CBH Group Chair Wally Newman to Speak at Farmer on Your Plate in Perth (March 19, 2016)

Farming Champions chair Mary Nenke

Farming Champions chair Mary Nenke


March 12, 2016

 The Family Farm moves into Forrest Place, Perth City, on Saturday, March 19


Farming Champions Annual Farmer on Your Plate Event Celebrates 4-Year Milestone

‘Celebrating the Importance of WA Farming’


Featuring Chair of CBH Group, Wally Newman, will be a guest speaker at the opening,sharing his knowledge and passion for the WA grain industry and the farmers of WA.

PERTH: Farming Champions – supported by Rabobank, WA accounting firm RSM Australia and Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia – is hosting Farmer on Your Plate in Perth city for the public to experience for the fourth year in a row.

Leading WA chefs, including restaurant owner and Executive Chef, Chris Taylor from Fraser’s Restaurant, will be cooking up beef, pork, fish and yabbies, and handing out to the public for free.

The event celebrates the high-quality WA produce and connects consumers to the farmers who produce the ‘food on their plates’ and is expected to attract thousands of people to Forrest Place on Saturday, 19th March from 9am-3pm, 2016.

Farmer on Your Plate will be officially opened at 10.30am by Cr Jim Adamos, Perth City Council.

Farming Champions’ chairperson Mary Nenke will speak at 10.40am and be available for media interviews on the day. Western Australian farmers will also be sharing their farming stories throughout the day.

Chair of CBH, Mr Wally Newman, will be a guest speaker at the opening – sharing his knowledge and passion for the WA grain industry and the farmers of WA.

The event will also feature a variety of free attractions including a performance by the Royal Australian Navy's Admirals Own Big Band and singers Nick and Lucy Kelly supported by Gavin Arnold, musician extraordinaire. There are also a range of agricultural-inspired artists such as Felicia Lowe (RASWA Agricultural Art Prize 2015 winner), York based RASWA Country Art Prize 2015 winner Lynnette Howieson, Vicki Bulliard (quick draw artist) and Busselton-based Stephany Durack. Furthermore there will be free food cooked by top chefs to sample, interactive agricultural education exhibits including the RASWA life size model of a Brahman bull, farm produce giveaways and producers stalls, flowers, face painting and farm animals for children.

The Farmer on Your Plate event was also held in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Perth. Last year it attracted more than 10,000 people.

There are many prominent West Australian people and organisationss who support Farming Champions includinge former WA Governor Malcolm McCuskerDale Alcoc; cricketer Brad Hogg, Must Restaurateur Russell Blaikie, Senior Australian of the Year 2014 butcher Vince GareffaFred Chaney; Suzanne Daubney of Bannister Downs; and former WA Governor Malcolm McCusker The Royal Agricultural Society; and Country Women’s Association.

Farming Champions chair Mary Nenke – a Kukerin-based farmer, former Rural Woman of the Year winner and co-owner of businesses Cambinata Yabbies  and Mary’s Farm Cottages – said: “The event hopes once again to put agriculture high on the political menucelebrates and showcases family farming, agri-tourism and rural communities, connecting consumers to farmers who produce the high-quality WA food on our plates and fostering connections between the city and country.”

“Everyone attending the day will be encouraged to join Farming Champions as a member. We want all Australians to champion farming and support the continued production of high-quality Australian food.”

Farming Champions want to engage with the community about the importance of family farms and the high quality of Australian food. The event aims to celebrate the importance of agriculture to Australia.  Farming Champions is an organization which wants to bring agricultural issues to the attention ofto everyday Western Australians.

Acting Rabobank state manager Steve Kelly said: “The Farmer on Your Plate event, held by Farming Champions, is a fantastic day which showcases WA’s farm produce and agribusinesses and Rabobank is proud to support it. The Farmer on Your Plate event also aims to increase the connections between rural producers and city consumers which Rabobank believes is important for the future growth of the Australian agribusiness sector.”

Dr Rob Wilson, President of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA, said national research highlighted that children are often unaware about the origin of their food and initiatives, such as Farmer On Your Plate, are important for the community.

“Analysis several years ago by the National Farmers Federation showed that, when value-adding processes beyond the farm gate and the broader field of economic activity associated with production are accounted for, agriculture contributes a sizeable 12 per cent to the nation’s gross domestic product,” said Dr Wilson. 

“On this basis it is easy to see, as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation noted in its new Rural Industry Futures publication, that agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, underpinning many other industries and providing a significant portion of export earnings.”

Vin Dawes, rural focus director at Radio West (Southern Cross Austereo), said: “Through the Rural Focus program we will continue to support these events because, without the support of media organisations like ours, how can the messages continue to get out about the long-term viability of our own families on the land.”

For more information, please go to www.farmingchampions.org or contact:

Mary Nenke, Chair of Farming Champions



Cate Rocchi, Perth Media



Maryanne Shaddick, Royal Agricultural Society

0438945506; 62633181



New Website: An updated website of Farming Champions’ aims can been found at http://www.farmingchampions.org/  

With thanks to sponsors: Linley Valley Pork, Royal Agricultural Society, Rabobank, accounting firm RSM Australia, Summit Fertilisers, City of Perth, Radio West (Southern Cross Austereo), Bannister Downs, Fraser’s Restaurant, Perth Media, Cambinata Yabbies, and Loose Leaf Lettuce Company.

Stallholders selling produce and bringing displays include: Grister Grain; CWA (teaching knitting and crocheting); Artists Stephany Durack, Felicia Lowe, Lynnette Howieson and Vicki Bulliard; and Cambinata Yabbies.

Spokeswoman and chair of Farming Champions Mary Nenke said: “We want to continue to forge strong links between the country and the city. We are all people who want what is best for our children. We want all Australians to champion farming. Please support the hand that feeds you by becoming a Farming Champion. It isn’t a sympathy vote for poor farmers, it’s about poor Australia if we losewithout our family farmers.”

 Farming Champions’ committee members

Rose Crane, Secretary (Tammin-based, former executive producer of the ABC Rural Department, 2000-2007, previously ABC TV News, Radio, and 7.30 Report. Currently Radio West account manager and radio producer and milliner, owner of Gwendoline Grace and Gatsby Hats)

Maureen Dobra, Deputy Chair (Loose Leaf Lettuce Company, RIRDC Rural Woman 2005, President Vegetables WA, vegetable grower, Gingin)

Stephany Durack (Resident Artist at ArtGeo Cultural Complex Busselton developing ‘Provenance’, a body of work inspired by family-owned food and fibre farming, making and producing)

Trent Frost, Treasurer (Manager, Business Advisory, RSM Australia)

Catherine Kelly (Newdegate farmer and proprietor of Hollands Track Farm and B&B, teacher, chaplain, leader at Gateway, mentor and passionate promoter of soil health)

Leilani Leyland (membership officer, BeezNeez Honey)

Mary Nenke, Chair (Cambinata Yabbies, RIRDC Rural Woman 2000, Australian Export Hero, WA Citizen of the Year for Regional Development 2007, WA Women's Hall of Fame and national broadband champion, Kukerin farmer, Royal Agricultural Society 2013 Rural Community Achiever Award, and portfolio holder for Rural Communities, member of general executive on WA Farmers and councillor Royal Agricultural Society.

Cate Rocchi (media relations consultant/owner of Perth Media, Perth, owner of Jasper Books publishing Western Australian stories, and Linkwest board member)

Amanda Rose (graduate in Fine Arts, Social & Economic history in UK & Switzerland, human resource management specialist who has worked for leading businesses. Author of the Tourism Accreditation for Tourism Council WA, Sheep Shearers Guide Book and the Accreditation Standard for Events Industry as well as the first Accreditation Manual for GP Accreditation. She has also formally studied floristry, becoming a member of St Georges Cathedral floristry team and is currently owner operator of Hearts-in-Flowers and a member of the RAS Royal Flower Show committee).

 With Support from:

Lachlan Hunter (in charge of volunteers for Farmer on Your Plate 2016, Young Nationals WA president, Bruce Rock, Agricultural and Political Science/International UWA student, committee member of AgConnect WA, and president of the UWA SNAGS, Students of Natural and Agricultural Sciences)

Sue Daubney (Bannister Downs Diary, Northcliffe)

Maryanne Shaddick (RAS manager of Marketing and Communications).
Tania Spencer (Lake Grace artist and farmer, co-owner Lake Grace Regional Artspace, Director of Lake Grace Transport, Spencer Shearing Service, Spencer Wools, Lake Grace Visitor Centre committee, Community Builder 2007, WA Sculptors Scholarship Sculpture by the Sea 2008, Alcoa Major Sculpture Award, Castaways 2010)

Margaret Sullivan (Varley farmer, co-ordinator of the original Alarming Farming event in Varley, past WA CWA State President current South Pacific Area President of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), Justice of the Peace)
Kim Tyrer (Galafrey Wines, Young Business Award Winner Albany Chamber of Commerce, finalist in last year's RIRDC Rural Women's Award)

Kylie Whitehead (formerly of the Kondinin Group, co-inaugurator York Small-Land Group, Heartland Branding Group, Avon Valley Rural Enterprise Forum and part of Community Builders programme, and Acting CEO, DCEO, development officer, contract project officer in Local Government (Upper Gascoyne, Wongan-Ballidu, Bruce Rock, Moora)

Kerryn and John Oliver  (OLIVER Rural IT Solutions Mobile)


By gathering Farming Champions across the nation, we hope to:

1.     Create awareness of the agriculture’s importance to all Australians.

2.     Redefine farming as an ESSENTIAL SERVICE – without food we die!

3.     Raise awareness of the huge challenges farmers face including and educate the public about why many are exiting the industry. telecommunication, transport and education.

4.     Promoting high-quality Western Australian food and its producers.

5.     Putting agriculture on the top of the  ‘POLITICAL MENU’.

 For more information please go to: