Hort Connections 2022 is nearly upon us! After three years of pandemic-induced disruption, this year’s event offers a much anticipated and long overdue opportunity for members of our industry from all corners of the country to congregate, engage and reconnect. Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6-8 June, the event will play host to an impressive program of networking events, speaker sessions and exhibitors, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Women in Horticulture Speaker Session

Boomaroo Nurseries is again thrilled to partner with AUSVEG to present the Women in Horticulture speaker session. As in previous years, we have put together an inspirational line up of keynote speakers who have made significant and impactful contributions in their respective fields:

Shanna Whan

Shanna is the CEO, creator and founder of grassroots charity Sober in the Country Ltd – and winner of the prestigious 2022 ”Australian of the Year” Local Hero award.

In 2015, Shanna Whan was fighting for her life after a two-decade battle against alcohol addiction. A series of traumas she had experienced as an 18-year-old jillaroo fresh out of boarding school would lead to heavy binge-drinking and hiding behind a wild party girl persona. Eventually, this would all result in a life of undiagnosed and untreated alcohol addiction.

After making a full recovery despite endless odds, Shanna decided to dedicate her life to creating positive change in the alcohol culture of the bush through Sober in the Country (SITC) Ltd.

Shanna founded SITC with a simple mission to educate her peers that it is ‘okay to say no’ to beers in the bush. Today, SITC works through advocacy, peer support and awareness, and is creating radical impact across the entire outback through a message of health and inclusion.

Catherine Velisha

Catherine Velisha is a third-generation vegetable grower and Managing Director at Velisha Farms. Amongst her many accolades, Catherine was the recipient of both the AUSVEG Boomaroo Nurseries’ National Women in Horticulture Award in 2021 and the Victorian Women in Horticulture Award in 2022.

Catherine has worked in the fresh produce sector for over 19 years and has been involved in all aspects of the horticulture and industry supply chain. Known as a pioneering industry and education advocate, Catherine is the founder of VEG Education, a registered training organisation created specifically for the horticulture industry that is underpinned with practical and legal experience.

The VEG Education platform enables Catherine and the wider horticulture industry to share their love of vegetables with consumers, as well as communicating with the next generation via a variety of unique school and community programs.

We look forward to welcoming Shanna and Catherine to what we anticipate will be an insightful and engaging event and hope that you can join us there also.

When: Day 02, 7th June, 2pm to 3pm, with lunch/networking from 1.30pm
Where: Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, Meeting Room M4

National Women in Horticulture Award for Excellence
The Hort Connections Gala Dinner will again play host to the AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence, celebrating outstanding achievement in the horticulture industry. Boomaroo is proud to be sponsor of the National Boomaroo Nurseries’ Women in Horticulture Award, and congratulate the recently announced finalists on their achievement:

Janne Dipple
FarmReady Pty

Tracy Campbell

Nicole Stevens
SA Potato Co

Jenny Margetts
P2P Business Solutions Pty Ltd

Jade King
Green Valley Finger Limes

Rien Silverstein
Silver Orchards

Dr Julie O’Halloran
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Catherine Wall
McKINNA et al

Nancy Gaeta
Gaeta & Sons

Phuong Le
Department of Primary Industries and Regions

Karen Thomas
Melbourne Water Regional Agriculture and Landcare Program

We wait with anticipation for the announcement of the Women in Horticulture Award at the Gala Dinner, as well as the announcement of all award recipients.

When: Day 03, 8th June, 7pm to 11pm
Where: Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, Great Hall

Want a chat? Visit our team at the Boomaroo stand in the exhibition hall (stand 293, 294, 337, 338) and say hi!

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