement in the Future Orchards® program, delivered by APAL.  

Ross Wilson from AgFirst New Zealand

Awarded at APAL’s discretion, the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award highlights an individual who has driven sustainable growth and continual improvement, inspiring others to strive for excellence while shaping the apple and pear industry for future generations. 

“Congratulations to each of our deserving 2024 APAL Awards for Excellence recipients,” said Phil Turnbull, CEO of APAL. 

“This year, we have honoured several individuals who have demonstrated decades of commitment to our industry, including Kevin Sanders, a true pioneer in the advancement of apples and pears and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.  

Lifetime Achievement Award – Kevin Sanders, H Sanders and Sons (VIC)

“Joy Jarvis received the Women in Horticulture award after dedicating over 50 years to the pome fruit industry, with a keen focus on mentoring and supporting other women in the industry,” said Phil Turnbull. 

Women in Horticulture Award – Joy Jarvis, Prime Organics (WA)

The APAL Awards for Excellence recognise the outstanding achievements of our industry’s most successful growers, researchers, people and businesses working across the pome fruit industry.  

“It was fantastic to see South Australia well represented at the awards this year, including Grower of the Year, Noel Mason, who continues to impress us with his unwavering pursuit of quality and achieving high yields in the Adelaide Hills.  

Grower of the Year – Noel Mason, AG & HC Mason (SA)

“Emily Shipway was another South Australian award recipient, taking out the Agritourism Award after she pivoted her career and, together with her husband, turned a commercial orchard into a tourism destination, At Lenswood Pick Your Own,” continued Phil. 

Agritourism Award – Emily Shipway, At Lenswood Pick Your Own (SA)

Steele Jacob was named Research and Extension Provider of the Year for his vast contribution to the cultivation, testing and development, which has led to the commercialisation of Bravo®. 

Research and Development Provider of the Year – Steele Jacob, DPIRD WA (WA)

A young Tasmanian grower, Brent Reeve, was awarded Industry Rising Star, entering the industry straight out of school and tackling challenges head-on with a focus on learning and innovation. 

Industry Rising Star – Blake Reeve, Reeve Tasmania (TAS)

The successful recipients were presented with a trophy at the annual awards evening in Melbourne and will receive their choice of a $1,000 voucher redeemable for travel or a $1,500 contribution to learning and development. 

Each year, nominations for the APAL Awards for Excellence are sought from all apple and pear growing regions across Australia. The Nominations Committee, comprised of state associations and industry representatives from the growing regions, assesses the nominations. The APAL Board then reviews the committee’s recommendations to determine the successful recipients.  





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