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profileShe’ll be APPLESWe celebrate leading women who are driving the apple and pear industry forward. Words Nardia Stacy, executive manager Ladycroft Orchard manager Bec Whittaker and Dee Fagan tasting the fruits of their labour. POMEWEST acknowledges and honours the remarkable women who have made significant contributions to the apple and pear industry in Western Australia. These accomplished women are prominent leaders in the industry and actively mentor other women to follow in their footsteps. They are: Susie Murphy-White (2018), Bec Whittaker (2019), Nicole Giblett (2022) and Ann Lyster and Jenny Mercer (2023). The women listed above have all received welldeserved recognition as APAL national industry award recipients for their outstanding work as Marketers of the Year and Women in Horticulture. Meanwhile, many others have made significant contributions to the industry for many years, including Maud Williams of Lady Williams fame, as well as modern legends Joy Jarvis of Prime Organics and countless others who have dedicated decades to working in pack sheds and office management. Their contributions have been vital to the industry’s ongoing success. Past award winner Nic Giblett, another well recognised leader in the industry. Ann Lyster, a nurse-turned-orchardist, says teamwork and perseverance are behind the success of the apple industry. She praises the importance of women’s skills and capabilities, citing a female trainer who works with young people on her farm as an example. Jenny Mercer won the APAL 2023 Marketer of the Year Award for her innovative strategies for Bravo Soluna Apple’s success. She used a QR code on the apple’s sticker to engage consumers and offered a $100,000 prize competition. Jenny herself admires the resilience and courage of those in the horticulture industry. Bec Whittaker, the 2019 award-winning orchard manager of Ladycroft Orchard in Manjimup, believes that developing a well-rounded team involves training and encouraging both male and female team members. Bec has strategically created a balanced team of young men and women who perform various roles across the organisation. Her quick sense of humour, enthusiasm and ability to identify and implement new opportunities make her an exceptional manager for Ladycroft, which is owned by one of Western Australia’s largest pome and stonefruit growers, the Casotti Group. Nic Giblett is another exemplary advocate for the WA fruit-growing industry. With a strong passion and unwavering dedication, she is the voice for the sector, highlighting issues and attributes on behalf of the local industry. One of her most outstanding achievements is implementing a successful program to bring seasonal workers from Tonga to Newton Orchards, her family business. This initiative has significantly increased the efficiency of the orchard and provided them with a reliable and skilled workforce. Nic acknowledges the critical role that Tongan workers play in the success of Newton Orchards, stating that: “They are incredible in the way they work.” We are thrilled to shine the spotlight on all our women in pome in this edition. Thank you all for the exceptional work you have done and continue to do. Your efforts are a great inspiration to all in the horticultural industry. Ann Lyster and Jenny Mercer: 2023 APAL national award winners. Photography Nigel Welch (Nic Giblett), Victoria Baker“ Ann Lyster, a nurse-turned orchardist, says teamwork and perseverance are behind the success of the pome industry”MORE INFORMATION Nardia Stacy 0411 138 103, email@example.com.