On behalf of Oysters Australia, I would like to sincerely thank Rachel King for her time as our Executive Officer and as you may be aware Rachel has resigned from that position and is now moving on to bigger and better things in the future. I would like to congratulate Rachel for her sensational effort both with the Oyster Consortium as part of the Seafood CRC, then with Oysters Australia and in our partnership agreement with Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
I am also very pleased to announce that we have found an excellent replacement for Rachel, Wayne Hutchinson, who comes to us from the South Australian Research and Development Institute. Wayne has been working with that organisation for 21 years and he was the aquaculture program leader there and has a lot of practical experience involved with the aquaculture industry.
Wayne starts with Oysters Australia on 1 February 2016 and will share his role as a joint employee with FRDC as a regional officer and he will be based at an independent office in Adelaide. So Wayne will be undertaking those two roles and we can only see nothing but benefit for the oyster industry in Australia. While he will be based in Adelaide he will be working very clearly for the Australian industry in his role as the Research, Development and Extension Manager for Oysters Australia.
Wayne is very keen to get on to the ground of the oyster industry in NSW, Tasmania and South Australia and visit grass root growers as well as representative bodies so he can understand the best way not only to assist Oysters Australia in developing much needed Research and Development outcomes for our industry but also how to extend that information to the growers. And we look forward to seeing the program that Wayne will put together and we wish him well in his role with Oysters Australia. Things are looking good and I wish you well for the New Year.
Hi, I’m Wayne Hutchinson. I’ll be taking on the role of Research, Development and Extension Manager for Oysters Australia from February 2016. In the last 21 years I’ve been conducting research on marine finfish aquaculture in South Australia. I’m now keen to work with the oyster industry to maximise the benefits of research to the industry.
I regard the oyster industry as the best aquaculture industry in Australia. The industry is very important to regional communities across Australia. I believe the industry has a great future due to the quality of the product, the people involved and the environmental and social benefits the industry provides.
I look forward to contributing to the profitability and security of the Australian oyster industry. And look forward to meeting as many industry people and representatives as possible in 2016.
I’m Rachel King, the out-going Executive Officer of Oysters Australia.
Before I go, the snapshot of the Australian oyster industry’s R&D for 2016 is as follows:
The entire R&D budget is approximately $400,000 pa. Much of this has been allocated for the next 18 months with investments into food safety program “Safefish” final POMS gaps research, management and communication and the 2016 projects approved in November 2015. These are:
- A workshop aimed to identify problems growing Angasi, especially in SA where diversification is vital
- A project injecting quantitative genetics into the Sydney Rock Oyster breeding program
- A small amount of funds so that an Australian oyster conference can be added to state oyster conferences
- A project that aims to investigate the use of DNA tools to shorten sewage spill closure times is also approved pending confirmation of external funding.
Today I’m on the family farm so from one family farm to another, there’s a few things I hope for you. First, that your families are healthy and happy. Then, as family businesses, can I encourage you as you find ways to outsmart the difficulties of farming – whether that be by using selectively bred animals, using IT tools to understand and get the edge on environmental conditions, faster stock handling, radical new ways of oyster processing or collective marketing. I wish, oyster farmers all the best in using what’s around to outsmart the difficulties.
Having worked with the oyster industry for 14 years and loved the magic and the challenge over that time, I can now relax knowing that you’re in good hands and welcome Wayne Hutchinson to the role of Research, Development and Extension Manager. Over to you Wayne.