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We have the pleasure of several keynote and guest speakers who will be joining us at the ASSCT Conference. The official opening and initial keynote session will be held in the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre at 9:00 am on Tuesday 30 April 2019.


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• The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southern Queensland, Prof Geraldine Mackenzie, will open the conference and welcome the delegates to USQ and Toowoomba. We have asked Prof Mackenzie to share with us her vision of how universities contribute to the viability, competitiveness and future of mature agricultural industries (such as the Australian sugar industry), especially in terms of research and innovation, education, graduate training, collaboration and value-adding.


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• Our international keynote speaker is Dr Jean Claude Autrey, General Secretary of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists and the Chancellor of the University of Mauritius. Dr Autrey is a former Director of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI) and brings a wealth of knowledge of sugar industries around the world.  He has agreed to share his insights on the competitiveness of various sugarcane industries in an era of low sugar prices.

A number of guest speakers will join us in the later afternoon/early evening during a general session just prior to the Welcome Function. This amended format will enable our guests and delegates to mingle, interact and continue discussions in a relaxed atmosphere.

Among these guest speakers are:


• The Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, Federal Member for Groom, who is an experienced politician. He has previously served as a Toowoomba Regional Councilor and an elected Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Toowoomba South. He was the Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry from April 2012 to February 2015. More recently, Dr McVeigh was the Federal Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and PhD from USQ. Dr McVeigh will share with us his rounded experiences and well-informed perceptions of future developments.  


• Mr Dan Galligan, Chief Executive Officer of CANEGROWERS and a former CEO of the Queensland Farmers' Federation. Dan originally hailed from a mixed farming enterprise on the Darling Downs. He has a formal background in applied science and rural systems management. We look forward to Dan’s insights on the future of our industry especially given his experience in extension and research, and his negotiation skills on various issues and topics relating to natural resource management and items of concern to the industry.