John Davidson, Andrew Weigall inducted into Hall of Fame
15 March 2019
The late John Davidson was inducted into the Citrus Australia Hall of Fame. His son, Justin, accepted the award on behalf of his family at the Citrus Technical Forum dinner.
Andrew Weigall and the late John Davidson were inducted into the Citrus Australia Hall of Fame at the Citrus Technical Forum dinner in Adelaide last week.
To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, growers must have provided outstanding service to the industry, have been active through committees and other volunteer activities, and have further developed the industry and Citrus Australia through their work.
John’s son, Justin, accepted the award on behalf of his family.
John Davidson was a founding member of Quelch juice factory in Leeton in the 70s and worked as the fruit procurement officer for 44 years.
He was also a grower of 150 hectares and a Director of the Davadella packing shed.
John influenced the industry to bring the Hamlin variety into the country in the early 1980s, and also worked with the DPI on trials to find the best Valencia clone to suit the juice industry.
John was an active committee member of the fruit fly regional group, the Leeton and District Citrus Growers, Riverina Citrus, the Irrigation Research and Extension Committee (IREC) and the Citrus Australia regional advisory committee.
He was also a recipient of the Les Baker industry award. John received a standing ovation on the night.
Andrew Weigall first came to the Riverland as a financial journalist in the 70s. He was the founding owner of Yandilla Park, building the company from scratch, and contributed significantly to both the South Australian and national citrus industry.
He was an early adopter of new varieties, many of which he was the first to plant, and was at the forefront of export.
He utilised external capital to achieve economy of scale as well as uniting a large group of growers.
Andrew formed Vitor Marketing, which at the time was a unit trust with grower members having 49% shareholding and Yandilla Park 51%. The Vitor brand was developed and remains a leading global brand in citrus today.
Andrew was also instrumental in forming the Tangelo Unit Trust as well as “So Aussie Fresh”.
Service to Industry awards
Citrus Australia bestows these awards to recognise effort and contribution of those to the citrus industry.
Judith Damiani was the inaugural CEO of Citrus Australia and held the role for 10 years, before stepping down in 2017.
She was recognised for her stewardship in the establishment of Citrus Australia, dedication to raising the profile of the Australian citrus industry, and ability to communicate its needs and achievements with all stakeholders including growers, government, corporate stakeholders, retailers and cross industry bodies as well developing international trade.
Entomologist Dan Papacek, Bugs for Bugs, was recognised for pioneering the way the Australian citrus industry approaches its management of fruit fly, and his passion for Integrated Pest Management.
Dan has been very giving of his time to promote/assist fruit fly management at countless industry forums across the country.
His work is recognised across many agricultural industries and also at the various government levels, which raises the profile and integrity of not only his work but also the Australian citrus industry.
Nerida Donovan is a citrus pathologist with NSW DPI and leads a coordinated citrus pathology program conducting diagnostics, extension and research activities.
The citrus pathology team has a national role and works closely with the Australian citrus and nursery industries to minimise the impact of established pathogens and prepare for the arrival of new diseases.
Through Australian aid projects, Nerida has contributed to capacity building of international scientists and development of improved programs for germplasm maintenance and nursery management in developing countries.
Citrus Australia Chairman, Ben Cant, presents Dan Papacek with his Service to Industry award at the Citrus Technical Forum dinner.
Nerida Donovan was presented with a Service to Industry award at the Citrus Technical Forum dinner.