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Apple grower Rien Silverstein recognised at National Horticulture Awards

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Congratulations to Goulburn Valley orchardist, industry leader and inspiration to many in the apple and pear industry Rien Silverstein, who on Wednesday was announced winner of the national 2022 Women in Horticulture award at Hort Connections in Brisbane.

Rien is an exceptional choice for an award which recognises leadership and outstanding ability, contribution to and success in horticulture.

Her significant contribution to the apple and pear industry saw her earlier awarded the 2022 APAL Women in Horticulture award, at the APAL Industry Forum on 30 May.

A long-standing and passionate advocate for the apple and pear industry, Rien has been a board member of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Fruit Growers Victoria, Australian Women in Agriculture and Goulburn Broken CMA among others.

Forthright and practical, she has stood up time and time again to represent industry, calmly and articulately, while also acting as a mentor to many and providing advice, knowledge and assistance.

Recently, Rien was one of a small number of growers nationally who agreed to have her employment records examined by the Fair Work Commission tribunal as it considered the 2020 application by the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) to introduce a minimum hourly wage.

Silver Orchards, at Orrvale, which Rien runs with husband Maurice and son Bo, has built a reputation for quality and innovation and is the host of next Thursday’s Goulburn Valley Future Orchards® winter series orchard walk.

While helping run the orchard and bring up five sons, Rien involved herself in the local community joining committees, school councils and later boards, always with a commitment to giving back to the community.

An early participant in the Seasonal Worker Programme (now the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM)), Rien has worked hard to improve conditions for employers and workers in the scheme.

Although a relatively small employer, Rien’s ability to clearly articulate the needs of employers in the agricultural sector and the obvious respect and care she shows her workers adds significant weight to her decision-making influence.

Rien is an outstanding ambassador for our industry and it is very good to see her immense contribution receive broader recognition.

Read more about Rien in the latest edition of AFG magazine.

For more information or for a photo of Rien, please contact APAL via communications@apal.org.au

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