Membership of the National Fruit Fly Council

Membership on the National Fruit Fly Council has been selected to include representatives from industry, state government, research funding bodies, and the Australian Government. The combined experience of members of the Council ensures that the group understands and considers different crop types and fruit fly management systems from across Australia’s horticulture production regions, as well as research capacity, and market access issues.

Council membership has also been selected to ensure that there is direct experience with the in-field management of both Mediterranean fruit fly and Queensland fruit fly.

The National Fruit Fly Council in convened through Plant Health Australia, the national coordinator of the government-industry partnership for plant biosecurity in Australia.

Jon Durham – Chair, National Fruit Fly Council


Jon has extensive experience across the pome fruit industry gained through his ongoing involvement in his family orchards since 1967 and his roles in industry organisations – as President of the regional Orchardists and Fruit Coolstores Association, the state industry body, and the Victorian Apple and Pear Growers Council. Jon has also served on the national body, the Australian Apple and Pear Growers Association (AAPGA) as Chief Executive Officer from July 1996 through to August 2002. Jon continued as Managing Director when Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) was established in 2002.

Within APAL, Jon has also held the role of General Manager of the Intellectual Property Division where he led the international development of the Pink Lady ™ apple business, both strategically and operationally. Jon held a second term as CEO and Managing Director from 2010 till his retirement in 2013.

Jon has a continued involvement in the family orchards and has served as the Independant Chair of the National Fruit Fly Strategy Advisory Committee, the predecessor to the National Fruit Fly Council.

Mike Ashton – General Manager, Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity, Biosecurity Queensland
Darryl Barbour – National Manager, National Fruit Fly Council

Darryl completed a Bachelor of Science in Applied and Molecular Ecology (Entomology) at the University of Adelaide, which included investigations of the role predatory mites play in the control of Kelly’s citrus thrips. He was also involved with population monitoring and insecticide trials for onion thrips.

Prior to joining PHA, Darryl was employed with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources where he was responsible for developing import risk analyses, and leading market access negotiations for Australian horticultural commodities. Most recently he worked on border compliance and surveillance projects to maintain Australia’s biosecurity status.

In his role as National Manager, Fruit Fly Council, Darryl will lead the development of cost effective and sustainable approaches to managing fruit flies across all production areas, supporting domestic and international market access.
Steve Burdette – Business Development Manager, Citrus Category, Costa Group

Steve has twenty years’ experience with Outspan International (Pty) Ltd, Production Research Department, Nelspruit and Pretoria, South Africa. This includes experience in variety and rootstock development (sourcing, testing, evaluation, commercialisation, development of export protocols, trademark registration, etc.), management of the scheme responsible for the production of high health status propagation material.

Steve also has three years experience with Capespan (Pty) Ltd, Production Research Department, Cape Town: Establishment of variety commercialisation joint venture companies.

After relocating to Australia in July 2002, Steve joined the Vitor Marketing/Costa Group and is currently responsible for quality management, nursery practices, variety and rootstock development, and coordination of R&D for the Costa Group.

Outside of the National Fruit Fly Council, Steve is also the Chair of Citrus Australia-SA Region and represents the citrus industry on Biosecurity, Area Wide Management Stakeholder Committee and Auscitrus.
Tom Eastlake – Fruit Grower (Young). President, Cherry Growers Australia
Greg Fraser – Executive Director and CEO, Plant Health Australia

Greg Fraser has a diverse background in Australian agriculture having worked in tropical and temperate horticulture, broadacre agriculture, sugarcane, cotton and forestry industries. Greg holds degrees in science and management and is a Fellow of Ag Institute Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Previous positions have included commercial responsibilities across Australia, New Zealand and in Asia, leading roles in crop biotechnology as inaugural Chairman of Agrifood Awareness, Chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Group at Avcare and establishing Australia’s first commercial GM canola breeding operation. Greg also played a significant role in restructuring of Australia’s wheat breeding landscape as Director of Enterprise Grains Australia prior to joining the Grains Research and Development Corporation as an Executive.

He has held membership on a number of boards and managed various enterprises in the agricultural, chemical and biotechnology industries.
Peter Hall – Fruit grower (Mooroopna). Member, QFF Taskforce
Satendra Kumar – NSW Chief Plant Protection Officer / Director of Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Jo Luck - Director, Research Education and Training, Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre
As Research Director, Jo leads the development and delivery of collaborative biosecurity research that has enduring impact for industry and government end-users.

Jo and her team are also responsible for the implementation of the PBCRC investment plan using strong governance frameworks around setting research priorities, engaging end-user advocates and Industry Advisory Panels to develop research concepts through to contracted projects. She chairs the PBCRC Science Committee and convenes Horticulture and Regulatory Advisory Panels to ensure the research funded by PBCRC has the highest possible impact for end-users of the research.

Jo’s expertise is in molecular microbiology, diagnostics and plant pathogen interactions in agriculture and the natural environment with an emphasis on the effects of climate change. She has a PhD in the molecular basis of plant disease resistance (ANU) and has led national and international research teams focussed on climate change, plant disease and food security.

An important initiative that Jo has developed in the PBCRC Education and Training strategy is the Industry Internship Program. This is a partnership with our industry participants and is designed to expose PBCRC PhD students to a range of biosecurity careers options. She is committed to the professional development of the PhD students ensuring that they can be ‘career ready’ once they submit their thesis.
Ben Martin – Fruit Grower (Bowen). Deputy Chairman, Australian Mango Industry Association
David Moore – Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited

David is General Manager Research, Marketing and Investment at Hort Innovation, after joining its predecessor HAL as General Manager Research and Development in February 2010. Prior to that David held senior corporate R&D roles within Australia and the Asia Pacific. David was the Senior Agronomist with Colly Cotton Ltd from 1993 – 2000, after managing a substantial cropping and grazing aggregation in western NSW.

David has a strong interest in crop production, plant physiology and biotechnology application. He holds a BSc Agriculture, is a Churchill Fellow, and has a Masters in Biotechnology.
Geoff Raven – Manager, Plant and Food Standards, Biosecurity SA

Geoff is Biosecurity SA’s Manager – Plant and Food Standards. He is South Australia’s Chief Plant Health Officer and leads the Plant and Food Standards Branch within Biosecurity SA, a Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA.

Geoff is also the Deputy State Controller and the Agency spokesperson for emergency responses related to plant pests and food safety, and is a member of the Board of Vinehealth Australia in his role as Chief Inspector (Plant Health).

Geoff has qualifications in Applied Science and has been responsible for State Government regulatory programs for over 25 years. He is responsible for leading and managing technical specialists and senior managers.

The Plant and Food Standards Branch consists of the Food Safety regulatory program, the South Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program, Plant Health biosecurity program, Grains Biosecurity and the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals program.
Gabrielle Vivian-Smith – Chief Plant Health Officer, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith is Victoria’s Chief Plant Health Officer in this role she provides strategic direction and leadership for Victoria’s plant and invasive biosecurity programs. Prior to joining DEDJTR, Gabrielle led Queensland’s invasive species programs (research, policy and operations) including a number of incursion responses.

Gabrielle has qualifications in Agricultural Science, Business Management, Horticulture and a PhD in Ecology. She has also worked as a research scientist in ecology in Australia and overseas, including working and studying in New Jersey and New York (Rutgers University) and in Southern California (San Diego State University). She has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer reviewed scientific publications in ecology and invasive species management has been the recipient of a number of awards including a Queensland International Fellowship, an Australian Academy of Science Fellowship and a prize for the Weeds Cooperative Research Centre’s Best Scientific Project.
Sally Troy – Assistant Secretary, Plant Health Policy Branch, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Mark Wilkinson – Fruit Grower (Maida Vale)
Joelene Williams – Fruit Grower (Swan Hill). Member, Greater Sunraysia PFA Industry Development Committee
Bill Woods – Senior Entomologist, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

Bill graduated in the seventies with a degree in agricultural science from the University of Western Australia and since then has worked on pest management in broad acre cropping, cotton, floriculture, and horticulture from Esperance to Kununurra. In the eighties he spent three years in the southern USA and Mexico collecting and testing biological control agents against a woody weed and completed a Masters on the topic.

Bill has been involved in many pest eradications programs in Western Australia, both as a scientist and incident coordinator. Since 1999 he has managed the project to rear and release sterile Mediterranean fruit fly for area wide management and eradication. Currently Bill’s team is working on eradicating Medfly from the Carnarvon horticultural area and in investigating the potential use of GM fruit flies in pest eradication.

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