D.C. Blood Oration & Foot-and-Mouth Disease Workshop presented by Professor Alan Olmstead


Managing Highly Infectious Diseases: Developing the Science and Policies to Arrest Contagions

Guest Speaker: Professor Alan Olmstead, Distinguished Research Professor University of California, Davis

On Thursday 5 February 2015, the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences and the Gardiner Foundation, will co-host a half-day workshop titled ‘Foot-and-mouth disease: Outbreak response and decision making in an Australian context’ followed by the D.C. Blood Oration ‘Arresting Contagion - Easier Said Than Done’ to be delivered by Professor Alan Olmstead. Dr Olmstead’s recent book with Paul W. Rhode, Creating Abundance: Biological Innovation and American Agricultural Development, examines three centuries of technological advance in American agriculture. Professor Olmstead’s research has appeared in leading economics and history journals and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

Thursday 5 February - For more details see flyer



RPCV Committee - new office bearers elected 

The Rural Press Club of Victoria's AGM was held on Wednesday 26th of November.

ACAJ new officer bearers - media release


News Release 22 October 2014 -ACAJ elects new leaders

An experienced rural communicator from Brisbane, Genevieve McAulay, is the new President of the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists.

This national professional body represents rural press clubs operating networks in all mainland states.

It maintains links with colleagues around the world through membership of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

Genevieve is a Life Member and former President of the Queensland Rural Press Club where she made a significant contribution as the creator and driving force behind many of the club’s most successful and innovative programs.

She began her career as a journalist at the Dalby Herald before joining the staff of Rural Press, which is now Fairfax Agricultural Media, where she was an award-winning feature writer and editor for the specialist publication Australian Cotton and Grains Outlook, which is circulated in Queensland and New South Wales.

Genevieve is now employed as State Marketing Manager Qld/NT for Rabobank.

Following two terms as Vice President, she succeeds Tim Powell, managing director of Cox Inall Communications in the national leadership role.

Peter Lewis, a familiar face of agricultural journalism throughout Australia, is the new ACAJ Vice President.

Peter has had a long career with the national rural television program Landline, both in front of and behind the camera, and has more recently worked as a national rural reporter for ABC TV.

Clarisa Collis, an executive committee member with the Rural Press Club of Victoria, takes over the role of ACAJ secretary from her club colleague Kim Payne.

Clarisa is the assistant editor of Ground Cover magazine for Melbourne-based agricultural and science publisher, Coretext.

Gordon Collie, an independent communicator and freelance rural journalist from Brisbane, continues in his role as national treasurer and Leigh Radford from South Australia was re-elected as the Australian delegate to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).

Members of the ACAJ at the annual meeting paid tribute to retiring executive member Liz Harfull who made a huge contribution in Australia and internationally during the past 14 years.

Liz steps down from the leadership team as the position of Immediate Past President rotates to Tim Powell.

She served three terms as ACAJ president and represented Australia to the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

After a successful career in rural journalism and communications, Liz has won world acclaim as an author, with her latest titles: The Australian Blue Ribbon Cookbook and Women of the Land.

President Genevieve said Liz’s leadership efforts over many years on the ACAJ executive and internationally on Australia’s behalf were much appreciated.

“We are pleased Liz has agreed to lend her expertise as a member of the organising committee for the 2015 IFAJ World Congress Pre-Tour in Cairns next October.”

For more information, contact Gordon Collie on 0409 473 343. 

Fire Awareness Awards


Journalists and media producers who have produced and published fire-related content in the past 12 months are encouraged to enter the annual Fire Awareness Awards.

The awards (run by MFB, CFA and DEPI) are open to media outlets state-wide and applications could relate to bushfire coverage, home fire incidents, promotion of fire education or fire safety initiatives.

Media and Communications Award

The Media and Communications Award recognises  innovative fire related media or communications project delivered through journalism, social media, publications, marketing, public relations, advertising or events, or by individual roles (such as broadcaster, writer, journalist, blogger, photo journalist, marketer) that has increased awareness of fire through responsible reporting and promotion.

Applications close on 30 September 2014. The awards will be presented at a gala evening on 4 December at the RACV Club.

Further information regarding the awards can be found at:

The Fire Awareness Awards is a joint program run by MFB, CFA and the Department of Environment and Primary Industry to recognise the hard work individuals, groups and organisations undertake to reduce the effects of fire in Victoria.

If you have any questions or require any further information please either email or call 03 9665 4487.

Biosecurity breakfast: International threats and strategies


"Biosecurity’s importance reaches beyond farm gate"

2014 Rural and Regional Journalist Forum


Rex Martinich Journalist The Hamilton Spectator

The 2014 Rural Press Club Victoria Forum provided a great insight into how journalists, reporters and correspondents deal with challenging situations.

The forum also gave a valuable insight into how the new State Control Centre manages bushfires and other disasters and responds to the needs of both traditional and social media.

The day was, of course, capped off with a trip to the local watering hole which was handily embedded in the ground floor of Telstra’s HQ.

The ABC Papua New Guinea correspondent, Liam Fox, stole the show with his vivid description of a nation deeply rich in culture and tradition but marred by violence and poverty.

His experiences made Australian-based journalists feel spoiled by having access to dedicated government media staff members who usually try to help us with questions and statements.

Liam had been dealing with government departments for five years who answered the phone on the 50th ring of the 10th attempt to get someone on the line.

The incidents of shocking violence perpetrated on a daily basis also made PNG a difficult assignment for Liam but came with the rewards of producing memorable reports with almost complete autonomy.

The futuristic surrounds of the State Control Centre were a world away from the chaos depicted by Liam.

However, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley has been tasked with controlling a different kind of jungle: social media in the midst of a disaster.

Craig said the State Control Centre had learned a lot about how to handle online criticism during the Hazelwood mine fire and Morwell pollution disasters.

The State Control Centre is set to expand its social media presence and monitoring next fire season.

Channel Nine News Melbourne journalist Brett McLeod and 3AW state political reporter Lauren Hibbert covered life in a budget lockup and debate whether such a theatrical event is justified in the age of constant leaks and story drops.

Social media popped up again with Brett describing how Nine uses Twitter and Facebook to promote its main news bulletin.

Lauren said 3AW took a different approach by treating the radio station’s website as a separate product but could also see in real time how social media influenced its online radio stream audiences.

And then, as they say, it was “off to the pub”.

Media tour of Tanzania - expressions of interest


Expressions of Interest -IFAJ 2014 media tour to Tanzania 

Journalists involved in agriculture are invited to submit an expression of interest for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists 2014 media tour to Tanzania. 

Following the success of the Kenya tour in 2012 and the Uganda tour in 2013, the IFAJ and Agriterra are offering 15 IFAJ journalists the opportunity to have a first-hand look at farm issues in the developing world. 

The six-day tour will show a group of select journalists chosen from around the world a vibrant continent full of initiatives and business opportunities to boost agricultural production and economic development. 

Interested Australian journalists who are a member of their state's rural press club are invited to send an expression of interest to the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists.

The expression of interest should include: 

*Details of the journalist's current position ie. role, organisation 
*A brief biography 
*Contact details 
*What you would like to achieve from the tour, including a potential story idea 

Submissions should not exceed 200 words and should be sent to ACAJ Secretary Kim Payne ( by COB 30th June 2014 

The tour cost is 300 euros including all accommodation, meals and transport. Flights to Tanzania are at the cost of the participant. 

More information here

Excellence in Asthma & Allergy Reporting Awards


The National Asthma Council Australia invites you to nominate for its prestigious media excellence awards.  The Excellence in Asthma & Allergy Reporting Awards celebrate the important role that different media play in asthma education in Australia, acknowledging and rewarding achievement and excellence.

If you’ve covered an asthma or allergies-related story during the 2013/14 financial year, you’ll be eligible to enter.  The Awards are open to journalists from all media sectors – print, broadcast and online. 

The major prize winner will receive $3000 plus a trophy. Category winners will be granted $1000, plus attendance at the Awards ceremony, during the first week in September.

Entering the awards only takes 5 minutes - ENTRIES CLOSE MONDAY JUNE 30 AT 5:00PM

Visit for details or phone Kate or Charissa on (03) 9642 5858 if you have any questions.

ATSE Report Launch


Asia has an emerging appetite for quality, safe food, but how can Australia capitalise?  Professor Snow Barlow of Melbourne University launched the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering report, Green Growth Food and Fibre at a Rural Press Club of Victoria breakfast. This crucial report recommends how Australia can optimise both its primary production and its global position.

Click here to see the report

Crawford Fund


17 February 2014


The Crawford Fund is again joining with the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists to launch a competition that aims to encourage working Australian journalists to investigate the important roles that agricultural research, training and rural development play in global food security.

Professor Kaye Basford, Board member of the Crawford Fund and President of the Academic Board of the University of Queensland made the announcement in Brisbane during the Fund’s seminar on Queensland involvement in and benefits from international agricultural research.

“Events like our seminar today provide good opportunities to raise awareness of food security issues and the importance of science, research and training that involves Australians and the Crawford Fund,” said Prof Basford, who chairs the Fund’s Queensland Committee.

“The journalism award provides an opportunity to acknowledge reporting to highlight the positive contribution that Australia’s farmers and our development, research and education sectors can make,” she said.

“We are delighted to team up again with the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists to deliver this award and recognise excellence in reporting on food security,” she said.

The winning journalist will be provided with a Crawford Fund ‘seeing is believing’ visit to a developing country to view and report on Australian and international research and training underway with a focus on food security.

Entries are open for print, broadcast and internet-based reports by working Australian journalists around food security within the 12 months prior to the closing date of Monday, 2 June. The winner will be announced at the Fund’s annual conference on 27 August.

Last year’s winner of the inaugural Crawford Fund Food Security Journalism Award was Ms Elizabeth Finkel, Chief Editor of Cosmos Science Magazine for a feature article which imagined global agriculture 50 years in the future.

Further details, including the application and judging process, are available at More information: Cathy Reade, Director, Public Affairs and Communication, 0413 575 934

The Crawford Fund's mission is to increase Australia's engagement in international agricultural research, development and education for the benefit of developing countries and Australia.

Information on how to enter click here

Survey Thanks


The RPCV thanks all those who took the time to complete our Tell Us What You Think survey. We received almost 70 responses and appreciate the detailed feedback.

The committee is now compiling the information and will establish the key themes for discussion at our next meeting.

Members will be notified within the next few months of our future plans based on your input.

Vic Farmland Value Index launched


Rural Finance launched its Victorian Farmland Values Index at a Rural Press Club of Victoria event in Melbourne this morning.

The Victorian Farmland Values Index is the first conclusive study of farmland sale data in Victoria’s history.

It collates the results of around 45,000 farmland sales across Victoria since 1990 into a document that, for the first time, allows you to track how the rural property market has performed in the past 23 years.

Rural Finance CEO Rob Goudswaard was joined by panelists Agribusiness Valuations Australia Managing Director Sam Paton and Nuffield Scholar Damian Murphy to discuss rural land values in Victoria.

Read more about the Index here