100 reasons to celebrate Central Australia’s pastoral industry


The Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) was abuzz last fortnight to celebrate the Alice Springs Pastoral Industry Advisory Committee’s (ASPIAC) 100th meeting.

Those connected to the pastoral industry had gathered to pay tribute to the achievements of the ASPIAC since October 1986.

The ASPIAC chair, Nicole Hayes, said she wasn’t surprised that the 100th meeting and celebration dinner were well attended despite the rain. She said it was “full of robust conversation regarding the Central Australian beef industry, the latest research both here and nationally. While not all members were able to be there in person, the ‘new normal’ online meeting went relatively smoothly.”

The celebration dinner following the 100th meeting was attended by past committee members, other Central Australian pastoralists, Meat and Livestock Australia, and a member of the Legislative Assembly, as well as staff from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

The department’s southern regional director, Angus Duguid, said it was a great event despite the heavy rain.

“After all the worry that the event would be washed out it was a great evening with those that could make it,” he said.

“It was great to meet Jason Strong, managing director of Meat and Livestock Australia and I really enjoyed his speech. He covered such a wide variety of issues relating to the beef industry in Australia and globally.

“Of course, ASPIAC was the main focus of the evening. ASPIAC has played a vital role in guiding the department’s research and extension program and I congratulate the current members who are carrying ASPIAC forward.”

The current ASPIAC secretary, Chris Materne, has spent time researching the history in preparation for the celebration. Chris enjoyed the event, saying it was “really interesting to see all the people who have been involved with ASPIAC over the years, the many projects and how the terms of reference have developed”.

Chris’s enthusiasm for the history and the work of ASPIAC was evident when he spoke briefly at the dinner, before the ASPIAC chair Nicole Hayes cut the celebratory cake.

The event organisers were extremely thankful for those who have contributed and continue to contribute to ASPIAC, including past members such as Anne Stanes and Ashely Severin who made it in to AZRI despite the rain. Attendees are looking forward to the next department-planned event in the hope that it will encourage more record breaking rain events. The pastoralists who attended welcomed the downpour and hope that will set up the district for really good pasture growth this summer.

The department was delighted to host such an important successful event and look forward to giving ongoing support to ASPIAC.

As ASPIAC chair, Nicole Hayes said, “The 100th celebration reminded us how fortunate we are to be a part of ASPIAC and how important it is to continue.”

Find out more about ASPIAC.

Nicole Hayes cutting the cake
Caption: The chair of ASPIAC, Nicole Hayes, presided over the cake cutting ceremony at the 100th meeting celebrations at AZRI

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