12-14 May 2021 | Cairns, QLD

#bananacongress2021

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PARTNERSHIP

The 2021 Australian Banana Industry Congress is the premier conference for the Australian Banana Industry. Bringing together more than 400 members of the Australian Banana Industry including growers and marketers, ABIC provides a great opportunity to reach leaders and decision makers in this field.

The event will cover the latest in research and development and industry news…Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of that conversation!

A range of sponsorship packages are available to fit your budget and commercial needs. From program involvement to being part of the exhibition, ABIC has a sponsorship opportunity to suit.

Download the Sponsorship and Exhibition Prospectus by clicking the button below.

If you are interested to discuss sponsorship opportunity further please contact Danny Perry.

Danny Perry
Partnerships Manager

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Todd Widdicombe

Radio Personality / Master of Ceremonies

Born in the back of a panel van in WA in 1975, Todd was raised as an only child, which really upset his older sister.

He has spent the last 25 years traversing this great brown land, on the run from old video shops who he still owes overdue fees to and wearing out his welcome at many radio stations along the way.

During his 25 years in media this Aussie dad of 4 has called several places home including a most excellent 5 years in Cairns, a forgettable tenure in Gosford NSW, and the last 15 years on the Sunny Coast.

He’s also dabbled in TV, fronting many commercials over the years, from a nonspeaking role in a nationally televised beer ad, to playing the fat-mate of ex QLD cricketer turned model/actor Lee Carseldine in a TV mini series that never saw the light of day. Winning!

Here’s what the critics are saying…

Todd’s grades would be so much better if he applied himself and spent more time learning and less time trying to entertain the class”.
Rose Santoro Todd’s year 8 teacher 1988

At 45 he’s still not sure what he wants to be
when he grows up.

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Mary O'brien

Founder
Are you bogged mate?

Mary O’Brien founded the ‘Are you bogged mate?’ program in 2018.

She travels the country breaking down the stigma of mental health and depression, especially among rural men, while also connecting them with vital resources and support.

An article Ms O’Brien wrote in 2018 titled ‘Are you bogged mate?’ gained international attention. It highlighted the mental health challenges country men face on a daily basis and the disconnect between the way depression is communicated to men across rural and remote Australia.

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SPONSOR LEVEL

SPONSOR NAME

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Contact
SPEAKER
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Matt Church

Founder
Thought Leaders

Matt Church is a seeker of truth, sharing his learning through teaching and writing. As the founder of Thought Leaders and a highly respected conference presenter, he communicates, connects and challenges audiences and himself to be the best version of themselves.

Matt invites all leaders to expand their view of what is and find true inspiration. Highly intuitive, Matt experiences much of life beyond the observable and explainable. His ability to make the complex simple and the way forward clear, has him speaking all over the world. Grounding big ideas in practical perspectives, the evolution of Matt’s thinking can be traced through the eleven books he has written.

Always one to draw a line in the sand, his latest book Rise Up; an evolution in leadership represents the next level for Matt, as he turns inwards to understand and apply age old wisdom to leadership.

Clear and focused, gentle and affirming. Unequivocal. To follow Matt’s unfolding thinking, go to mattchurch.com.

You can learn about Thought Leaders at thoughtleaders.com.au.

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Adam Ferrier

Founder/ Chief Thinker
Thinkerbell

Adam is one of Australia’s leading creative strategists, and a consumer psychologist. In 2004, Adam co-founded Naked Communications. Naked embraced a behavioural change model, building brands whilst changing behaviour, and was one of Australia’s most awarded and successful agencies. Following that, Adam created Thinkerbell – where he practices ‘measured magic’ – bringing together marketing science and hardcore creativity. After just 2 years, it became AdNews 2019 Creative Agency of the Year, and has already won a slew of awards for high profile earned media ideas.

In other news, Adam is also the author of two books The Advertising Effect, and Stop Listening to the Customer (Wiley, 2020), a very regular media commentator (Gruen, Sunrise, The Project) and sits on the boards of PIJI (Public Interest Journalism Initiative) and TRIBE (a social content creation agency). Adam is married to Anna and has two sons Asterix and Arturo.

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Matt Wright

Television Presenter

Matt Wright is an accomplished dare-devil helicopter pilot and wildlife re-locator. In recent years he has projected his skills to a global audience of more than 85 countries as the star of National Geographic’s acclaimed television series Outback Wrangler.

Matt Wright was raised in Papua New Guinea and the Australian outback, where living off the land and being comfortable with animals such as deadly snakes, spiders, stampeding cattle and even sharks, was simply way of life.

As an adult, his career path has seen him tackle a range of jobs that require both nerves of steel and a practical ‘can do’ attitude. He has spent time as an outback horse wrangler, oil rig worker, soldier in the Australian Army, crocodile egg collector and, more recently, as a professional chopper pilot and instructor.

Today, Matt’s passions and unique skill set have turned into a career as a wildlife re-locator; tracking down, capturing and transporting a diverse range of dangerous animals including crocodiles, wild buffalo and even polar bears. His objective is based on the preservation of wildlife: removing and relocating problem animals rather than killing them.

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Tim Hunt

General Manager
RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness

Tim Hunt manages Rabobank’s local research division which is comprised of 11 analysts. They are charged with analysing developments in food and agricultural markets and industries, and advising the bank and its clients on strategic implications for their businesses.

It is part of a broader global team of 90 analysts, located in major food production regions of the world.

In addition to managing the RaboResearch team, Tim advises corporate and rural clients across a multitude of sectors on a issues ranging from the rise of substitute foods, why supply chains must change #BananaCongress21 11 Speakers Congress Handbook and winning consumer trust. He is a regular facilitator at Rabobank’s Executive Development Program and hosts their regional podcast channel.

Prior to his current role, Tim Hunt was the global strategist and team leader of Rabobank’s dairy research team – based in New York. Tim’s responsibilities included analysing developments in the regional and global dairy markets, co-ordinating Rabobank’s medium term dairy forecasts, advising Rabobank on its engagement with the dairy industry, advising clients on the implications of market developments for their businesses, and assisting with mergers and acquisitions advisory.

In his time with Rabobank, Tim has regularly visited and engaged with clients in North America, Latin America, China, South East Asia and Western Europe.

Tim is a regular and highly sought after speaker at local and international conferences. Tim is a professional economist with 25 years’ experience, gained through working with leading financial institutions and strategic consultancies in Australia, England and the United States. Tim graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1993 with an honours degree in Economics and Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts degrees.

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Shane Templeton

President
Australian Ginger Industry Association
Director
Buderim Ginger

Shane is a third-generation farmer who helps run the family farming business. Templeton Farming Enterprises is based at Eumundi in Queensland with farming operations expanding from Gympie to Maryborough.

Shane has served as a Company Director for Buderim Ginger Limited and is the President of the Australian Ginger Industry Association (AGIA). In recent years this role has included navigating major production battles like Pythium outbreaks in ginger, which decimated the industry. Shane was also involved with Biosecurity Australia’s Import Risk Assessment for fresh ginger imports, leading to significant biosecurity measures implemented industry wide.

Shane holds a Bachelor of Business from Queensland University of Technology and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

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Ridley Bell

Founder / Owner
Mountain Blue Farms Pty Ltd.

Ridley is the founder/owner of Mountain Blue farms in NSW, Australia. He has been actively involved in the blueberry industry in Australia since 1975, when he commenced assessing Northern Highbush seedlings at the Horticultural Research Institute in Knoxfield. He released the variety Brigitta from that program.

In 1981 he moved to Northern NSW to
grow low chilling varieties that would ripen in the window between the end of the northern hemisphere season and the start of the season in a number of southern hemisphere countries.

Since that time he has released a number of new blueberry varieties for warm climate areas around the world, assessing approximately 5000 seedlings from up to 120 crosses each year. The breeding program has had a strong emphasis on consumer quality, never compromising on flavour, as well as fruit size, crunch and productivity. To date, MBO varieties have been licenced in 23 countries around the world under exclusive contracts, and sought after because of the emphasis on flavour, crunch and yields.

Mountain Blue Farms is a vertically integrated company, breeding new varieties, growing the plants on in a wholesale nursery, harvesting fruit from over 120 hectares and marketing blueberries, as well as raspberries and strawberries through its marketing company. In 2010, Ridley received the NSW Farmer of the Year award.

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Jack Milbank

Founder
Lexi Tech

Jack Millbank was brought up on a mixed farming property in Zimbabwe. He completed a BAppSc at The University of QLD, Australia in 2001. Jack has worked in a diverse range of farming, ag-tech, geotechnical, analytical, food and beverage industries. He started at Crop Tech and T-Systems before moving onto AUSVEG as the North Australian IDO. He then began growing fruit in the Mary Valley, and in 2009 Jack became the CEO of Hortus Technical Services, Australia’s leading independent certified laboratory and agronomic services company.

In 2013 Jack founded a microbial biotechnology company – Biofilm Crop Protection Pty Ltd. A year later he founded the Bargara Brewing Company, producing Craft Beer, Cider & Seltzer. In November 2019 Hortus and Biofilm, merged to form Novum Lifesciences.

In 2020, Jack founded Lexi Tech (Singapore) as a Global Ag Tech Data Management company. AgPro is the cornerstone SaaS technology platform and data hub underpinning agronomics, product distribution and application. Data partners around the world use AgPro to service 400 crops grown by over 3000 farmers covering over one million ha in over 20 countries.

Jack and his family own property in Bundaberg and in 2020 established Hartwood Smart Farm as Australia’s only purebred Tuli cattle stud. The stud uses advanced genomics, FTAI, and a collection of genetics incorporating 13 bulls selected by CSIRO and imported from Zimbabwe in the 1990s. “Hartwood Tuli’s” form the nucleus herd of pure genetics to contribute to composite herds around the world. Six Hartwood Tuli bulls are currently having their full genome mapped as part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation research project investigating bovine parasite resistance in Sub-Saharan dairy production.

As a 2006/7 Nuffield Scholar studying “Globally competitive horticultural production processing and marketing using renewable energy”, he spent time researching best practice agronomic management, product processing, clean energy and marketing in India, New Zealand, China, UAE, UK and the US.

Jack has had an active involvement in finding solutions to improve the efficiency and profitability of producers by facilitating the optimal use of crop production inputs through monitoring, testing, research, training and consulting services that represent global best practice.

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Tony Catt

Director
Catapult Wealth

With nearly three decades of experience in the finance industry, Tony has seen many market changes. Tony has a background in accounting, research, stockbroking and financial planning which allows him to provide a broad range of advice to his clients at different stages of their life. Tony has significant experience in sharemarkets and succession planning for farming clients. He has presented at Regional Skill Training, the Australian Shareholders Association, regional TAFE and the ASX Investor Hours.

After marrying into a farming family over 20 years ago, Tony decided to provide more help to family businesses in South Australia. Succession planning, retirement planning, education of the next generation and protection of wealth are major issues that have been identified. Tony is ideally skilled to help families and as a specialist Self-Managed Super Fund adviser, Tony has the ability to transition clients into retirement with cost effective, tailored retirement solutions.

Keep it simple is his main approach and he ensures that you understand every facet of how your money is invested.

BANANA INDUSTRY BALL AND AWARDS OF HONOUR

Date: Friday 1May 2021
Time: 7:00pm -Late
Venue: AuditoriumCairns Convention Centre
Dresscode: After 5 or formal 

A highlight of every Congress, the 2021 Banana Ball will not disappoint. 

Be part of the celebration, as we recognise some of our industry’s best and enjoy live entertainment in a stunning setting.  

 We have special guests to provide exciting entertainment. And the dance floor will be ready and waiting. Three-course meal and drinks included. 

Sponsored By

2019 Partner - VISY
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Andrew Bate

Managing Director & CEO
SwarmFarm Robotics

Andrew is the creator and CEO of SwarmFarm Robotics. He is the chief visionary who leveraged his experience as a successful grain farmer to lead the 2015 launch of SwarmFarm Robotics. He grew up on a cropping and cattle farm south of Emerald in Queensland and studied agronomy at university. He spent his earlier life as an agronomist in the grain and cotton industries, before returning to grain and cattle farming, and then cofounding SwarmFarm Robotics. In 2018 he was awarded Agripreneur of the Year at the Australian Future Agro Challenge, and in 2019 he came third overall in the Global Agripreneur of the Year award.

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Tate Connolly

Marketing Manager
Horticulture Innovation Australia

Tate Connolly started as the Hort Innovation Marketing Manager for Australian Bananas in 2018.

Prior to this role, Tate spent ten years in foodservice marketing including Nando’s and Wagamama where she specialised in brand management and communications, leading both brands through global expansions. Tate is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Tate has a passion for building and developing brands so that they come to life in the minds and hearts of consumers. Combining this with a love of the latest tech and innovation, Tate blends her classical marketing training with the ever moving digital media world to strive for forward thinking campaigns that deliver results back to industry.

Tate lives and breathes all things food. Whether it be discovering new ingredients or new cuisines through her travels or developing recipes with some old favourites – she even runs a twice yearly pop up restaurant!

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Trent DePaoli

Entrepreneur / Farmer / Investor / Innovator
De Paoli Orchards

An experienced entrepreneur, even at a young age Trent had a passion for solving problems with innovation and creating long standing companies that create a better world for tomorrow. As an “over the horizon” thinker, he wakes with the ambition of creating a better world and leveraging business as the platform to do this. During the last 24 years, he has taken revolutionary new products to market, built international supply and demand chains, brought new technologies to commercialisation, created unique consumer brands and built world class leadership teams. Trent and his family own several avocado orchards in the Bundaberg region and he is an investor in start-up companies and companies wishing to scale up.

Trent has served on many industry, government and private enterprise boards such as the Ag Industry Advisory Council (Federal Government), Strategic Investment Group for Horticulture Innovation Australia, farmer reference groups for the National Farmers Federation, private family enterprises and more. In 2013 he was honoured to receive a Nuffield Scholarship and has since gone on to represent Nuffield at many functions.

His time at the University of Queensland graduating as a Food Technologist was critical to help frame his thinking for the future with science, technology and foresight. Trent is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

His favourite saying is “remain flexible to remain relevant” and Charles Darwin’s outstanding theory which he has shortened to simply “you are either growing or you’re dying, there is nowhere in between”.

Man wearing a suit and a South Australian Police pin
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Derrick McManus

Former Operative with the elite Special Tasks And Rescue (STAR) Group of the South Australian Police

• Shot 14 times – in less than 5 seconds
• Massive injuries
• Lying on the ground for 3 hours before rescue
• Body closed down and saw ‘the white light’
• Two years later returned to full duties

Derrick was a sniper, diver and counterterrorist operative with the elite Police STAR Group. He knows what it takes to perform at the highest levels. He knows what it takes to sustain optimal performance. He knows what it takes to drive your teams to both with less stress than they probably experience now.

Derrick now has research collaborations with University of South Australia School of Psychology and the Australian Centre of Excellence for PTSD into going beyond resilience to what he calls Human Durability.

This is not only an amazing story, it also provides some pragmatic insights into how you and your team can perform at higher levels with less stress and more satisfaction.

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Billy Slater

Banana Ambassador

We’re delighted that NRL legend and longtime banana ambassador Billy Slater will be joining us at Congress in Cairns.

Regarded as one of the greatest rugby league players of all time, Billy began his career playing for Brothers in Innisfail. His childhood in the Far North Queensland banana heartland, and his stellar NRL record, make him a perfect fit for Australian Bananas. He’s been fulfilling that role for more than 15 years.

Billy retired from the NRL in 2018 but continues to be a regular fixture in the media. With his wife, Nicole, he runs Slater Thoroughbreds and the Move with Billy app.

Welcome Reception

Date: Wednesday 12 May 2021
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Venue: Poolside, Pullman Cairns International
Dresscode: Smart Casual 

Join us poolside at Cairns Convention Centre to kick off the Australian Banana Industry Congress in style.  

 The perfect chance to catch-up with friends, network with industry stakeholders, enjoy a beverage and relax before the dynamic 2021 event begins in earnest.  

 Live music and canapés will add to the atmosphere – and bonus points for coming dressed in a banana theme!

Sponsored By

2019 Partner - Mackays Marketing

BANANA WOMEN'S NETWORK LUNCHEON

Date: Thursday 13 May 2021
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Venue: Cairns Convention Centre
Dresscode: Smart Casual 

Pullman Cairns International is a unique hotel that reflects the ambiance and spirit of Far North Queensland and exudes the architectural style and grandeur of the city’s rich colonial past. Join us for the Banana Women’s network luncheon on the second floor of the Pullman Cairns International at the Kingsford’s Lounge. Included is a two-course plated lunch and a welcome beverage on arrival.

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TRADESHOW EXHIBITION EVENING WITH PAKALL HAPPY HOUR

Date: Thursday 13 May 2021
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Exhibition ArenaCairns Convention Centre
Dresscode: Smart Casual 

This is your chance to mingle with fellow growers and get some one-on-one time with the wide-range of industry stakeholders taking part in the Australian Banana Industry Congress. 

You’ll get a chance to explore banana research, the latest industry-relevant products and programs that can help you better your farm. Drinks and canapés included. 

Pakall Happy Hour brought to you by:

SPEAKER
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Matt Church

Founder
Thought Leaders

Matt Church is a seeker of truth, sharing his learning through teaching and writing. As the founder of Thought Leaders and a highly respected conference presenter, he
communicates, connects and challenges audiences and himself to be the best version of themselves.


Matt invites all leaders to expand their view of what is and find true inspiration. Highly intuitive, Matt experiences much of life beyond the observable and explainable. His ability
to make the complex simple and the way forward clear, has him speaking all over the world. Grounding big ideas in practical perspectives, the evolution of Matt’s thinking can
be traced through the eleven books he has written.


Always one to draw a line in the sand, his latest book Rise Up; an evolution in leadership represents the next level for Matt, as he turns inwards to understand and apply
age old wisdom to leadership.

Clear and focused, gentle and affirming. Unequivocal.
To follow Matt’s unfolding thinking, go to mattchurch.com
You can learn about Thought leaders at thoughtleaders.com.au