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Creating a better future for Australian apple and pear growers,
through industry leadership and commercial advancement.

APAL awards for Excellence 2020 winners

Nominations for 2022 APAL Awards for Excellence are now closed.

Thank you to everyone who nominated.

These awards recognise the outstanding contributions of those who help shape our industry in their respective fields.

Read about our 2020 recipients here.


Award Categories

Read about the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award joint winners, Ian Smith and John Robson.

Open to individuals working in, or retired from, the apple/pear industry across the supply chain (previously called the Legends Roll of Honour).

  • An individual who has established excellence in the apple and pear industry in one of the following areas: growing, nursery or breeding, coolstore or packhouse, wholesale, export, consulting or agronomic advice, research development and extension, input supply, industry leadership or management.
  • Has demonstrated excellence through one of more of the following:
    • a commitment to innovation, improvement and sustainability;
    • research, development or extension identifying new opportunities for the industry;
    • the education, training or sharing of improved orchard management or processing methods across the supply chain;
    • conducting business within the industry supply chain with integrity, dedication and distinction;
    • enhancing or developing the apple and pear industry through industry advocacy;
    • providing significant volunteer contributions and demonstrated extraordinary leadership to a local, State or national representative body in service to its members; and
    • contributed a legacy for the industry’s ‘greater good’.
  • An individual who has provided motivational and inspirational leadership for the advancement of the apple and pear industry at a local community level or for the Australian apple and pear industry more generally.

Howard Hansen

Read about the 2020 Grower of the Year winner, Howard Hansen.

A grower, orchard manager or equivalent who is

  • outstanding across all aspects of production, including growing, environmental management, staff management and product quality.
  • is innovative, challenges convention and implements efficient practices (such as integrated pest management, minimising wastage, water conservation, precision agriculture, technology advances, and value-adding to product).
  • contributes to the broader industry (such as participating in international R&D tours, industry committees, forums, conferences or field days).


Sandra Ceravolo

Read about the 2020 Women in Horticulture winner, Sandra Ceravolo.

Open to women working in the apple/pear industry across the supply chain.

A female industry member who

  • has demonstrated outstanding ability and success in their chosen field, whether it is growing, research and development, farm management, or otherwise.
  • shown commitment to achieving success in the industry.
  • has a reputation for mentoring women in horticulture.

Matt Griggs

Read about the 2020 Young Grower of the Year winner, Matt Griggs.

Open to individuals in the apple/pear industry 35 years of age or less as at 1 June 2022, who

  • champions the success of the industry and shows a commitment to innovation, helping to define the next generation of growers.
  • demonstrates a high level of commitment to the industry and helps to enrich the community in which they operate as well as working with external stakeholders to introduce new perspectives.
  • understands and practices sustainable practices and is committed to enhancing agriculture and the land.

Marcel Veens.

Read about the 2020 Researcher and Extension Provider Award winner, Marcel Veens.

Open to individuals working in research for the horticulture industry with a focus on apples and pears who

  • has a track record of research or extension work that has advanced the industry offering long-term industry benefits
  • actively communicates research outcomes and encourages uptake of outcomes on-farm.
  • contributes research or extension work that advances the reputation of Australian science internationally.

Mira Milich

Read about the 2020 Marketer of the Year, Mira Milich.

Open to any individual or team who through a marketing campaign has shown excellence in the marketing of apples and pears into domestic and/or international markets.

  • Nominees can come from any part of the value chain including growers, packers, processors, importers and exporters, wholesalers, retailers and government agencies.
  • An individual or business that has created an innovative marketing solution, process or program within the last three years.
  • An individual or business who has created new market opportunities for pome fruit products.
  • An individual or business that has had significant impact on the industry and has potential for long term positive effects through sales, awareness, reach and more.
  • The marketing campaign has delivered tangible, measurable results for the solution, process or program.

New category in 2022.

Open to any early-career individual who through a marketing campaign has shown excellence and innovation in the marketing of apples and /or pears into domestic and/or international markets.

An individual who has

  • no more than five years equivalent full-time employment in an Australian apple and/or pear related business, agency or organisation
  • created an innovative marketing solution, process or program within the last three years
  • created new market opportunities for pome fruit products
  • can demonstrate tangible, measurable results through awareness, sales, reach and more.



Anyone can submit a nomination. You are allowed to nominate yourself.

All nominations will be assessed by the APAL Nominations Committee. The Board of APAL will determine the successful award recipients. The award will only be granted if outstanding candidates are identified. Nominees must meet one or more of the criteria for their chosen award.

Individuals can be nominated for multiple categories. When completing the nomination form please ensure to address/respond to the selection criteria for the relevant category set out in the sections above.