The 2024 Judging Team

The competition places a strong focus on ensuring broad-ranging judging expertise and experience. The judging team consists of well-credentialed olive experts from both the new and old-world olive producing regions.

Together they form an overall judging group of the highest calibre, offering a wealth of global olive competition experience and knowledge. This reinforces objectivity in the judging panels. These diverse panels ensure a thoughtful, non-biased judging process based purely on merit.


Helen Taylor


Helen has over fifteen years’ experience in olive oil judging at regional, state and national olive oil competitions in an associate, standard and head judge capacity. Helen was a judge at the finals of the Armonia International Olive Oil Show in Spain.

She is a trained food technologist and in 2003 began training in olive oil sensory evaluation. Helen was one of the founding members of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel at Wagga who then went on to undertake olive oil sommelier and olive oil sensory analysis training in Milan, Italy in 2015.

She has trained in table olive production and assessment and has judged in several table olive shows. Helen continues to be an active member of the Australian Olive Oil Sensory Panel.

Dr Michelle Wirthensohn


Dr Michelle Wirthensohn is the Horticulture Innovation Australia Senior Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide. Michelle has been involved in horticultural breeding and research since graduating from the University of Adelaide where she gained her Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons), Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and a PhD in Horticulture.

As a member of the Australian Olive Association’s (AOA) National Table Olive Committee, Michelle helped develop the Voluntary Industry Standard for Table Olives and the Australian Olive Association’s Code of Practice for table oil, table olives and other products.

She has been Head Judge for the Australian Olive Association’s National Table Olive competition since 2011 and for Olives South Australia (OSA) Royal Adelaide Olive Awards. Michelle has been Head Judge for the Australian International Olive Awards in 2017 -2019 and judge at the Fleurieu Fine Foods competition.

Judges for the 2024 AIOA competition will be updated in August 2024.