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The Leaflet June 2008

Simon says...

CEO - Dr Simon McKirdy

Welcome from a wintery Canberra to the June edition of The Leaflet.


Last week we farewelled two of our program leaders, Gary Kong (Diagnostics Research) and Sue McKell (Delivery and Adoption). Gary and Sue have been key contributors to the CRC and its activities. On behalf of the CRC Board, staff and participants, I thank them for their dedication, enthusiasm and expertise. We wish them success in their future endeavours.


While on the subject of staff, I would like to officially welcome Jane Moran as Program Leader for our Impact Management Research Program and Lauren Searson-Patrick as my Executive Assistant. Jane has over 25 years' experience in plant health research for Department of Primary Industries (Victoria) and we are pleased to have her on board. Lauren started with us at the end of April and has already proved to be a valuable member of our team, and keeps me well organised! Today, I am also pleased to officially announce the appointment of Deborah Hailstones who is the new Diagnostics Research Program Leader. Deb has extensive experience in the development, adaptation and implementation of improved diagnostics for plant biosecurity.


A heartfelt congratulations goes out to our first completed PhD candidate, Craig Webster who was researching the use of microarrays for virus diagnostics. I would like to thank Dr Webster for his hard work and contribution to the CRC’s research activities and wish him the very best in his research career.


Last week a phosphine review panel commissioned by the CRC travelled throughout Australia visiting stored grain stakeholders and facilities. Chaired by Dr. Peter Merriman, the panel is made up of several subject matter experts. Their role is to identify investment priorities in chemical and non-chemical research for the control of insect pests in stored grain. The final report from the Phosphine Review is due for completion in late 2008 and outcomes will be published on our website.


The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) has published guidelines for our third-year review. A three-person review panel has been nominated to DIISR and formal review will be undertaken between 16 - 18 December 2008.


As we welcome the new financial year, and the thought of spring coming closer (for us surviving Canberra’s winter) we embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We will keep you updated on our activities in the next edition of The Leaflet.


Dr Simon McKirdy
Chief Executive Officer
CRC for National Plant Biosecurity

in this issue...


Protecting Australia's wine industry

Winter is synonomous with fires and full-bodied red wines, however this winter, our researchers will be drastically pruning vines to see if these research methods have the ability to stop the devastating effects of an extoic disease or pest incursion. READ MORE
 Chairman - Professor John Lovett

From the arm of the chair

CRC for National Plant Biosecurity, Chairman John Lovett was a significant contributor in the International Master Class in Plant Biosecurity recently held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. READ MORE

PNG Master Class

Papua New Guinea Master Class

It's Master Class fever with a plant biosecurity Master Class held during the past two weeks in Melbourne for a PNG delegation. The workshop was a partnership between the CRC, the ATSE Crawford Fund and Plant Health Australia and was hosted by Department of Primary Industries, Victoria. READ MORE

Other news...

Dr Mallik Malipatil recently attended the annual meeting of the International Plant Protection Convention’s Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols (TPDP). READ MORE

It's most likely you've heard Alejandra Cano's smiley voice when you've telephoned the CRC, READ MORE about Ale here.