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The Leaflet October 2009

Simon says...

Dr Simon McKirdyI am writing this from a very cold and snowy Denver airport, and hoping that my flight home to Australia will not be delayed due to the extreme weather.

The United States Department of Agriculture invited me to attend the North American Plant Protection Organization meeting which was held in Chicago from 19-22 October. During the course of the meeting I had numerous discussions with representatives of both the United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on our plant biosecurity research with a particular focus on future diagnostics, surveillance and response, as well as giving a presentation on the new national postgraduate curriculum and school Plant Pest Investigators projects.

Being invited to this meeting provided a unique opportunity to build on the existing collaborations with colleagues from North America, and emphasise the contribution our researchers are making to global plant biosecurity solutions. Having strong international collaborations will be an essential component of our re-bid for another term.

In addition, I was able to promote the upcoming Global Biosecurity 2010 conference. Since the last edition of The Leaflet, members from the various organisations that make up the Program Committee for Global Biosecurity 2010 have finalised the accepted papers for each stream. A full list of accepted papers is now available on the conference website and a full structured program will be made available in the next few weeks. The list of topics is very comprehensive and it is shaping up to be a very successful event. We are also pleased to welcome the following sponsors on board; Grains Research and Development Corporation, Australian Centre for Excellence in Risk Analysis and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

As I reflect on our recent and very successful Science Exchange held on the Sunshine Coast, I would like to personally extend my thanks to everyone who participated and attended. The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive and I believe these gatherings provide an unparalleled platform for everyone involved in our research activities to engage with each other and gain a better understanding of the big picture of our vision and strategic direction. I would again like to thank Kate Scott and the other members of the Canberra office whose time and dedication ensured the event was successful. Consideration of the dates for the next Science Exchange is currently underway and I anticipate a date either late in 2010 or early 2011.

As we begin our re-bid for another term, this unified vision, strong support from our Participant organisations, collaborative links with key international researchers and the successes from this iteration of the CRC will place our proposal in a strong and favourable position for a successful rebid outcome.

A Participant taskforce to assist the Board in developing the re-bid has now been formed and the first meeting will be scheduled in early November 2009.

Until next time…


Simon McKirdy Signature


Dr Simon McKirdy
Chief Executive Officer
CRC for National Plant Biosecurity



in this issue...

Professor John Lovett

from the arm of the chair

CRCNPB Chair, Professor John Lovett has been busy promoting the research of the CRC READ MORE

Science Exchange 2009

Science Exchange 2009

Science Exchange Awards Dinner

Climate change in the Asian Pacific regions

Dr Jo Luck leads an Asia Pacific Network for Global Change project on climate change READ MORE

Gene search into the secrets of a super-bug crop destroyer

Our researchers are analysing the genetic make-up of one of the world’s most devastating crop pests, the Russian wheat aphid READ MORE

Plant Pest Investigators

Our primary science unit, Plant Pest Investigators has been launched and is now available for schools READ MORE

other news...

Learn more about the Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostic Standards (SPHDS) READ MORE


Professor Ian Falk and Dr Marthen Ndoen presented at an international conference in Sulawesi READ MORE


Meet our Communications Manager Kate Scott


 Plant Health Australia (PHA) has recently made a number of announcements including:


- an invitation to comment on the draft National Fruit Fly Strategy Implementation Action Plan

- the launch of an Olive Industry Biosecurity Plan

- the appointment of two new PHA Board Directors, and

- the launch of an Orchard Biosecurity Manual for the Almond Industry.


These events are listed available on the PHA website Keep in touch with PHA’s latest developments by subscribing to Tendrils