The Team behind the Australian International Olive AwardsThe blood and bones of the International Olive Awards Australia. Without these people, the event could never exist.
EVOO Head Judge
Shane picked his first olives in 2000 with Long Paddock Olive Rustlers and has been hooked ever since. Shane is a landscaper and paver by trade but his incessant passion is for olives.
Shane has been formally assessing olive oil since 2007. In 2009 Shane completed the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Appreciation and Assessment course. Since 2010 he has been show judging in regional and national competitions including the Australian National Olive Competition, Olives New Zealand, Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Australian Food Awards, Sydney Fine Food Show, Canberra Olive Oil Show and the Golden Olive Show.
He is the convenor of the ‘Tastebook’ program, a sensory professional development and training initiative in appreciating, describing and understanding how to improve the quality of extra virgin olive oil and table olives. www.australianolives.com.au/article-detail/tastebook.
He has been the head judge of the Australian National Olive competition since 2016 and he is extremely honoured to be Chairman of judges for the first Australian International Olive Awards. He sees his responsibility as an advocate for olive oils and olives and facilitator for judges and the event team.
EVOO Chief Steward
Trudie is an accomplished olive oil, food and wine specialist with an extensive background in marketing, hospitality and education. She has completed her Masters in Business and published a research thesis focusing on consumer behaviour and olive oil consumption in Western Australia.
Trudie is a board member of Olives South Australia and the Australian Olive Association. She has been an assessor of extra virgin olive oil since 2003 and judged at numerous competitions including Olives Japan 2017 and Olives New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards 2014. Trudie has chaired the Royal Adelaide Olive Awards since 2014, been a panel leader in the Australian National Olive Competition since 2012 and judged at the Royal Melbourne Show Olive Oil Competition.
Trudie was Head Steward of the Australian National Olive Competition in 2012 and has been engaged by the Australian Olive Association to take this competition to the global stage with the 2017 Australian International Olive Awards.
Trudie was a co-founder of Redisland Australia. Her roles included Technical Manager, Research & Development Manager and Master Blender. Since launching in 2003, Red Island has been working with olive growers across Australia to produce and market the finest Australian Extra Virgin olive oils.
Trudie has run numerous olive oil master classes and educational seminars in Australia and abroad including the UK, Turkey, Germany, Holland and the USA. These have concentrated on organoleptic and sensory education, olive oil quality and production, health and olive oil use.
Dr Michelle Wirthensohn
Table Olive Head Judge
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. She also judges for the Fleurieu Fine Foods competition.
Table Olive Chief Steward
B.Ag Sc (Hon), Dip Ed. Australian Olive Association (AOA) Code of Practice (OliveCare™) Administrator, Chief Steward of the Australian Table Olive Awards since 2012, Convenor of the AOA National Table Olive Committee, Coordinator of The Tastebook sensory training program, Convenor of the Agri-chemicals Committee, AOA Biosecurity representative. Peter has been consulting to the Australian olive industry since 2009, and was recipient of the AOA Services to Industry Award in 2012. He is an experienced project manager, heading projects including: HIA project OL13007 – Australian Olive Industry Code of Practice Implementation, RIRDC Project PRJ-005287: National Olive Industry Levy Consultation, and many other industry development projects in the citrus, summerfruit, mango and other agricultural industries.
AOA Chief Executive Officer
Greg Seymour has been the CEO of the Australian Olive Association since March 2017. He brings over 20 years of agricultural industry leadership and development experience both nationally and internationally. Greg has a Master’s degree in Agriculture and post-graduate qualifications in Marketing and Executive Management. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australian Institute of Management, and the Australian Marketing Institute.
AOA Administration Manager
Liz currently holds the role of Australian Olive Association, Administration Manager. She has over 25 years experience in various administrative and management roles as both an employee and employer. Her knowledge of the olive industry extends to managing the Olivegrower & Processor magazine for over 10 years as part of the Ryan Media stable of magazines.
Since February 2009 Gerri has been the Editor of Australian & New Zealand Olivegrower & Processor (OG&P). Gerri is also a presenter of the SA Motor Accident Commission Bicycle Be Safe Be Seen Education Program and a freelance Journalist, Photographer and Communications Consultant based at Tanunda and Adelaide. Gerri is an ex-officio member of the AOA Board.
Tech Support and Web Guy
Harrison grew up on Longridge Olives and has been the go to IT guy ever since his skills in IT surpassed those of his parents (he was 12). He studied computer science, teaching and physics at uni and built and managed websites part time. Now he’s with the AOA as their go to guy for all things technical.