Pip Job

Pip is the 2014 National & NSW/Act RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year and is the former CEO of the Little River Landcare Group in the central west of NSW. Pip has been a beef cattle producer for 20 years and has worked in the not-for-profit sector for the last 10 years. Pip’s experience of working collaboratively with community in an agricultural context now sees her leading a new initiative within the NSW Department of Primary Industries Business Resilience team, to create tools and resources which support farming families business to deal with a diverse range of challenges and change.


Pip is an advocate for sustainable agriculture where the principles of managing holistically contribute towards healthy landscapes, productive, profitable businesses, happy families and thriving communities. Pip has been a beef cattle producer for 20 years, establishing her first business at the age of 14. Pip has felt firsthand the impacts of drought as a grazier, business-woman and mother and has worked closely with her community to bring about change in the way people approach difficulties such as drought. Pip’s RIRDC Rural Women’s Award bursary project, ‘Positive Farming Footprints’ has explored the concept of farm family resilience and what social barriers block their progress.


Pip’s professional career within Landcare has resulted in her being inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame and presented as the winner of 2015 NSW Landcare Facilitator Award. Pip is a member of the Primary Industries Ministerial Advisory Council and a budding Holistic Management Educator.  


Dr Nural Cokcetin

Dr Nural Cokcetin is a postdoctoral researcher specialising in microbiology at the ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Her research focuses on the medicinal properties of honey.


In her current role, Nural is investigating the antimicrobial properties of honey, with a drive to use this knowledge to promote the use of honey as a topical treatment for skin infections and wounds, and to develop new treatments for infections caused by superbugs. Nural is currently managing a collaborative project funded by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation investigating the antimicrobial activity of Australian Leptospermum (manuka-type) honeys.


Nural obtained her PhD from the University of NSW in 2015 where she investigated the prebiotic properties of Australian honeys, i.e. how honey affects the balance of the beneficial and harmful bacteria in the human gut. She was one of the first researchers to show that honey had a positive impact on the beneficial populations. Her initial results prompted a human clinical trial, where she investigated the impacts of eating honey on gut health.


Nural’s interest in the therapeutic properties of honey started during her Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biotechnology) degree at the University of Sydney in 2007, where she completed an Honours project investigating the antibacterial effect of honey on problematic bacteria, such as those that cause serious hospital infections. She showed for the first time, that resistance to the killing effects of honey could not be generated in bacteria even in those that were resistant to several antibiotic drugs.


Dr Emily Remnant

Dr Emily Remnant is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney. Her current research focuses on understanding how viruses have changed in honey bee populations around the world that suffer from Varroa mites.


Dr Remnant aims to find ways to enable honey bees to survive viral disease spread by Varroa mites, to prevent Australian bees from suffering the same damages observed elsewhere around the world. Dr Remnant recently recieved a Science and Innovation award from the Department of Agriculture and Water resources for her project, "Can we immunise honey bees against virulent viruses?", and was also awarded the special Minister's prize to fund her research into investigating the use of beneficial bacteria in preventing viral disease in honey bees.


Dr John Roberts

Dr John Roberts is a Research Scientist with the CSIRO in Canberra. His research is focused on improving bee health and biosecurity in Australia with particular emphasis on parasitic mites, such as Varroa and Tropilaelaps, and honeybee viruses. He has been supported by the RIRDC on several projects including genetic studies of Varroa jacobsoni and associated viruses in PNG, establishing the pest and disease status of the Cairns Asian honeybee population, and undertaking a national pathogen survey for viruses and Nosema. He is currently working on a RIRDC supported project aimed at reducing the impact of Nosema through managing bee nutrition and has also been supporting biosecurity efforts with mite and virus diagnostics for the recent Townsville incursion of Asian honeybees and Varroa jacobsoni.


Dr. Doug Somerville

Doug is theTechnical Specialist Honey Bees employed by NSW Department of Primary Industries for 30 years. Areas of responsibility include assisting the beekeeping industry in the area of education, training, advisory, development and research.

He has delivered presentations to over 60 national and international conferences and has been the key-note speaker at several of these events.  Doug’s Master’s Degree was in agricultural extension and rural development.  His PhD obtained from the Australian National University in Canberra is titled “The Floral Resources of New South Wales of Primary Importance to Commercial Beekeeping”.


In October 2014 Doug was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Cross University. He is currently involved in projects with this university in the Pacific and Asia.


Doug was acknowledged for his efforts to the Australian beekeeping industry with the Award of Excellence by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council in 2010. In 2015 he received the Goodacre Award, which is the highest Australian beekeeping industry award.

During his time in the beekeeping world he has experienced the beekeeping industries of several countries and published over 500 technical sheets, scientific papers, project reports and articles for general beekeeping publications.


Doug will be delivering the NSW DPI report on activities associated with the Development and Education areas applicable to the NSW beekeeping industry.


Ben Oldroyd

Ben Oldroyd is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the University of Sydney. He  completed a BSc(Agr) in 1980 and a PhD at the University of Sydney in 1984. Oldroyd’s  research focuses on the behavioural genetics of honey bees, the evolution of social behavior  and evolution more broadly. He is also heavily involved with the Australian beekeeping industry, including helping beekeepers breed better, healthier strains.


Ben has made important contributions to understanding the genetic basis of worker sterility in honey bees, and his breeding techniques are now widespread in the Australian beekeeping industry. His book Asian Honey Bees: Biology, Conservation and Human Interactions (Harvard University Press) is the authoritative text on the subject.  Ben has authored nearly 200 scientific papers on bees and social insects.


Nardine Chapman

Nadine received first class honours and the Spencer Smith White Prize for her work on task specialization in honeybees with Ben Oldroyd and Bill Hughes in 2004. Nadine completed a PhD on worker reproductive parasitism in three species of honeybee at the University of Sydney in 2009, supervised by Ben Oldroyd and Madeleine Beekman, winning the Jabez King Heydon Memorial Prize for this work. She then moved to University College London to work on sexual selection in stalk-eyed flies before returning to bees and the University of Sydney in 2013.


Since then Nadine has worked on industry-funded projects, including creating a genetic test for Africanized killer bees, investigating queen mating quality and working on a trap to catch queens. The killer bee test resulted in a CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and a spot in the finals for the Rural Research and Development Corporation’s Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation in 2015.


Frank Lindsay

Beekeeper for 47 years, Life Member of the National Beekeepers Association, (now API New Zealand) Southern North Island Branch and the Wellington Beekeepers Association of which I'm currently the President,  Chairman of the Publications Committee for APINZ, monthly columnist for the New Zealand Beekeeper; "About the Apiary" articles, slightly dyslexic which mean that he tends to concentrate on one thing and became fairly involved to the exclusion of other things.


Frank went through the normal beekeeping phases: hobbyist, semi-commercial and then small commercial operator for 20 years with 480 hives in the Wellington area until a bout of ill heath and American Foul Brood brought his hive numbers down to a more manageable level fitting of his age.  With age comes wisdom and knowledge, both of which he is still working on.