Australia Unlimited has recently recognised and highlighted the excellent work of three members of the Western Australian community, detailing their inspiring contributions to society. The following three profiles form part of a multitide of profiles found on the Australia Unlimited platform.
In Search of the Perfect Noodle: Tress Walmsley
Japan’s iconic Udon noodles need premium wheat varieties to produce a flawless product. This wheat is sourced from Western Australia, the world’s leading supplier of noodle wheat into Japan and Korea. Australian scientist and CEO, Tress Walmsley, leads speciality WA crop breeding company, InterGrain, in developing innovative new varieties for this most discerning of markets.
A few months before she was due to start her doctorate in aquatic biology, Tress went on holiday in farming country north of Perth to Three Springs. The Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia happened to be doing crop trials in the area at the time and in a chance meeting Tress was asked if she could use her scientific skills to help withseeding a field trial.
One thing led to another and Tress soon found herself back in Perth co-ordinating the Department of Agriculture’s TopCrop program – a job that led directly to her role today: CEO of the crop breeding company, InterGrain.
Read more here.
Man v Weeds: Ray Harrington
A Western Australian farmer is leading the charge in the global war on weeds with innovative technology that is now being used on farms internationally.
Weeds cost farmers billions of dollars every year. They compete with crops, harm livestock and contaminate produce.
Grain grower Ray Harrington first had the idea for the Harrington Seed Destructor 22 years ago. After investigating everything from cooking to cremating to catching weed seeds, he decided the most efficient method would be to crush the weeds. The Harrington Seed Destructor was developed in 2006 as a machine that was towed behind a combine harvester..
Australia’s Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) saw the potential of the Harrington Seed Destructor, and knew what it could mean for grain growers, so they funded research and development to prove the concept, acquire the rights, and develop it for commercialisation. With its potential to change the game – one that farmers have long been losing – the integrated model is now in high demand. It’s being exported to agriculture customers in the US, Canada, UK, South America and Israel.
Read more here.
Hacking Tech to Bring Healthcare to the World: David Putrino
Western Australian scientist David Putrino's official job title is Director of Rehabilitation Innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System. In other words, Putrino uses technology to bring simple and affordable healthcare solutions to people around the world and – importantly – inspire others to do the same. He has helped design prosthetic arms for refugees in war-torn South Sudan and developed affordable virtual reality rehabilitation devices that can be purchased online.
Putrino’s work with Not Impossible Labs saw an idea to provide prosthetics to a war-ravaged village in South Sudan become a reality. A mutual friend suggested Putrino meet Mick Ebeling, the American founder of Not Impossible Labs, and it was this meeting that set Putrino on a journey to bring low-cost medical solutions to people with disabilities.
Project Daniel was subsequently listed in TIME Magazine’s ‘Top 50 Inventions of 2010’, and Putrino is now a key part of Not Impossible Labs where his official job title is ‘Chief Mad Scientist’.
Read more here.