Ag achievers recognised in 2020 Australia Day awards

Beef Central, 26/01/2020


A FORMER National Farmers Federation president, the current AgForce Queensland president, and Australia’s first indigenous woman to manage a cattle station station are among identities from the agricultural sector to receive Australia Day Awards in 2020.

Ian Donges

Cowra farmer Ian Donges, president of the National Farmers Federation from 1998 to 2002 and the Grains Council of Australia from  1990 to 1995, in addition to serving on the boards of many other rural organisations, was named an officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to primary industry, and to the community of rural New South Wales.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia:

Marita Cowie

CEO of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Marita Cowie, was named a member (AM) of the order of Australia for significant service to community health in rural and remote areas.

Graham Faichney

An animal nutrition scientist who served as CSIRO Chief Research Scientist from 1987-1995, Dr Graham Faichney, was recognised for significant service to science in the fields of animal nutrition and physiology.

Veterinarian and animal science lecturer Dr Ian Fairnie from Bull Creek in WA, who was national president of the Australian Veterinary Association in 1989-90, was acknowledged for significant service to the community, and to veterinary and agricultural organisations.

Peter Flinn of Dunkeld in Victoria, who pioneered the use of technology to test feed and fodder industry quality, was honoured for significant service to agricultural research through the promotion of near-infrared spectroscopy.

Alana Johnston

Rural women’s advocate Alana Johnson from Benalla in Victoria, who has served as chair of the Victorian Women’s Trust and the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women and was a founding member of Australian Women in Agriculture,  was recognised for significant service to women through leadership and advisory roles.

Steven Raine

Leading irrigation and agricultural soils researcher, the late Professor Steven Raine from Toowoomba, was named as a member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to soil science and agriculture, and to education.

Keeleen Mailman


Keeleen Mailman from Mount Tabor Station neat Augathella, Australia’s first Indigenous woman to run a cattle station and the author of The Power of Bones, was acknowledged for significant service to the indigenous community of Queensland.

Georgie Somerset

Durong, Qld, cattle producer, AgForce Queensland president and ABC board member Georgie Somerset received Australia Day honours for significant service to primary industry, to women, and to the community.

Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM)

Food consultant and farmer’s market advocate Alison Alexander, Karana Downs, Qld, for service to the tourism and hospitality industry.

Aussie Helpers co-founders Nerida and Brian Egan of Charleville, Qld, for service to people in rural areas through social welfare support programs.

Former Queensland Grain Growers Association vice president, Grainco Board Member and Brookstead farmer Lawrence Black, Pullenvale, Qld, for service to primary industry, and to the community.

Creator of the ‘Lamb Jumpers, Helping Our Farmers’ Facebook page Marie Knight from Coonabarabran NSW for service to people in rural and remote areas.

Stud Merino breeder Julie Keamy from Western Australia for service to the merino wool industry, and to the community.

Long serving western Queensland State Member of Parliment and former Queensland Transport Minister Vaughan Johnson for service to the people and Parliament of Queensland.

Public Service Medal

Dr Victor Hutton Oddy was recognised for outstanding public service to the primary industry sector, and to science, in NSW.  Dr Oddy has dedicated his career to research and development in nutrition, animal physiology and mitigation of greenhouse gases by livestock for more than 40 years with the NSW government. He has authored more than 100 peer reviewed scientific journal papers, and well over 100 conference papers and industry reports regularly cited by scientists all over the world. Notably, he introduced the system for calculating feed requirements now used for drought feeding of livestock throughout Australia. In 2015 he was promoted to Senior Principal Research Scientist.


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  1. Anne Armansin, 05/02/2020

    Alison Alexander is an inspiration to all Australians for her tireless work with Australian primary producers, promoting their products in innovative ways to people of influence in the world’s restaurant and catering industries and the public. She has been teaching Australians how to choose, prepare and preserve quality food for many decades and is most worthy of this recognition. Congratulations Alison, I am so proud to know you as a former colleague and friend. Anne Armansin

  2. Dougal Gordon, 29/01/2020

    NSW DPI researcher Dr Hutton Oddy is also deserved of mention for receiving a Public Service medal for 40 years of research into animal nutrition, physiology and genetics. Most recently he formed part of the team that developed the Drought and supplementary feed calculator – a tool used by thousands of producers experiencing the current difficult seasonal conditions. He has been a key adviser, scientist, collaborator and mentor for generations of producers and researchers, and justifies this recognition of his achievements.

    Our apologies to Hutton – we missed his name in our original search for red meat and livestock industry stakeholders on Sunday’s list. A most worthy recipient. Editor

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